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This millennium, Britain’s dragonfly contingent has been in the throes of revolution. Several sparkling species have crossed the sea to start colonising the UK. In this ambitious itinerary, you might see up to seven magnificent dragonflies unknown in Britain two decades previously.

Activists claim Syria bombing killed 54 people

An activist group says a bombing of a military factory in central Syria this week has killed 54 people.

Yet Another Armageddon? Five Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Impending Solar Superstorm

We've only just wiped the sweat from our brow following the averted Mayan apocalypse, but already news is spreading of another impending doom; and this one even has actual science behind it.

According to a group of experts at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, a solar superstorm - caused by the Sun ejecting billions of tonnes of highly-energetic matter travelling at a million miles an hour - is not only inevitable - but coming soon. "The two challenges for government are the wide spectrum of technologies affected today and the emergence of unexpected vulnerabilities as technology evolves," says Professor Paul Cannon. So let's prepare...

Eight killed and many injured in tourist bus crash in California

At least eight people were killed and 38 injured when a tourist bus careened out of control down a California mountain road, struck a car, flipped over and hit a pickup truck, authorities said.

Eight killed in California bus crash

Eight people were killed on a California highway early today in a crash involving a tour bus and two other vehicles.

Eddie Ray Routh is a suspect in the shooting and killing of former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle, who wrote

Man charged with shooting top US Navy sniper at gun range

Ex-soldier suspected of the murder of the Navy Seal, author of American Sniper, and another man

'Most lethal sniper in US history': Chris Kyle shot dead on Texas gun range

Former Navy SEAL had a bounty put on his head by Iraqi insurgents, who dubbed him 'The Devil of Ramadi'

US bus siege: Police in stand-off with hostage gunman in Alabama

Police swat teams and hostage negotiators were locked in a stand-off today with a gunman authorities say intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a six-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama.

Silk top £245 and silk trousers £325, zoe-jordan.com

Fast track to fashion

The daughter of a racing driver, Zoë Jordan draws on a childhood of travel for her eponymous line, says Rebecca Gonsalves

French soldiers flying back from Timbuktu, arrive at the French army base in Sevare, Mali, last night

Recaptured by moonlight, the fabled desert city where Islamists burned books in a bitter farewell

The recapture of Timbuktu was done by moonlight. More than 250 French troops parachuted down to the northern entrance of the fabled desert city, while an armoured column sealed the southern exit.

Husband and wife riding tandem bicycle killed in Bristol hit-and-run accident

Two cyclists who were killed in an alleged hit-and-run incident near Bristol have been named as a married couple.

10 killed in roadside blast in Afghanistan

A police truck packed with officers and detainees struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan's largest city, killing 10 of those aboard, officials said today.

Review: Rubbernecker, By Belinda Bauer

The curious case of the talking dead

Five-Minute Memoir: William Nicholson recalls being driven over the edge by a white van

This is a tale of suffering, redemption and white vans. Late last year I needed to transport some furniture from our house in Sussex to my son's rooms in central London. I should have paid a man to do it for me, but foolishly confident in my driving ability, I decided to hire a van and drive it myself. It was a white Ford Transit 280 panel van, which if you've ever driven you'll know presents special challenges to the driver. It's long and wide and you can't see out of the back. You never really know how close you are to anything else on the road. Turning corners brings with it new surprises every time. Overtaking becomes an act of reckless abandon.

Earl of Cardigan acquitted of assault

A Wiltshire aristocrat has been acquitted of assaulting one of his family estate's trustees.

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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
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Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker