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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable