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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.

Cyclists need more than wheels of fortune

A friend has just upbraided me in the gentlest way. "I thought I saw you on your bike," she said. "Then I knew it couldn't be you because this cyclist was wearing earphones." Well, of course it was me. And she knew it. But that's classy diplomacy.

Police searching for the body of Rania Alayed want information about the movements of a camper van

19 miles of North Yorkshire A-roads searched for mother's body

Camper van traced, but police want to know about its movements in the hunt for Rania Alayed's body

Azelle Rodney

Met Police back officer over 2005 shooting of suspected gangster Azelle Rodney

Marksman faces possible criminal charges over killing of 24-year-old

Portfolio: Photographer Phil Wills catalogues Britain's food vans

You'll get none of your pop-up nonsense here…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pictured with her husband Joachim Sauer

Angela Merkel takes the flak for Berlin’s arms exports to the Gulf states

German Chancellor accused of being a favourite of Arab despots as sales climb to €817m

Chris Coleman remonstrates on the touchline with Gareth Bale as Wales take on Scotland

Transfer news: Wales boss Chris Coleman believes Gareth Bale is yet to reach his best ahead of potential Real Madrid move

Coleman has named Bale in the Wales squad to face the Republic of Ireland next week and insists he is 'only going to get better' regardless of if he stays in the Premier League

Nigel Lindsay, Daniel Mays and Monica Dolan in The Same Deep Water As Me at the Donmar Warehouse

Theatre review: The Same Deep Water As Me - Nick Payne's curiously underwhelming follow-up to Constellations

Nick Payne was the youngest ever winner of the Evening Standard Best Playwright Award for his last work, Constellations, a dazzling piece about a cosmologist and a bee-keeper whose relationship went though endless permutations of possibility in a quantum multiverse. How do you follow that? Not, it seems, by trying to up the ante on the experimentalism front.

Flooded streets after burst water main in Herne Hill, London

Burst main leaves pub with 60,000 litres of water in the cellar as neighbourhood floods

Massive clean-up under way after major junction was flooded to 1.5 metres

Kirobo is designed to provide companionship for a Japanese astronaut at the International Space Station

Kirobo the talking Japanese robot lifts off into space

The small robot is designed to provide companionship for a Japanese astronaut at the International Space Station

Kirobo is designed to provide companionship for a Japanese astronaut at the International Space Station

Kirobo the talking Japanese 'astronaut robot' lifts off into space

The small robot is designed to provide companionship for a Japanese astronaut at the International Space Station

Five Questions About: Holiday car hire

How can I get the best rate for my rental car?

Transfer news: Pep Guardiola rules out any move to bring Chelsea defender David Luiz to Bayern Munich

Guardiola says there is 'not truth to the speculation' but questions still remain over Barcelona's interest

Top Gear in new controversy over faked hovercraft scenes on River Avon

During the disputed segment the vehicle, which is driven by Jeremy Clarkson, is shown spraying diners at a restaurant and blowing away their tables

Vince Cable has condemned a 'stupid and offensive' campaign against illegal immigrants

Vince Cable: 'Go home' poster campaign aimed at illegal immigrants is 'stupid and offensive'

Business Secretary says: 'We have a problem but it's not a vast one'

Witnesses at the 1955 trial with the 18-year-old Willie Reed, second left, and Mamie Emmett, Till’s bereaved mother

Willie Reed reminds us change has come

Out of America: The Trayvon Martin story is horrifying. But the fate of a witness to an earlier outrage helps put it in the proper context

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all