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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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JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

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The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
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The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
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The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
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Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
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Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
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All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
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Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game