New Zealand volcano erupts

A New Zealand volcano erupted with a brief blast of dark ash today, forcing the cancellation of flights but causing no significant damage. Schoolchildren and dozens of other hikers who were walking on trails along the mountain's base were safe.

The Big Six

National Park retreats

Soil on Mars 'is like Hawaii'

Scientists say the Martian soil at NASA's Curiosity Rover's landing site contains minerals similar to that found on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano.

That's enough 007 for me, thanks

Tales from the Water Cooler

Energy centre: Cliffs and cairns of the Snaefellsnes peninsula

Where to go in 2013: Iceland

Why go in 2013? A last chance to beat the crowds

What Obama could learn from Joe Biden

New York Times writer Maureen Dowd reckons that Barack Obama lost the vice-presidential debate last week - despite not being there. The combative style of both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan showed up his lacklustre performance of the week before. And as Dowd says: "The fact that one diffident debate by the president could throw his whole race into crisis shows that nobody madly loves Obama anymore. With his aloof presidency, he shook off the deep attachments from 2008, and now his support lacks intensity."

Snow news

'Missing' Icelandic tourist goes in search of herself

A woman on a visit to Iceland has managed to add new twist to the concept of "self-discovery" after taking part in a major mountain search operation for a lost tourist before admitting to police that she was the missing person everyone was looking for.

Steve Connor: This isn't just natural variation – it's caused by global warming

What people forget is that sea ice is not fixed to the ground, it is easily blown about

Portfolio: Dierk Maass

The Andean eco-region of the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve starts at 4,200m above sea level and covers more than 700,000 hectares in the far south-west of Bolivia.

Prom 21: Aldeburgh WO/Elder, ***; Prom 22: Keith/BBC Phil/Noseda, ****

Formed in Aldeburgh only a few weeks ago, and drawing in musicians from four continents, the Aldeburgh World Orchestra is the newest youth band to grace the Proms, and under Mark Elder’s direction it gave a noble account of Britten’s "Sinfonia da Requiem".

Inside the Thrihnukagigur volcano

Iceland: Step into the mouth of a volcano

Lisa Young clips on her safety line to descend deep into Iceland's Thrihnukagigur, which last erupted 4,000 years ago

Strong earthquake rocks Indonesia

A strong earthquake swayed tall buildings in Indonesia's capital today but caused no tsunami or apparent damage.

The huge volcanoes are fuelled by massive magma pools that build up deep beneath the ground.

Supervolcanoes that could destroy humanity 'may explode sooner than scientists thought'

Huge volcanoes second only to asteroid impact in terms of the devastation they would visit on the earth

12 bodies found near Indonesia jet crash site

Search teams found at least 12 bodies Friday near where a Russian-made jetliner crashed into the side of an Indonesian volcano while on a demonstration flight for potential buyers from airlines, an official said.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own