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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Independent Travel
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 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen