Environment Japanese fishermen transporting slaughtered dolphins in Taiji harbour; the water of the cove is red with the blood of dead animals. Locals brand criticism of the cull 'cultural imperialism'

Hundreds of dolphins are killed in a remote Japanese bay during hunting season. The town argues it is an important tradition, but conservationists maintain the bloody practice is inhumane

Online dating myths busted

Online dating is now the third most popular way to meet a potential partner and is a great way to cast your net a little wider than your immediate social circle; yet despite this, there still seems to be many myths surrounding it. If you haven’t tried online dating yet or you’re thinking about trying it but are put off by what you’ve heard listen up, because Independent Dating are here to dispel some of those nasty rumours.

Sperm whale dies on beach 'after getting lost'

A 44ft (13.4m) sperm whale which became beached probably died because it got lost, a marine expert involved in the rescue bid said yesterday.

Whale stranded in loch 'was killed by infection'

The death of a pilot whale who died off the Scottish coast was caused by an infection, a post-mortem suggested today.

Fears for whales as they return to shallows of loch

Pod headed out to sea, but last night came back and now risks mass stranding

Whales move into deeper water

A pod of pilot whales at risk of beaching themselves in shallow waters off the Western Isles have "calmed down" overnight, rescuers said today.

Experts fear mass whale stranding

Marine experts have been deployed to the Western Isles to try to prevent a mass stranding of pilot whales.

My Natural History, By Simon Barnes

A lucky encounter with an ugly bat can change a life

Travel challenge: A family trip to the Azores

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for aspecific holiday. Today:a family half-term holiday on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. Prices are based on four peopletravelling together, departing 28 May.

Album: Cocoon, Where the Oceans End (Sober & Gentle)

The French duo Cocoon bring the softest of touches to bear with their folksy harmonies on Where the Oceans End, a maritime-themed collection in which their affinity for aquatic mammals is displayed in songs addressed to dolphins, whales, sea lions and most quaintly, "Baby Seal", the pup perhaps evoked by the quiet wisps of theremin or bowed saw that peek out from behind the strings.

On The Road: Conquer your aquatic anxiety by swimming with a giant of the ocean

I'm afraid of the ocean. It seems ridiculous for someone spending time in Australia, but I really don't like swimming in the sea and snorkelling is even worse. How can anyone not have a panic attack when they hear themselves breathing like that?

Video: Whale found dead off UK coast

A 45-foot sperm whale has been discovered dead off the coast of east Kent.

197 beached pilot whales die

An entire pod of 197 pilot whales found stranded on a New Zealand beach have died, including 48 that were euthanised, government officials said yesterday.

107 pilot whales die in New Zealand stranding

All members of a pod of 107 pilot whales that stranded on a remote New Zealand beach have died, including 48 that were euthanised, the government's conservation department said today.

Protesters stop whale hunt

Anti-whaling activists' high-seas confrontations with Japanese ships forced Tokyo to cut short its annual Antarctic whale hunt for the first time yesterday.

Japan forced to halt whaling in Antarctic as activists claim victory

Environmentalists claimed victory yesterday after Japan halted its annual Antarctic whaling cull following weeks of harassment by a militant conservationist group.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor