News

25 per cent of Russian men die before they are 55, study reports

French schools battle boycott after hoax text messages warn of 'masturbation classes'

Almost half the pupils from some French primary schools were absent from class after the text messages were sent

A Pakistani health worker gives a polio vaccine to children in a poor neighborhood that hosts displaced people from Pakistani tribal areas and Afghan refugees, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan

Bill Gates: Violence in Pakistan and Nigeria threatens plan to eradicate polio by 2018

Billionaire philanthropist spoke after polio workers were killed in Pakistan

China's capital was shrouded in thick smog on 16 January, cutting visibility down to a few hundred yards as a count of small particulate pollution reached more than 20 times WHO-recommended levels

Beijing issues smog warning as scientists say pollution ‘cuts life expectancy by 15 years’

Experts say air pollution levels are 20 times higher than maximum recommended by World Health Organisation

Rukhsar Khatun was the last child in India to be diagnosed with polio

India 'to be declared polio free' after three years free of the disease

World Health Organisation to make landmark declaration next month

File picture taken on April 11, 2013, as officials test poultry at the border with mainland China in Hong Kong

North American bird flu death: Canada reports first fatal case of H5N1 virus hitting continent

Authorities say the victim had only travelled to Beijing and had not visited any farms or poultry markets

A mosquito waiting to be studied - scientists have identified the changes to the genes of the malaria parasite that make it resistant to one of the last effective drugs

Scientists identify resistance gene in malaria parasite

Discovery of genes that confer resistance to the drug artemisinin is major step forward for treatment of the disease

Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar village

Tests have confirmed 20 people died after contracting the disease on the island

Hong Kong reports first case of deadly H7N9 bird flu strain amid fears it is spreading from China

Government issues ‘serious’ influenza pandemic response alert

HIV up by 8% across Europe

Over 130,000 new cases of HIV were reported in Europe in 2012

Eligible adults may be given flu vaccine vouchers to use at their local pharmacies

Getting vaccinated is a civic duty, warn health experts

Britons should be given vaccination record cards and be advised it is their “civic duty” to get immunised, experts recommend on Tuesday, warning that increasing migration, an ageing population and the growth of antibiotic resistance is increasing the threat posed by infectious diseases.

Why the decision to circumcise must be left to parents

A ban would force the practice underground, and could lead to more botched jobs

Refugee Syrian children wait for a medical check up in a corridor of newly opened refugee camp in an old school in Sofia, Bulgaria – a gateway to the European Union for migrants fleeing Syria via Turkey

Any denial of medical care is a weapon of war against Syrians

An immunisation campaign is urgently needed

Meet ‘cultural norm’, he kills girls: The tragedy of child brides

The UN expresses concern about maternal mortality among children, but few member states are willing to confront the issue

Iran pollution and 'acid rain' sees at least 50 hospitalised

Spate of heavy rain and lightening is believed to have caused breathing problems for some in the heavily polluted city of Ahvaz

An ADHD sufferer. The condition is believed to affect between two and five per cent of school-age children

Hyperactive UK: warning as ADHD drug prescription rates soar 50 per cent in five years

Doctors worldwide urged to be 'conservative' when diagnosing condition

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas