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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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Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
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'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
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The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam