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

Shwedagon pagoda on the full moon day in Rangoon

Good news for Burma is bad for UN staff losing luxury offices to returning tourists

Prices of 'average' hotel rooms leap from $30 to $100

The WHO says drug treatment for HIV should start earlier, before the immune system is damaged and causes sickness

WHO says drug treatment for HIV should begin earlier

An ambitious plan to roll out HIV treatment to millions more patients around the globe has divided scientists who question whether it is focused on benefiting individuals or halting the spread of the disease.

Bashar al-assad: President’s forces still have the upper hand on rebels

Syrian rebels facing a new threat – the flesh-eating ‘Aleppo boil’

Explosions and gunfire rang out across the northern Syrian city of Aleppo last night as rebel factions continued to defend the former economic hub against the superior weaponry of regime forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

The England Under-21s lost all three of their matches

Three straight defeats for the England Under-21s: What went wrong? What can be done?

Steve Tongue, who has covered all four of Stuart Pearce's tournaments over the past six years, reports from Israel

Blunt and rusted tools used for genital mutilation

The new suffragettes: The Kurdish woman fighting against female genital mutilation

In the final part of our series honouring the centenary of Emily Wilding Davison’s death, Loveday Morris talks to a Kurdish poet who dares to assert her countrywomen’s rights against forced marriage, domestic violence and female genital mutilation

Fighting against Female Genital Mutilation in Iraq

It is a misguided belief that Islam requires young women be circumcised

Cancer rates not expected to rise after Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident

Cancer rates are not expected to rise after Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident as people quickly left the area hit by the world's worst such disaster in 25 years, a UN scientific committee said on Friday.

World Health Organisation warns against 'threat to the entire world' from new Sars-like virus

A new Sars-like virus discovered in humans could pose “a threat to the entire world”, the World Health Organisation warned this week.

67 per cent of the mothers had levels of iodine below that recommended by the World Health Organisation

Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies

Most pregnant women are deficient in iodine, a mineral vital for cognitive development

MMR vaccination up-take remains too low among the worst-hit 10 to 18 age group

50,000 MMR vaccinations so far in battle to halt Welsh measles epidemic

But up-take remains too low among the worst-hit 10 to 18 age group

WHO warns that deadly new coronavirus could be passed from person to person

The virus is known to cause pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure

The hospital where a 65-year-old man who came back to France from a trip to Dubai was diagnosed with the deadly novel coronavirus and is in intensive care in the northern city of Douai

Nurse treated as France reveals three suspected cases of Sars-related virus

French health officials said today they are investigating three suspected cases of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, while a man confirmed to have the virus remains hospitalised.

The sign of a return to a Dickensian world

Food banks are 'sign of return to Dickensian world', warns food expert

The rise of food banks risks eroding the state safety net as politicians endorse a "Dickensian" model of welfare, one of Britain's leading food policy experts has warned.

Poll: Give walking a lift - should building design encourage people to use the stairs?

Oh dear... walking is one way to keep in shape, but a survey published in the Independent today shows that a quarter of British adults now walk for less than nine minutes a day - including time spent getting round the shops and to work.

A woman wears a face mask as she walks past a poster in Beijing showing how to avoid getting the H7N9 bird flu virus

Bird flu strain in China is ‘lethal’

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that a new strain of bird flu that has killed 22 people in China is “one of the most lethal” flu viruses so far, and that it is more easily transmittable from poultry to humans than an earlier strain that has killed hundreds around the world since 2003.

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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
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future