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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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John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'