News

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

Toronto, Canada's largest city; former US vice-president Dick Cheney

O Canada, you're too dangerous for Dick Cheney

Peter Ustinov once called Toronto "New York run by the Swiss", meaning that Canada's largest city has everything the Big Apple does, but is just a bit cleaner, friendlier, more efficient and – well, Swiss. It might be an overstatement but, as a big metropolis, it does feel safe. But not safe enough for former US vice-president Dick Cheney, who yesterday pulled out of a talk in the city due to fears about his safety. Is he right to be scared? What are Toronto's potential dangers?

Fuel poverty deaths three times higher than government estimates

The number of people dying as a result of fuel poverty is three times higher than government estimates suggest, according to new academic research.

Leading article: Antibiotic overuse threatens us all

That drug-resistant blood-poisoning cases in Britain have risen by 30 per cent in less than five years is concerning enough. That the official analysis judges the soaring cases of untreatable E.coli to be just the "tip of the iceberg" of antibiotic resistance should be a spur to more concerted efforts to address the problem.

UK cancer cases could surge 30 per cent, report warns

New cases of cancer could rise by 30 per cent in the UK by 2030, experts warned, with poor diet, heavy alcohol consumption and an ageing population likely to play a major role.

Malaria deaths twice as high as was thought

Malaria is killing almost twice as many people around the world than was previously thought, a study has shown.

Gordon Brown calls for Global Fund for Education

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has called for the creation of a worldwide fund to combat a "hidden and silent emergency in education".

Wallace and Gromit creators in leprosy row

The creators of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run are at the centre of an angry storm surrounding their latest film amid accusations of bad taste and disability discrimination.

Poultry cull in Hong Kong after two dead birds tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu

Bird-flu victim 'had no direct contact with poultry'

Alarm in China after bus driver dies, and, in nearby Hong Kong, 19,000 chickens have been slaughtered

Chinese bus driver dies of bird flu

A Chinese bus driver who tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus died in a city bordering Hong Kong today, health officials said.

Leading article: No escaping the dangers of tobacco

Given the history of half-truths and special pleading which characterise the public pronouncements of tobacco companies, many people will find it unsurprising that the latest analysis casts doubt on previous industry-backed studies into the safety of cigarette additives. Indeed, independent scientists now claim that research published by Philip Morris a decade ago actually "obscured findings of toxicity".

5.6m people in South Africa with HIV/Aids – the largest epidemic in the world

World Aids Day: Thirty-four million reasons to act

The Aids crisis has affected so many millions that the numbers can be difficult to understand. Here, we look at the statistics behind the epidemic.

Government says 15 suicides an hour in India

The Indian government says the rate of suicide is increasing in the country and more than 15 people kill themselves every hour.

David Salisbury: Polio - a scourge that should be wiped out

If India can stop the spread, why has it not been eliminated everywhere?

Leading article: A sensible review of breast screening

Does screening for breast cancer do more harm than good? Once, a question like that would have been dismissed as heretical nonsense. After all, according to the Government's official line, 1,400 lives a year are saved by screening. But over the past few years evidence has begun to be raised suggesting that the harm may outweigh the benefits. A "better safe than sorry" approach can lead to over-diagnosis and unnecessary mutilating surgery for a lesion that was not going to cause harm.

Contagion (12A)

Starring: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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