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Family took refuge in a lake to escape the Aussie bushfires

As scores of fires continued to burn the length of eastern Australia today, a remarkable survival story emerged from Tasmania, where five young children escaped a blaze that destroyed about 90 properties in their village by sheltering under a boat jetty with their grandparents.

More Americans favour strong gun laws after Newtown

Stronger gun laws are favoured by 58 percent of Americans, the highest percentage in eight years, according to a national poll conducted after 20 elementary school students were gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Don Meredith: Tough American footballer who became a much-loved

When he felt a Monday Night Football game was decided, Don Meredith would sing "turn out the lights, the party's over". For Meredith it sometimes seemed the party was never over. He enjoyed two glamorous careers, first as a star quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and then as an announcer-cum-actor, and quit each when he stopped enjoying them.

Josh Lewsey's Everest diary: Monty Python and SPAM

England rugby star Josh Lewsey is undertaking the ultimate challenge in attempting to summit Mount Everest in aid of Help for Heroes. He'll be writing an exclusive diary during the expedition which you can keep up to date with here at The Independent.