Life and Style Merry Christmas! Here's a snake in a hat.

Snakes in hats has become the latest pet trend to take online forums by storm, take a look at some of the most stylish here

Frog's-eye view of the campaign

While the general election will be the first to move on to the information superhighway, both Labour and the Conservatives are already cruising in the fast lane with their instant rebuttal computer systems.

Remember origami? It's gone digital ...

cd-rom review; Andy Oldfield and young friends test a program that lets you print out and make 600 paper toys

Rescue plan is launched for the vanishing natterjack toad

A century ago the natterjack toad was still common across much of Britain. You could find it as close to London as Blackheath.

LETTER: Spell it right or the frog gets it

From Master Allie Johnstone

Bellamy puts a brave face on Frogwatch

NICHOLAS SCHOON

A weekly round-up of rural rumpuses

As a novel change from owls falling victim to humans (see above), humans fell victim to an owl last week. Passers-by on a council estate at Kimberworth in South Yorkshire were left battered and bleeding by a dive-bombing tawny owl. One man thought he had been mugged when he was hit from behind and left pouring with blood. After six days the owl was captured by Paul Kettleborough, a falconer. He said: "I've never known an owl act like this before ... I went up with my fishing net and was hit once on the head before it came for my face ... The owl has been hand-reared by someone who knows very little about birds of prey. They've probably got fed up with the noise and set it free."

Virus is blamed for killing off frogs

STEVE CONNOR

If 30,000 newts could vote, John Major would be out

Ken Livingstone detects Tory party machinations behind the threat to a colony of rare amphibians in the Prime Minister's constituency

LETTER: Duck tales

What's this? First the Weasel thinks he's a rodent, and now he appears to think that ducks are amphibians (Up & Down Canary Wharf, 25 March). Is the Weasel a sheaf short of a stook?

Freak frogs catch nature-lovers on the hop

Nature-watchers across Britain have been taken by surprise by the emergence of orange-coloured frogs in garden ponds indulging in early spring mating displays.

Ancient frog

North Korean archaeologists discovered the fossil of a frog which lived about 150 million years ago, proving, officials said, that the peninsula was a cradle of human civilisation, Reuter reports from Tokyo. The remains were found near the north- western city of Sinuiju, near the border with China.

Toads rule road

Safety work at the side of the A40 near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire is being delayed until toads which cross it have finished their mating season. In order to prevent the toads being crushed by cars volunteers regularly patrol the road and carry the animals across in buckets.

Letter: Of frogs and heroines

Sir: Emma Bagnall ('Dear Dorothea Brooke', 20 January) misses the point about Dorothea - and about George Eliot, too.

Letter: Matthew Arnold: man of the people

Sir: Bryan Appleyard grossly misrepresents Matthew Arnold by inventing a tradition of 'ever-more paranoid assertion of the need for an inner cultural priesthood that would protect the highest and the best from the lowest and the worst' and frog-marching Arnold into it. The author of Culture and Anarchy believed

Germans declare a new war on frog foreigners

FROGS and politics are not a familiar pairing. In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, however, the American bullfrog has, together with a number of other exotic amphibians, been declared an unwelcome alien.
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Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
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Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

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China's influence on fashion

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Bread from heaven

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Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

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Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before