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

Bellamy joins battle to save colony of great crested newts: Rare amphibians' habitat earmarked by council for 35-acre rubbish tip

PROFESSOR David Bellamy, the biologist, stood welly-deep in a sodden Dorset field near the Hardy village of Holnest yesterday, and upbraided Dorset County Council's scheme to turn the landscape into a gigantic rubbish tip for the urban dustbins of Sherborne, five miles to the north.

Letter: Fired-up frogs

Sir: If frogs are key indicators of the state of the environment, as some naturalists have said, then ours may not be so bad as people think. This morning, there are 11 heaps of frogspawn lying on the surface of our quite small garden pond. There are seven pairs of mating frogs thoughtfully being optimistic about the future and five or six other individuals hanging around wondering whether to join in. We live within a few miles of some of the Trent's coal-fired power stations.

Toads treated

Two tunnels have been built under a road to save toads from being flattened in the mating season. The passages, to the Grand Western Canal in Tiverton, Devon, were part of a pounds 160,000 road improvement.

Croak of gold

New Delhi, India (AP) - A frog swallowed a gold chain, left on a riverbank by a woman bather - and sparked off a massacre of frogs in a south-western Indian village, according to newspaper reports.

The mystery killer in the garden pond: Our frogs are dying and experts fear the problem may herald even more serious environmental concerns, says Nicholas Roe

GAIL HUGGETT meets us at the front door of her home in Reigate, Surrey, and leads the way into the back garden saying: 'You think they're alive at first, but when you touch them they don't move. I've been burying them in the compost heap.' She is talking about an environmental tragedy of possibly worldwide significance, the evidence for which, she tells us, is waiting in a bucket at the bottom of the garden.

Between the lines / Writer Billy Roche on the smell of the greasepaint

It's like flowers that smell. We'll bust a bag tomorrow. I'll bring you some.

Disappearing Britain: Natterjack digs in as its habitat is invaded: Oliver Gillie reports on a threatened amphibian which likes the beach life

THE NATTERJACK toad is fighting to retain its territory in northern Europe. Acid rain is polluting its breeding ponds; common toads and frogs are invading its favoured sites and poaching its food.

Frog inquiry

An investigation has been launched by the RSPCA- backed Frog Mortality Project at London Zoo to try to discover the mystery disease which is wiping out Britain's frogs.
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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 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

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Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

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Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

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Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

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Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

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China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

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Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

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