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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Debate: Should ivory stockpiles be destroyed?

The United States has done it. The Philippines and China too. Even Hong Kong has said it will destroy some of its contraband ivory. But ahead of a conservation conference in London next month where world leaders will descend to seek a solution to wildlife crime, the debate about the future of stockpiles is set to heat up.

Tom Hanks in the 2000 film Castaway

Man lost on the Pacific Ocean for '16 months' reaches shore on remote Ebon Atoll

In a story similar to the plot of the film Castaway starring Tom Hanks, Jose Ivan was found on the atoll having floated 8,000 miles from Mexico

The puma with a tranquiliser dart in its side in the Chile kitchen it wrecked

The cat that got the scream: puma strolls into kitchen - and wrecks it

Police said animal was well cared for, suggesting it was an escaped pet or was released into wild and was trying to get home

White Beech: The Rainforest Years by Germaine Greer; Book review

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

White Beech: The Rainforest Years by Germaine Greer; book review

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for ITALS PREVIOUS WD wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset. Some parts of England have suffered the wettest January since records began

On the Somerset floods, our inbox tells you all you need to know

Three Independent letter writers covered the issue superbly

Mystery of flying snakes may be resolved

Scientists observed snakes "slithering" through the air to stay aloft

Hundreds of snakes discovered in plastic bins in teacher's home after neighbours complain of 'overwhelming stench'

Schoolteacher William Buchman was arrested after officers found over 300 living and dead snakes inside his property

White Beech: The Rainforest Years by Germaine Greer; book review

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for ITALS PREVIOUS WD wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Sea and ski: Marbella club

Property news roundup: Spain poised to overtake France as favourite destination for buying overseas home

Plus new construction industry jobs and Chinese interest in UK property

Elephants at sunrise

Nairobi gets tough on ivory smugglers

A new Kenyan law aims to quell poaching by increasing the notoriously light penalties for the growing illegal trade

Okay, I'll say it... Jon Snow is not alone in thinking about sex with colleagues

I wager women think about sex just as much as men

An Egyptian cobra.

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem insists 'there are no snakes here'

The Pennsylvania Casino have denied claims that there may be snakes inside the building following posts on social media of a snake bite

A picture shows the Qesem Cave excavation site where the campfire was discovered.

300,000-year-old firepit found in Israel could be the first example of a social campfire

The fire-pit found near Tel-Aviv could hold the secret to the beginnings of social culture among early humans

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

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Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

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A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
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Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
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In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

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Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

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New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
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By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
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Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice