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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Full Metal Jacket actor R. Lee Ermey poses in Facebook pictures with lions he shot

A Hollywood actor has been branded a “disgusting killer” after being pictured proudly with two dead lions.

An aerialist performs during Quidam, a show by Cirque du Soleil, at the Royal Albert Hall
Fishermen have found two conjoined gray whale calves in a northwestern Mexican lagoon, a discovery that a government marine biologist described as

Conjoined gray whale calves discovered in Mexican lagoon could be world's first ever documented find, experts say

Experts said that while other species have been found to have conjoined twins, the find is ‘without any precedent’ among gray whales

The pope has a lamb put around his neck by a woman dressed as a character from the nativity scene at Church of St Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in the outskirts of Rome

Pope visits Nativity re-enactment

'My goldfish died': 10 oddest excuses for late tax returns

HM Revenue and Customs reveals 10 most bizarre excuses for sending in a late return

Investigators say Joshua Werbicki was caught having sex with the dog on a hidden camera

Man in Florida charged with having sex with dog

A man in Florida has been arrested over allegedly having repeated sex with a dog.

Lonely dolphin 'trying to make friends with humans' after being separated from pod in Australia

A lonely young dolphin is trying to make friends with humans along Australia’s east coast but swimmers are being told to shun the creature.

A pile of confiscated ivory waiting to be crushed in Dongguan, southern Guangdong province

China crushes six tonnes of ivory in crackdown on illegal trade

The illegal stockpile was destroyed in a landmark move but critics say it is just a fraction of the total

Three dead minke whales lie on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru as it travels through the Southern Ocean

Photos show Japanese boats 'whaling in internationally protected area'

Anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd say they shot the footage showing dead whales in pools of blood

Frozen skin, dead animals and hypothermia: What happens at -50ºC?

The icy winds blasting the US have the power to freeze bare skin and kill animals.

100-year sentences deny perpetrators the chance of change - and allow us to forget their humanity

Much as we should be disgusted by their crimes, locking people up for a century will not make our country a safer place

Book review: 'The Dig' by Cynan Jones

Poetry, red in tooth and claw

Two-headed calf Sana Saida born in Morocco

Locals have been flocking to see the animal in the city of Fes

Postcard from... Berlin

The conversation: Environmental activist Laurens de Groot on running from seal clubbers and why you don't mess with Russia

Sea Shepherd would aim to scupper missions by any means, whether it was throwing foul-smelling acid or sinking ships. At what point did you join?

Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
World Cup 2014
Sport
Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
Sport
Sport
Manchester United's kit for the 2014/15 season
football
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
peopleNobel laureate was a powerful anti-Apartheid voice
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor