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

Humans have thick skulls and dense bones - unlike modern apes, but in common with shallow diving mammals such as manatees and walrus

Did humans come from the seas instead of the trees? Much-derided theory of evolution about aquatic apes is debated in London

Scientists, academics and medics gather this week in a London hotel to discuss a topic that has been virtually unmentionable in academic circles for decades: are humans descended from “aquatic apes” that spent more time swimming than dragging their knuckles on  the ground?

Animal rights group defeated in move that would have opened up paid UK political advertising

An animal rights group has narrowly lost an attempt to open up paid political advertising in the UK.

Animal Defenders International hopes to overturn the ban on its primate ad

UK ban on political advertising may be lifted

Britain may be forced to lift its ban on political advertising when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rules on its lawfulness tomorrow.

Editorial: Can money outdo democracy?

Some fear that we might legalise the indirect political TV campaigns of America

The Emperor's New Clothes (7 April 2013)

We all disapprove of hate and of crime. But put the two together and it's much less clear cut

£5 million-plus rescue package for Northern Ireland farmers hit by severe blizzards

A £5 million-plus rescue package will be offered to farmers who have lost livestock in the severe blizzards that have hit Northern Ireland, Stormont ministers have agreed.

Three animal rights protesters were branded with hot irons on the streets of Leeds in “solidarity” with animals in the livestock industry

Protesters branded in 'solidarity' with animals

Animal rights activists ignore police warnings they might be arrested for 'outraging decency'

Video: Elephant seal halts traffic in Brazil

A huge elephant seal has brought traffic to a standstill in Brazil after it swam out of the Atlantic and took a tour of Balneario Camboriu.

Wild world: Encounters with animals should be managed with care

Phil Mansbridge: The fragile bonds between tourism and wildlife

Something to declare

Student who fried a flatmate's hamster sentenced

The 21-year-old could not remember the drunken incident

Anthony Hilton: SFO is in a hole but it just goes on digging

There is surely something flawed in the decision by the Serious Fraud Office to hire Slaughter & May, the most expensive solicitors in London, to lead its defence against the action for wrongful arrest and damages brought by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

Editorial: Tinkering with taxes will not boost the economy

The way to improve Britain’s taxation system is to make it simpler
Dr Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth's Department of Psychology with her dog

Dogs 'see things from a human point of view' - at least when it comes to stealing food

Pet dogs may understand a human’s point of view, according to new research which suggests they are more likely to steal food when they think that nobody can see them.

Green world: Bedgebury National Pinetum in Kent

Rob Cowen: A Noah's Ark of conifers just an hour south of London

Tales From The Trees

Yule Log, the overweight grey seal. Staff at the sanctuary said his lovable character and pleading eyes were hard to resist at feeding time

Hefty seal put on diet and exercise regime after piling on the pounds

A grey seal with a penchant for overeating has been put on a strict diet after gaining more than 124kg in just nine months.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor