England opener Alex Hales takes a catch during the first Twenty20 match against Australia

Twenty20 series: England opener Alex Hales confident of comeback to win three-match series after Hobart defeat

England suffered yet another defeat in the opening Twenty20 match against Australia and need to win the remaining two if they are to take the series

Jos Buttler hit a rapid-fire 71 off 43 balls

ODI series: About time! Ben Stokes gives England the elusive tas te of vic tory against Australia

A rapid-fire 71 from Jos Buttler helps England to record a 57-run victory any finally earn relief as they avoid equalling their worst ever run of defeats

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle weighs just 7.6g and is the size of a human thumb

English pipistrelle’s record journey to Europe proves bats can fly across seas

A tiny bat the size of a human thumb has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe – before meeting an untimely end in the Netherlands.

James Taylor

Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor ready to fill No 3 vacancy left by Jonathan Trott

The 24-year-old played two Tests against South Africa in 2012

Yooranah with his mother Alinga at Edinburgh Zoo

A new plan to save Australian wildlife prioritises saving species which add the most to the economy. But is this a mercenary approach, or just good sense?

If you have nearly 100 critically endangered animals, how do you target limited conservation resources? Australian scientists have come up with one solution, using a mathematical equation to determine which species should be saved and which let go.

Kevin Pietersen admits he is determined to be a part of England's 2015 side that will attempt to regain the Ashes

Comment: Kevin Pietersen's position in this war with Andy Flower is weakened by his total lack of form

The batsman faces being ousted from the international set-up following England's 5-0 defeat in the Ashes

Shane Watson trudges off after the fall of his wicket in the Third Test

Ashes 2013/14: Shane Watson’s flat-footed dismissal typical of a batsman for whom there is a yawning gulf between his performance and his potential

The Aussie Angle: No one promises more nor falls short so often. He is Australia’s biggest tease

Mitchell Johnson has become Australia's spearhead
The tone in the Sky Sports commentary box these days is like a dressing-room banter free-for-all

Sport on TV: David Gower flies in face of all the old captains who lower tone

The first session of the First Test has often proved a pivotal passage of play in Ashes series Down Under. Even the first ball; Steve Harmison’s wide to second slip in 2006, or Michael Slater smashing Phil DeFreitas through cover point for four in 1994. It tends to “set the tone”, as the pundits like to say – and the tone in the Sky Sports commentary box these days is like a dressing-room banter free-for-all.

Book review: Cockroaches, By Jo Nesbo, translated by Don Bartlett

Jo Nesbo gently but firmly clutched my arm. I was to talk to him at the Manchester Literature Festival, and our names had been announced; we were heading for the stage.

George Bailey

The Light Roller: The Ashes will be won and lost by old men and new-fangled salads

Diary of a cricket obsessive

England's Ashes warm-up match was rained off for the second day in succession

Twin Towers costumes, a llama and a sombrero: How to do (or not to do) drunken tomfoolery

This week we’ve seen the best and worst sides of drunken excesses. What have we learnt? Just like in life: llamas good, racism bad.

Spider on a pillow is among non-emergency calls to firefighters

London Fire Brigade has revealed some of the strangest requests their control room has received recently

There is no risk of bats helping to spread malaria to people

Bat 'immunity' over malaria parasites could could be key to human vaccines, says top scientist

The bugs have probably infected bats for millions of years and their immune system has evolved to cope

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

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people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
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Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
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Daniel Radcliffe gives a strong performance in Horns
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Apple CEO Timothy Cook
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes