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

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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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
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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
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?