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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Leading article: A delicate issue in Franco-American relations

The French are sensitive about their favourite dishes, as the fierce response to California's ban on the sale of foie gras has illustrated.

Aesop's fable experiment highlights how differently children and crows learn about the world

An experiment based on an Aesop's fable has shown how differently children and crows learn about the world.

Content by Conran sofa

Embrace the tropical trend at home

From jungle fabrics and Caribbean colours to exotic fruit imagery and bird of paradise accessories, interiors have gone totally tropical, finds Emily Jenkinson

Wet summer kills rare osprey chicks in Northumberland

Rain and cold weather this summer have taken their toll on rare osprey chicks in a remote corner of England, the Forestry Commission said.

Bad weather sees wildlife struggle

This year's bad weather has proved “almost apocalyptic” for much of the UK's wildlife, the National Trust warned today.

Mystery deaths of 500 penguins

More than 500 dead penguins have been washed up on beaches in southern Brazil over the past week.

Probe under way after 30 swans found dead in Cardiff

An investigation is under way after the mysterious deaths of 30 swans in Cardiff.

Wimbledon hawk Rufus stolen from car

The hawk that patrols Wimbledon to deter pigeons has been stolen, police said.

Le Nozze di Figaro, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

It’s the age of long hair and raging hormones, wide lapels and wider collars, the age of new found “permissiveness” where the world and his dog are gagging for some extra-curricular congress and the great and good are headed for their lavish Spanish villas with or without the wife.

Lonesome George was the last remaining tortoise of his kind

The tragically early death of Lonesome George (1912-2012)

The giant tortoise's demise means his kind are extinct. Michael McCarthy pays tribute and asks which species is next

These delightful exercise books by the Scottish interiors doyenne Donna Wilson are among the Create 2012 Souvenirs. Createlondon.org

RAF jets 'caused chicks' deaths'

The RAF has been accused of causing the deaths of kittiwake chicks when jets flew low over their island nesting sites and scared tens of thousands of birds.

<p>1. How To Think More About Sex By Alain de Botton</p>
<p>£7.99, panmacmillan.com</p>
<p>De Botton says we need to balance love and desire, adventure and commitment, to find happiness.</p>

The 10 Best self-help books

How to win friends, think more about sex, and get things done

Charities call on Londoners to help save the 'Cockney Sparra'

The chirruping of the cockney sparra was once commonplace, but now, ten years since a study found that the bird was on the verge of extinction in the capital, charities are calling on Londoners to help save it.

Insects cut down to size by birds

The evolution of birds may have helped to keep insects from growing into much larger species, scientists have said. Faced with an airborne predatory threat, the creatures stayed small to be more manoeuvrable, it is believed.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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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