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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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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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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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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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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

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

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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