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Colonel Meow, the cat with the longest fur in the world and the brooding face of an evil genius, has sadly passed away.

Natalie Haynes: It's ludicrous, but we want it to be true

London Zoo is currently refurbishing a large area that backs on to Regent's Park. Where once there were camels and a pygmy hippo, now there are diggers. Recently, a sign was added, explaining that they were building the new tiger enclosure there. "Ooh, tigers next to the park," I thought, as I strode past on my way to work. Then, a moment later, "Wait, tigers next to the park?"

Couple who claim to have seen the Essex lion insist the beast is still at large

Just when you though it was safe to go back on Clacton seafront, the couple who sparked a major police hunt after spotting what they believed was a runaway lion insisted the beast was still at large.

Police at Earls Hall Farm in St Osyth this morning

Essex lion hunt called off as police search finds no evidence of big cat

Police have called off a search for a lion reportedly on the loose in Essex.

Still no sign of 'Essex lion' as police helicopter joins the hunt

Police searching for a lion in Essex said today they were taking the hunt seriously.

Report of lion on loose sparks armed police hunt

Police last night warned residents to stay indoors and deployed armed officers and a helicopter after a report that a large cat was running loose in Essex.

ASA clears RSPCA re-homing advert

An ad for the RSPCA's Home for Life service has been cleared following complaints that the charity omitted to mention that it euthanises some animals in its care.

Sex party model jailed for beating girlfriend

A male model was jailed for five years today for beating up his girlfriend after they attended an upmarket Killing Kittens sex party.

Eight-year-old boy‎ 'put cat in microwave'

The RSPCA is investigating a report that an eight-year-old boy put his neighbour's cat into a microwave oven.

LURE OF THE LEOPARD: Andrew Harrington - A young male Amur leopard, a critically endangered species, attempts to scare off a jay at a feeding station in the Russian Far East.

Battle to save wildlife with help of zoos highlighted

One of the world's largest frogs, Britain's only native crayfish and Amur leopards are among the creatures staving off extinction with the help of zoos, it was suggested today.

Scientists prove carnivore extinction theory

The extinction of a carnivore could lead to other predatory species dying out, according to new research.

Rebecca Armstrong: One small cat snuffing it has affected me deeply

FreeView from the editors at i

Ravel's 'L'heure espagnole'

L'heure espagnole/ L'enfant et les sortilèges, Glyndebourne, East Sussex
Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, London
The Francis Bacon Opera, Camden Arts Centre, London

Glyndeborne's double bill of Ravel operas captures the composer's delicate touch and ability to combine laughter and pain

Five Questions About: Pet insurance

Why do I need to insure my pet?

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

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International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

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Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

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Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future