Life and Style

Is there anything more festive than a magnum? Apart from a double magnum perhaps, a magnificent magnum is the most generous way to celebrate a great day with friends and family. It also keeps better than a bottle, so squirrel one away.

Clarke fails again at Match Play

Justin Rose handed Darren Clarke a 6&4 drubbing at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain yesterday.

What a dish: It all looks great at Hawksworth, Vancouver
Gone to ground: Francis Meli of St Helens is stopped by Wigan's defence

Wane keen to keep Finch after victory in cup derby

Wigan Warriors 18 St Helens 4

Planning system 'failing' wildlife

The planning system is failing to protect England's wildlife and natural areas, many of which are facing major declines, a report has warned.

Bird deaths trigger health alert in Peru

The Peruvian government has declared a health alert along the country's northern coast and urged people to avoid long stretches of beach, as it investigates the mysterious deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans.

Flooding hits nesting wading birds

The recent flooding has hit hundreds of nesting wading birds at nature reserves, the RSPB has said.

You can stuff your ban: US chefs fight to keep foie gras on the menu

Some of California's top chefs are attempting to overturn a ban on the production and sale of foie gras, two months before it is due to come into effect.

Peru to investigate mass pelican die-off in dolphin death area

Peru's oceanographic agency says it will investigate the deaths of hundreds of pelicans on northern beaches where nearly 900 dolphins were recently found dead.

Dinosaurs' eggs linked to their downfall

Laying eggs led to the dinosaurs' downfall after ruling the Earth for 150 million years, a study suggests.

The Chemistry of Tears, By Peter Carey

A time-hopping novel about the imitation of life and the illusion of progress, as delicately constructed as the mechanical duck at its centre

1. Decorative bird cage, Very.co.uk, £32
Brunch salad with hog's pudding, bacon and poached egg
Newborn ducklings from the world's most endangered duck species – the Madagascar pochard

World’s rarest ducks make Easter debut

Six years ago their kind was feared extinct, but 18 newborn ducklings from the world's most endangered duck species – the Madagascar pochard – met the public for the first time yesterday.

Controversial bird flu research set for publication‎

The full details of controversial research that led to the creation of a highly infectious form of birdflu virus – including the precise DNA sequence of the five mutations that transformed the virus – will be published despite fears that the work could be misused by bioterrorists, scientists said today.

New research warns of Olympics flu pandemic risk

The millions of tourists coming to London for the Olympics will dramatically increase the risk that a flu pandemic in Britain might spread, according to new research to be published this week.

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
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Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there