Environment The new Revenio Carbon racer from Raleigh

Lacking a little oomph, but some very nice touches

Russian caviar goes back on the European menu after nine years

Gourmands can rejoice – Russia yesterday lifted a nine-year ban on the export of sturgeon caviar to Europe. However, anyone who is looking forward to snacking on a few blini with beluga will need deep pockets, because the price for the caviar is set to be over £4,000 per kilogram.

Somali pirates are 'using torture' as defence shield

Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia have begun to use aggressive new tactics including torture against captives, according to the commander of the European Union naval force.

Ready to acquire a taste for the 'vacuum cleaners of the sea'?

It breathes through its anus, can liquefy its body and acts as the waste collectors of the seabed. Scientists now believe that a species of sea cucumber living off the British coast could become a lucrative culinary export.

When Naomi met Vladimir: fights, fitness, and tiger traps

They have both posed topless for the cameras, both enjoy the limelight, and are both seen as sex symbols. So it was no surprise that when Naomi Campbell met Vladimir Putin, the conversation kicked off with an exchange of tips about how to keep in good shape.

Villagers disrupt tourist island plan

Thousands of villagers angry at government plans to build an artificial island in southern China have forced the project to be suspended after clashing with workers and smashing vehicles, state media said.

Human Planet, BBC Books

Last Thursday marked the start of the BBC's lavish new natural history series, Human Planet – on this occasion the cameras are turned on those communities around the world who have gone to extraordinary lengths to adapt to their surroundings.

Julie Burchill: The BBC's institutionalised bullying of women has finally been laid bare

The Corporation’s fat cats turned out to be as vile as any MP with his snout in the trough

China's presence in Africa blamed for new threat to rhino

A devastating upswing in rhino poaching by criminal syndicates armed with helicopters, night vision goggles and silenced rifles is threatening to roll back more than three decades of conservation work that brought the species back from the brink of extinction.

Lib Dems ask PCC to investigate undercover stings

The president of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, has written to the Press Complaints Commission asking it to investigate the undercover stings carried out by reporters from the Daily Telegraph at the surgeries of MPs.

Top tuna brand drops environmental claim

One of Britain’s biggest tuna brands, Princes, has agreed to drop an environmental claim from its tins following an investigation by Greenpeace.

Tissue under fingernails clue in Mauritius honeymoon murder

Skin tissue found under the fingernails of strangled honeymooner Michaela McAreavey could prove crucial to the police case against the three men charged in connection with her murder.

Fisheries minister who doesn't know his fish

The fisheries minister, Richard Benyon, has spent much of his time in the job locked in complex negotiations in Brussels over EU quotas – so much time, in fact, that he apparently has not been able to learn what the animals look like.

'Rainbow Warrior' relaunched for the hi-tech age

Her predecessors have been blockaded, rammed and – most memorably – bombed and sunk by the French secret service.

Leading article: Ship shape

Greenpeace's latest Rainbow Warrior differs dramatically from her two previous incarnations. The first boat (sunk by the French secret services) was a modified trawler. The second was a re-fitted schooner. But Rainbow Warrior III , which will take to the seas later this year, is a £20m custom-built mega-yacht, complete with helicopter pad, secure communications room and the latest electronic navigation equipment.

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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
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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

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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

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

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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