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Conservative halve Labour’s poll lead

Leading article: No strings attached to this War Horse

Steven Spielberg's interest in the sentimental is well documented. The man could buy the rights to a trigonometry text book and find a way to wring a tear from its pages on the silver screen.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'At least Billie Piper never threw a cat in a wheelie bin'

Who knew that, before she became a child pop sensation at 15, Billie Piper's guilty pleasure was throwing animals? For a while in the early 1990s, it was literally raining cats and dogs in Swindon. "I used to pick up animals on the street," she confessed in a questionnaire, "and launch them as far as I could."

Granular poison frog (Oophaga granulifera) Listed as vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Species, mainly because its severely fragmented range covers an area of less than 20,000 sqkm in Costa Rica and Panama, and is getting smaller due to farming, logging and human settlements

Amphibians face faster demise from multiple threats

Many of the world's amphibians are likely to go extinct faster than expected because of a combination of environmental threats working in unison, a study has found.

Granular poison frog (Oophaga granulifera) Listed as vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Species, mainly because its severely fragmented range covers an area of less than 20,000 sqkm in Costa Rica and Panama, and is getting smaller due to farming, logging and human settlements

Amphibians face raised extinction threat

Many of the world's amphibians, which include frogs, toads, newts and salamanders, could die out faster than expected this century, a study has found.

Guido Fawkes (Paul Staines), Jamie East, founder of 'Holy Moly', and Richard Wilson, blogger, David Allen Green, Jack of Kent blog and legal correspondent of the New Statesman

The Sketch: 'The culture clash was no more pronounced when Badger got Toad in to give him a good talking to'

On this side - peers and senior MPs of the Joint Privacy and Injunctions Committee; parliamentarians of age, honour and wisdom. On that side - tweeters, bloggers and other internet riff raff - that is, heroes of the modern age, who live and die by their reputation.

Cane Toads: The Conquest 3D (PG)

I'm afraid so: a documentary, in 3D, about... toads.

You can take the slow lane all the way down this river

The busy Canal du Midi isn't the only place to take a river cruise. Sarah Donnelly boards a solar-powered boat for a new tour of the Lot

Parents 'turned in teenage looter'

A teenager was "frog-marched" to a police station after his parents saw photos of him looting, a court heard today.

Album: Little Dragon, Ritual Union (Peace Frog)

Collaborations with Gorillaz and Big Boi have made the Swedish quartet Little Dragon one of the more intriguing new prospects, arousing an interest which the piquant electro-soul stylings of Ritual Union more than bear out.

Scientists discover toad species last seen in 1924

Scientists scouring the mountains of Borneo have found a toad species last seen in 1924 by European explorers and thought to be extinct.

Trail of the unexpected: Paris' coffee culture

Parisian coffee was once a bitter black mark on French cuisine. No longer, says Tilly Culme-Seymour

Book Of A Lifetime: Charlotte's Web, By EB White

I was a child who loved reading. I was crazy for the world of books, a world I felt was much more exciting than the one I actually lived in. To have some of the thrill of story, I would try and put myself in the way of adventure in my "real" life. Usually this involved riding my bike around the neighbourhood, or squelching through the pond opposite my house. For a long stretch of days one summer, I stood at the window of my bedroom, notebook in hand, looking for suspicious people to document. I made my little brother stand with me, as my assistant. His job was to look up the street while I looked down.

DJ Taylor: We're all in the same boat, even old Toad

False assumptions over the poor, hard realities for university dons, 'tradesmen' in publishing and trouble down on the riverbank

Nature Studies by Mike McCarthy: Worth being awake at 3am to hear this sound

Of all our imaginings, one of the most resonant is the idea of transformation. We are instantly fascinated by people changing identities, by things becoming different things, by frogs which turn into princes. Perhaps it's because one of our principal holds on reality is our instinctive belief, so hard to dislodge, that form is fixed, not fluid, and so to encounter any fundamental shift in form or nature gives us a jolt. Not that we do come across such shifts much, in the real world – the caterpillar changing into a butterfly is the prime exception – but our myths and legends and stories are chock-fullof them.

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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
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific