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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'