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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Ben Chu: So the deficit did rise last year after all

Outlook The Treasury this week hailed the fact that data from the Office for National Statistics showed that "underlying borrowing" is now falling. But did it? If you strip out factors such as gilt coupon payments from the Bank of England and transfers from the Royal Mail pension fund, borrowing in April 2013 was £10.2bn, up £1.3bn on the £8.9bn borrowed in April 2012. Ah, but what about the £2.3bn profits from the Bank of England's wound-down Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS)? They were paid over to the Treasury in April 2012 and thus flattered that month's borrowing figures. So disregard those profits for April 2012 and the comparison with April 2013 looks better, showing a £1bn fall in borrowing.

Roberto Mancini clearly lacks the 'holistic' approach that Manchester City now require from the club's manager

The Last Word: If game fully embraced corporate principles managers would get a bonus for relegation

Business and sport have discovered a fatuous glamour in one another

The true Lake District? The day I wandered
lonely as a cloud... in South Norwood

A south London tourist board is challenging the Lake District's claim to the name. So did it bring out the poet in John Walsh

Great British Menu: Foie gras is neither great nor British

Why would the BBC be willing to appear to support such a barbaric process?

Paul Gallico: Ever an optimist

Invisible Ink: No 165 - Paul Gallico

There was a time when Paul Gallico's novels had a place on every middle-class bookshelf, yet, even though several of his books remain in print, he has all but vanished from public consciousness. He was born in New York in 1897, the son of a famous Italian pianist and composer, and became one of the highest-paid sports writers in America. His career took off after he asked the boxer Jack Dempsey to spar with him, and was able to describe what it felt like to be knocked out by a champion.

The Captain of Köpenick, Olivier, National Theatre, London

First produced in 1931, a couple of years before Hitler came to power, Carl Zuckmayer's comedy pokes risky, spirited and oddly charming fun at the German inclination towards militaristic conformity.

les ballets C de la B, Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House

les ballets C de la B, Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House

The Old King shows a man reduced to wordlessness, fighting to communicate or connect with an audience. Dancer Romeu Runa flails about, putting himself through gruelling tasks.

Gemma McCluskie went missing in March

Former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie 'was killed after row about overflowing sink'

Former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was beaten to death by her brother after a row over an overflowing sink, a court heard today.

Bracelet with charms in yellow gold, white gold and diamonds, with rose gold and silver ringlets, £ 3,872; all available from Dodo.it

A charming experience

With a thoughtful sentiment behind every trinket, Dodo's jewellery is for the romantic at heart

Sauce for the Goose, Orange Tree, Richmond

Farce – with its panic-propelled exits and entrances and its heavy dependence on doors – should not officially work in in-the-round theatres.

You can bank on it – this 'Halifax' will give you extra

Rarely these days do you see something on televesion that is so nerve-shreddingly real

Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott

England win series in India for first time in 27 years

Double-century partnership between Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell leads England to their first Test series win in India since the days of David Gower

Christmas lights - is it just festive ‘peacocking’?

The festive season is here, and so are the shiny, sparkly, twinkling decorations to go with it.

Christmas turkey? Why not go for a goose

The traditional Christmas bird may not be cheap, says Anthea Gerrie, but with its uniquely delicious fat and crispy crackling, it’s a festive feast that keeps on giving

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Luiz Felipe Scoalri holds his hands on his head after watching Brazil succumb to a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands
Globo Esporte claims Brazil's football confederation (CBF) not renew Scolari's contract
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Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
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Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
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AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
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The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
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Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor