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The great thing about "counterfactual" history is that anyone can play. If Gordon Brown hadn't been caught making those remarks about a "bigoted woman" might he still be PM? If Hitler had invaded England in 1940 would we all be speaking German? If the judge in the Rivonia trial had sentenced Nelson Mandela to death rather than life in jail?

For sale: one human guinea pig

Three husbands, five children and a string of disastrous jobs have left my friend Lulu skint

Mercenaries win pounds 20m for failed mission

SANDLINE International, the controversial British mercenary company, is to be paid more than $30m (pounds 20m) compensation by the government of Papua New Guinea after a bitter international court battle.

'Corrupt' payout in mercenary deal

THE FORMER deputy prime minister of Papua New Guinea may have received a "corrupt and improper" payment in connection with the contract to employ the British mercenaries Sandline International, an inquiry has found.

Dance: We're on the march with Romeo's red army

ROMEO AND JULIET ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON

Food: COOKING THE BOOKS

PUTTING RECIPES TO THE TEST WITH RICHARD EHRLICH

Nuclear `guinea pigs' call for inquiry

Australian veterans who monitored British nuclear tests in the outback in the Fifties yesterday called on the Australian government to launch a study into birth defects and illnesses they say were caused by radiation.

Despatches: Street fighting men create Wild West in Papua

Violence is spreading in Papua New Guinea, as lack of opportunity and access to modern weaponry exacerbate traditional tribal tensions. Our correspondent explains how the rascals are worse than they sound

Truce heralds peace in Papua New Guinea

Warring factions on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville signed a truce yesterday but said a lasting agreement lay in the hands of political leaders.

Drought forces villagers to forage for jungle leaves

Hundreds of tribal people have died of starvation and millions more are at risk from a chronic drought on the huge tropical island of New Guinea. Severe frost following a six- month dry period, caused by the meteorological phenomenon El Nino, has wrecked crops. Richard Lloyd-Parry reports from Mount Hagen.

Book review / 100 years young

The Nine Lives Of Naomi Mitchison by Jenni Calder Virago pounds 20

Hope for Bougainville deal

New Zealand gave a positive progress report from the first week of peace talks it is hosting for rival factions in a nine-year secessionist war on Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Island.

performance Tokyo Ghetto Arnolfini, Bristol

The promise of a physical theatre company so physical that the performers are left black and blue had an undeniably ghoulish charm about it. The reality, however, was sufficient to turn the voyeur inside all of us into a bit of a wimp. The performance began with a woman wearing a backless evening gown seated on a chair. A man entered and proceed to slap her back with the palm of his hand, very hard indeed. As he slapped, the skin reddened until the beginning of a bruise began to form (in truth, it was already there, courtesy, presumably, of the previous performances on the tour). He slapped some more until you felt that someone in the audience must say something, or at least walk out, but no-one did. There was no music, no lighting effects, nothing save an actress getting physically abused.

Girl `used as guinea pig in test of lethal heroin'

Two men gave a 16-year-old girl a large dose of pure heroin and then sat back and watched her die, a court was told yesterday.

Letter: Medicine needs `guinea-pigs'

Your article about the clinical trial of CNEP (continuous negative extrathoracic pressure) in premature babies poses disturbing questions about the ethics and nature of informed consent ("Parents say `guinea-pig' trial killed their babies", 11 May).

Guess what's coming for dinner

DEADLY FEASTS by Richard Rhodes Simon & Schuster pounds 14.99
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The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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