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Protected birds earn reprieve after sudden U-turn
Struggling state shocked to discover it produces dozens of bizarre research papers that no one reads
Our writer finds in the story of the police horse lent to Rebekah Brooks a Swiftian satire that highlights animal nobility and human awfulness
Matt King is to return to Australia to play for South Sydney, whose trawl of Super League has now netted them three Burgess brothers.
It's primary school stuff: mammals give birth to babies; birds lay eggs. Except that this particular mammal – also known as the spiny anteater – lays a big, rubbery whopper. Clearly it had its head in an ant hill when the rules were read out. Or perhaps, like many Australian creatures, it was simply being perverse.
Castleford 27 Hull KR 14
Caroline Wozniacki's press conferences are rapidly becoming as entertaining as her matches. Forty-eight hours after she answered questions ranging from global warming to Kenny Dalglish's return at Liverpool, the world No 1 told reporters here at the Australian Open that she had suffered a cut on her leg when she was attacked by a baby kangaroo in a wildlife park.
Matt Scott is the surprise package among the 10 Queenslanders named in Australia's team for the final of the Four Nations on Saturday. The prop from the NRL's bottom club, the North Queensland Cowboys, has been named in the starting line-up against New Zealand in Brisbane in preference to the Kangaroos' most capped forward, Petero Civoniceva.
Australia 34 England 14
Lockyer, the nemesis of GB and now England, is still not ready to call it quits
Luke Robinson would leap at the chance of starting for England for the first time against Australia on Sunday, but will not complain at being asked to make his contribution from the bench once more.
Poignant and depressing though David Laws' resignation on Saturday night certainly was, at least it was less a shock than it might have been. The pre-emptive warning came on Saturday afternoon when a former colleague waded into the debate with a contribution headlined: "Opik: No question of Laws resigning". Ah well – we Lembit-watchers thought on seeing this – that's that for the ascetic member for Yeovil. It was Lembit who insisted Charles Kennedy would survive until the moment he resigned; Lembit who then became Mark Oaten's campaign manager (quite an accolade given that he was the only Lib Dem MP to back him); and Lembit, the seer of seers, who then switched allegiance to Simon Hughes. The sadness is that had Lembit only clung on his Montgomeryshire seat on 6 May he'd have been in line to replace Danny Alexander as Scottish Secretary ... and might from there have replicated the Alexander book by swiftly ascending to Cheek Secretary to the Treasury. But now what for the asteroid paranoiac? Lembit, it seems, has been hired by a gambling syndicate to go through the cards in difficult handicaps. His job, as you may have guessed, will be to tip all but one of the field.
It is, depending on your tittle-tattle tolerance levels, the most cockle-warming or barf-inducing celebrity story of the new year. What started as a whirlwind romance between Russell Brand, the bouffanted comedian and former sex addict, and "I kissed a girl" pop star, Katy Perry, has gathered pace in recent weeks to become a tornado of hand-in-hand pap shots, lovey-dovey Twitter exchanges and, during a New Years Eve trip to India, a proposal blessed by a "love guru".
England 16 Australia 46
The air is pure, the land is rugged and the native wildlife brings even the most committed urbanite closer to Mother Nature