News Gerard is one of the younger residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green

The West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has been a James Turner Street landlady for almost 12 years

Teen survives nine weeks in Australian Outback with no shelter and little food or water during record heatwave

Matthew Allen weighed just six stone, was covered in leeches and mosquito bites and was left partially blind after setting off on an apparent test of his survival skills

Poll: Is this Yeah Yeah Yeahs album cover crazy good, or just crazy?

Album art has a mixed history. You've got "so iconic I'm not even going to hyperlink" on the one hand (Abbey Road, Thriller, Aladdin Sane), nightmare-fodder on the other (Jesus Use Me, anything collected by this guy). Now fans are fighting over which category the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' sleeve, for their forthcoming album Mosquito, falls in to. What do you think?

Avian pox produces warts and stops great tits feeding properly

Great tit under threat from mosquito borne virus that is sweeping the country

Avian pox, which has spread among woodpigeons and house sparrows for a number of years, is now taking its toll of populations of the great tit

Portfolio: The nature detectives

Imagine standing on the surface of the Moon, staring back at Earth and having in your grasp a device that allows you to see a tennis ball.

October 9, 2012: London Mayor Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

Boris Johnson rushes to The Guardian's defence

The Guardian newspaper group has found itself an unlikely defender in the shape of Conservative Mayor of London and Telegraph columnist, Boris Johnson

Six penguins die after malaria outbreak at London Zoo

Six penguins have died after an outbreak of malaria at London Zoo this summer.

The Maracana stadium, which will host the 2014 World Cup final, is currently being re-developed

Fifa make pledge over empty seats at 2014 World Cup

FIFA have vowed to keep empty seats to a “strict minimum” at the next World Cup.

Nepal's tragic news sent a shiver down my spine

I awoke, as usual, with the radio on. I can't get to sleep if it's not, a habit I acquired growing up in Beirut where the BBC World Service would always be on. Lebanon is a place where news really matters and you would often find out who was shooting at you from some calm voice in London before anybody local had worked it out.

Postcard From...Languedoc

Travel west along the French rivieria, going past Antibes, St Tropez and Marseilles, and you will find another side to France's Mediterranean coast. Far from the glitz of Monte Carlo, brimming with its tax exiles and Russian billionaires' yachts, here is the less fashionable but "salt of the earth" France. No Brad Pitt, Brigitte Bardot or even Graham Greene here.

Five-minute Memoir: Susan Fletcher goes to Jamaica in search of a long-dead relative

As a child, there were words that I knew were part of me, and had resonance. My name, of course; 'red-headed', too; also, the word 'April', for while it meant Easter eggs and school holidays, it also meant my birthday – so it was a special word, to me.

Sir Ronald Ross

Never before seen letters reveal the story of the scientist who laid the foundations of a cure for malaria more than a century ago

When British doctor Sir Ronald Ross discovered the crucial link between mosquitos and malaria at the end of the 19 century, he understandably thought it marked the beginning of the end of the deadly disease – rampant then not only in colonial India and Africa, but also in southern European countries such as Greece and Italy.

Ted Sismore: RAF veteran of daring low-level air raids

Ted Sismore planned and navigated Second World War RAF low-level daylight raids which were the most precisely timed, the deepest-penetrating, and the most appreciated by those for whom they were targeted. His skill freed prisoners and destroyed papers held by the Gestapo, preventing many executions and hundreds of arrests, with the minimum of civilian damage. The raids were made in answer to requests by the French and Danish resistance movements. "The difficulty was to achieve this kind of success without killing a lot of people," he wrote. "It was a very difficult decision of what to drop and how much to drop."

Ted Sismore: RAF veteran of daring low-level air raids

Ted Sismore planned and navigated Second World War RAF low-level daylight raids which were the most precisely timed, the deepest-penetrating, and the most appreciated by those for whom they were targeted. His skill freed prisoners and destroyed papers held by the Gestapo, preventing many executions and hundreds of arrests, with the minimum of civilian damage. The raids were made in answer to requests by the French and Danish resistance movements. "The difficulty was to achieve this kind of success without killing a lot of people," he wrote. "It was a very difficult decision of what to drop and how much to drop."

Maureen Dunlop

Further to your obituary of Maureen Popp, née Dunlop (11 June), as a close friend of Maureen – and, like her, a former pilot – I was honoured to be asked to escort her to an investiture meeting of the Guild of Air Pilots, writes Richard Gregory.

Brave and beautiful: Dunlop caught on camera after landing a Fairey Barracuda in 1944. The shot made the cover of 'Picture Post'

Maureen Dunlop: Pilot for the Air Transport Auxiliary who made the cover of Picture Post

Not many women have ever been as brave and as beautiful as Maureen Dunlop, whose Second World War flying experience knocks the pioneering hops of her older near-contemporaries Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson into a cocked hat.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital