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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Mayor Bloomberg has an eye on the FT

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Mayor of New York, is considering whether to make a bid for the Financial Times, amid renewed speculation that the paper's owner, Pearson, will be ready to sell soon.

Last count: Cubans at a Mayan ritual last week

Doomsayers await the end of the world – on 21/12/12

But governments try to reassure their citizens not to panic

The Washington Post

Washington Post website reportedly considering paywall

The Washington Post will probably start charging online readers for access to newspaper articles in the middle of next year, a person familiar with the plans said.

Casey astride Stripely, the zebra she attempted to mate with a horse

Juanita Casey: Writer, artist and horse breeder who lived the archetypal bohemian life

Juanita Casey's writing won her fans in Britain, Ireland and the United States. Rich with imagery and a deep understanding of the human condition, her short stories, novels and poetry are peopled with carefully observed characters who come to life through an empathy, wit and a great grasp of dialect. Her signature drawings, particularly of horses, captured the spirit which she perceived in the animal world and which she conveyed in a style all her own.

The Office has been a big part of NBC’s schedule for years. It is also a prominent product placer, with plots revolving around such brands as Chili’s and Stap

It's the age of Reverse Product Placement: Fictional items from The Office go on sale

The media giant NBC- Universal broke US ad-sale records for its Olympic programming this year. But, as more people skip ad breaks, television shows must do all they can to make money. Product placement has long been a fixture of American TV, with some shows working real-life products into scripts without too much damage to reputations.

Mitt Romney blames his losses on Obama's 'gifts'

Romney blames loss on 'gifts' doled out by Obama to minorities and young voters

Mitt Romney is blaming his loss in the presidential election on "Obamacare" and other "gifts" he says President Barack Obama handed out to African Americans, Hispanics and other core supporters, according to news reports Wednesday.

Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo, has taken leave from Sesame Street

Elmo puppeteer cleared of underage sex claim

A sex scandal will not tear apart Sesame Street. Days after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, they have been withdrawn - the claimant recanting his story he had sex with Clash while still a minor.

Vigilantes fight harassment on the streets of Cairo

In September the BBC reported fears that sexual harassment was reaching "epidemic proportions" in Egypt. One study held that 80% of Egyptian women had some experience of it.The tables may not have turned yet, but the chronic problem is at last being addressed - as groups of outraged vigilantes chase down and shame offenders on the streets.

Twenty current BBC staff facing internal allegations of sexual misconduct following Jimmy Savile revelations

Twenty current BBC staff are facing internal allegations of sexual misconduct following the Jimmy Savile revelations, the corporation said today.

Surrogate Pregnancies: Making babies for cash

In a divided America, surrogate pregnancies fulfill the needs of both the 47 per cent and the other 53. Wealthy, infertile couples get the chance of a family, cash-strapped women get another source of income. But what's it really like for the people involved?

Mark Thompson is the incoming chief executive of The New York Times

Is 'something strange' going on at the BBC?

ITV sent letter to BBC chiefs detailing allegations of abuse by Savile, weeks before TV exposé

US Election Diary: Barack Obama's reasons to be grateful

We caught an amusing tweet from David Corn, political editor at Mother Jones, noting receipt of an email from Barack Obama that begins, "David, I am grateful to you". (Millions of us received the same missive thanking us for our support.) "What did I do?" Mr Corn asks rhetorically. Quite a lot, of course.

New York Times: Falling ad sales present a challenge to in-coming Mark Thompson

New York Times plunges as advertising slump leads to surprise loss

The New York Times Co. on Thursday tumbled the most in at least three decades after reporting a surprise loss on falling advertising sales, adding to the challenges for incoming Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson.

Lawyer Gloria Allred talks with reporters outside the court in Massachusetts yesterday

Mitt Romney denies he lied under oath to protect friend in divorce settlement

Romney is believed to have testified that Staples was in trouble with its shares worth under $2

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Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor