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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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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing