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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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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve