The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Ex-CIA officer charged in leaks case

An ex-CIA officer who helped track down and capture a top al-Qa'ida figure was charged on Monday night with disclosing secrets, including the role of one of his associates on that covert mission, in the latest of a series of US prosecutions of suspected leakers.

Rubin says: 'The more you pay attention to what makes you happy, the more you see the opportunity for change in small things.'

How to be happy: Gretchen Rubin’s guide to everyday contentment

Gretchen Rubin's blog is one of the web's most popular self-help destinations. Clare Dwyer Hogg meets the first lady of good cheer and presents her top tips for a positive outlook.

Michelle Obama being interviewed on CBS

'I'm not some kind of angry black woman' says Michelle Obama

America's First Lady uses TV interview to hit out at rumours that she's losing Barack friends and alienating Washington's powerful people

David Thomas: Why the Americans are right to have fallen in love with Birmingham

The New York Times has just published its list of "The 45 Places to Go in 2012". London is fourth on the list, thanks to the 2012 Olympics and Diamond Jubilee. But 19th on the list is another English city: Birmingham. Let me repeat that... Birmingham. Hard to believe, isn't it? Birmingham is more likely to appear on a list of "The 45 Places to Avoid at All Costs" in any British publication. It's not just that it can't compete with the capital: it can't compete with other provincial cities. Manchester and Liverpool are the epitomes of tough, rainy northern cool. Newcastle is a Geordie kingdom. But poor old Birmingham – even its Brummie accent is an object of derision.

David Thomas: Birmingham's a great place for romance

Poor old Birmingham – even its Brummie accent is an object of derision
Both seasoned and inexperienced journalists ended up captured, killed or injured in the conflicts

Risking their lives in a warzone: is this the next generation of reporters?

The Arab Spring offered unprecedented access to freelance journalists on a tight budget to charge subscription

Two of Scotland's national papers are to charge regular online readers.

Posen calls for international stimulus

The European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve should overcome their fears about damaging their reputations and buy significant quantities of government bonds to help stimulate their economies, according to Adam Posen, an external member of the Bank of England's interest rate setting committee.

Rupert Cornwell: He had a dream – and now it's set in stone

Out of America: The figure of Martin Luther King stands 30ft high, in a monumental tribute to his stirring reconciliation speech made 48 years ago today

Novelist may have been victim of psychics' $40m scam, court told

A best-selling romance novelist whose books sometimes explore themes of the paranormal may have been among the victims of a Fort Lauderdale-based fortune-telling scam.

US gets overexcited by 83-year-old's breast op

Great-grandmother's cosmetic enhancement provokes national debate

Terence Blacker: At last, we're growing up about animals

At the end of a difficult week for those of us who like to believe in the forward progress of human evolution, some small comfort is to be derived from Hollywood. In the latest outing of the Planet of the Apes franchise, there are definite signs that, even in popular culture, a more grown-up attitude towards animals is beginning to emerge. You can tell a lot about a society from the way it portrays on screen man's nearest genetic relations. In King Kong, the gorilla represented misunderstood savagery. Films from Monkey Business to Every Which Way But Loose portrayed chimpanzees or orang-utans as zany, humanoid pets. The original Planet of the Apes contained a satirical take on human greed and violence.

The ghosts of Mississippi still haunt Hollywood

A film adaptation of a bestselling book about Civil Rights-era America has polarised critics. Sarah Hughes goes South

Ex-NOTW whistleblowing reporter found dead

A former News of the World reporter who alleged Andy Coulson "encouraged" him to hack phones was found dead today.

Pakistan accused by US over journalist's killing

America's top military official has said that Pakistani government officials "sanctioned" the murder of the Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, who was kidnapped in late May and later found dead, bearing the marks of torture.

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'