News A colony of ants have set up home in the International Space Station as part of an experiment to see how their behavior changes in an environment of low gravity

It's hoped the way they adapt their foraging behavior will help to develop smarter robots

The 50 Best Picnic Spots - Coastal

Rhiannon Batten finds the perfect places to lay your blanket this summer

The 50 Best Picnic Spots - Attractions

Rhiannon Batten finds the perfect places to lay your blanket this summer

The 50 Best Picnic Spots - Romantic

Rhiannon Batten finds the perfect places to lay your blanket this summer

The 50 Best Picnic Spots - Rural

Rhiannon Batten finds the perfect places to lay your blanket this summer

The 50 Best Camping Essentials - Backpacks

Whether it’s a rock festival or a faraway field, Simon Usborne finds the tents, togs and tackle for your outdoor adventure

Scotch duck eggs

Serves 4

Pets' Corner: How do I stop my dog gatecrashing picnics?

My dog invaded a picnic in the park and I was mortified! Now all he wants to do is eat picnics. I've resorted to keeping him on the lead. Is this cruel? Elizabeth May, London

Paperbacks: The People on Rivilege Hill, by Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam's latest short stories strike a wistful and elegiac note. With many of her narrators facing their final decades, diminishing days are inter-cut with memories of more raucous times.

This Is Summer: Accesssories for entertaining

Summer entertaining looks so much more impressive with the right accessories. There are ideas here to suit every budget

This is summer: gardens

This Sunday 6 July don't miss the second in our four-part summer series - a free gardens magazine.

Serious ribbing: Hix's picnic with a twist

With a great piece of beef as the centrepiece, Mark Hix serves up a classic summer picnic with a difference. Photographs by Jason Lowe

Mark Hix: Beefing up classic picnic recipes

With a great piece of beef as the centrepiece, Mark Hix serves up a classic summer picnic with a difference

You write the reviews: The Revenger's Tragedy, NT: Olivier, London

Sex, murder, corruption and incest... Thomas Middleton knew exactly what Jacobean audiences liked, and he crammed it all into The Revenger's Tragedy.

Beale's best in show: Waitrose (Miles, Calcraft, Briginshaw, Duffy)

Waitrose used to use the strapline "Good food, honestly priced". It was elegantly pithy and hit at two key "truths" Waitrose fans believe about the store: that its food is better quality than rival supermarkets, and that you get what you pay for. It was a great line with some wonderful, distinctive ads to bring it to life.

Fed up with too much packaging? Just leave it on the counter

<i>IoS</i> takes direct action against Britain's mountain of unnecessary wrapping
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all