Wines of the Week: Terry Kirby selects the best bottles for Christmas Day

It is the day before Christmas Eve and too late to order your festive wines online. So here are three versatile, value-for-money bottles you can find in a quick tour of your local high-street stores.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Ronald Wayne decided to get out just two weeks after Apple was registered for business'

Who knew that Apple – the technology firm, not the record label – had its very own fifth Beatle? The Stu Sutcliffe to Steve Jobs's Lennon and Steve Wozniak's McCartney is Ronald Wayne, now 78 and living alone in a bungalow in Nevada from where he supplements his social security payments by selling stamps and old coins.

Boom in urban chicken-keepers may be harmful to birds

Urban chicken-keepers risk spreading diseases through their lack of knowledge of animal welfare regulations, research by the Royal Veterinary College has found.

According to cookery writer Fuchsia Dunlop, chickens' feet is 'more gristly' than cartilage from a cow's throat

Sole food: could chicken feet to China be Britain's next big export?

Environment Secretary spots a gap in the market for 'phoenix claws'

Witnesses tell of horror at seeing suspected suicide at rooftop Coq d’Argent restaurant

Witnesses have spoken of moment they saw the death of a man at the rooftop Coq d’Argent restaurant.

You are slowly being poisoned by arsenic

It's a poison most associated with vengeful Victorian housemaids and spurned lovers, but as The Huffington Post reports today, arsenic has so many uses in the modern world that you may well be feeling the ill-effects of the substance without even knowing it.

Chicken cottage or stone mansion, it doesn't matter to your chooks

Former Tory MP Sir Peter Viggers infamously claimed £1,645 on parliamentary expense to build a house for the ducks at his constituency home, but Crispin Odey has gone one better or, in fact, several times better.

Leading article: A delicate issue in Franco-American relations

The French are sensitive about their favourite dishes, as the fierce response to California's ban on the sale of foie gras has illustrated.

Campaigners win Woolley Valley land battle

A campaign group has won a High Court battle over the agricultural use of Green Belt land formerly owned by broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby for intensive poultry farming.

One in five supermarket chickens carries a food poisoning bug, according to new research

Feeling clucky? There's a one in five chance your supermarket chicken has a nasty bug

Unless the affected chicken is cooked well, it can cause a bout of sickness lasting days

New research warns of Olympics flu pandemic risk

The millions of tourists coming to London for the Olympics will dramatically increase the risk that a flu pandemic in Britain might spread, according to new research to be published this week.

Consommé julienne is a classic

Consommé julienne

Serves 4-6

Brendan Cowell

Brendan Cowell: An exclusive interview with the co-writer of The Slap

Brendan Cowell, angry young man of Australian fringe theatre, co-writer of gritty TV drama The Slap, wants to talk Sex and the City.

Bird flu victim dies in Chinese hospital

A bus driver in southern China's Guangdong province has died of bird flu, a week after being admitted to hospital with a fever.

Poultry cull in Hong Kong after two dead birds tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu

Bird-flu victim 'had no direct contact with poultry'

Alarm in China after bus driver dies, and, in nearby Hong Kong, 19,000 chickens have been slaughtered

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'