Sport Kevin Pietersen can either wait for the IPL auction next month or play county cricket in England

Giles feels that England cannot overlook someone of Pietersen's ability given their failure to capitalise on winning positions in Australia

Drones put to work saving swimmers' lives

The men and women charged with protecting swimmers from dangerous tides and sharks at Australian beaches have recruited an unlikely new ally – unmanned drones.

Despite promises of jobs and prosperity, residents have gradually given way to the coal mine in Acland

Australia's man against the mines

Australia's mining boom has made many fortunes, but some small towns are asking if the price is too high. Kathy Marks reports from Acland, Queensland

Unesco fears the health of the Great Barrier Reef is at risk from development of sites such as Origin Energy’s coal seam gas plant

Queensland dismisses UN report that reef is 'at risk'

Across the globe, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is recognised as one of the world’s natural wonders. But in Queensland, home to the vast, picturesque reef, the government is apparently less impressed.

Dirk was stolen from Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast before his captors panicked and dropped him in a canal

Welsh holidaymakers fined after stealing penguin from marine park during drunken night out

The pair went swimming with dolphins and let off a fire extinguisher near the shark tank

Former Australia fly-half Michael Lynagh leaves hospital

Former Australia and Saracens fly-half Michael Lynagh has been released from hospital, two weeks after suffering a stroke.

BEN JONES BISHOP: Scored a try to help Leeds reach the Challenge Cup quarter-finals

Jones-Bishop and Lunt save Leeds after Salford give them the fear

Last season's beaten finalists Leeds were given a fright by Salford before booking a place in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup. The world champions were held 6-6 at the break but scraped through 16-10 thanks to tries from Ben Jones-Bishop and Shaun Lunt in the second half.

James O'Connor

Australia star James O'Connor a doubt for Scotland and Wales Tests

Melbourne Rebels and Australia star James O'Connor is in doubt for the Test matches against Scotland and Wales in June due to a lacerated liver.

Former Australia fly-half Michael Lynagh face 'critical' few days

Former Australia and Saracens fly-half Michael Lynagh is facing a vital few days in his recovery after suffering a stroke.

Former Australia captain, Michael Lynagh

Former Australia fly-half Michael Lynagh 'stable' after stroke

Former Australia and Saracens fly-half Michael Lynagh is in a "stabilised condition" after suffering a stroke, according to the Queensland Rugby Union.

Briton Jason Downie jailed for Australia triple murder

A jealous Briton who killed a teenager and her parents after she spurned his advances was jailed in Australia today for at least 35 years.

Peterson on a poster for the documentary 'Searching for Michael Peterson'

Michael Peterson: Surfer whose glittering career was ended by his troubled life

Known as "MP" among the surfing fraternity, Michael Peterson dominated Australian surfing in the early 1970s. But although he was regarded as the best in the world by his peers, his domination never spread beyond his native country. With his aviator sunglasses, leather jacket and brooding aura, Peterson was nothing short of intimidating. Resented by some but adored by the majority, he was supremely talented, but his career hit the buffers before it had had chance to blossom.

Craig: I've been hurt by Bath's decline

Bruce Craig, the extremely wealthy owner of a Bath club struggling to string together two decent halves of rugby, let alone two winning performances, is hard on the heels of a new head coach capable of restoring the team's credibility as one of the major powers in the English game. He is also seeking renewed support from the poor souls who have paid to watch the side over recent months – if not outright forgiveness.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has made a big impression for Arsenal this season

Youth teams show it's not doom and gloom with plan to instil skill

The superior technique and decision-making of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder may have been a chastening experience for England at Wembley, but the Football Association remains optimistic that the future is bright.

Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s director of football developments, wants to build 'a great skill base'

English youth teams show it's not doom and gloom

The superior technique and decision-making of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder may have been a chastening experience for England at Wembley, but the Football Association remains optimistic that the future is bright.

Sylvia is seen at her home in Epsom, Surrey, looking at her remaining piece of Britannia II, the boat in which her and John rowed across the Atlantic

The pensioner next door who rowed across an ocean for love

The death of the swashbuckling adventurer John Fairfax has stirred memories in Sylvia Cook - of their record-breaking Pacific voyage, and of a love affair that hit the rocks. Simon Usborne reports

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas