News

Tests have confirmed 20 people died after contracting the disease on the island

Rats targeted in mass poisoning to save endangered birds

British scientists are to mount a £1.7m operation to save a seabird from extinction by eradicating rats from one of the world's most remote islands.

Harman says sorry for 'ginger rodent' comment

The former equalities minister Harriet Harman was forced to apologise last night for branding the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, a "ginger rodent".

Lab animals: the unseen victims of Osborne's cuts

Millions of animals used in scientific experiments in Britain face extra suffering because of cutbacks after it was revealed that the number of inspectors charged with ensuring the welfare of the 3.5 million animals experimented on in British laboratories each year could be reduced to just 16.

Fans take a bath on tickets as organisers say no to refunds

Fans who braved the atrocious weather, dodged the puddles and tried to find shelter in south Wales yesterday paid for the privilege – and they will not be receiving a refund. Despite seven and a quarter hours of play being lost to rain at Celtic Manor, organisers have said punters can expect no money back.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Why are some alien invasions welcomed?

Stick insects are some of the world's most curious and recognisable creatures. They provoke fascination not only for their startling resemblance to sticks or leaves, a perfect piece of evolved camouflage, but also for the sheer anorexic skinniness of many of them; perhaps there is an ancient gene in us that triggers alarm at the sight of anything preternaturally thin.

Terence Blacker: The danger in attacking Mr Brock

The government will quickly find itself in deep difficulty with a sentimental, animal-loving electorate

Winter's Bone (15)

Where the wild things are

Working for a charity is better paid than you'd think but the benefits aren't just financial

Ask anyone to describe their "best moment" at work, and you'll soon tell apart those who work in the charity sector. Kate Thomas will certainly never forget the day she arrived at work to see a woman waiting apprehensively with her son. Without warning, the woman started crying, then raced to the door and hugged a man so hard that they both fell to the ground. "Most of us didn't know what was going on until she said to the boy: 'This is your father'.

Extreme insects: Bitten by the bug?

They are among the planet's most varied and vibrant creatures, and are vital to our very survival – so why don't we love creepy-crawlies? Gillian Orr reports

Rat found in tin of baked beans

A whole rat has been found inside a tin of baked beans, it was disclosed today.

Estate alert over 'giant rats'

A councillor today said she would ask her authority to investigate reports of giant rats invading an estate.

Dirar roars home in Ebor under confident Spencer

Dual-purpose winner has too many gears for Flat rivals as Ireland claims big handicap for second year

Business Diary: Right warning, wrong company

Confetti's customers were warned, though maybe not about the right supplier. The wedding gift company, which went into administration yesterday, continues to run a prominent advert on its website for wedding insurance. The sort of things that such a policy might cover, Confetti advises, include your caterer going bust. Strangely, there was no mention of payouts for guests who buy gifts from a wedding company that goes into administration.

Christina Patterson: Cameron: from gimmickry to gravitas

A prime minister should, if he is a man, be pleasant but not sexy, youthful, but not 12. The incumbent, as you'll agree, scores well on all these fronts

Plague of rats a threat to islands' heritage status

UN tells Britain that rodents put endangered birds at risk on remote island outposts
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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England