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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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Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
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