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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve