Woodland birds on route to extinction as numbers dive

Birds of Britain's woodlands are declining so rapidly that some appear to be on the road to extinction, a study reveals today.

Album: The Hold Steady, Stay Positive (Vagrant)

The Hold Steady, for the inattentive, are a Brooklyn quintet whose sound fuses Eighties hardcore with bar-room blues: imagine Hüsker Dü meets the E Street Band. Their USP is that their major players were already well into their thirties when the band formed, and are now staring down the barrel of 40.

Plum sherbet

Serves 4

My Mentor: Caroline Flack on Leigh Francis

'Leigh is really supportive and honest. he watches everything i do'

John Walsh: Tales from Hay-on-Wye

'From his wheelchair, Gore Vidal glowered indignantly, like a man who had been exhumed against his will'

Der Rosenkavalier, Coliseum, London

In the final scene of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, just as the Marschallin is about to leave her lover, Octavian, to the younger woman, she says to Sophie: "No need to talk so much. You're pretty, that's enough." But is it? For those who hope that Octavian will come to his senses and leave the air-headed ingnue before it's too late, David McVicar's production plants some hopeful clues. Indeed, Octavian only just stops short of following the Marschallin out of that final scene, almost sparing us that saccharin duet between the young lovers. I reckon McVicar gives them about a month together.

Michael McCarthy - Migration: 'One of earth's great wonders'

The African-Eurasian bird migration system is one of the earth's great wonders, a gigantic signal of spring and autumn in the northern hemisphere.

Jimmy Choo feud: Tamara sticks boot in on mother with £5m action

They say that a foxy pair of heels can give a woman a lot of confidence. It therefore makes sense that Tamara Mellon, the entrepreneur behind Jimmy Choo shoes, has confidence in spades. It showed when she divorced her husband, the Pittsburgh banking heir Matthew Taylor Mellon III, in 2005. It showed again a year ago when she took him to court, accused of hacking into her computer. He was released on the grounds that he was too stupid to have done it – he must have been wearing something scuffed from Clark's. It showed, too, when she named her daughter Araminta Mellon, which some recall as a 1970s dessert.

The Investment Column: Housing crisis is bad news for Taylor Wimpey

Northern Foods; Travelzest

Johannesburg: Capital of sub-Saharan Africa

Cairo may outshine Johannesburg as capital of the continent of Africa (see table), but the sub-Saharan prize is, from a visitor's point of view, arguably more important. For all its flaws and fractures, Johannesburg has transformed itself from outcast to world class in less than two decades and is way ahead of the likes of Lagos, Nairobi and Addis Ababa. Built on the world's most productive reef of gold, it has been a centre of wealth and opportunity since the first prospectors started digging in the 1880s, but its development was hampered by that crude ideology, apartheid. Only after 1994, when Nelson Mandela began shaping the new "rainbow nation", could Johannesburg look the rest of the world in the eye.

Close-up: Claire Ptak

Chez Panisse couldn't hold on to this pastry chef. Can east London do better?

The company that ate itself: How a lack of dough turned into a crisis for Krispy Kreme

At the Krispy Kreme shop in Washington's Dupont Circle yesterday morning a steady stream of customers were making their way inside to get their hands on the freshly cooked doughnuts. "I come here every morning for two of them," admitted a guilty-sounding Maneda Harrington, a 28-year-old accountant. "They're delicious."

Victoria Wood and co. take 'Acorn Antiques' to West End as musical

They ate their first macaroons together nearly 20 years ago and now they are reuniting to do so again. But this time the cast of "Acorn Antiques" will be all-singing and dancing as Victoria Wood has turned her spoof soap sketches into a musical.

Snail porridge? It's a matter of taste

The world's best chefs are embracing molecular gastronomy - the combination of odd ingredients to stunning effect. But can you cook it at home, asks Christopher Hirst

Nestlé feels the chill as ice cream sales melt

Nestlé joined its rival Unilever in blaming cool European weather for poor second-quarter sales, as demand for ice cream melted.

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform