News Hop to it: The penguin parade has been of the daily highlights at Edinburgh Zoo since the first one happened by accident in 1951

They remain one of its most popular attractions

Paperback review: The Apartment, By Greg Baxter

Possibly overshadowed by Kevin Powers's equally excellent The Yellow Birds, which also came out last year, this novel by Texan-born Greg Baxter, who has lived in Dublin and now resides in Berlin, also has at its centre a US veteran of the Iraq war who is coming to terms with his experiences as he settles himself uneasily in an unnamed European city.

Wildlife charities renew calls for oil additive PIB to be reclassified after deaths of hundreds of seabirds in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset

A wildlife charity has renewed calls for oil additive PIB to be reclassified by the International Maritime Organisation to prohibit discharges at sea after “a whole generation of seabirds” died.

A view of Brighton's Amex Stadium

Brighton fans call for action after releasing details of alleged homophobic abuse

Supporters' group claims fans have been abused by at least 72 per cent of opponents they have faced this season

Staff at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre rub margarine into the feathers to help clean a stricken guillemot covered in pollutant near Taunton

Scientists identify sticky gunk that killed seabirds off south coast

University team says substance was additive used in lubricants

Facts that prove life is beautiful

So January's over: and here's why it's now OK to feel chipper. Spring is coming. Maybe tonight's the night you'll break a month long detox. It's Friday. And these facts, collected by Ink Tank blog, will (temporarily) make you feel like the world is a brain-meltingly wonderful place (which it might be).

A seagull attacks the dove released by Pope Benedict XVI during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square, at the Vatican

A Pope, a dove of peace and a seagull get together...

What could possibly go wrong? You've seen our story about the Pope's attempt to launch a dove of peace into the air from the Vatican yesterday, only for a seagull to vigorously intercept its flight.

Pope Benedict XVI holds a dove he is about to set free, at the end of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican

Pope's dove of peace has wings clipped

When he launched a white dove – a traditional symbol of peace – into the air in St Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI was probably not expecting that the effect would be immediate. And certainly he would not have expected the effect to be conflict.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Old Vic Tunnels, London

Fiona Shaw is rightly renowned for her dazzling ability to bring poetry to the stage. Her one-woman performance of The Waste Land was an extraordinary feat of psychic ventriloquism.

So many shades of grey – but none is lovelier than this bird’s

The shrike is a scarce winter visitor to Britain, so keep your eyes peeled

What a pickle: Demographic, political, technological and commercial forces are making jobs disappear.

Sales that leave our high streets in a bit of a pickle

As whole industries leave our shores, Britain's poor are asking an almost unanswerable question: what jobs will we do now?

Penguin: Set to join Random House

Pearson's Penguin joins Random House

Pearson agreed to combine its Penguin publishing unit with Bertelsmann's Random House to create by far the largest book publisher in Britain and the United States.

Murdoch's News Corp joins the battle to p-p-p-ick up Penguin

News Corporation is preparing to make a cash offer worth as much as £1bn for Pearson's Penguin Group, throwing plans to merge the major book publisher with rival Random House into disarray.

Penguin in merger talks with Random House

Two of the world's largest book publishers are in talks to create a new market leader designed to wrestle back leadership of the industry from the technology interlopers Apple and Amazon.

Six penguins die after malaria outbreak at London Zoo

Six penguins have died after an outbreak of malaria at London Zoo this summer.

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?