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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste