Ram-raiders get serious as meat prices make rustling pay

Sheep rustling has risen fivefold in just over a year, with farmers and police complaining of organised gangs adept at handling livestock.

Pet Of The Week: The Southdown sheep

We've embraced the urban chicken and the micro pig... now it's time to consider the domestic sheep. OK, so it's probably not suited to a one-bed city flat, but, with sheep numbers having halved in the UK in the past 20 years – due in part to us using less wool – it's about time we gave them some attention.

Fourie heroics in vain as Lamb leads Exiles to slaughter Leeds

London Irish 40 Leeds 24

Abendanon in a daze wins the day for Bath

Bath 20 London Irish 13

French farmers lose the battle to keep wolves from their door

Shepherds fear for livestock as government confirms predator has colonised Pyrenees

Scottish sheep farms finally free of Chernobyl fallout

It happened 24 years ago and more than 1,300 miles away from the UK. But, for the sheep farmers of Scotland, the effects from the fallout from Chernobyl have only just ended.

Shear elegance: Beate Kubitz's 'sheep to chic' range is a national success story

The plan was simple: buy sheep, spin their coats into wool, turn into designer knitwear

Triple roast of spring lamb

Serves about 8

America's long wait for haggis may be over

It has been banned in America since 1989 when authorities decided Britain's BSE outbreak was enough to rule the lungs of Scottish sheep off its menu.

Unsung heroes: 'People's gong' to circus ringmaster

A watchmaker, a nun and a Scottish sheep farmer are among almost 1,000 ordinary people to be recognised with a gong in the New Year Honours List, which also includes the first-ever circus ringmaster.

Review of the Year 2009: Discoveries

We saw Darwin in a whole new light

The Plot: A Biography of an English Acre, By Madeleine Bunting

The Plot is a "secluded acre" edged by trees five miles from Oswaldkirk on the edge of the North York Moors. On it, in 1957, John Joseph Bunting, a sculptor and the author's father, built a chapel. For thirty years, with the either willing or faintly resentful help of his large family, he tended the plot, swept the floor, trimmed the weeds and stamped down the molehills. But he never explained his commitment to this "manifesto in stone" in the middle of nowhere. He died in 2002, complaining that "death is so boring".

Slaughter row school sheep culled

A sheep reared by schoolchildren who was at the centre of a row over whether it should be sent to slaughter has been culled, a headteacher said today.

Marcus the sheep falls victim to ruthless primary school pupils

Pupils at a Kent school helped to raise Marcus, the pet sheep, by hand – and then raised their hands in favour of having him killed.

Admeto, re di Tessaglia, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Some productions are more fun than the sum of their parts. Handel's Admeto, Re di Tessaglia isn't one of his best operas: it doesn't have the melodic or dramatic power of, say, Semele or Alcina. Yet Doris Dörrie's production at the Edinburgh International Festival has a lot of charm, with sunny playing, striking design and some very appealing dancing.

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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
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10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

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Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
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Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
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Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser