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From forest cottages and Antarctic cruises to Chengdu and Greece in London

Road accidents in fog claim 21 lives

At least 21 people, including 14 schoolchildren, have died in two traffic accidents in China.

If you go into the woods today... scientists are in disguise

Scientists have perfected the art of animal deception by donning panda costumes when they take panda cubs born in captivity for medical examination, so that they do not get used to the human form before they are released into the wild.

Twin-swapping raises odds on panda survival

A Chinese breeding centre has developed a remarkable technique that fools the mother, meaning many more animals survive

Henry Nicholls: Pandas can survive in captivity – but habitat destruction is their main enemy

Even if reintroducing pandas to the wild is successful, it is still a distraction. Reintroduction is useful in bringing new genes into the wild population, but in terms of numbers, reintroduction is very expensive and of only marginal benefit. Chris Packham has argued that we should allow pandas to die out – "we should pull the plug, let them go with a degree of dignity"– rather than spend money trying to save them, because the panda is "not a strong species" and one that "has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac".

Sichuan sea bass

Serves 10

Oh, go on then... there'll be plenty of room for one of Mark Hix's festive canapés

It's that time of year again – the time when we all start planning our festive get togethers. Preparing snacks for drinks parties can be tricky; you need to keep things simple as you don't want to spend all your time in the kitchen.

CSC sticks with Trafford deal despite bid interest

Capital Shopping Centres pushed ahead with its £1.6bn plan to acquire the Trafford Centre near Manchester last night, shrugging off calls from Simon Property to halt the deal to give the US-based company a chance to prepare an offer for Capital itself.

The Wedding Group, By Elizabeth Taylor

As a Home Counties housewife married to a chocolate manufacturer, the novelist Elizabeth Taylor was never taken as seriously in her lifetime as near- contemporaries, Olivia Manning and Rose Macaulay.

Environmental activist to defy party rulers by attending Nobel ceremony

A prominent Chinese environmental activist has announced she will attend the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo despite attempts by Beijing for a boycott of the event and a crackdown on the country's activists.

The End of the Party, By Andrew Rawnsley

The End of the Party is 895 pages of pretty dense text, including notes and index; and it isn't a single page too long. Andrew Rawnsley's meticulously sourced account of the 13 years New Labour spent in power is a gloriously readable epic, written with wit and clarity. It has the arc of a Shakespearean tragedy, in which Blair's and Brown's formidable personal qualities were finally, fatally undermined by their tragic flaws. It is also a forensic analysis of what went wrong with the New Labour project, resulting in an exhausted party with no clear principles, except to stay in power. Rawnsley perceptively compares New Labour's journey to that of Northern Rock: "Both bank and party had grown out of the self-help and co-operative ethic of... 'the respectable' working class... Both... had been transformed by global capitalism into unrecognisably different creatures."

Record breeding year for the bears who hate to mate

The very existence of China's pandas has long been threatened. The bears are famously terrible breeders and constantly endangered in their natural habitat. But their numbers have been boosted by a record number of births in captivity this year.

Beijing launches lunar probe

China launched an unmanned lunar probe yesterday.

Militants destroy Nato fuel tankers

Assailants launched two separate attacks on tankers carrying fuel for foreign troops in Afghanistan yesterday, a day after the Pakistani government itself shut one down.

Leading article: Wounded pride and public relations

Delhi's Commonwealth Games were supposed to bring India dramatically to the world's attention in a similar manner to Beijing's Olympics in 2008. And so they will. But not in the manner that India hoped. The preparations for the Games have been plagued by construction delays, tales of official incompetence and allegations of official corruption. And with just 12 days to go, the Games are degenerating into an outright shambles. Despite seven years of preparation and public expenditure of £1.5bn (almost six times the original budget) the facilities are still not ready.

County Championship round-up: Shah 'upset' at brush-off by Middlesex

Middlesex may have signed the Australia batsman Chris Rogers and retained the services of England's Eoin Morgan yesterday but club stalwart Owais Shah has been left "deeply upset" after being released.

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
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In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
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Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?