Birds may use cigarette ends to protect chicks

It sounds like a surreal urban myth: birds in cities may be deliberately incorporating cigarette ends into their nests to ward off insect parasites. But scientists in Mexico offer compelling evidence that it is true.

The house finch has learned to make the most of street litter - including cigarette ends

Marlboro palace: how city birds feather their nests

Nicotine-rich cigarette ends that repel parasites are the perfect building material for finches

So Australia are banning branded packaging on cigarettes, why not go one further and ban all of our vices?

The new anti-smoking laws in Australia will strip packs of all branding, bright colours and logos.

Alcohol still discovered in garden shed

Officials have warned of the dangers of illegal alcohol following the discovery of a home-made still in a garden shed.

Diseased feet, sick babies and dying cancer sufferers: The gruesome new packaging set to become mandatory for Australia's cigarettes

The new anti-smoking laws, which are the most Draconian in the world, strip packs of all branding, bright colours and logos

Smoking bans pick up momentum on US college campuses despite protests

George Washington University officials decided to announce the coming of an on-campus smoking ban during the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout on November 15. Before they could do so, dozens of students and staff members were lighting up in protest.

5.7m smuggled cigarettes found hidden in lorry meant to be carrying children's play equipment

More than 5.7 million smuggled cigarettes have been found by Border Force officers in a lorry that was meant to be carrying children's play equipment.

Tobacco firms warn of flood of illegal cigarettes into UK

The number of cigarettes bought in the UK which have avoided duty and taxes is set to soar, one of the country's top three manufacturers has warned.

Man's body found in Lancashire after 2005 murder

Police have found a body in the hunt for a man whose disappearance seven years ago resulted in his girlfriend's ex-husband being jailed for murder.

A Royal Flying Corps pilot adjusts his camera. Below: an aerial photo of German and British trenches

New European archive collects untold stories of the First World War

Thousands of moving war stories are being unearthed in a drive to gather a vast collection of First World War memorabilia from across Europe.

Lamb, By Bonnie Nadzam

This daring, disturbing first novel imagines the friendship of a child and an older man
A new survey says half of all American smokers have tried to quit

More than half US smokers have tried to quit

More than half of American smokers tried to quit the habit as the daily use of cigarettes fell, US health officials say.

Postcard from... Paris

Last week, a war was declared in Paris. The mayor has taken it upon his council to wipe out all cigarette butts that litter his city's streets.

Woman jailed after torturing 15-year-old boy by forcing him to lick up his blood and drink his own urine

A woman who tortured a teenage boy by making him drink his own urine and lick up his blood has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Vodka continutes to take its death toll on Russians

Putin wages war on vodka as lifestyle death toll at 90,000

Vladimir Putin is waging the biggest public health drive since former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev failed to wean his country off alcohol abuse with a crackdown on tobacco and drink.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
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Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

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Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
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Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

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Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
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Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

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Actor and director Zach Braff
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Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
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The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
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Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week