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.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk