News

Scientists observed snakes "slithering" through the air to stay aloft

In the realm of the snake god...and the coati

When it comes to waterfalls, Niagara's nowhere. Adrian Mourby sees a natural wonder up close

Tamasin Day-Lewis: 'My children say I gave them wooden spoons instead of toys'

My earliest food memory... Eating what's now known as French toast but what we called bread bits in egg. It's the best breakfast food, the best brunch food and the best teatime food if you're a child. It's the only thing my nanny could cook, so I probably lived on it.

Ai Weiwei, Somerset House/Lisson Gallery, London

Ai Weiwei, the most important contemporary Chinese artist and political activist of his generation, has been missing since he was detained by authorities in Beijing while boarding a flight to Hong Kong on 3 April, and has not been seen or heard of since. And so, he has been missing from the openings of two exhibitions of his work opening in London this week.

13 Assassins, Takashi Miike, 126 mins (15)

A blackly mischievous samurai study revels in spectacular slaughter but strikes a sombre note amid the bloodshed

At large in Thailand: Trunk callers

The setting is stunning, the spas superb, the Thai cuisine tasty – but the elephants are what make this the perfect family holiday

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: We're overcoming a poisonous prejudice

Deep in our tissues lurks a forgotten emotion, forgotten because most of us no longer need it. It is a terrified fascination with our predators – animals whose prey we might be. It is clearly an ancient emotion, and it is clearly potent, and its existence was brilliantly illuminated and tapped into by Steven Spielberg when he directed Jaws in 1975 – creating at the age of 29 what was then the most profitable movie ever made.

Snake oil of skin saviour?

It’s the beauty industry’s latest secret ingredient, found in face creams, serums – and even on menus. But collagen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, says Genevieve Roberts

The Hacker: Peter brings home bacon but gets grilled for telling porkies

To be accused of being a pot-hunter in our winter league attracts much scorn and I am afraid such an allegation raised a heated debate in the bar last Sunday lunchtime.

Flooded Australian city faces long wait to dry out

Australia put an army general in charge of flood recovery efforts today after weeks of heavy rains deluged the country's northeast, crippling the area's economy, including the coal mining industry.

Flood victims warned of risk from snakes and crocodiles

Residents of a flood-hit Australian city were warned yesterday not to wade through the waist-high waters because of fears that crocodiles and snakes could be lurking.

The Gruffalo, Garrick Theatre, London

In the 10 years since it was published, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (story) and Axel Scheffler (pictures) has become a much-loved classic, proving that big furry creatures who roar can be kind at heart, and a mouse may look at a monster, just as a cat may look at a king.

Picture of the Day: The bride wore snakeskin

Hundreds of villagers flocked to a wedding ceremony yesterday between a 16-foot female python and her slightly smaller mate – both believed to be magic snakes that bring prosperity and peace.

Emergency airlifts for flooded Queensland

A huge relief operation was under way in Queensland last night as the military airlifted emergency supplies of food and medicine to thousands of people hit by widespread flooding.

The fearless woman who's lucky to be alive

A woman who knows no fear because of damage to a key emotion centre in her brain is lucky to be alive, scientists said today.

Snake bites Lembit Opik on Celebrity challenge

Former MP Lembit Opik has been bitten by a snake while enduring the latest I'm A Celebrity challenge.

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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album