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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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
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The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game