News

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

World's rarest snake back from brink of extinction

The world's rarest snake has slithered back from the brink of extinction, with its numbers increasing 10-fold in the past 15 years, conservationists said today.

Snake sloughs off mortal coil

The longest snake in captivity has died in Ohio.

My Secret Life: John Simpson, journalist, 66

My parents were ... an unsuited couple, really. My father was very outgoing and witty and demonstrative; my mother was very quiet and gentle. My mother said my father was a monster – which he was, but only in the nicest possible way. When I was six, they split up and I had to choose between them. I bizarrely chose my father, which was absolutely unheard of in the Fifties. I miss him every single day.

Members Only: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond, By Paul Willetts

It must seen difficult for a younger generation, steeped nowadays in sex, to realise that in the 1950s nudism was illegal on stage. Or rather, you were allowed a nude but only if it didn't move an inch. The results were bizarre tableaux which the compere would introduce with words like: "First, ladies and gentlemen, the lovely Natalya and the charming little Renée offer you 'The Toilet of Nudes' by Diego Velasquez from the National Gallery here in London."

Dom Joly: Forget Delhi belly, but watch out for snakes and tigers in the athletes' village

Weird World of Sport: 'I'm on the fourth floor of Block B and there is what I think is a large tiger walking up and down the balcony outside our rooms'

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Why are some alien invasions welcomed?

Stick insects are some of the world's most curious and recognisable creatures. They provoke fascination not only for their startling resemblance to sticks or leaves, a perfect piece of evolved camouflage, but also for the sheer anorexic skinniness of many of them; perhaps there is an ancient gene in us that triggers alarm at the sight of anything preternaturally thin.

Commonwealth organisers face plague of snakes and monkeys

Snakes, stray dogs and monkeys are the latest problem for officials rushing to complete work at the athletes' village in Delhi.

Dead birds, rats, snakes, lipstick and a Manolo Blahnik heel

Gallery unveils a 'gothic' portrait of Isabella Blow

Children's TV presenter bitten by crocodile

Wildlife presenter Steve Backshall has revealed how he was bitten by a crocodile while filming a children's BBC series.

The Curious Incident of the Snake in the Night-Time*

A mystery caller knocked on a woman's door - and left a four-foot snake on her doorstep.

Ian Holloway: It has taken me 14 years to get this chairman so I can't lose him

They must make a fly-on-the-wall about Blackpool's season, but it will have to go out after the watershed

Italy: Hungry python was cocaine guard

Italian police seized a rare albino python in Rome yesterday in a raid on a group of drug traffickers who used the snake to guard cocaine and intimidate customers who owed them money.

One Minute With: Simon Schama

Where are you now and what can you see?

26 years for killer who hid body

A killer was jailed for at least 26 years today after he refused to reveal what he has done with the body of his victim.

Heathland: A burning issue

When Thursley Common caught fire four years ago, its rare flora and fauna seemed doomed. But, as Michael McCarthy found out, the heathland is rising from the ashes
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
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The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
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The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect