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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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat