News A red bellied piranha, similar to the palometas that have injured bathers in attacks in Argentina

The fish already injured swimmers cooling down from the heat last month

Arifa Akbar: Some fictional characters are gay. Get over it

I was waiting for the Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas to begin his first UK event this week and, as the audience filed in from the drizzle, I noticed a particular absence in the room. That of women. It was just me until – phew – three others slunk in. Tsiolkas's reading at a Bloomsbury basement bar had been organised by the bookshop Gay's the Word, so the clue was in the title, but I was thrown at first, to be among an audience with shared affinities that reared themselves – fascinatingly – during the discussion.

The huge shoal of herring were swimming too close to the surface when the water suddenly froze around them, completely stopping them in their tracks and creating the incredible sight.

Harsh wind hits Norwegian bay so suddenly that thousands of fish are flash-frozen

The incredible image was captured from the tiny island of Lovund in central Norway after temperatures suddenly dipped, freezing the water and trapping the fish

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Sixty injured in piranha attack on Christmas Day

A seven-year-old girl lost part of her finger in the attack by a shoal of the meat-eating fish

The yellow wagtail has disappeared entirely from Wales

Birds that were once a common sight in Britain take flight, never to return

The sharp decline in some of Britain’s most common bird species is resulting for the first time in their disappearance from some parts of the United Kingdom, conservationists warn today.

Edwina Currie unveils the new version of the British Lion Code of Practice at Portcullis House in London

A safe pair of hands? Edwina Currie launches egg safety code

Edwina Currie, the former Health minister who once nearly bankrupted Britain’s egg producers, has been chosen to promote the new version of the red British Lion, which tells you that an egg is safe to eat.

World's oldest prehistoric toilet unearthed in Argentina

Fossilised dung left by megaherbivores 240-million years ago have been found clustered together

Elephant tusks smuggled into Thailand from Kenya. Thailand is yet to implement a legal framework to tackle the ivory trade

US to destroy entire six-ton stockpile of ivory in message to poachers – but experts say it could just make problem worse

There are fears destruction just increases value of remaining stockpiles on illegal markets

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, at hospital in Borogontsy

Armed only with a small knife and a loyal dog, man beats bear in Siberian forest

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, stabbed the animal in heart after he was attacked

Blinky from The Simpsons

Putin’s fish is big... but I’ve got a whopper: Battle of the rod-swinging rulers as President of Belarus lands 125lb catfish in Chernobyl exclusion zone

In a rod-swinging contest between hard-man rulers, Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, has outdone Russia’s Vladimir Putin by reeling in a real-life Blinky, the radioactive fish of The Simpsons fame.

The Fish & Chip Shop, 189 Upper Street, Islington, London

Des McDonald's name is legendary in the food business – the legends in question being Midas and Croesus. When Nick Lander published The Art of the Restaurateur last year, McDonald was one of its stars. An Irish baker's son, he opened two restaurants in the City of London by the age of 22 and become executive chef of Caprice Holdings, founded by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the chaps who triumphantly revamped The Ivy, Scotts of Mayfair, Le Caprice and J Sheekey.

Forthampton Court estate, above, home of the Yorkes, finds itself at the centre of the cull controversy

Clash over badger cull turning into 'class war': Activists set sights on 'landed gentry'

John Yorke can trace his family's roots back to the Normans. Like his ancestors, 74-year-old Mr Yorke farms the 3,000 acres of prime Gloucestershire agricultural land that forms the Forthampton Court estate. An Old Etonian and former High Sheriff of Herefordshire, Mr Yorke reluctantly finds himself and his lands at the epicentre of the Government's highly controversial badger cull.

The giraffe, despite its towering size, has the same number of bones in the neck as a human: seven. Valves in the neck prevent blood rushing to the head when they bend down to drink. They live in Africa’s grasslands and woodlands.

Who you calling ugly? Zoos prefer cute animals to less attractive species, research shows

Zoos are no place for ugly ducklings. Big, intelligent, good-looking animals are more likely to be found in zoos, irrespective of conservation needs, according to new research. While the red panda, big cats, elephants and giraffes are found in most zoos, there's no place for the pika, the golden mole or the rat kangaroo.

Gills’ Leon Legge wins a header

Gillingham 1 Accrington Stanley 0 match report: Matt Fish breathes life into Gills to stretch lead

Gillingham's League Two promotion charge stays on course, but Accrington's survival is in doubt

Hearing aid: An owl’s ears can detect a mouse under earth or snow

Paperback review: Bird Sense - What It's Like to Be a Bird, By Tim Birkhead

A bird-brained philosophy of science

Anthony Hilton: SFO is in a hole but it just goes on digging

There is surely something flawed in the decision by the Serious Fraud Office to hire Slaughter & May, the most expensive solicitors in London, to lead its defence against the action for wrongful arrest and damages brought by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick