News Rohan Glynn with his two Dalmations and German Pointer

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure for a big surprise – especially if you have dogs.

UN warns of bird flu resurgence

The United Nations today warned of a possible resurgence of the deadly bird flu virus, saying wild bird migrations had brought it back to previously virus-free countries and that a mutant strain was spreading in Asia.

Maybe's Curragh cruise creates Guineas certainty

It was a rollercoaster sort of weekend in the emotion stakes. There was the crushing disappointment of the retirement from racing of Derby winner Pour Moi, injured during routine exercise in Chantilly. There was the bittersweet defeat of US star Uncle Mo, denied in the last stride at Saratoga on his comeback from a life-threatening illness. There was sheer delight as eight-year-old Marchand d'Or rolled back the years at Deauville. And even Maybe's thoroughly straightforward and professional success at the Curragh in yesterday's top contest, the Moyglare Stud Stakes, had a gut-wrenching twist to it.

Happy Feet finally heads home

a wayward emperor penguin who found himself in the media spotlight after washing up on a New Zealand beach thousands of miles off course is finally heading home.

Puppies need mum longer

Separating puppies from their mothers too early can lead to behavioural problems later in life, a study has found.

Becher's Brook to be tamed in bid to make Grand National safer

The most famous obstacle in horse racing is to be altered in response to the tragic and controversial scenes that tarnished the Grand National in April. By raising the landing side at Becher's Brook, Aintree racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) hope to reduce the risk to horse and rider without diluting the distinctive character of the historic fence.

Les Enfants X: denied their true identity

Campaigners are struggling desperately to change an ancient French law. Hannah Godfrey reports

Injury brings abrupt end to Canford Cliffs' career

Champion older miler's retirement kills hopes of a rematch after rout by Frankel at Goodwood

Agriculture

Gosden heroic at time of despair

The horror that united the racing community at Ascot on Saturday was immediately assuaged by the knowledge that an excruciating situation could not – in the most literal sense imaginable – have been in better hands. For no more competent ambassador could have been produced from its midst, following a catastrophic injury to Rewilding, than the very man who held the doomed colt's bridle as the veterinary team raced to the emergency. And the fact that John Gosden had also saddled the winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes could only corroborate the priorities of fellowship and welfare he espoused, in effect, on behalf of every professional.

A stable recovery: Donor schemes for animals

Doctors use donor schemes to help save patients' lives. Now vets can too – and they're healing cats and dogs as well as thoroughbred horses, as Sue Corfield explains

Electric cables kill three elephants

three elephants were electrocuted in a wildlife sanctuary in northern India after they uprooted a utility pole and became caught in its 10,000-volt wires.

Farmers' call for badger cull to be approved by ministers

Ministers are poised to give the go-ahead to a widespread cull of badgers in a bid to halt the growing spread of tuberculosis in cattle – with a significant gap still remaining in the science behind the move.

First it banned plastic bags. Now San Francisco may outlaw pets

They call it the "People's Republic of San Francisco", but judging by the latest piece of landmark legislation to come before civic authorities, northern California's first city deserves a new nickname. Something along the lines of "the Animals' Republic".

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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
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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