Sport Graeme Swann announces his decision to retire from international and first-class cricket

The spin bowler quit midway through the disastrous tour of Australia

Wildfires destroy homes in Australia

Wildfires possibly sparked by fallen power lines roared across a swath of western Australia today, razing almost 40 homes and sending hundreds of people fleeing for their lives, officials and witnesses said. At least three people were injured.

Hi, gr8 white here – strvng. Cn we mt 4 lunch? C U l8er

Australian scientists develop revolutionary tracking system that texts the authorities whenever a killer shark nears the beach

Story of Aboriginal girls' flight that inspired film under revisionist attack

Historian says Australia's 'Stolen Generations' were held for their welfare

Best of the west: Australia's largest state offers superb diving and the nation's finest wines

You look for omens on any sea voyage, and the cheeky young seal that was our escort to the sunken HMAS Swan's final resting place in Western Australia's Geographe Bay seemed to suggest a fine day's diving. Gambolling along the surface, flippers stretched towards the spring sunshine, he revelled in the calm seas and blue sky every bit as much as us. He came right alongside just as we reached the mooring buoys, fixed us with his big brown eyes and carefully preened his whiskers before sliding away into the depths.

Peter Bills: De Villiers the enigma

If Winston Churchill defined Russia as a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, what are we to make of South Africa's volatile rugby coach, Peter de Villiers?

Stem cells could be the secret reason why breast is best

Scientist says mother's milk may play vital role in helping children 'fulfil their genetic destiny'

After 50 years, the 'lost innocents' shipped from home win apology

150,000 orphan and poor children taken to colonies as 'white stock' suffered years of institutional brutality

Aborigines: 'I was terrified. I didn't know anything about white fellas'

Until 1964, they had never been in contact with the outside world. Newly discovered footage captures the moment their innocence ended

Outside the Box: After barren patch Sheringham bore fruit in Swedes' garden

Following last week's appeal for any challengers to either Ryan Giggs for scoring in 20 successive seasons in the top flight, or Teddy Sheringham's 23 in a row at all levels, a Sheringham fan points out that he can legitimately claim 25 – if foreign loans are included. After scoring in his second game for Millwall aged 17 in January 1984, he failed to find the net during the following season when briefly on loan to Aldershot, but he did score prolifically for Djurgaarden in Sweden. So his run arguably began in 1983-84 and did not finish until the 2007-08 campaign, when he knocked in three for Colchester as a 41-year-old. Last season was definitely a blank, however, and contrary to a recent publicity stunt, he has no intention of turning out at 43 for Beckenham Town.

Bindoon Boys Town: The sad truth behind Britain's lost children

Australia is to apologise for the appalling treatment meted out to thousands of boys and girls shipped to its shores as orphans

DNA to identify WWI soldiers in mass grave

DNA tests to identify the remains of hundreds of British and Australian soldiers killed in the First World War will begin this week.

Langer passes Bradman

It may have taken him nearly twice as long as the Don, but Justin Langer has become the highest Australian run scorer in the history of the game. Yesterday morning at New Road – the venue of Bradman's habitual Ashes tour opening century – the Somerset captain drove Worcestershire's Matt Mason for four to overtake Bradman's total of 28,067 first-class runs. It was Langer's 615th innings; Bradman required 338.

Langer breaks Bradman scoring record

Justin Langer became the highest-scoring Australian batsman in first-class cricket at Worcester today when he overhauled Sir Donald Bradman's career total of 28,067 runs.

A long walk spoiled: the 850-mile golf course

With a distinct lack of greenery, and an average of 50 miles between holes, the Nullarbor Links may not appeal to every golfer. But those fed up of swinging their clubs in suburbia may relish the challenge of the world's longest course, which will open later this year in the Australian Outback.

Man charged over 'anti-Semitic' YouTube video

Police have charged a man who allegedly posted a video on YouTube with inciting racism under a so-far untested Australian state law, officials said today. A newspaper report said the video targeted Jews.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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

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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

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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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