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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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness