Environment Japanese fishermen transporting slaughtered dolphins in Taiji harbour; the water of the cove is red with the blood of dead animals. Locals brand criticism of the cull 'cultural imperialism'

Hundreds of dolphins are killed in a remote Japanese bay during hunting season. The town argues it is an important tradition, but conservationists maintain the bloody practice is inhumane

Online dating myths busted

Online dating is now the third most popular way to meet a potential partner and is a great way to cast your net a little wider than your immediate social circle; yet despite this, there still seems to be many myths surrounding it. If you haven’t tried online dating yet or you’re thinking about trying it but are put off by what you’ve heard listen up, because Independent Dating are here to dispel some of those nasty rumours.

Sperm whale dies on beach 'after getting lost'

A 44ft (13.4m) sperm whale which became beached probably died because it got lost, a marine expert involved in the rescue bid said yesterday.

Whale stranded in loch 'was killed by infection'

The death of a pilot whale who died off the Scottish coast was caused by an infection, a post-mortem suggested today.

Fears for whales as they return to shallows of loch

Pod headed out to sea, but last night came back and now risks mass stranding

Whales move into deeper water

A pod of pilot whales at risk of beaching themselves in shallow waters off the Western Isles have "calmed down" overnight, rescuers said today.

Experts fear mass whale stranding

Marine experts have been deployed to the Western Isles to try to prevent a mass stranding of pilot whales.

My Natural History, By Simon Barnes

A lucky encounter with an ugly bat can change a life

Travel challenge: A family trip to the Azores

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for aspecific holiday. Today:a family half-term holiday on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. Prices are based on four peopletravelling together, departing 28 May.

Album: Cocoon, Where the Oceans End (Sober & Gentle)

The French duo Cocoon bring the softest of touches to bear with their folksy harmonies on Where the Oceans End, a maritime-themed collection in which their affinity for aquatic mammals is displayed in songs addressed to dolphins, whales, sea lions and most quaintly, "Baby Seal", the pup perhaps evoked by the quiet wisps of theremin or bowed saw that peek out from behind the strings.

On The Road: Conquer your aquatic anxiety by swimming with a giant of the ocean

I'm afraid of the ocean. It seems ridiculous for someone spending time in Australia, but I really don't like swimming in the sea and snorkelling is even worse. How can anyone not have a panic attack when they hear themselves breathing like that?

Video: Whale found dead off UK coast

A 45-foot sperm whale has been discovered dead off the coast of east Kent.

197 beached pilot whales die

An entire pod of 197 pilot whales found stranded on a New Zealand beach have died, including 48 that were euthanised, government officials said yesterday.

107 pilot whales die in New Zealand stranding

All members of a pod of 107 pilot whales that stranded on a remote New Zealand beach have died, including 48 that were euthanised, the government's conservation department said today.

Protesters stop whale hunt

Anti-whaling activists' high-seas confrontations with Japanese ships forced Tokyo to cut short its annual Antarctic whale hunt for the first time yesterday.

Japan forced to halt whaling in Antarctic as activists claim victory

Environmentalists claimed victory yesterday after Japan halted its annual Antarctic whaling cull following weeks of harassment by a militant conservationist group.

Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
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Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
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Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
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Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?