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

Wanted: a family to join the diminishing inhabitants of Muck

Clearing the population of Muck, the smallest of the Scottish Small Isles, was painfully straightforward. In 1828, the local clan leader loaded 150 people aboard a ship and took them to start new lives in the uncharted wilds of Nova Scotia. Rebuilding a sustainable community, by contrast, has proved a much more arduous process.

Whaling meeting delays decision on hunting by a year

Native people of Greenland have won a long battle to extend their annual whale hunt to humpbacks, overriding objections from conservation-minded members of the International Whaling Commission.

Right-wing Japanese protesters banned from film of dolphin cull

A Japanese court has issued a rare ban against demonstrators who have hounded screenings of an Oscar-winning documentary exposing the country's infamous annual dolphin cull.

Philip Hoare: A victory for the whalers, a defeat for humanity

The IWC's decision to retain its ban on whaling does not mean that the killings will stop. Quite the reverse

Victory for anti-whaling campaigners

The controversial attempt to scrap the 24-year-old international moratorium on commercial whaling collapsed yesterday, to the delight of anti-whaling campaigners and the frustration of Japan, Norway and Iceland, the three countries which continue to hunt whales in defiance of world opinion.

Leading article: A welcome breakdown

Under normal circumstances, the breakdown of an international meeting would be a cause for disappointment; but not in the case of the International Whaling Commission. After two days of discussions in Morocco, the gathering has been brought to an end because the delegates of 88 nations were unable to reach agreement. The draft deal under discussion would have lifted the 24-year-old ban on commercial whaling. Iceland, Japan and Norway would have been granted an annual catch quota.

Tomas H. Heidar: Why Iceland will continue to hunt whales

I want to try and explain why Iceland conducts whaling and why we will not give it up.

Nations fail to reach commercial whaling agreement

Nations discussing a plan to allow the first legal commercial whaling in almost 25 years, in an attempt to curb the number of whales hunted by a handful of countries, have failed to reach agreement.

Robbie Marsland: I fear this could edge whales closer towards extinction

The way the IWC is deciding the fate of our whales is positively Byzantine. For the thousands of NGOs and observers gathered in Agadir all we had was some dancers followed by 30 minutes from the chair and then the meeting was moved into closed session until Wednesday.

The secret talks that threaten two decades of whale conservation

The future of the international whaling moratorium, one of the world's great conservation achievements, is being decided behind closed doors today and tomorrow, after whaling's governing body went into a secret session to discuss proposals that would end it.

Nations divided over lifting ban on whale hunt

A showdown looms this week over the 25-year ban on commercial whaling: Should it be eased, which might mean fewer whales are killed? Or should it remain — leaving Japan, Norway and Iceland to hunt down as many whales as they want?

What on Earth Evolved? by Christopher Lloyd

There's an SF story in which aliens study Earth and decide what's really in charge there: grass. In fact, poa pratensis and its cousins comes in only at number 24 in this addictive guide to the 100 species that have had the greatest impact on the planet over its evolutionary history.

Why saving sperm whales is more important than ever

When the International Whaling Commission meets in Morocco next week to discuss lifting the moratorium on commercial whaling, delegates might pause to consider an unexpected fact: the faeces of sperm whales is helping to save the planet.

Japan may quit Whaling Commission over ban

Japan is considering withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission if no progress is made towards easing an international ban on commercial whaling, its fisheries minister said today.

Case against me is all lies, says whaling activist on trial in Japan

Arrested at sea, taken to Tokyo in handcuffs and now facing a possible 15-year jail sentence for trying to stop Japan's annual whale cull, Peter Bethune has become a controversial hero of the environmental movement. But in Japan, where he is on trial for boarding a whaling ship and assaulting a crew member, he is despised and harangued by nationalists, who call him an eco-terrorist.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

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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

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
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

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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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
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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

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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

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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
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The man who hunts giants

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