Lifestyle 

Meghan takes royal roles at UK charities for women and animals

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan Markle, wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, announced on Thursday she would become patron of four organizations to champion causes close to her heart, including the National Theater and charities supporting women and animal welfare. Queen Elizabeth, 92, has passed on her patronages of the National Theater and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which she has held for decades, to Meghan, who married the queen’s grandson last year. Known as the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan will also become the patron of Smart Works, a charity helping long-term…

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The vets who treat poorly animals at Christmas

Image copyright PDSA Image caption Bailey the dog, who became ill after eating chocolate, was treated by vets at the PDSA The Christmas decorations are up, the fridge is stocked and we are nearly ready to relax and overindulge on this most wonderful time of year. But those festive treats and knick-knacks can be harmful to our pets – with one vet saying she treats three times the number of animals in December than any other month. BBC News spoke to the vets who treat our beloved, if slightly gluttonous,…

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Lifestyle 

Stockings and puddings as London Zoo animals get Christmas treats

LONDON (Reuters) – From an advent calendar filled with Brussels sprouts to breakfast served in a stocking, animals at London Zoo got an early taste of Christmas on Thursday. Keepers served the sprouts, a popular side dish on festive tables in Britain, to the zoo’s western lowland gorillas. Bactrian camels Genghis and Noemi got their breakfast of hay in a large red stocking while Asiatic lionesses Indi, Heidi and Rubi woke up to their own version of a Christmas pudding – a cinnamon and nutmeg-scented ball. “Big cats … have…

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Endangered animals: How ‘following the money’ could save lives

By Alexandria Reid, Cathy Haenlein & Tom Keatinge Royal United Services Institute Image copyright Getty Images Around the world, the illegal wildlife trade is having a devastating effect on many species of animal. Could targeting profits made by those involved help protect them? Animals – both dead and alive – are being bought and sold on an industrial scale as food, pets, medicines and even ornaments. Global attention is often focused on species such as elephants and rhinos – and in many countries the populations of these animals has plummeted.…

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Glass Animals drummer ‘learned to talk again’ after lorry crash

Image copyright Glass Animals Image caption Joe Seaward posted a photo and message on Instagram thanking fans for their support The drummer for indie band Glass Animals said he was “extremely lucky” after recovering from life-threatening injuries sustained in a crash. Joe Seaward suffered a fractured skull and broken leg and had to learn to “walk, talk and read again” after his bike collided with a lorry in Dublin. The accident on 2 July led the Mercury-shortlisted band from Oxford to cancel their tour of North America and Europe. Mr…

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Stunning silhouettes show animals of Africa at sunrise and sunset

Wildlife photographer Greg Du Toit has captured powerful images of silhouetted animals in southern and eastern Africa to show “the mystery and intrigue of Africa.” Image copyright Greg Du Toit/mediadrumworld.com Image copyright Greg Du Toit/mediadrumworld.com The animals, including lions, giraffes, flamingos, elephants, leopards, rhinoceros and zebras, are illuminated against sunrises and sunsets in a range of hues. Image copyright Greg Du Toit/mediadrumworld.com Image copyright Greg Du Toit/mediadrumworld.com The photos are part of a wider series called Dusk to Dawn and were shot in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia.…

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Meat testing: A fifth of samples reveal unspecified animals’ DNA

Image copyright Getty Images More than a fifth of meat sample tests in 2017 found DNA from animals not on the labelling, the BBC has learned. Out of 665 results from England, Wales and Northern Ireland collected by the Food Standards Agency, 145 were partly or wholly made up of unspecified meat. The FSA said the levels were consistent with “deliberate inclusion” – but added testing had targeted those businesses suspected of “compliance issues”. The samples came from 487 businesses, including restaurants and supermarkets. A BBC Freedom of Information request…

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Europe heatwave: Side effects felt by zoo animals, sprout farmers and more

Europe could break an all-time temperature record in the next few days. And parts of southern Spain and Portugal are forecast to go above 47C (116.6F), surpassing national records. But if you couldn’t tell from the thermometers, there are giveaways everywhere – from a melting mountain in Sweden to a rumoured Brussels sprout shortage. Here are just some of the developments – some weird, some disturbing – that the heatwave has sparked across the Continent… 1. A melting mountain Image copyright AFP Image caption Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist taking measurements from…

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