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Heroes and villains

Red kites | The 7th Marquess of Bath | Zhu Keming

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Red kites, which are terrorising the residents of Henley-on-Thames, says Arthi Nachiappan in The Times. “There have been reports of buns taken from hands and steak grabbed from barbecues” – one of the birds even snatched a biscuit from an unsuspecting two-year-old. The red kite’s kleptomaniac tendencies are well known. In Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, a character alludes to its habit of stealing washing: “When the kite builds, look to lesser linen.”


Young Iranian campers, who have found a way to escape the scrutiny of their country’s socially conservative regime. In Iran’s picturesque forests, mountains and deserts, “young women ditch their Islamic coverings and groups of friends dance, sing, use drugs and have sex”, says Najmeh Bozorgmehr in the FT. The number of camping tours, often organised unofficially via Instagram, has risen tenfold in the past four years.


The 7th Marquess of Bath, who has left nothing in his will to more than 70 “wifelets” who shared his bed at Longleat House, Wiltshire. The marquess, who died last year aged 87, left most of his £14.4m legacy to his children and widow, a Hungarian former soft-porn actress who largely lived in Paris – leaving him free to spend time with his mistresses.


Zhu Keming, a shepherd who last weekend saved the lives of six ultra-marathon runners on a mountainside in Gansu province, northern China. He braved freezing rain, high winds and hail to help the runners to a cave where he kept emergency food and clothes. He even carried one unconscious runner to the shelter. Twenty-one competitors died during the 62-mile race.

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A male panda, Xing Er, which was filmed repeatedly spurning the advances of his frisky mate, Mao Sun, because it was too busy scoffing sticks of bamboo. Mating season for pandas happens just once a year, so staff at Copenhagen Zoo were disappointed. The pair proved why the species is endangered, says the New York Post.