jo Oneill

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The forgotten Swiss diplomat who rescued thousands from Holocaust

<b>A Swiss diplomat has been credited with leading the largest civilian rescue operation of World War Two. But instead of being applauded for saving thousands of Jewish lives, he was reprimanded and - until recently - largely forgotten, as the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports.</b><p>In a suburb of Switzerland's …

Dog enjoys beach covered in sea foam caused by Storm Eleanor

What a woman with a bionic hand can feel

Scientists have unveiled the first bionic hand with a sense of touch that can be worn outside the laboratory.<p>Almerina Mascarello's bionic hand provides sensory feedback to her brain via electrodes in her upper arm.<p>She lost her hand in an accident nearly 25 years ago.

Health

Waddesdon Manor to host Renaissance treasures exhibition

<b>Twelve "marvellous" Renaissance treasures are to be displayed together in Europe for the first time in 150 years.</b><p>The Aldobrandini Tazze, celebrating the 12 Caesars, notorious rulers of ancient Rome, will appear at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, in 2018.<p>The set was broken up and scattered across …

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The best science long reads of 2017 (part one)

<b>From wildlife trafficking in West Africa to visualising the internet of the future, here's a festive selection of the best science and environment long reads published on the BBC this year. You can read part two tomorrow.</b><p>The secret trade in baby chimps. By David Shukman and Sam Piranty<p>David Shukman …

Why Guyana's rainforests are a scientist's dream

<b>When herpetologist Andrew Snyder's flashlight landed on something bright blue in the rainforests of Guyana, South America, he stopped and took a closer look.</b><p>It turned out to be a blue tarantula of the Ischnocolinae subfamily, a species most likely unknown to science.<p>"It was very exciting to say the …

Mysterious lights over LA baffle onlookers

California

'World's ugliest pig' caught on camera

<b>Scientists have captured the first footage in the wild of one of the world's rarest - and ugliest - pigs.</b><p>The Javan warty pig is under such threat from hunting and habitat loss that conservationists surveying its habitat believed it might already have been driven to extinction.<p>Camera traps have now …

Fungal disease poses global threat to snakes

<b>A potentially deadly fungal disease poses a significant threat to snakes all over the world, new research suggests.</b><p>The pathogen, has been found in 23 species of wild snake in the US and three in Europe. The fungus causes lesions on the snake's body, leading to infection and death.<p>This study argues …

The year seen through the eyes of Getty photographers

How do you summarise a year with photography alone? Ken Mainardis of Getty Images has chosen a selection of the best pictures taken by his photographers and explains in his own words how they sum up 2017 to him.<p><b>All images subject to copyright.</b><p>You might also be interested in:

Mekong region: Lizard and turtle among 100 new species found

<b>More than 100 new species have been discovered in the ecologically diverse region of the Mekong river which stretches from the Tibetan plateau to the South China Sea, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).</b><p>Odorrana Mutschmanni, a coloured frog, was found in a forest in north-eastern Vietnam - …

Disney's President Donald Trump robot gets mocked

An animatronic version of Donald Trump created by Disney's roboticists has attracted ridicule.<p>The machine has been unveiled at the firm's Disney World resort where it will take part in a 25 minute show.

Donald Trump

Are seafood lovers really eating 11,000 bits of plastic per year?

<b>The claim:</b> Seafood lovers could be eating up to 11,000 microscopic pieces of plastic a year.<p><b>Reality Check verdict:</b> There is evidence of plastic microparticles being found in the particular mussels and oysters examined<b>,</b> but the research suggests that in order to consume that much plastic you'd have …

Pollution

Your pictures: Strange but true

Each week, we publish a gallery of readers' pictures on a set theme. This week it is "strange but true".

Tel Aviv

Belgium ends 19th-Century telegram service

<b>Belgium's telegram service is about to stop. Stop.</b><p>One hundred and seventy-one years after the first electrical message was transmitted down a line running alongside the railway between Brussels and Antwerp the final dispatch will be sent and received on 29 December.<p>The fact that this 19th-Century …

Taking two million photos of Obama

Photographer Pete Souza's new book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait, looks at the former president's eight years in office.<p><i>Video by Angélica M Casas</i>

Pete Souza

Holy cow! 'Stormy' the cow makes a break from live nativity

Stormy the cow kept Philadelphia law enforcement busy one morning with her repeated escapes from a live nativity scene.

Nativity

Genghis Khan: Could satellites help find his tomb?

<b>An 800-year-old puzzle about the burial place of Mongolian ruler Genghis Khan sparked a very 21st Century business.</b><p>Albert Lin was on an expedition to locate the lost tomb of the Mongol Empire founder, when satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe donated some photos of potential areas for his team to …

Malaysia Airlines

Sumatran rhino 'hanging on by a thread'

<b>Scientists have decoded the genome of the Sumatran rhinoceros - one of the most threatened mammals on Earth.</b><p>Its genetic blueprint shows that populations have been in decline for a very long time.<p>The rhino's troubles began during the last Ice Age, when its habitat shrunk, says a US team.<p>Since then, …

Extinction

Star system has record eight exoplanets

<b>Nasa has found a distant star circled by eight planets, equal to the complement in our own Solar System.</b><p>It's the largest number of worlds ever discovered in a planetary system outside our own.<p>The star known as Kepler-90, is just a bit hotter and larger than the Sun; astronomers already knew of …

Science

How Greenland would look without its ice sheet

<b>Scientists have produced a stunning visualisation of Greenland – without its ice cover.</b><p>It is made from decades of survey data that show the position and shape of the territory’s bedrock, and the surrounding seafloor.<p>This is critical information needed to understand how the huge island might respond …

Magritte and the subversive power of his pipe

Some think that this mysterious Magritte painting is the beginning of modern art. It inspires a lot more questions than you might think, writes Cath Pound.<p>René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images (This is Not a Pipe) is one of the most famous yet persistently enigmatic works in the history of art. …

Art

'Worrying alarm call' for world's birds on brink of extinction

<b>Overfishing and changing sea temperatures are pushing seabirds to the brink of extinction, according to new data on the world's birds.</b><p>Birds that are now globally threatened include the kittiwake and the Atlantic puffin, which breed on UK sea cliffs.<p>Meanwhile, on land, the Snowy Owl is struggling to …

Biodiversity

Irish DNA map reveals history's imprint

<b>Scientists have unveiled a detailed genetic map of Ireland, revealing subtle DNA differences that may reflect historic events.</b><p>In their sample of the Irish population, the researchers identified 10 genetic groupings - clusters - that roughly mirror ancient boundaries.<p>The results also suggest the …

Huntington’s breakthrough may stop disease

<b>The defect that causes the neurodegenerative disease Huntington's has been corrected in patients for the first time, the BBC has learned.</b><p>An experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain.<p>The research team, at University College London, say there …

The fascinating reason why clowns paint their faces on eggs

Professional clowns must choose a unique facial makeup design – and they have an unusual way of ‘protecting’ it from copycats. Legal researchers Dave Fagundes and Aaron Perzanowski investigate.<p>Inside a church in east London, a clown called Mattie Faint is clutching a very special kind of egg. …

Eggs

The ancient symbol that spanned millennia

As a new exhibition looks at the concept of the loop, Joobin Bekhrad discovers how one symbol had different meanings in ancient Egypt, Hindu mythology and Renaissance alchemy.<p>It is perhaps fitting that the ancient <i>ouroboros</i> marks the beginning – and end – of Never Ending Stories<i>,</i> a major exhibition …

Ancient History

Little House on the Prairie: Still a haven for young fans

<b>It's 150 years since the birth of Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder - but do her tales about the farming family still appeal to young girls in our technology-driven age?</b><p>"Does he have Pa's fiddle? Does he have Pa's Fiddle?"<p>Violinist David Scrivener hears this question every …

Books

When the world sang with whales

It’s 50 years since a discovery which helped found the modern conservation movement.<p>In 1967, an American biologist began listening to sounds from the ocean that he found both spectacular and beautiful. It was the sound of whales.<p>He released a 1970 album called Songs of the Humpback Whale. It went …

I was a mother to 2,000 people

<b>When Lisa Campbell arrived in Greece in November 2015 to help care for the flood of refugees she planned on staying for just a few weeks. She ended up running a refugee camp - until it was suddenly closed last month. What made an American Mormon grandmother of six leave behind her family and her</b> …

Empathy