News Tim Berners-Lee invited an atheist minister to present Thought for the Day

Atheist minister says he had been invited by the founder of the worldwide web Sir Tim to present but had been blocked by BBC senior management

Mark Dampier: Britain's small-cap funds punched well above their weight this year

It's been a good year for stock markets. In particular, European and Japanese markets have made large gains. There is a lesson here for all investors: despite a poor economic backdrop, stock markets can perform well. This is often because much of the bad news is priced in and markets are focusing on improved corporate prospects. Similarly, it shows the most uncomfortable investment decisions often turn out to be correct.

The drugs giant has been embroiled in a scandal but its shares have only wavered a little

Investment Insider: The heady days aren't over for drugs groups

Genetics, stem cells and consistent dividends can offset the problems of expiring patents

Television choices: How to build a better future with Sellotape and science

TV pick of the week: Tomorrow's World: A Horizon Special

AstraZeneca new boss's debut buy

AstraZeneca's new boss yesterday agreed his first major deal at the pharmaceuticals giant, spending up to $272m (£169m) on the rights to an experimental kidney drug. This month, on his first day in the job, Pascal Soriot suspended Astra's share buybacks for the rest of the year.

Investment Insider: Pharmaceutical industry's best years lie ahead

I have heard many experts say that the best days of the pharmaceutical sector are behind it.

Bill Gates’ foundation is a major player in global development

Anger after Bill Gates gives £6m to British lab to develop GM crops

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given British scientists a multi-million pound grant to develop GM crops in what could be the most significant PR endorsement for the controversial technology.

Breathing on Glass, By Jennifer Cryer

The obsessive world of the ground-breaking geneticist is memorably portrayed in an ambitious debut novel that examines what happens when science and human appetites collide.

Glaxo takes £1.6bn Genome bid fully hostile

Britain's biggest drugs firm, GlaxoSmithKline, yesterday stormed ahead with its $2.6bn (£1.6bn) hostile takeover of United States biotech Human Genome Sciences, waving aside the board to take its bid direct to shareholders.

GlaxoSmithKline's $2.6bn bid for genetic firm refused

GlaxoSmithKline yesterday made a hostile $2.6bn (£1.6bn) bid for Human Genome Sciences (HGS), its long-term partner on treatments including lupus medicine benlysta.

Glaxo teams up for biotech fund

Britain's biggest pharmaceuticals maker, GlaxoSmithKline, has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson and the private equity house Index Ventures to launch a ground-breaking €150m (£125m) fund to discover new drugs.

Research matters: Together we can find a quicker solution to our problems

Free and open access to research, both past and present, is vital to solving global issues

Elliott to support Actelion nominees

Elliott Advisors, the dissident Actelion shareholder which has proposed six independent directors for the Swiss biotech's board, partially welcomed the company's recent nomination of former GlaxoSmithKline boss Jean-Pierre Garnier and ex-Schering-Plough finance chief Robert Bertolini as board members.

Poor nutrition in womb leads to early ageing

Babies born to women who eat a poor diet during pregnancy are more likely to suffer prematurely from chronic age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, say scientists.

Sanofi agrees long-awaited takeover of Genzyme

The French pharmaceuticals company Sanofi-aventis is to buy the US biotech firm Genzyme Corp in a multibillion-dollar deal it has been pursuing for nine months.

Warning over brain research funding

Leading UK neuroscientists today attacked "draconian" funding cuts that could see £4 million stripped from "vital" brain research every year.

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John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
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Other places that have held independence referendums
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Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

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Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

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Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
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London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head
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Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London

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Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week