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.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
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James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
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The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
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travel
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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies looks set to be a dramatic conclusion to Peter Jackson's trilogy
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Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?