Environment The Nathusius’ pipistrelle weighs just 7.6g and is the size of a human thumb

A tiny bat the size of a human thumb has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe – before meeting an untimely end in the Netherlands.

Review of the year: World Music

Kinshasa on the beat

Adriano hat-trick lifts Inter

Zimbabwe: 'It's a little scary voting MDC - I'm not sure about the future'

In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city and the stronghold of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main opposition party, the queues had formed by 7am.

Vote for opposition and you won't get food, villages told

Among the withered crops and dried-up riverbeds in southern Zimbabwe, people are in a sullen mood. The general elections are just four days away, but few people expect their votes to make a difference. President Robert Mugabe has already set up all the systems in place to make sure his ruling party, Zanu-PF, wins a majority of seats in parliament. The government has control of the electoral roll and polling stations, and people in rural areas have been warned that villages that vote for the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), will be denied food.

UN to tackle claims of Congo sex abuse

The United Nations is to investigate claims of sexual abuse by its peacekeepers after conceding that recent cases involving its soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo may not be isolated to that country and similar abuses have probably happened elsewhere.

Rupert Cornwell: Can Europe and America ever agree on the meaning of democracy and freedom?

It's perfectly obvious that Mr Bush failed to enlist those week-kneed Europeans in the great crusade for freedom

John Gray: Not every country in the world can be a democracy

From a speech by the LSE Professor of European Thought, given at the Royal Society of Arts, London

Qureia says he wants 'less radical' cabinet

The embattled Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia sought to defuse a political crisis yesterday by planning a radically altered list of mainly 'technocratic' Cabinet ministers to replace a previous one angrily rejected by parliamentarians.

Whose taste is it anyway?

Today we all think we're experts on minimalist chic. But, asks Nick Foulkes, what's wrong with old fashioned clutter?

Belgium confronts its heart of darkness

King Leopold was hailed as a hero for 'civilising' the Congo. Now a remarkable exhibition in Brussels tells the forgotten history of a brutal exploitation that killed millions and shamed a nation

Miners flee into Congo forests to escape plague epidemic

Plague has killed at least 61 people at a diamond mine in north-east Democratic Republic of Congo, and hundreds who fled into the forests to escape the contagion may be infected and dying, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

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The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
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14 best kids' hoodies

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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk