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.

Making the most of his talent: Fabrice Muamba in action

Sam Wallace: Muamba has blazed a trail for grateful others to tread

He arrived from crisis-torn DR Congo with just four words of English. Now the Bolton midfielder is proud, eloquent and a credit to his adopted country

Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe, Ryan Nelsen and Luka Modric react after Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba is carried off on a stretcher

Muamba collapse leaves rivals chanting his name

Players and supporters left in a state of shock as paramedics pump midfielder’s chest while the 23-year-old is rushed to hospital in an ambulance

Dom Joly: If I do find a monster, no one will believe me

Brazzaville is quite an extraordinary place. It sits on the mighty river Congo, a vast expanse of muddy water dotted with dug-out canoes carrying sure-footed fishermen.

Dom Joly: If I'm munched by a mokele mbembe, farewell, dear readers

I'm off to the Congo for two weeks. I'm still travelling the world looking for reputed monsters to put in my new book, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps. This time I'm going after the mokele mbembe, a dinosaur-type creature that is supposed to inhabit Lake Tele in the far north of "good" Congo.

A 12-year-old boy, who was abandoned by his family for witchcraft, at Bana ya Poveda

Independent Appeal: A hope from hell

With thousands of children being abandoned as 'witches' in DR Congo, Daniel Howden finds a charity trying to bring families back together

Kabila wins DR Congo elections and calls for calm

Joseph Kabila has been declared winner of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo after chaotic and sometimes violent polls that were rejected by the opposition and criticised by international observers.

Joseph Kabila wins Congo election

Congo's President Joseph Kabila has won another term in office with 49% of the 18.14 million votes cast according to provisional results published by Congo's election commission.

Mobutu Sese Seko, left, in 1997 and his eldest son Mobutu Nzanga earlier this month

Voting goes to second day as dictator's son makes his stand

With its neat lawns, white mansions and wide verandas overlooking the Congo River, Avenue de Nations Unies preserves a little of the colonial era in Kinshasa. While most residents of this dilapidated African metropolis picked their way through flooded lanes and open sewers yesterday to reach polling stations, the elite residents of the avenue made their way down a road lined with flowering trees and armed guards.

Mobutu Sese Seko, left, in 1997 and his eldest son Mobutu Nzanga earlier this month

Can Congo's new leopard change his spots?

Fourteen years after kleptocrat Mobutu was overthrown, his son is aiming to restore the family name. But many Congolese feel little has changed, reports Daniel Howden from Kinshasa

Congolese women carrying baskets of bananas pass election campaign posters in Goma yesterday

Pessimism grips Congo with elections in disarray

Historic poll in war-ravaged DRC may be delayed as ballot papers go undelivered

Herman Cain has emerged as a surprise Republican frontrunner

Pizza tycoon's bid for presidency is hit by sex scandal

Herman Cain denies reports that he made unwanted advances on two women in 1990s

Atambayev is seen as pro-business

Moscow-backed PM wins tarnished election

Kyrgyzstan's Moscow-backed Prime Minister claimed victory yesterday in a presidential election tainted by charges of voting abuses and protests by defeated challengers from the restive south of the former Soviet republic.

Commonwealth nations to have aid cut for gay rights abuses

Countries that persecuted homosexuals and refused to "adhere to proper human rights" faced losing British aid, David Cameron warned yesterday.

Protesters have taken to the streets to show their increasing anger at Egypt's ruling generals

HSBC accused of helping Egypt generals stifle dissent

Human rights groups and NGOs have accused HSBC bank of colluding in a campaign of intimidation which they say is being waged against them by Egypt’s ruling military council.

Letters: The Monarchy

'Modern' monarchy for a backward country
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need