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Since the Second World War, when the BBC provided news and comfort for a nation in great peril, it has played a central role in British life and culture. That is why any proposals for radical change at the Corporation, or any sign that its standards might be slipping, deeply disturb its loyal admirers.

Sir David Attenborough: 'I promised I would do something'

Cut childcare costs by having fewer children, says Population Matters

It's a theory that hasn't been proposed by politicians yet

Elephant campaign: Saying ‘it wasn’t me’ is not enough – we must act

Who wants to inherit a world where elephants only live domestically

Killed for ivory: Saying ‘it wasn’t me’ is not enough – we must act

Who wants to inherit a world where elephants only live domestically, because they threaten crops, or because their land can be used for palm oil or logging?

Indyplus Video: The news in 2013

The female Asian elephant, pictured here with her mother Rose-Tu at the Oregon Zoo, is at the centre of a custody battle

They're gay, they grieve and they're left-handed: Elephants are just like humans

Elephants are more like humans than you may realise...

Sigur Ros: Georg 'Goggi' Hólm and 'Jónsi' Birgisson
at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh November 2013
The CCTV headquarters in Beijing

BBC leads rush to sign partnerships with giant Chinese state broadcaster

Worldwide arm set to co-operate on at least two major natural history projects with CCTV9's documentary arm

BBC listener complains after Bacon refuses refund

A listener complained when he failed to get a licence fee refund after Richard Bacon said he would reimburse anyone who did not like an interview.

George Stubbs's painting of a kangaroo,

George Stubbs kangaroo and dingo paintings to stay in UK after £1.5m donation

Sir David Attenborough was delighted by the news

The row over Morrissey's autobiography has been resolved

Row resolved: Morrissey's autobiography to be published this month

The Smiths frontman appears to have patched up relations with his publishers, Penguin, following a reported last-minute disagreement

David Attenborough trolls send fans 'sexy rude' messages from fake accounts

Sir David warns: 'If you get a lewd message, it's not from me' 

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future