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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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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine