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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.

Vital climate research faces huge budget cuts, 100 years after death of Captain Scott

Exclusive: British polar research in crisis

The scientific body whose groundbreaking discoveries include the hole in the ozone layer is facing massive cuts as the Government's austerity measures reach new frontiers

Fred West drama up for awards

The controversial ITV1 drama Appropriate Adult, about Fred West, has received three nominations at this year's Royal Television Society awards, including a Best Actor nod for Dominic West for his role as the notorious serial killer.

Attenberg (18)

"Seeing genitals in your sleep is a bad omen," Bella informs Marina. Seeing Attenberg, any time, is a nightmare for lovers of plot or drama.

Palmy days: Christmas Island’s coastline is rugged and its beaches small - but ideal for twitchers

Christmas Island: 'The kingdom of the crabs'

Christmas Island is a naturalist's dream, finds Kathy Marks (but a kabourophobe's nightmare)

BBC boss: Frozen Planet row is revenge for Leveson coverage

Newspapers are giving wildlife series Frozen Planet a hard time in revenge for the BBC's coverage of the Leveson Inquiry, director general Mark Thompson suggested today.

BBC chief Mark Thompson defends Jeremy Clarkson

BBC director general Mark Thompson defended Jeremy Clarkson today but admitted the Top Gear host was a "polarising figure" for viewers.

The BBC has denied misleading viewers over footage shown on the Frozen Planet series of a polar bear tending her newborn cubs.

BBC denies misleading viewers over Frozen Planet footage

The BBC has denied misleading viewers over footage shown on the Frozen Planet series of a polar bear tending her newborn cubs.

Intrepid: Captain Robert Falcon Scott, photographed eight months before he reached the South Pole 100 years ago in January

Everybody loves a winner, but we like a trier even more

Could the British still summon the stoicism of Captain Scott, asks Harry Mount

Dougie Poynter takes I'm A Celeb tips from Matt Willis

The McFly guitarist - who is entering the ITV1 show alongside the likes of Mark Wright, Freddie Starr and Antony Cotton on Sunday - has received tips on how to cope with the gruesome challenges presented on the series from his close pal, who was crowned King of the Jungle in 2006.

Fright Night, Craig Gillespie, 106 mins (15)<br/>The Art of Getting By, Gavin Wiesen, 83 mins (12A)

Help! Colin Farrell's at the door and I think he might be a vampire who's after my mother

Attenberg (18)

Starring: Ariane Labed, Giorgos Lanthimos, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randou

BBC's science coverage criticised

The BBC's attempt to produce balanced coverage of science is giving "free publicity to marginal opinions", according to a prominent scientist.

Caroline Spelman fires starting gun on badger cull

Badgers will be shot in a bid to limit the spread of TB in cattle, the Government is expected to announce today.

Perfect time for a flutter: Get to grips with Britain's butterflies

This week sees the start of the biggest ever survey of Britain's butterflies. But don't worry if you don't know your Peacocks from your Red Admirals - Stephen Moss gives his guide on how to wing it

Attenborough skull mystery finally solved

It was one of the most gruesome murder puzzles in British history that stumped detectives for over 130 years.

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Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May
Countdown to the election: Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear as the SNP target his Commons seat

Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

The US is getting frayed at the edges

Public spending on infrastructure is only half of Europe’s, and some say the nation’s very prosperity is threatened, says Rupert Cornwell
Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

Housebuilders go back to basics - throwing mud at the wall until it sticks

Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

Daniel Brühl: 'Envy is very German'

He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
How Leica transformed photography for ever: Celebrating 100 years of the famous camera

Celebrating 100 years of Leica

A new book reveals how this elegant, lightweight box of tricks would transform the way we saw life on the street and in fashion, on the battlefield and across the world