Number of minutes trains delayed owing to copper theft since 2009: 927,754 Cost of metal theft to Network Rail last year: £43m

Britain: A nation stolen for scrap

Soaring metal prices have led to a remarkable epidemic of theft that, police claim, poses a serious threat to the UK's infrastructure

UN close to ban on West's toxic waste exports

Deal is struck to stop poor nations becoming global dump

Leading article: No excuses when it comes to famine

The debate about whether aid is a sound way of reducing poverty in developing nations is necessary and important. But what both sides agree upon is that it is essential to make a distinction between normal intergovernmental subventions and emergency famine relief.

Debt 'vultures' win right to pursue $100m claim

Britain's effort to protect the world's poorest countries from international debt "vultures" appeared to be in tatters last night, after a US firm won a court ruling allowing it to pursue a $100m debt claim against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

PM announces £814m child jabs boost

David Cameron today committed an extra £814 million of British money to the vaccination of children in poor countries, insisting the UK had a "moral" obligation to help despite public spending cuts at home.

Lagarde takes IMF campaign to emerging economies

The French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde dashed to India yesterday as she sought to secure the backing of the Asian country for her candidacy to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Rolls-Royce and Daimler bid ¤3.2bn for Tognum

The engineering giant Rolls-Royce and the German car group Daimler are offering €3.2bn (£2.7bn) for the engine-maker Tognum.

Cherie Blair to lead Labour policy review

Cherie Blair has been recruited to lead one of the policy reviews set up by Labour leader Ed Miliband, the party said today.

Peoplequake, By Fred Pearce

Good news for the 22nd century

Michael McCarthy: Contamination: the enemy we've almost forgotten

Major industries are always major contaminators. It's easy to forget this, as Britain is a country in which manufacturing and resource extraction have all but disappeared, and the current generation of young Britons is growing up with rivers cleaner than they have been, in some cases, since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Mountains Beyond Mountains, By Tracy Kidder

The Adventures of Doctor Doeverything

Trade minister urged to expand export support to green firms

Lord Green, the new Trade minister, is being urged to embrace a wider spectrum of businesses when he embarks on a national tour tomorrow to promote British exports.

Leading article: Better than nothing, but not much

The best that can be said of the United Nations climate change summit in Cancun is that it could have been worse. The Mexican hosts managed to produce a document that all delegates were able to sign up to. It was not the diplomatic "car crash" that our own Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, warned of as the summit was nearing its conclusion.

After the cop-out in Copenhagen, it's chaos in Cancun

The latest climate talks are at risk of achieving nothing

Leading article: A global agreement remains the planet's best hope

The United Nations summit on climate change in Cancun convened two weeks ago amid the lowest expectations of success. And it seems poised to deliver on them. The conference ends today and none of the delegates is even pretending that there is a chance that the meeting will produce a global deal on legally binding reductions to the carbon emissions that are driving global warming.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

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Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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