More than 50 senior scientists from 14 countries are denouncing claims that the ferret experiments are necessary for the development of new flu vaccines and anti-viral drugs

'Untrue statements' anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans

Coalition of leading scientists claim ferret experiments could lead to a pandemic

Cameron, who is in Brussels for a summit, wants to restrict the free movement of people from poor countries that join the EU in future

David Cameron presses EU to restrict free movement of people from poorer member states

Prime Minister will urge his fellow EU leaders to learn lessons from the mistakes made when Romania and Bulgaria joined the 28-nation bloc in 2007

Europe welcomes 'unprecedented' banking union agreement

The European Commission hailed the overnight agreement by finance ministers for a new system to deal with failing banks as an "unprecedented" achievement.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at his annual press conference in Moscow on 19 December 2013

President Putin backs NSA surveillance as 'necessary' to fight terrorism

But government needs to 'limit appetite' of agency with clear ground rules

A US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan

David Cameron to oppose EU 'drones club' on visit to Brussels

A plan for the European Union to develop its own drone programme will be strongly opposed by David Cameron at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels today.

The Business Matrix: Thursday 19 December 2013

EU to investigate Hinkley Point deal

Hamish McRae: Next year should be good for the UK and other economies, but can the markets continue to rise?

Economic View: The better the economy does, the quicker rates rise and the greater the pressure on shares

US snooping revelations: Merkel 'told Obama NSA was like the Stasi'

During angry exchanges over the scope and scale of American spies' snooping exposed by the NSA whistlewblower Edward Snowden, Angela Merkel reportedly told Barack Obama his country's conduct was reminiscent of the Stasi.

Eurozone finance ministers agree backstop for failing banks

Final details will need to be thrashed out before tomorrow’s two-day summit of EU leaders begins in Brussels

Ukrainian protesters shout slogans during a mass opposition rally in Independence Square in Kiev

Russia bails out Ukraine for $15bn – but deal triggers street protests in Kiev

The two countries’ leaders reached agreement at talks in the Kremlin that appeared to begin frostily but ended with them laughing at a ceremony where documents were signed on reducing trade barriers

A worker spraying plants with pesticides

Pesticides 'could harm brain development of unborn babies'

Scientists call for further limits on human exposure to two chemicals following research on rats

A supporter of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party holds a poster during a rally in Sidi Bouzid, central Tunisia

Arab Spring’s source carries on legacy as truce is called in Tunisia’s culture wars

It appears to be the last Arab Spring country to have a shot at completing a transition to democracy following last ditch negotiations between secularists and Islamists

European Union unveils tough new rules for 'Big Four' accountants

The Big Four accountants could find themselves being stripped of their most lucrative audit deals every 10 years, according to tough new rules proposed by the European Union.

Satyajit Das: Each stage of the eurozone debt crisis has increased the risks Germany faces

Das Capital: The German-led strategy shows little progress and is unlikely to resolve the crisis

French troops patrol in a street of the Muslim PK-5 district in Bangui

EU divided over French plea for CAR military aid

No direct pledges of military intervention in Central African Republic after Brussels meeting

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
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How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam