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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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...