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A handful of retired constituents delivering their local MP a petition might not sound the most terrifying of prospects, but it prompted one Tory politician to call for police protection.

Tony Juniper: Acts of populism cannot conceal a lack of leadership

Considering the political and scientific consensus that has emerged on the urgent need to slash emissions of carbon dioxide, yesterday's Budget falls a long way short of not only what is necessary, but also what was possible to do.

Nuclear clean-up bill £12bn higher than predicted

Decommissioning Britain's growing radioactive waste mountain is likely to cost the taxpayer £12bn more than previous highest estimates, raising fresh questions about the expense of the new generation of nuclear power stations.

Juniper steps down with attack on Brown

Gordon Brown's leadership on environmental issues is flawed, according to Tony Juniper, who is stepping down as director of Friends of the Earth (FoE).

Leading article: A waste of energy

Several years ago, when confronted with the environmental damage inflicted by gas-powered patio heaters, B&Q sought solace in the old arms dealers' defence: "If we do not sell them, then our competitors will."

Destruction of rainforest accelerates despite outcry

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest has surged in the past four months, raising the prospect of 2008 being a disastrous year for the world's most important eco-system, a senior Brazilian government scientist has warned.

Advice on cutting rape sentences is criticised by victims' groups

Rapists will receive reduced prison sentences if the victim has withdrawn her consent to sex at the last minute, under new guidelines for judges.

Hi-tech hotspot of the North

Teesside's future is digital, as the university helps technology boffins to create cutting-edge businesses. Lucy Hodges reports

Dominic Lawson: A hard-line Marxist distortion of history

It was the British Empire so loathed by Ken Loach that helped to preserve the freedoms he enjoys today

I reacted far too quickly, admits cup final referee

The referee for Wednesday night's European Cup final, Terje Hauge, has admitted that he may have acted too hastily in sending off the Arsenal goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, in the 18th minute of the game.

Britons in revolt against 'hideous' Tescos

The backlash has begun. Shares in Tesco, the nation's most popular supermarket, rose to a record high last week. But in towns and cities around the country the once unstoppable chain is meeting a campaign of opposition which claims that high streets have been ruined by an invasion of the brash new Tesco Express convenience stores.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there