Environment The Nathusius’ pipistrelle weighs just 7.6g and is the size of a human thumb

A tiny bat the size of a human thumb has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe – before meeting an untimely end in the Netherlands.

Anti-fracking protests hit headlines during test drilling in Balcombe in August 2013

David Cameron goes 'all out for shale' with tax boost for councils willing to approve projects

Environmentalists accuse Prime Minister of trying to 'bribe' local authorities

The Fisheries minister, George Eustice, is today preparing to defy scientists by demanding higher cod quotas – in the latest instance of the Government going against expert environmental advice

Defiant Fisheries minister calls for increase in cod fishing

George Eustice argues that reducing quotas will result in more fish being discarded – at least until 2016, when a discard ban begins to be applied

The novel cure: Distrust of visionaries

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

Dismay for green lobby as fracking is given the go-ahead

Hefty tax breaks for fracking firms announced by the Chancellor yesterday immediately came under fire from MPs and environmental groups, who warned that they were “unwarranted” and could even be illegal.

Helicopter crash Glasgow: Inquiry into Clutha Vaults accident could take months

An initial bulletin detailing the basic events of the Glasgow pub helicopter crash could well be issued soon by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) team.

Chemring soar as the defence group unveils plans to divest units

The bomb-detector maker Chemring has drawn up plans to sell off non-core units in a move the company hopes will boost both its finances and its flagging share price.

Hill and Dale: The lofty view from Errington

Tales from the Trees: Errington Wood, North Yorks - Take to the high ground for a look back over the millennia

Even before you've consulted the car park signs, you just know this hump-backed wood heaves with history. There's something about its location that speaks of ancient concerns: positioning, clear lines of vision, the importance of higher ground. Then, as my wife dons a pack and I lift my son on to my shoulders, we pass information boards that confirm it. Stone Age man quarried here; by the Bronze Age, it had been re-imagined as a resting spot for chieftains. One look around and you understand why.

Centrica fuels fears that UK is running out of gas

The Government was accused of playing fast and loose with Britain’s energy security last night after Centrica finally lost patience with its refusal to offer subsidies to bolster the country’s gas supplies and pulled out of a deal to build two major new storage projects.

Protesters at Balcombe, Sussex

Balcombe protesters to be evicted as Ed Davey contradicts David Cameron’s claim that fracking boom can bring down energy bills

Six-week protest outside a potential fracking site in West Sussex village dealt a blow as eviction order is served

Closure threat to Ineos plant in Grangemouth

Ineos is considering closing down one of its plants in Scotland because of rising costs and a fall in the production of gas from the North Sea.

Dominic Elliott was assistant to David Hockney (pictured)

David Hockney's assistant died after drinking acid at artist’s Bridlington home

Day of alcohol and drugs ended with fatality as the ill painter slept, inquest hears

Postcard from... Juist

Chloe McCardel ends attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida after being stung by jellyfish

Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel ended her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida after 11 hours in the water when she was stung by a jellyfish.

The Kulluk oil rig near Sitkalidak Island, pictured earlier this year

Climate change threat to North Sea oil and gas output from increasingly intense storms caused by global warming

Bigger waves could damage oil rig platforms and make it harder for staff to do their jobs

Two men charged with endangering an aircraft after Pakistan Airlines flight was diverted over UK

Armed police boarded the flight at Stansted airport after an RAF Typhoon jet was scrambled to escort the Boeing 777

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own