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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Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003