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.

Editorial: A defence of the Union

It is, as the Prime Minister noted yesterday, an agreement which paves the way for the "biggest question of all". After years of nationalist agitation, and months of political hardball over the mechanics of a ballot, a referendum on Scottish independence will now be held in the autumn of 2014. Given the public appetite for a vote, it can only be welcome that the formal process has finally begun. But to support the right to choose is not necessarily to support all choices, and it is this newspaper's view that Scotland's interests remain firmly with the Union.

The borrowing figures are a further blow to the Chancellor George Osborne

Another disastrous month - and George Osborne is forced to cut deeper

Public sector finances suffered from a 20 per cent fall in corporation tax receipts from business while public spending rose by 5 per cent, fuelled by higher benefit payments

Iran tensions push up oil price

Fears of supply crunch and hopes of stimulus combine to send up price of barrel of crude

Chinese oil giant agrees £10bn deal for Canada's Nexen

Cnooc has agreed to buy the Canadian oil producer Nexen for $15.1bn (£9.7bn), in a deal that could make the Chinese oil giant the operator of the giant Buzzard field in the North Sea.

How Whitby fell victim to potash fertiliser fury

Deep beneath the cherished North York Moors lies a valuable mineral that is dividing local people

Britain battered by gale force winds and heavy downpours as June storm bombards country

Weather warnings issued by the Met Office as summer storm hits the UK

Diamond Jubilee Thames flotilla to sail into history

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations include the sailing of a huge flotilla along the River Thames on Sunday afternoon, with more than 1,000 boats breasting the waves.

Summer set to arrive in Britain as temperatures rise

Sun worshippers will finally be able to strip off their winter woollies and bask in some warming rays after weeks of grey skies and rain.

Total begins bid to 'kill' gas leak on North Sea oil platform

An operation to stop a gas leak on a North Sea oil platform has got under way.

Helicopter that ditched in North Sea 'had faulty gearbox'

A helicopter which ditched in the North Sea last week while carrying 12 passengers and two crew members suffered a fault in its gearbox, an early report suggests.

North Sea plunge helicopter recovered

A helicopter which ditched in the North Sea has been returned to shore.

Reprieve as dry weekend predicted

Flood-hit areas of Britain can expect a reprieve from recent heavy downpours after forecasters predicted a dry weekend for most of the country.

Helicopter ditches in the North Sea near Aberdeen

All of the passengers and crew from a helicopter that ditched in the North Sea have arrived safely back on land after air and sea rescues.

Oil giant BP sees fall in profits to £2.95bn

Oil giant BP revealed a dip in profits today as its commitment to sell off billions of pounds of assets in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico disaster hit production.

Green energy vital, says David Cameron

David Cameron today backed the growth of renewable energy as “vital” to the UK's future - but warned green power sources had to be financially sustainable.

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall