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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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
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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