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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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker