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.

View of Berwick town from across the river

A foot in two nations along the Tweed

Criss-cross between England and Scotland on this scenic Northumberland walk, says Mark Rowe

Rig gas leak plans 'progressing'

There has been "significant progress" towards plans to stop a gas leak on an offshore platform, the operator has said.

What Doesn’t Kill Us, Stephen Joseph shares evidence collected over decades to show that, far from ruining lives, traumatic episodes – from divorce to natural disaster – can indeed make us stronger

What doesn't kill us...

Traumatic experiences change us for ever. But for some survivors they bring an unexpected relish for life. Simon Usborne reports

After the storm: Survivors of even the most horrifying events often say they’ve changed for the better

What doesn’t kill us: We shall overcome

Traumatic experiences change us for ever. But for some survivors they also bring strength – and an unexpected relish for life

BP sells £250m North Sea assets

BP sold assets in the North Sea today in a £251.7 million deal but insisted it is still committed to developing around the UK.

British Summer Time will kick off this weekend with the first summery weather of the year

Summer's officially here (and so's the sun)

British Summer Time kicks off this weekend with the first summery weather of the year, with bright sunshine and temperatures in some places expected to reach 21 or even 22C.

UK expected to be warmer than Spain, Italy and Greece this weekend

The official arrival of British Summer Time will this year be heralded not only by lost sleep but also by soaring temperatures as the unseasonably good weather looks set to continue into next week.

Exploration company strikes oil off County Cork

An exploration company has struck oil and discovered the first commercial well off the Irish coast.

A Death in the Family, By Karl Ove Knausgaard, trans. Don Bartlett

I first heard about Karl Ove Knausgaard's six torrential volumes of autobiographical fiction in the cosy book-lined cabin where Per Petterson writes, just next to his farmhouse in eastern Norway. The author of Out Stealing Horses – a much less prolix kind of writer – gestured to a line of matching spines and told me with admiration about the 3,000-page deluge of confessional writing that had set the country talking and arguing after the first episode appeared in 2009. As if Knausgaard's sustained assault on every conventional divide between the novel and memoir were not enough, he had called his epic sequence "My Struggle". In Norwegian, that's Min Kamp. You can see that Karl Ove does not exactly shun controversy.

Hannah Miley revels in a second national title in four days after setting the fastest time of the year in the 200m individual medley

Swimming: Miley adds to medley of medal hopes

For the second time in four nights Hannah Miley stood on top of a podium in the venue for July's Olympics and, after she produced the fastest swim of the year in the 200 metres individual medley, it only added weight to the burgeoning expectation that the 22-year-old Scot will be back there come Games time.

Britain's North Sea rig workers are in the money as oil pay gushes up

Workers in the UK oil and gas industry enjoy some of the highest wages paid by the sector across the world.

Caroline Lucas: A three-point plan that would fit the bill

It is estimated that more than five million people in the UK are facing fuel poverty. Average annual household bills for gas and electricity exceed £1,200, and uSwitch has predicted that by 2020 this could rise to £3,202. Yet energy companies' profit margins go up and up. Ofgem warned last October that profits on dual fuel deals had risen from £15 per household to £125 – a rise of 733 per cent.

Martin Hickman: Unbridled greed of Big Six cannot be tolerated in hard times

The Big Six exert a far tighter stranglehold on energy than their counterparts in other industries with large calls on household budgets. The results of this oligopoly are over-the-top prices, confusing bills and poor customer service.

Shetland oil drilling contract agreed

Oil giant BP has announced a multimillion-pound contract with a specialist offshore engineering firm for the second phase of a massive project off the Shetland Islands.

P&O receives £150m cross-Channel ferry

P&O Ferries has taken delivery of a new £150 million ship set for service in one of the world's busiest waterways.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game