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.

Hint of compromise on North Sea oil tax

The Government has given the first signs of rowing back on plans to hike taxes on North Sea oil and gas that are causing a furore in the industry.

David Prosser: The Chancellor's tale of two windfall taxes

Outlook Mr Osborne is part of a Government that professes itself to be determinedly pro-business, but it is striking that the Coalition hascomprehensively outdone the Labour administration that took office in 1997 when it comes to raising tax from corporations.

Small Talk: North Sea oil groups count the cost of the fuel duty giveaway

The Chancellor may have pleased motorists with the 1p cut to fuel duty last Wednesday and plans to put off the upcoming 4p rise this week. But he irked the oil industry, which cried foul after he unveiled plans to make it pay for reliefs elsewhere.

David Prosser: The danger of asking richer industries to finance the recovery

Without top-level growth, all the enterprise zones in the world will be to no avail

Will Maclean: Collected Works 1970-2010, The Fleming Collection, London

When we think of artists who make sealed, glazed boxes filled with objects, we immediately conjure up the dizzyingly delightful worlds-within-worlds of Joseph Cornell. Will Maclean, who also makes wooden box constructions, lives in an entirely different country of the mind. There is no shrieky surrealist dancing on display here. There are no mirrorings, and there is no cheeky visual play. In fact, there is an air of profound melancholy about Maclean's fabrications. A spume from off the North Sea seems to have blown up from nowhere. It is nothing to do with the fact that all except the earliest almost entirely lack vibrant colour, and that they are arranged around the walls of this gallery in a way that rather reminds you of a funeral procession. That is just a part of it. It is also about the fact that this artist, the son of a harbour master from Inverness, is memorialising, with great and impassioned sorrow, that which is quietly passing away: the Gaelic maritime culture of the Highlands and the Islands. Like his late friend, the Gaelic poet Sorley Maclean, he tends to strike a note of sustained lamentation.

British Gas profits soar to record high of £742m

Centrica points to even faster growth in US and upstream arms

BP plans to sell several UK assets

Oil giant BP today revealed plans to sell several assets in the UK, including the biggest onshore oil field in Western Europe.

Life-saving beam that the locals refuse to let die

A Slice of Britain: When technology threatened Happisburgh's lighthouse with obsolescence, villagers took their case to Parliament to keep the light burning

Joint venture to lay North Sea cable

Five energy companies have joined forces to plan a power cable of between 1,200 and 2,000 megawatts to connect Scotland and Norway by 2020.

Carbon dioxide capture plans could add £60bn to UK coffers

EU considers £1bn fund to set up plants to use greenhouse gas to help recover North Sea oil

MPs say keep drilling despite risk from oil spill

Britain lacks the ability to deal with a large-scale North Sea oil spill in bad weather conditions but nonetheless should allow oil companies to continue deep water drilling off the coast, MPs will say today.

David Prosser: Britain cannot afford to turn its back on deepwater drilling

Outlook In the end, of course, it is all about the money. The Energy and Climate Change Committee's announcement today that a moratorium on deep-water drilling off the coast of the UK should not be imposed does not imply there is no risk of the sort of disaster seen in the Gulf of Mexico last summer. Whatever your views about the safety record of oil and gas explorers, that risk can never be entirely discounted. No, this is a decision based on a head-headed economic view: that such is the demand for oil and the cost of switching to less risky alternative sources of energy, deepwater drilling needs to continue.

Leading article: Cold comfort

Icebergs in the North Sea. Panic stations! What next? A polar bear "threat" to Skegness? In reality, there are lumps of ice in the North Sea, which is hardly surprising, given the recent cold snap. Even salt water freezes eventually.

Album: Dan Haywood's New Hawks, DHNH (Timbreland)

Dan Haywood is a PSOW (poet/singer/ornithologist/whatever) and this epic 32-song album arises from the labour of slogging around rural Scotland, checking out the birds and meditating on the strangeness of life.

Steve Connor: Atlantic winds normally save us. Not this time

Britain's famously changeable maritime weather is dominated by the mainly westerly winds that come from the North Atlantic, whose water acts as a moderating influence over the extremes of summer heat and winter cold.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
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
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
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
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
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