News Drilling equipment at the Cuadrilla exploration drilling site in Balcombe

No fracking will take place at a site in West Sussex which was at the centre of large-scale protests last year, energy company Cuadrilla has told residents.

Photography book of the week: Black Maps - American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, By David Maisel

"These photographs," writes David Maisel, one of a group of landscape photographers dubbed "the New Topographics", "depict the landscape of the American West as the site of human-induced trauma."

Chen Zuqian shows his injuries after the attack. His protest was to highlight the state of China’s rivers, above – one-fifth of which are so polluted the water is too poisonous for human contact

Chinese farmer beaten for daring official to swim in filthy river

Activist attacked by 40-strong mob after bet to highlight pollution in China's waterways

Litvinenko died in November 2006 after he was poisoned with polonium-210 while drinking tea at a meeting

Independent challenges secrecy at inquest into death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko

A state order to withhold sensitive evidence from the inquest into Alexander Litvinenko’s death on national security grounds will be challenged by media organisations including The Independent tomorrow.

Hawkers selling barbecued goods like these lamb kebabs may be a thing of the past if the government goes ahead with the barbecue ban

Controversial move to ban barbecues in Beijing riles Chinese web-users

A controversial measure being considered in order to reduce the dangerous levels of pollution in Beijing has been met with ridicule and indignation online.

Residents look at a heavily polluted river in the town of Zhugao in China's southwest Sichuan province

The £24,000 question: Would you take a dip in China's polluted rivers?

A businessman in China’s wealthy Zhejiang province has dared his environmental protection chief to take a dip in a polluted river in Rui’an city for 200,000 yuan (£24,000), after posting pictures of the rubbish-filled waterway on his microblog.

Staff at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre rub margarine into the feathers to help clean a stricken guillemot covered in pollutant near Taunton

Scientists identify sticky gunk that killed seabirds off south coast

University team says substance was additive used in lubricants

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang says that tackling pollution would be a
long-term process

China plans emergency measures to control worsening air pollution

Choking smog blamed on pursuit of economic growth

Floods paralyse Indonesian capital of Jakarta

Indonesia's army deployed rubber boats in the capital's business district today to rescue people trapped in floods that inundated much of the city of 14 million people. The president was pictured standing in water up to his shins — his trousers rolled up — at the palace waiting for the arrival of Argentina's leader on a state visit.

People told to stay indoors as air pollution in Beijing reaches hazardous levels

Air pollution levels in China's notoriously dirty capital were at dangerous levels today, with cloudy skies blocking out visibility and warnings issued for people to remain indoors.

Editorial: The logic of 20mph speed limits

That more than a third of local authorities have either already instituted a 20mph speed limit on some residential roads, or have plans to do so, can only be applauded. And with public support for more stringent restrictions in built-up areas now running at more than 60 per cent, as reported by this newspaper this week, it can only be hoped that 20mph will soon become the new normal.

Street life: a labourer with infant and shovel in New Delhi

A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi, By Aman Sethi

A searingly honest account of India's underclass of urban labourers and how they survive

Deutsche Bank offices raided in carbon tax investigation

Leading executives at Deutsche Bank have been drawn into a carbon permits tax investigation after raids on the Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt offices of Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bank chiefs in carbon permits tax probe

Leading executives at Deutsche Bank have been drawn into a carbon permits tax investigation after raids on the Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt offices of Germany's biggest lender.

Margaret Street Gallery presents Thursdays By The Sea - photographs by Marcus Doyle

Photography: Excuse me, please – is this seat taken?

This haunting image by photographer Marcus Doyle is taken from his "Salton Sea" series, which forms part of his Thursday by the Sea exhibition, opening at London's Margaret Street Gallery this Tuesday.

Other people's music is the soundtrack to my commute

iPod sound pollution is on the rise, and it's not dodgy headphones that cause it, but people who don't give a damn about others

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'