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.

The spiral around the red giant R Sculptoris is probably caused by a hidden companion star

Highest telescope reveals wonders of the Universe

A stunning image of a spiral shell of cosmic dust and gas around a red giant star was captured by astronomers using the world's highest terrestrial telescope.

Pollution erosion at St Paul's Cathedral in record 300-year low

Industrial decline and cleaner energy production have led to pollution erosion at St Paul's Cathedral being at a 300-year low.

Facing disaster: the little things that rule the world

A startling 20 per cent of world's invertebrates, including insects and worms, are now endangered

Wild Hope: on the Front Lines of Conservation Success, By Andrew Balmford

Site by site, species by species, rescuers are working to bring an injured planet back from the brink

Many species of the poison dart frog are critically endangered

Rainforest wildlife havens on brink of collapse

Outside destruction is threatening lush reserves designed to protect world's richest biodiversity

'Moderate pollution' in London as Games begin

London is facing moderate air pollution as the Olympics kick off, following several days of hot sunny weather.

Dirty old town: exercise early or very late to avoid pollution, say experts

Beat the smog

There's nothing sweeter than the smug feeling that you're getting the better of the rat race. While your fellow commuters struggle in on the bus, you sail by on your bike or jog along overtaking them at every traffic jam on your way to work. But what if instead of doing your body a favour, you're really exposing it to dangerous air pollution?

Leading article: In praise of the green movement

Fifty years ago today, on 16 June 1962, The New Yorker magazine began a serialisation of Silent Spring, and the modern environmental movement began.

Reef & Rainforest's tour promsies to reveal some of Borneo's most impressive wildlife, such as orang-utans and proboscis monkeys

Good work so far, but we're not seeing the wood for the trees

If you've ever seen large-scale deforestation, especially of the rainforest, and seen it close up when it's just happened, you feel you're in the aftermath of an armoured battle. The scale of the destruction stuns you: cleared ground which seems to be everywhere smoking, burning tree stumps flickering like huge candles. It feels as if some giant beast has torn off a great lump of the landscape and savagely consumed it, leaving bits of it bleeding behind.

A Greenpeace picture shows the deforestation at the Belo Monte Dam project, near Altamira, Brazil

The green movement at 50: Mission unaccomplished

In the fourth part of our series marking 50 years of the green movement, Michael McCarthy looks at the areas where environmental activism has failed

Child leukaemia cases linked to gamma rays

Natural gamma rays may be responsible for around 40 cases of childhood leukaemia in the UK each year, research suggests.

Poll results: Building new wind farms is an acceptable price to pay for greener energy in the future

Build more turbines: poll shows public wants wind farms

George Osborne hopes to cut wind turbine subsidies because his MPs fear their constituents oppose them. But new polling proves their antipathy is hot air

Scrapped: Gramacho's army of catadores will be out of a job when it closes

Rio shuts down its trash mountain

More than 1,700 'garbage-pickers' will lose livelihoods

Dom Joly: Eurovision's host likes things puny or phoney. Perfect

I didn't watch The Eurovision Song Contest. Actually, I'm not sure I've ever seen it, but I'm certain that it's not for me. For once, I agree with the government of Iran when it berated its little neighbour, Azerbaijan, for hosting this most peculiar of musical institutions. I did catch an airing of the Engelbert Humperdinck video, and that was enough to put me right off my breakfast. If the Iranians hear it, then I'm pretty sure they will invade immediately. In the subsequent interview, The Hump was being harassed by the loathsome Jedward, but he put up with them in a remarkably patient manner. As if the lobotomy twins weren't enough, The Hump was then asked to comment on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. He played the "I'm only a lowly singer" card: he had been asked to come and sing a song and that's what he was going to do. The interviewer didn't even bother to question Jedward on their political views. As terrible as the regime's behaviour might be, I for one would turn a blind eye if Jedward were to be detained without trial for a prolonged period of time after their performance was over.

Street lighting is changing insect ecosystems, study claims

Street lighting is changing insect ecosystems in towns and cities, a study has found.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness