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.

Seismic survey doubles estimate for Xcite's Bentley field

The prospect of a resurgence in Britain's long-declining North Sea oil industry received a boost today when the explorer Xcite Energy revealed that its giant Bentley oil field held 134 million barrels more than previously thought – worth about $14bn (£9bn) at current prices.

A council gritter spreads grit on roads

Britain braces for another icy blast as snow sweeps in again

Amber 'be prepared' warnings for snow have been issued by the Met Office for many parts of Scotland

Billy Bragg

Folk music roots honour for Billy Bragg at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Billy Bragg is to be honoured at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for his contribution to traditional music.

Oil leak closes North Sea oil pipeline

A leak on a North Sea platform has forced the closure of a major pipeline system supplying UK oil, it has emerged.

Boyd Tonkin: The new wave of 'Nordic' noir comes from within the UK. Wrap up warm!

British readers won't need a passport, or even chunky knitwear Sofie Grabol-style, to visit the source of the next wave of Nordic noir.

Man found dead in Monifieth as Scotland suffers freezing conditions

An elderly man has been found dead by his partner close to a school in freezing conditions.

North Sea crash helicopter suffered gearbox failure

A helicopter carrying 19 people was forced to ditch in the North Sea due to a gearbox failure, according to an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report.

Clegg under fire after heavy losses

A former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader has criticised Nick Clegg in the aftermath of heavy losses at the local government elections.

Snow brings warm spell to an abrupt end

Sub-zero temperatures sweep Scotland and Northern and central England, but London and the south east look set to escape the snow.

2012 London Olympic Torch

John O'Groats residents angry over 'fake' Olympic Flame visit

The Olympic Torch is scheduled to begin its epic journey across almost every conceivable inch of the country, a little predictably, at Land’s End.

BP strikes deal to drill new oil well

BP will begin a highly controversial campaign of drilling for oil in the deep waters off the Shetland coast within days, after a green light from the Government.

Anger over George Osborne's North Sea bid

Green campaigners have reacted angrily to the Chancellor's backing for fossil fuels, which included £3 billion in support for new drilling in the North Sea.

Fishing skippers fined £720,000

Seventeen skippers behind one of Scotland's biggest fishing scams have been fined a total of £720,000.

Blizzards to batter UK again

Snow and high winds are set to batter parts of the UK over the weekend, forecasters warn.

Deception Island: Here, the remains of a whaling station lie on an active Antarctic volcano

Polar Holidays: Follow in the tracks of Captain Scott

Chris Leadbeater looks at some ice-cool trips to mark the centenary of the explorer's epic journey

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Career Services

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn