Arrests 'big step' in chimp trade battle

Image caption This baby chimp, Nemley junior, was rescued in a police operation in Abidjan

A series of dramatic arrests of notorious wildlife traffickers is being hailed as "one big step" against the illegal trade in baby chimpanzees.

Last weekend one of the most prolific animal dealers in West Africa was found and detained in Guinea.

Prior to the arrest, he had been on the run for four years.

This followed the arrest last month of the dealer's father who was regarded as the key figure in a vast smuggling network spanning the region.

And only a few months ago a year-long BBC News investigation led to the arrests of two traffickers, Ibrahima Traore and his uncle Mohamed, in neighbouring Ivory Coast.

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Is there a way to tackle air pollution?

Logan Eddy
Image caption Logan Eddy helped to test a pollution monitor

The search for solutions to the threat of polluted air is generating ideas that range from the modest to the radical to the bizarre.

A London primary school may issue face-masks to its pupils. The council in Cornwall may take the extreme step of moving people out of houses beside the busiest roads.

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Our changing attitudes to chimpanzees

The feeding of chimpanzees from Monkey Island, a celebrated colony of former research lab captives on an atoll deep in the jungle of southern Liberia Image copyright ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images

The BBC's revelations about the illegal trade in baby chimpanzees triggered an outpouring of emotion on social media about the cruelty suffered by these adorable animals

And this raises questions about how our attitudes to our closest relations in the natural world have changed.

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UK nuclear fusion lab faces uncertain future

Jet, Culham Image copyright CCFE
Image caption JET holds the record for the longest sustained nuclear fusion reaction

A question mark hangs over a world-leading laboratory that has pioneered research into fusion for nearly 40 years.

The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy near Oxford is largely funded by the EU and dozens of its scientists come from outside the UK.

Read full article UK nuclear fusion lab faces uncertain future

Will Paris deal tackle climate change?

Open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a smoking power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany. Image copyright AP

Only seven years ago, the very idea that an international climate agreement would come into force today looked hopeless.

In 2009, world leaders met in Copenhagen but got nowhere.

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Flights probe jet stream role in floods

Image caption One of the instruments clusters hangs beneath a wing on the FAAM plane

A major international effort is under way to research one of the greatest unknowns in weather forecasting - the influence of the jet stream.

For the first time, a fleet of drones and planes is being deployed from the United States, Iceland and Britain to investigate the flow of air crossing the Atlantic.

Read full article Flights probe jet stream role in floods

Cheetah is now 'running for its very survival'

Media captionEndangered species like the cheetah are being used as pets, as David Shukman reports

Pitiful scenes of cheetah cubs lying emaciated and bewildered highlight one of the cruellest but least-publicised examples of illegal wildlife trafficking.

Baby cheetahs are so prized as exotic pets that entire litters are seized from their mothers when they may only be four to six weeks old.

Read full article Cheetah is now 'running for its very survival'

Pollution particles 'get into brain'


Tiny particles of pollution have been discovered inside samples of brain tissue, according to new research.

Suspected of toxicity, the particles of iron oxide could conceivably contribute to diseases like Alzheimer's - though evidence for this is lacking.

Read full article Pollution particles 'get into brain'

Global warming and the race for the White House

A power station on Ohio River

Two starkly different visions of global warming are offered by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their race for the White House.

The Democratic Party contender says she believes in the science of climate change and plans to see America become a "clean energy superpower" - installing half-a-billion solar panels by the end of her first term.

Read full article Global warming and the race for the White House

Watching Tim Peake return to Earth

Tim Peake Image copyright Stephane Corvaja
Image caption A cheerful Tim Peake was transferred by battered helicopter, after landing in a remote area

Witnessing Tim Peake's descent through the clouds towards the arid emptiness of the Kazakh steppe must rank as one of the highlights of any reporter's career.

At first, we had no idea if we were in the right place but then the parachute appeared as a miniature white blob in the sky as our helicopter circled the landing zone - one of a fleet involved in recovering the spacecraft.

Read full article Watching Tim Peake return to Earth