Britons need to reduce dramatically the amount of sugar they eat, according to a new report from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). The government recommends that 10 per cent of calories ought to come from sugar, but the SACN suggests this should be halved to address rising obesity.

A quarter of adults in the UK are thought to be obese, up from just 15 per cent in 1980. Read more

Isis in Iraq interactive map

The offensive of insurgent groups led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as Isis) has taken Iraq to the brink of a sectarian civil war. Iraq’s army buckled under the advance last week, allowing Sunni militants to over-run major towns and cities, including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

While Isis aims to wipe away post-colonial borders to create an Islamic state across much of Syria and Iraq, it joined with other Sunni insurgent groups opposed to the Shia government in Baghdad. With Kurds in northern Iraq also seeing an opportunity to consolidate greater autonomy, the crisis theatens Iraq’s very existence. Read more

In September, the Scottish people will vote in a referendum that could see the country break away from the rest of the UK.

Using polling data collated by the UK Polling Report and What Scotland Thinks, we have analysed all polls conducted in the past year that used the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Read more

The 2013 British Social Attitude survey, released today, mainly focuses on questions of national identity and alongside asking everyone about questions on immigration and Britishness, asks Scots specifically a set of questions about their attitudes to nationhood and independence. Read more

Kate Allen

The price of oil is at its most stable for decades, as rising US production helps offset supply disruptions such as the Arab Spring, according to research by BP that was released today.

The petroleum giant’s annual statistical review contains a wealth of information about many aspects of the global energy market. Read more

by Henry Foy, ‎Automotive Correspondent

Henry Ford, the grandfather of the car industry and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, its current saviour (or enfant terrible depending on your point of view and stockholding) had similar views on spreading warm and fuzzy love around with rivals.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself,” Ford once said. “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business,” another Ford pronouncement, is certainly a view shared by Musk – who has said making electric cars successful is more important to him than making his company successful.

But Ford would be turning in his Detroit grave at Musk’s latest decision to make all of Tesla’s patents availble, free of cost, to its rivals.

Ford — who ironically broke the famous Selden patent monopoly that allowed the US car industry to get off its feet — loved patents. He racked up more than 150, and liked to be in control of every aspect of his cars. That control has percolated throughout the car industry since, as rivals look to corner emerging technologies.

But what exactly is in the box of secrets that Musk has opened to the world — and to his competitors? Read more