News

Attempt to tidy up following prank from local children ends in disaster

Leading article: Mixed fortunes

Never mind Derren Brown and his magical lottery predictions. Consider instead the clairvoyant Sarah Montague. The Today presenter found herself without her notes when she was due to read out the day's weather forecast live on Radio 4 yesterday morning.

Leading article: A-levels have served their purpose - let's rethink them

There is a growing mismatch between the exams and society's needs

Soft-boiled eggs

Serves 1

Leading article: It's an ill wind...

Given that the great British barbecue is usually a washout – a provocation to the gods to be as vicious as possible – Met Office predictions that we were in for "a barbecue summer" may have been more accurate than people give credit for.

Leading article: Summertime blues

No barbecues were in sight in the Edgbaston area yesterday for the beginning of the third Ashes Test match. Nor, we have noticed, has there been much al fresco dining throughout Britain this summer, despite the optimistic forecasts for a "barbecue summer" from the Meteorological Office a few months ago. Blame the jet stream, say the forecasters. It has, apparently, become "stuck" above us, locking in a low pressure system and bringing the rain down in torrents on our collective cookout.

Why good weather is hard to predict

Forecasters warned today of the pitfalls of predicting the weather a long way in advance after the British summer has so far failed to live up to expectations.

For barbecue summer, read wellies washout

The Met Office is today telling us what every Briton knows: it was wrong to raise summertime hopes.

Sounds of the summer

The barbecue's lit, the drinks are on ice and the living is easy... so why not lie back and let the IoS critics take care of the music with their favourite 50 tracks to make your holidays go with a swing.

Click on the image to lauch our guide.

Boy, 14, drowns in Thai swimming pool

A British teenager died at a water park in Thailand after getting sucked into the pool's pump system.

Man jailed for life after 'savage' attack on partner

A man was jailed for life today for killing his partner in a jealous rage.

Summer sizzler: win a Weber barbeque

For your chance to win a brand new barbie this summer just answer this simple question...

Student summer fashion for the girls

The end-of-year parties, barbeques and balls are coming up and if you're worried that your budget will leave you looking like the penniless student you are, fear not, here are 10 must-have items for the summer...all for under £35.

The Insider: Time to smoke out some perfect summer cooking

We all love a good barbie, but when the only thing that's certain about a British summer is the uncertainty of the weather, you might think twice before investing in an expensive barbecue. But, if the idea of a cheap one reminds you of hours spent waiting for food to cook and ending up with charred remains at the end of it all, then think again. The good news is that you don't have to spend much to get a decent barbecue that will cook food quickly and efficiently.

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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...