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Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

Leading Article: Not so tongue-tied after all

It is refreshing today to be able to report some good news about language provision in state secondary schools after seven lean years. The decline in the take-up of languages has been halted and schools are offering pupils a much broader range of options.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/09/eat-goodbye-mr.html" target="_blank">Eat: Goodbye Mr. Basil</a>

He was there for the toaster, again and again. There for the remote control. For the alarm clock

Rabbit with saffron, basil, cucumber and tomatoes

Serves 6

Spaghetti with sardines, chilli and tomatoes

Serves 4

Salmon escalope with tomatoes and basil

Serves 4

Ever wondered what it would be like to dine at Fawlty Towers?

You can mention the war if you like, but just don't ask for more butter. Because if you do, your waiter, Manuel, will find an unsuspecting female diner and proceed to head-butt her. Welcome to Faulty Towers: the Dining Experience – a real-life night with Basil, his wife Sybil and the English-mangling Spanish waiter who are abusing audiences at the Edinburgh Festival.

Rich pickings: Skye Gyngell's basil recipes

Did you know that there are over 40 varieties of this flavoursome herb? As British basil bursts into season, Skye Gyngell shows how to get the best out of your bunch

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Sixth Season (DVD)

Warner Having masterminded seven series of 'Seinfeld' and six seasons of his own starring vehicle, Larry David has a strong claim to be the greatest sitcom creator in TV history.

Gardening: Herb your enthusiasm

Basil is now one of the country&rsquo;s most popular herbs, yet it&rsquo;s notoriously difficult to grow in our unpredictable climate. Anna Pavord offers a few pointers

Basil Brush: Down with battery hens &ndash; so dashed hard to get at

The nation's favourite fox has been in hot water. In a programme on CBBC, a Gypsy woman was seen trying to sell him heather and pegs, giving rise to a complaint that he was behaving in a racist manner. Here the IoS imagines how Basil might respond.

Boardroom crisis rocks home of Basil Brush, Rupert Bear and Lassie

On screen, they inhabited idyllic worlds where laughter and fun with friends was never far away. But the perfect lives of children's favourites Rupert Bear, Postman Pat and Basil Brush are under threat, for the company that owns them is in crisis.

Miles Kington: The downward spiral of a downward spiral

I have never worked out how it was possible to hijack an aeroplane with a corkscrew

Basil Hume: the Monk Cardinal By Anthony Howard

A warrior monk who loved a good fight
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
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Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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A shot in the dark

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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

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His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
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Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week