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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
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'