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.

Whatever you do, don't mention the war. Oops!

Prince Harry joins a long list of miscreants responsible for anti-Germanic gaffes and other xenophobic clichés

Storm in a pesto jar: Italian producers at odds with scientists over cancer scare

A bitter row has broken out in Italy over the alleged toxicity of one of the nation's favourite foods: pesto. The Genovese sauce prepared for centuries in Ligurian kitchens by grinding together fresh young basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil contains a carcinogenic ingredient, a leading Italian scientist warns. And the tastier the pesto, the greater the danger.

Cricket legend D'Oliveira says he was 'set up' by England tour selectors

One of the finest all-rounders to play cricket for England, Basil D'Oliveira, has broken years of silence by saying that he was "set up" by the sport's authorities who chose not to pick him to tour his native South Africa during the years of apartheid.

Mosaic by Michael Holroyd

Bogged down in the family plot

Le Roi Malgré Lui, Grange Park Opera, Winchester

The plot? Don't even ask...

Goodbye Gilbert Harding, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

A lawless heart

Justice and Truth: The Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven, by Patrick Victory

A reminder of the need for vigilance against injustice

Letter: Hedge funding

Sir: In the same week as the Government claims to be redirecting money to help the countryside, all arable farmers have been sent a Ministry of Agriculture booklet (Arable Area Payments Scheme, Part I) stating that farmers will be penalised if a field boundary, a hedge or ditch, is more than two metres in width.

Country & Garden: Herbs No 2 Basil

KRISHNA, SO the story goes, fell in love with a nymph, Tulasi, and kept her by turning her into a basil plant. For ever after that, only delicate basil sprigs were used to clean Hindu temples. In Greece, although the plant was respected enough to be called the king's plant (basileus means king), basil was linked to misfortune and wasn't expected to flourish unless it had been properly abused at the time of sowing. Boccaccio, noticing the crinkle-haired look of a small-leaved basil plant (ocymum minimum), cooked up the gruesome tale - famously appropriated by Keats - of Isabella and the basil bush, which gives away the secret of where her dead lover's head is buried.

Books: Sporting secrets of the stars

Basil Street Blues: A Family Story by Michael Holroyd Little, Brown pounds 17.50
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific