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.

Basil in Blunderland

Parents should take their children to church says Cardinal Hume, who is looking forward to retirement. Clare Garner talked to him

Letter: Embarrassing humour

PAUL McCANN asks (17 February): "Fresh from taking the bad behaviour from Men Behaving Badly . . . whatever will the Americans do to Basil and Sybil?"

They took the drink away from Fitz, the fags away from Patsy and stopped the men behaving badly. So whatever will the Americans do to Basil and Sybil?

BASIL would be livid. Fresh from taking the bad behaviour from Men Behaving Badly, excising the drinking, smoking, drugs and jokes from Absolutely Fabulous, American television has its heart set on ruining another British comedy classic.

Obituary: Karin Jonzen

Karin Lowenadler, sculptor: born London 22 December 1914; married 1944 Basil Jonzen (died 1969; one son; marriage dissolved), 1972 Ake Sucksdorff (deceased); died London 29 January 1998.

Letter: Film invasion

Letter: Film invasion

Basil the punning fox is back from his travels

Basil Brush, the glove puppet fox with the infectious laugh and the unremitting puns, is to be relaunched with his own television show next year.

Obituary: Alfred Roome

Alfred Wallace Roome, film editor: born London 22 December 1908; married Janice Adair (died 1996; one daughter, and one son deceased) died Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire 19 November 1997.

Basil plays hide-and-seek in Blunderland

Cardinal Basil Hume, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, has described his spiritual life as "more a wandering in Blunderland than a resting and relaxing in Wonderland."

Food: Square meals

Portable lunches that pack a punch

CALLS TO THE BAR: Trinity Term 1997

Lincoln's Inn

DANCE Don Quixote The Kirov, Coliseum, London

How wise of the Kirov to open the company's five-week London season with the British premiere of Don Quixote. Superbly danced and often hilariously funny, the ballet is sure to be a huge hit. The scenario, broadly similar to the Baryshnikov and Nureyev productions, is essentially the tale of Kitri, the innkeeper's daughter, who wishes to marry Basil, the barber, despite her father's ambitions. The Don, played with melancholy grandeur by Vladimir Ponomarev, wanders in and out of the action providing a diversion when the lovers need to escape, and helping to cement their union at the ballet's close.

Rugby League: English clubs taking a battering

The credibility of the World Club Championship came under fire yesterday as English clubs were again outclassed. Scores of 50-plus are not remarkable, they have become expected as the Australian and New Zealand sides demonstrate their superiority.

Purple reigns

Add basil to your tomato salad - and, hey pesto!

Letter: Abortion can be a loving solution

Sir: Cardinal Basil Hume is right to point out that many of our economic and social problems have a moral dimension. A shared sense of mutual responsibility, respect for (all) life, and a stable and caring home environment for children are goals we can all agree on.

Racing news

The racehorses formerly known as Desert Boy and Missile - useful performers for Peter Chapple-Hyam and Willie Haggas in the 1996 British Flat season, now racing in Hong Kong under the names of Oriental Express and Victory Star respectively - led home the field in the Group One Hong Kong Derby (1m 1f) at Sha Tin yesterday. Oriental Express, a 2.3-1 chance trained by Ivan Allan and ridden by Basil Marcus, won by 11/4 lengths from Victory Star, trained by David Oughton and ridden by Mick Kinane. Philip Robinson was a short-head back in third on Indigenous, while Richard Quinn, riding Citiluck, was a further two short-heads adrift in fifth. Kevin Darley's mount, We Know When, finished 12th of the 13 runners.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home