News Debris washed up by flood water in Moorland, where 40 square miles of the Somerset Levels remain underwater

Officials were told 12 months ago that rivers posed a serious risk but failed to take any action

Media: What can I do to make you go digital?

Digital TV will never work if it is minority entertainment. So how does the BBC get the unconverted viewer to switch on?

Rugby League: Joynt sets Saints on quick route to Grand Final

St Helens 38 Leeds 14

Coming out for the count

Michael Portillo's record on gay rights is both appalling and hypocritical. His `confession' suggests this may not change; He has, in effect, defined himself as bisexual, without using the word. Are the Tories ready for their first openly bisexual leader?

Square's route to democracy

THE PUBLIC is to be asked what should occupy the empty plinth in the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square. A group set up by Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and the Arts, to consider the public's suggestions will be chaired by Sir John Mortimer, a playwright and Labour Party supporter.

Dragons, thistles and a five-star pay phone

The Man Who Pays His Way

Rugby League: Long's style spurs Saints

Warrington Wolves 12 St Helens 35

BBC under fire over digital `tax'

A NEW digital television licence fee of pounds 1.99 a month, nearly pounds 24 a year, was recommended yesterday by a government-appointed panel of experts, provoking the biggest internal storm in British broadcasting for decades.

Soccer told to pay for school pitches or lose TV rights

PREMIER LEAGUE football clubs are to be ordered by the Government to give more money for school playing fields and park pitches in return for retaining the right to negotiate television deals collectively.

Rugby League: Hanley's winning return

Leeds Rhinos 12 St Helens 28

Politics - Culture: Lottery to aid socially deprived

LOTTERY MONEY will help set up better creative and sports facilities in poor communities to fight social exclusion, Chris Smith will announce today.

BOOKS: The printed book will conquer all

WAYS WITH WORDS LITERATURE FESTIVAL IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

ROWING: Smith justifies coach's faith

HENLEY BURST into bloom in the sunshine yesterday with a series of cracking races. The Princess Elizabeth Cup for school eights continued the cull of selected crews when St Peter's College, Adelaide put paid to St Joseph's Prep, of the US, by 21/4 lengths in the morning, after Abingdon, the only remaining seeds, had earlier hung on to beat their compatriots Southport, of Queensland, by a bare 1/3 of a length.

Government to dictate to all libraries

THE GOVERNMENT is for the first time to legislate on how many new books libraries should buy and the hours that libraries will be open. Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, will even be advising libraries which books to buy.

Letter: Unfair to Wales

Sir: On 1 April, Chris Smith, the Culture Secretary, announced that the Government would give financial help to national museums and galleries to enable them to admit the public free. Children were to be admitted free in the first year, senior citizens in the second and more people still in the third.

Rugby League: Air's lift for embattled Broncos

AN INJURY-TIME drop goal was decisive at Huddersfield last night, as the London Broncos won their first game since 2 April, writes Dave Hadfield. Glen Air's kick in the 81st minute gave them a 21-20 victory, taking the home side's run of defeats to seven.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
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Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect