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

Sorry, Sir Peter, but things are getting better for theatre

Hall's charge that the Arts Council is provoking the end of many small theatres is scandalous

Poetic Licence: Counting Sheep

Culture Secretary Chris Smith has waded in on the side of One Man And His Dog fans. The row over the BBC's decision to axe the programme after 23 years looks set to escalate this week, after Mr Smith spoke out in support of the programme on Radio Four's Any Questions.

Parliament: No way to treat a dog, say MPs

TELEVISION

Smith defends TV dog show

THE ROW over the BBC's decision to axe One Man and His Dog is set to intensify this week after the Secretary of State for Media, Sport and Culture described the decision as "a big mistake".

Six councils warned their libraries are sub-standard

CHRIS SMITH, the Secretary of State for Culture, has admitted that some libraries are under threat. Yesterday he wrote to 21 local councils demanding that they improve their library services and has threatened six with a full investigation by his department.

Interview: Chris Smith - Just plain old Mr Smith

The Deborah Ross Interview: He likes the odd meal out and costume dramas on telly. He's brilliantly unflashy. Yet he's a national treasure

Letter: Misery bridge

Misery bridge

Licence fee for TV to be pounds 101

BROADCASTING

Leading article: An efficiency drive that misses the point

A MUSEUM director was astonished when he attended a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Arts Minister to find that the only word used as an aim was "efficiency".

pounds 10m takes heat off Royal Opera

A HEFTY Arts Council grant increase for the Royal Opera House is to be announced on Thursday, incensing rival organisations. But it may go some way to persuading financial backers and disillusioned artistic talent that the future of Covent Garden is not so bleak.

Focus: Resisting everything except temptation

In the week of the unveiling of a statue of Oscar Wilde, other events were a reminder that the Naughty Nineties applies as much to London's Soho today as it did 100 years ago

BBC told to get act together

THE BBC defended its role yesterday as executives spelt out their vision for the millennium in a document, "The BBC Beyond 2000", which Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, had asked the corporation to prepare.

Parliament:Questions and Answers

Lords backed

Punters to get a seat on new lottery board

CONSUMERs ARE to be represented on the commission in charge of the National Lottery for the first time, in an attempt to improve public confidence in the running of the draw, writes Rachel Sylvester.

We now go over to ITN for the news at 6.30

ITV WAS given the go-ahead yesterday to abolish its flagship news programme, News at Ten, bringing to an end the bulletin's 31-year history and its status as a national institution.
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?