News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

There is still a risk of flooding from swollen rivers in southern England

Defra concedes flood defence figures were inaccurate: Spending falls from £2.37bn to £2.34bn under the Coalition despite repeated claims to the contrary

Environment Secretary and Prime Minister accused of misleading Parliament and the public

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: David Cameron’s liaisons are so different to François Hollande’s

It’s fair to assume that David Cameron’s appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee was not the most watched public questioning of a European leader this afternoon. Or, for the man in question, the most gruelling. 

Construction workers building new homes at a housing development in Filton, Bristol

Housing holds key to success at next election, says Labour

Jobs and homes can be created by initiative to encourage small firms, claims shadow minister

Japan's homeless drafted in to help with Fukushima nuclear clear-up

Japan’s homeless are being recruited to clean up at the now defunct radioactive Fukushima nuclear power plant.

El Salvador begins evacuation after Chaparrastique volcano erupts for the first time in 37 years

El Salvador issues yellow alert as evacuation begins in San Miguel

Yeo is said to be

Conservative party 'refuses to re-adopt Tim Yeo' as candidate

Tory MP Tim Yeo is battling to save his political career after his local party apparently refused to re-instate him as its candidate for the next general election.

Only 107,950 homes were constructed in 2012-13

'Disaster' as UK house-building rate falls away

Less than half the amount of new houses needed to meet demand were built in the last year

The 'toxic monster' is coming! Texas-sized floating island containing one million tonnes of junk from Japan tsunami drifting towards US

The most concentrated stretch of rubbish- dubbed the 'toxic monster' - is currently sitting between Hawaii and California

Social Democrat (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Minimum wage may be forced on Angela Merkel to build 'grand coalition'

German leader’s potential coalition partners seek concessions before forming a government

South Africa is home to almost all Africa’s rhinos

Number of rhinos killed by poachers hits new high

The number of rhinos killed by poachers has hit a new record, raising worries of a downward population spiral in a country that is home to almost all of Africa’s rhinos.

Some commentators have suggested that Merkel might be unable to find a coalition partner and be forced to call fresh elections

Angela Merkel isolated as potential allies demand end to austerity

The German leader’s party finds itself without options after romping home in the polls

Oceane Scharre, 10, elected Mini Miss France 2011 (left) and Miss France 2011 Mathilde Florin. France's Senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for children under 16, in an effort to protect children, especially girls from being sexualized too early.

France moves to ban 'hyper-sexualised' beauty pageants for children younger than 16

Organisers of contests could face up to two years in jail or a fine of €30,000

Protests over Bangladesh power plant near tiger reserve

The Bangladesh government is pressing ahead with the construction of a £1m coal-based power plant 14 kilometres from the world’s largest mangrove forest.

The Costa Concordia, which hit rocks off the shore of Giglio in January 2012

Costa Concordia: Italy prepares to salvage a maritime disaster

The fraught international operation to right the capsized ‘Costa Concordia’ begins tomorrow, and tensions are high

Nick Boles, whose brother works for a turbine manufacturer

Planning minister, Nick Boles, loses control of wind farm policy as his brother works for turbine manufacturer

The planning minister has lost powers over wind farm policy because his brother works for a major turbine manufacturer, it has been disclosed.

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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 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate