News Cuadrilla operated drill site in Balcombe, West Sussex. The company has withdrawn applications for permits to frack in Lancashire

Cuadrilla, the fracking company responsible for a series of earth tremors around Blackpool in 2011, has withdrawn applications for permits to frack in Lancashire after problems surfaced relating to the disposal of radioactive waste.

Soldiers evacuate tens of thousands of flood victims in northern India

Soldiers are working to evacuate tens of thousands of people still stranded in northern India where nearly 600 people have been killed in monsoon flooding and landslides.

23 killed and over 10,000 pilgrims stranded along mountain pass in northern India

Torrential downpours in northern states wash away roads, buildings and vehicles

Sam Warburton's protégé Josh Navidi ready for his Wales debut

Josh Navidi believes growing up in the shadows of current and former British and Irish Lions pair Sam Warburton and Martyn Williams has finally paid dividends, having been primed for his Wales debut.

Reshma Begum, 19, was pulled from the Rana Plaza remains

Bangladeshi clothing factory’s ‘miracle survivor’ makes a clean start

A garment worker who spent 17 days trapped in rubble has been offered a job in a hotel

Travel Agenda

From camping and caravanning to Game of Thrones walking tours

The 10 Best steam cleaners

Trade in your mop and bucket and get to work on that stubborn grease and grime

The 10 Best pet travel gear

Whether you’re taking them on a long car journey or for a week in the country, make sure your cat or dog is kitted out

Florida Senator Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address

Rubio reaps rewards from water lunge gaffe

A week after he became the laughing stock of the internet with his so-called “water lunge”, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has proved he has a characteristic crucial to any politician: the ability to bounce back.

Claire Squires collapsed in Birdcage Walk, a mile from the finish line in the 26.2 mile event, on April 22 last year

Amphetamine-like drug was factor in death of London Marathon runner Claire Squires

A hairdresser whose death during the final stages of the London Marathon led to more than £1m being donated to charity had taken an amphetamine-like drug which she had bought legally on-line, an inquest heard today.

Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon chat aboard a bus on the way to visit fracking sites in Pennsylvania

Imagine there's no fracking… Yoko Ono joins tour against controversial extraction technique

Celebrities including Yoko Ono, her son Sean Lennon and actress Susan Sarandon were in Pennsylvania today for an “anti-fracking” tour.

Hopefully my discontent with winter will be made glorious summer by this boiler repair man

Some people say they like winter because you get to stay inside and watch box sets. I'm sorry to report, those people are wrong

Andros Townsend separates his team-mate Danny Rose and Sasa Markovic of Serbia

England victory marred by racism from fans and player violence

England reached next summer's European Under-21 Championship last night but it was marred by racism and violence from Serbian players and fans at the final whistle.

'Brain-eating amoeba' kills 10 in Pakistan

A waterborne parasite commonly known as “brain-eating amoeba” has killed 10 people in Pakistan's largest city, a Pakistani official with the World Health Organization said today.

Tesco and Asda deny claims that own-brand bottled water is in fact tap water

Two supermarkets have denied claims that the economy-price own-brand bottled water they sell is in fact tap water.

Being Modern: Bottled water

Ah, summer days. And what could be more refreshing than an unadulterated glass of pure water. Eau de Sidcup, anyone? Thought not. So imagine the British public's surprise when a money-making scheme once dreamt up by Del Boy became reality. It was 2004 and Coca-Cola felt it was time to, um, tap into the bottled-water market. Sadly, it soon came to light that the other "real thing" contained nothing more than filtered tap water from a factory in Sidcup. Dasani was laughed out of UK shops, but the trend for paying for something that we can all get for free shows no signs of abating.

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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
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'