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 The company has withdrawn applications for permits to frack in Lancashire

Cuadrilla, the fracking company responsible for a series of earth tremors around Blackpool in 2011, has withdrawn applications for permits to frack in Lancashire after problems surfaced relating to the disposal of radioactive waste.

Food drops and handouts for Australian flood victims

Military aircraft dropped supplies to towns cut off by floods in northeastern Australia as the prime minister promised new assistance yesterday to the 200,000 people affected by waters covering an area larger than France and Germany combined.

Northern Ireland to import water

The authorities in Northern Ireland came in for heavy criticism yesterday after water shortages affected tens of thousands of homes, some of which have had no running water for a week.

Bosses face demands to quit over burst pipes fiasco

Water bosses tonight faced demands to quit as engineers struggled to repair leaking pipes to tens of thousands of homes in Northern Ireland, amid fears the drinking water fiasco could develop into a major health emergency.

Still sparkling: Malvern Water flows again

An entrepreneur has said he plans to save Britain's most exclusive brand of spring water from drying up.

Second toxic spill feared as Hungarian reservoir wall cracks

Thousands told to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice as thick wave of sludge is likely to descend on already polluted land

Leading article: A promise is a promise

It is now 10 years since the world's leaders signed up to the Millennium Development Goals, aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and hunger in the world, reducing disease, improving gender equality, achieving universal primary education and ensuring environmental sustainability. And it is now only five years away from the year 2015, when these targets were to be met.

Drink of water before meal aids weight loss

It must rate as one of the simplest diets, but scientists have nevertheless shown that drinking water before meals causes significant weight loss.

Access to clean water is 'human right', says UN

The UN General Assembly has declared access to clean water and sanitation a "human right" in a resolution that more than 40 countries, including the US and Britain, did not support.

China floods death toll rises to 175

Widespread flooding in southern China has caused 175 deaths, with 107 people missing and more storms expected, the government said today.

Flood deaths rise in southern China

Massive flooding in southern China has killed 132 people and forced 860,000 to flee their homes, and more storms are on the way, the government said today.

£1 buys 1000 litres of tap water. Or one bottle of the ionised variety

Martin Hickman reports on the latest and most daring attempt to turn humble H2O into a premium product

My life in travel: Ben Miller, actor and comedian

'A holiday is a crucible for personal relationships'

Robert Chesshyre: Cold? You should have been around in the 1950s

Crossing the hall to the kitchen was a dash across a glassy abyss

The Australian town that kicked the bottle

Drinking fountains replace shop-bought mineral water in environmental initiative

Water watchdog announces cut in bills

Households will benefit from an average £14 fall in water bills to £330 before inflation over the next five years, industry regulator Ofwat said today.

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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
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Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
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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