News A tractor sits in flood water still present in fields on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset

Some villages cut off by floodwater by almost a month

A vintage tractor drives through flooded Thorney

Villagers tire of island life on flooded Somerset Levels

For nearly a month, residents of Muchelney and Thorney have been cut off from the ‘mainland’  after heavy rains

Essex County Council offices in Chelmsford

Essex council sells elderly man's £24,000 Pissarro painting to pay towards his care home fees

Judge has also ruled that council could sell a house owned by the man

Ms Pacchieri had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section after suffering a mental breakdown

‘Social workers stole my baby’: Forced caesarean mother tells of horrific ordeal

'I was crying. I could feel my baby kicking inside me. I begged them not to do the caesarean,' she says. Now, Alessandra Pacchieri’s baby is being put up for adoption against her will

The UK's breast cancer survival rate is below average

UK cancer survival rates ‘lag behind Europe’ for nine of the ten most common forms

Britain’s survival rates for nine of the ten most common forms of cancer lag behind the European averages, a major study has shown.

The pregnant Italian woman who was visiting the UK for work, had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section because she had suffered from mental ill health

High Court’s top family judge intervenes in forced caesarean case

Essex Council has said the child, which was removed from mother’s womb against her will, is to be adopted, but top judge has now said any further applications must be heard by him

John Bercow will talk to bosses from Facebook and other internet companies

Vote online – the Speaker’s plan to revive politics

John Bercow calls on internet giants to lead digital revolution in British politics  as Commission is set to draw up blueprint for ‘Parliament 2.0’ before 2015 general election

Councils have reduced the numbers of staff responsible for the upkeep of rights of way

Barbed wire, missing bridges and impenetrable overgrowth: Ramblers restricted by council cutbacks

More than 100,000 hazards on England’s footpaths, warns charity

Families of former British soldiers held in Indian jail call on government for help

The families of six former British soldiers imprisoned in India after being arrested during “anti-piracy operations” have demanded the UK government intervene to secure their safe return.

Paying benefits 'does not make unemployed lazy'

Paying high levels of benefits to the unemployed does not lead to them becoming lazy, or lacking motivation to find a job according to a European-wide study charting the well-being of claimants.

John Tavener recorded on The Beatles’ Apple label

Sir John Tavener: Pioneer of ‘new’ classical music dies at the age of 69

The composer’s work breathed new life into the popular genre

Yoran: he eventually moved to the US and became the chairman of a commercial aircraft company

Shalom Yoran: Soldier who evaded the Nazis and fought with a Jewish resistance unit

Shalom Yoran was a Polish Jew who survived the Nazi invasion and occupation of his country. He evaded the Einsatzgruppen, or mobile extermination units, survived extreme winter conditions and went on to fight as a partisan in a Jewish resistance unit.

The RideLondon 100 race last month on Box Hill

Tour de Surrey: 'Cycle track' residents up in arms about road closures for races

One man from Esher is so fed up of being ‘kettled by Lycra louts’ on bikes, he has started a petition

Looking over Ashness Bridge to Derwent Water and Skiddaw in the threatened Western Lake District

Lake District threatened by nuclear waste again

Controversial plans for toxic dumping back on table eight months after being rejected

Would you board the 666 flight to 'HEL' on Friday the 13th?

Finnair passengers flying today on Finland's AY666 to Helsinki have been boarding the flight to HEL on 13 Friday, but appear unfazed by superstitions.

Costessey Infants School in Norwich where new temporary classrooms have been installed

Inside the Norfolk school whose playground has been sacrificed to cope with the bulge in the birth rate

Every class has 30 in it - the legal maximum for five-to-seven-year-olds

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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