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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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

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Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game