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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links