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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People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
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How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
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A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
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Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
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The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
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Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

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Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

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Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit