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

Agnes Oaks: 'My body is fighting what I do'

The great dancer Agnes Oaks is hanging up her pointes, but fans can see her once more on tour and on the London Coliseum stage

Marcus Berkmann: Punishment in a post office queue

The woman in front of you is sending a dozen small parcels to Estonia...

Ali Smith: Do you call that a Christmas present?

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a whole month whose daylight ended at roughly half past three. I looked out the window and watched it fall.

Hamish McRae: If the US car industry can't get off the road to hell, we'll be driving there too

Something will be patched up to rescue the three giant US automobile companies – or perhaps one should say two and a half because poor Chrysler is a shadow of its past glory. You cannot rule out the US version of bankruptcy, Chapter 11, which is less onerous than our own. But even without that devastating step, the industry will not be the same again. What we are seeing is one more inevitable step along an unavoidable path. The industry will be smaller, maybe much smaller, even when this particular downturn ends and the long, slow slog upwards can begin.

Profit warnings and sagging retail salesadd to recession fears

Gloomy outlook for Savills, Inchcape and UK Coal

Battle for South Ossetia fought in cyberspace

The six-day war between Russia and Georgia may have seemed a scruffy, bloody, almost 19th-century nationalist conflict, but it saw the deployment of what will be a major weapon in the wars of the future: the internet. South Ossetia was, say experts in both technology and military studies, the world's first cyberwar.

Rowers: 'We really paid for that with our souls'

Britain's rowing team picked up their Olympic record where they left off in Athens: a gold medal for the men's four. "We really paid for that with our souls," said Steve Williams, the sole survivor of the 2004 boat. "Athens was an epic journey, but I think we can possibly top that this year.

British scullers keep heads to earn victories

Five British scullers and a four launched themselves into the Olympic regatta with success at Sunyi rowing park yesterday.

The Bloomsbury Ballerina, By Judith Mackrell

Maynard Keynes's eccentric Russian wife wowed audiences and appalled Virginia

Paperbacks: Between Each Breath, by Adam Thorpe

The retro pleasures of the Hampstead novel are revived in this highbrow love story that would do any beach bag proud. On a visit to Estonia, Jack Middleton, one of England's "most promising young composers", falls in love with waitress Kaja.

Rowing: Canadians storm to Grand Challenge Cup after deluge delay

The two crews visiting Henley on their way to the Beijing Olympics duly won their events yesterday. Elliot Hovey and Wesley Piermarina of California RC beat their compatriots Peter and Thomas Graves in the Double Sculls, and the South Africans Shaun Keeling and Ramon Di Clementé won the Goblets for pairs against the German lightweights Ole Rueckbrodt and Felix Otto.

The Complete Guide to: Estonia

The smallest ex-Soviet republic is now the little nation that could – an entertaining, joyous destination with one foot in the Middle Ages and another in the 21st Century. By Neil Taylor

Miliband defends Lisbon Treaty

Britain is making "no assumptions" about the Lisbon Treaty coming into force on 1 January next year, the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said on the eve of the Irish referendum which could determine the EU charter's fate.

Sarah Sands: An imperfect memory fends off a lifetime of shame

When I worked at The Daily Telegraph, our commercial fortunes were built on a fixed front-page advertisement for improving your memory. The firm that paid so highly for the slot knew that the elderly readership regarded memory as sacred, and its loss as a cruel separation from identity. What are we, if not a sum of our past? Yet for Jill Price, a 42-year-old school administrator and widow, memory is a sadistic jailer, imposing the past on the present, without sequence or respite.

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Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
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Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
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Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
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Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
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sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
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The eyes have it: Kate Bush
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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
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
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment