News Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset

… and the Met Office warns there is still more rain to come

New Qatari emir refuses to ‘take direction’ from anyone

In his accession speech, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who was handed power by his father on Tuesday in a rare example of a hereditary Arab ruler stepping down, said that the Gulf state would not “take direction” from anyone.

Satyajit Das: Rise of economic nationalism is threat to global prosperity

Midweek View: In a virtuous circle, globalisation both created and relied on strong economic growth
Left-wing opposition leader Alexis Tsipras has demanded elections

Greek coalition averts collapse over closure of state broadcaster but court order ERT back on air

Greece’s governing coalition avoided collapse on Monday night in the wake of a dispute over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s decision to close the state television broadcaster.

Green agenda: The Lough Erne Resort is the setting for the G8

G8 summit: Will it tackle tax avoidance?

Top of the agenda for the Cameron, who goes into this week's G8 conference as president, is tax reform. We know that multinationals avoid paying their share. We also know it will be difficult to make them start. Can Cameron change the way that global finance works?

Simon Calder: Sleep(er) your way around the world

The man who pays his way

Nelson Mandela arrives for the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani

Nelson Mandela 'continuing to improve' in Pretoria hospital

Nelson Mandela's health is continuing to improve but the anti-apartheid hero remains in a serious condition, South Africa's president said today.

Commons committee wants training for ministers

Members of the Cabinet should be given “compulsory” training on how to be good ministers, an influential Parliamentary committee has concluded.

Andrew Selby (right) on his way to his second European gold, overcoming Ireland's Michael Conland in the final

Steve Bunce on Boxing: Cultures clash as full-time amateurs finally make their mark on Europe

Even John Conteh, Alan Minter and Charlie Magri took beatings

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union

Former Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev, admitted to hospital for tests

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, has been admitted to the Kremlin hospital in Moscow for tests, amid growing concern over his health.

Home sales at three year peak

House prices predicted to rise nearly 30% over next five years

Australia has propelled a little-known bowler called Fawad Ahmed into the Ashes squad

Australia gamble on Pakistani spinner, Fawad Ahmed, for Ashes squad

For Australia, it is one thing after another. They are beset by worry and panic. Their preparations for the Champions Trophy and the Ashes are constantly moveable feasts which are increasingly threatening thin pickings.

Nigel Farage (left) has branded John Bercow (right)

Lonmin worker killed as tension builds again

A shop steward from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was shot dead at one of Lonmin's South African mines yesterday, sparking fears of a renewed cycle of violence in the country's troubled platinum mining belt.

Maps in the 1593 Speculum Orbis Terrarum by the Belgian cartographer Gerard De Jode

Mermaids seen due east as rare maps go on sale

An atlas drawn in 1593, complete with mythical creatures, could fetch more than £500,000

Fiji: An island in turmoil

The South Pacific island idyll of Fiji has been in political turmoil since separating from Britain in 1970.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas