News A man sits under the sun at the Centenario park in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The mercury rose to 45C in northern provinces of the country

Retailers in London surge ahead of regional rivals

Retailers in central London delivered their strongest sales in June since the autumn of 2006, but lacklustre growth in the rest of the UK again reinforced the view of a two-tier sector.

Prickly heat: the suffering of the hedgehogs

prolonged hot weather may be fine for us but it's not much good for wildlife, and it is particularly bad for hedgehogs, while for baby hedgehogs it's even worse.

July named as grumpiest month for Britons

Despite the sunny weather, July is the grumpiest month for Britons as they battle with sleep deprivation and fraying tempers in the heat, a survey suggested today.

A summer's day: Stay cool, stay healthy

The sun is out and it's off with our clothes – but health agencies urge us to stay cool, as heat can kill

Health alert as Britain swelters

There were sweltering temperatures in parts of Britain today as the first heat-health alert of the summer came into force.

What's the buzz this summer?

With highs of 29C and hosepipe bans imminent, summer must really be here. Pavan Amara and Daisy Jellicoe report on seasonal matters

Leading article: Blame game

If the World Cup was awarded for the best excuses and conspiracy theories, this would be a hell of a competition. Many things have been blamed by teams in South Africa for underperformance, from the treacherous aerodynamic properties of the match ball, to the drone of vuvuzelas drowning out the fans. The Slovenian manager even blamed the turf (he should try playing at Wembley).

Grab your trusty hoe and prepare to do battle with weeds

I have just returned from Cornwall and the opening of Kestle Barton, an arts project my mum has been working on for the past four years. The gallery is currently hung with large photographs of a polluted former mining site near Redruth called Goon Gumpas. Beyond the parched and wrecked beauty of the post-industrial landscape on display, through double-doors, the project's new garden is visible. And I have to admit that, as much as I enjoyed the show, the most satisfying part of my weekend was sneaking off to hoe the new flowerbeds.

Girl mauled by fox leaves hospital

A baby girl mauled by a fox as she slept has been discharged from hospital, it was announced today.

Baby girl mauled by fox 'feeling better'

A baby girl mauled by a fox as she slept was "a lot better" today, her grandmother said.

Read in bloom as Notts climb to top of the tree

Nottinghamshire 462 Kent 274-5 (Kent trail by 188 runs)

Leading article: The price of Britain's drinking problem

A boozy summer is in prospect. The football World Cup and a forecast of hot weather make for a potentially heady national brew. So the latest intervention of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) on alcohol abuse is certainly well-timed.

Police feel the heat as crime rises along with temperatures

For most people the arrival of summer provides the perfect excuse to try to master the tricky skill of cooking on a barbecue, sunbathe in a garden they usually never use and walk shirtless in places they otherwise would not. But for the police the hot weather signals one thing: a spike in crime.

Advert overstates climate risks, says watchdog

Two Government adverts which used nursery rhymes to raise awareness of climate change have been banned for overstating the risks, a watchdog announced today.

Best literary fiction of 2009: Cromwell's soul, a Chilean labyrinth and small-town Ireland

"To everything there is a season." Well true, for the most part, but even Biblical prophecy couldn't allow for the dubious reliability of publishing literary fiction. As the past 12 months bear out, a hit or miss often proves as predictable as a hurricane or a heat wave. So who's been subject to a freak downpour and who's found themselves in the unexpected glare of the sun?

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor