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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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence