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Flood Re proposals are expected to become part of the Water Bill in mid-2015

Millions could be left without affordable flood insurance

But home insurance premiums are still falling despite floods

US court rules sperm donor to lesbian couple is legal father and must pay child support

Kansas state sues Marotta for $6,000 in child support for four-year-old girl

Vladmir Putin made the revelation during a televised interview special with Andrew Marr ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics next month

Sir Elton John offers to introduce Vladimir Putin to Russia’s gay community

The singer's statement follows the Russian President's call for gay tourists visiting the country during Sochi 2014 to "leave the children in peace"

Tory MP calls police on handful of retired constituents delivering petition against lobbying bill 'gagging law'

A handful of retired constituents delivering their local MP a petition might not sound the most terrifying of prospects, but it prompted one Tory politician to call for police protection.

The offices of the Guardian newspaper in central London

Guardian website blocked in China after it ran a story on the wealth of its rulers' families

China has blocked the websites of The Guardian and other media organisations which published stories about the offshore holdings of relatives of the country’s leading figures.

An image released by the Freeland Police Department of Anthony Lescowitch, in Freeland, Pennsylvania. He was arrested by police shortly after he shared a wanted photo posted by the Freeland Police Department of himself on his Facebook page

You can't catch me... oh you have! Police arrest man hours after he boasted on Facebook they could not find him

After two months on the run from the police, one criminal decided to celebrate by sharing a wanted picture of himself on Facebook - before being arrested hours later.

BT boss Gavin Patterson: 'Customers can't expect total privacy'

Davos has kicked off with a controversial warning from BT chief executive Gavin Patterson that telecoms customers cannot expect total privacy.

Supreme Court Justices leave the Supreme Court to in London, where a ruling against HS2 objectors was made on Wednesday

HS2: Supreme Court rejects legal challenge by opponents of high-speed rail line

The seven Supreme Court Justices voted unanimously against the claims

George Osborne will consider a plan to raise the minimum contribution rate for private sector pension schemes

George Osborne mulls plan to ask workers to pay more into their pensions to plug 'massive hole'

Workers could be asked to put a bigger slice of their income into their pension scheme under plans being considered by the Conservative Party.

Jobbik leader Gabor Vona is coming to London this weekend to host a rally

Rise of the right: Theresa May under pressure as the leader of ultra-nationalist Hungarian party Jobbik prepares UK visit

The Home Secretary is under increasing pressure from Jewish groups and others to ban the Hungarian ultra-nationalist party from spreading hatred at a London rally this weekend

Dutch brass band to play gay anthem YMCA at Sochi Winter Olympics

Kleintje Pils say the performance will be a 'signal'

Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters during a protest in New Delhi

I am an anarchist, says Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as he causes traffic chaos with protest in city centre

At around 3pm on Monday afternoon the Delhi traffic police issued an unlikely-sounding message by means of social media.

Coronation Street's Roy and Hayley Cropper

As someone with motor neurone disease, I hope tonight's Coronation Street helps to change the law on assisted dying

This summer the House of Lords will be in the position to change things

According to experts, Prince Charles may be a more outspoken and controversial monarch than his mother

'Gentle succession' underway as Prince Charles prepares to assume some of his mother's royal duties - and maybe more of an activist role

Constitutional experts believe Charles could be preparing to become a more "controversial" monarch

Vladimir Putin is not a homophobe because he ‘loves Elton John’

Vladmir Putin made the revelation during a televised interview special with Andrew Marr ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics next month

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003