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Luhman 16B is the nearest brown dwarf to Earth, and the third nearest star system to our solar system

Next year may be hottest yet, Met Office says

There is a good chance that next year will be the hottest year recorded for the world, according to new forecasts from the Met Office's climate prediction and research branch, the Hadley Centre.

Manmade snowfall drives Beijing to distraction

Beijingers are watching the sky apprehensively this weekend after an unexpected, artificially induced snowstorm last weekend caused havoc and led to an outraged response from citizens, who were given no warning.

Leading article: Mixed fortunes

Never mind Derren Brown and his magical lottery predictions. Consider instead the clairvoyant Sarah Montague. The Today presenter found herself without her notes when she was due to read out the day's weather forecast live on Radio 4 yesterday morning.

Strong earthquake shakes Tokyo

The Japan Meteorological Agency said an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 shook the Japanese capital of Tokyo and surrounding areas today.

Leading article: Summertime blues

No barbecues were in sight in the Edgbaston area yesterday for the beginning of the third Ashes Test match. Nor, we have noticed, has there been much al fresco dining throughout Britain this summer, despite the optimistic forecasts for a "barbecue summer" from the Meteorological Office a few months ago. Blame the jet stream, say the forecasters. It has, apparently, become "stuck" above us, locking in a low pressure system and bringing the rain down in torrents on our collective cookout.

Why good weather is hard to predict

Forecasters warned today of the pitfalls of predicting the weather a long way in advance after the British summer has so far failed to live up to expectations.

Australia and New Zealand cancel tsunami warnings after quake

New Zealand and Australia canceled tsunami warnings today after an earthquake struck the south of New Zealand, causing minor damage but no injuries.

You can stick your forecast where the sun don't shine

The Met Office has been hit by a storm with Britain's coastal resorts accusing it of pessimistic predictions which keep punters off the beaches

Fruits of no labour: Growing your own tomatoes couldn't be easier

From moneymakers to currents, there are hundreds of types of tomatoes you can grow in your own garden. And, says Emma Townshend, they're easy peasy

Album: British Sea Power, Man of Aran, Rough Trade

British Sea Power pay tribute to the power of the British sea

Get your barbie ready – we're in for a sizzler

The Met Office put its neck on the line and forecasts a hot, dry summer

Weathermen raise hopes for a warm summer

Who needs foreign trips? Forecasters say the UK is likely to enjoy warmer than average temperatures this summer.

April may fool all the weather records

With a week remaining of the month and more balmy weather forecast across the country, meteorologists believe that Britain could be heading towards the warmest April for a decade.

Stephen King: Economic forecasters could learn something from meteorologists

Forecasters got their projections badly wrong – the Treasury's were particularly misleading
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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
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14 best kids' hoodies

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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk