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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada