Sport On your bike: Atherton hopes her success will inspire more young women to try the sport she loves

Rio is now in the sights of World Cup champion who has capped a highly successful year by being named the first BT Sport Action Woman of the Year

Page 3 Profile: John Murphys, broadcaster

Ah, the man who monstered Entwistle. Is he feeling triumphant?

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

War is waged on developers who target sites with no flood defence

As crisis worsens, councils say budget cuts have left them exposed to private contracts

A recovery vehicle negotiates floodwaters in Evesham, Worcestershire

Driver killed after car was trapped in flood waters as Britain is battered by torrential rain and gale-force winds

Met Office predicting "more heavy rain and strong to gale force winds" in many parts of the UK overnight on Saturday into Sunday

McAlpine tweeters may face criminal charges

Police are to look into whether any criminal offence has been committed over the Lord McAlpine affair.

Editorial: We cannot fail children again

Lord McAlpine's settlement is more than 10 times the average awarded to victims

Independents trump Labour in early returns for Police and Crime Commissioners results

Three independent candidates triumphed when the first results from elections for Police and Crime Commissioners were announced.

Welsh MP, Elfyn Llawyd, stokes anger by calling town 'depressing'

Residents of a Welsh seaside resort are furious after it was labelled “depressing” by their own MP. Elfyn Llwyd, the Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd in the north-west, said rows of empty houses reduced the area's appeal during the winter.

Lord McAlpine may sue the BBC

Lord McAlpine expected to reach settlement with BBC as he gives first interview after being wrongly linked to child sex abuse scandal

Lord McAlpine, the former Conservative politician who was wrongly implicated in allegations of child abuse in a flawed Newsnight investigation, is expected to reach a settlement with the BBC.

Editorial: The answer for the BBC is reform, not a witch-hunt

These are the darkest of days for the BBC. Weeks after the corporation was plunged into turmoil and self-recrimination over the decision to pull a Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile, it is paying an even bigger price for having compensated for its caution by reacting in the opposite way; rushing out another Newsnight programme on child abuse, this time accusing an unnamed "senior Tory" who we now all believe was intended to be Lord McAlpine.

Abuse of trust: The Johns family pictured in 1962 before they were taken into care. Adrian and Lee, left, are dead. Little is known about the other siblings

The North Wales child abuse scandal: A damaged generation waits for justice 30 years on

Many of the abused care home residents were to die in horrifying circumstances – while the survivors live in fear. Roger Dobson, who has covered the story for two decades, reports

Editorial: A necessary sacrifice

We should not allow the BBC’s shame to distract us from the important point

Editorial: Internet witch-hunts must simply be ignored

To deny the accusations bandied online is to give them undeserved recognition

The bloggers have the wrong man: former Tory treasurer Lord McAlpine prepares legal action against 'wholly false and defamatory' child abuse claims

Solicitors for Lord McAlpine have said they are preparing to take legal action against media who they claim defamed him by suggesting he was the senior Tory figure from the Thatcher era involved of sexually abusing young people in a North Wales children's home.

Human remains found at River Dee identified as Catherine Gowing

Human remains found on the banks of a river have been identified as those of missing vet Catherine Gowing, police said today.

Theresa May calls extent of paedophile activity across Britain 'absolutely horrific'

The extent of paedophile activity across Britain is “absolutely horrific”, the Home Secretary told MPs as she set out fresh details of investigations into sex abuse in North Wales care homes and into Jimmy Savile’s activities.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect