News David Cameron visited East Anglia at the times of the floods to see the damage and meet members of the local emergency services

Repairing or improving flood defences is so expensive that areas of countryside which are still under water could be deserted, says Environment Agency

'I loved About Time and wished there were more light films of this type': Pam Ayres

Cultural life: Pam Ayres, poet

'I loved About Time and wished there were more light films of this type'

A sunrise over the Pacific Ocean at Turtle Bay

Climate change sending ocean health 'spiralling downward' faster than previously thought

Scientists have warned that climate change has sent the health of oceans "spiralling downward" faster than previously thought.

Kiribati, a low-lying island nation in the central Pacific, would disappear if sea levels rise by just one metre

Man from Pacific island of Kiribati in bid to live in New Zealand as world’s first climate refugee

Kiribati man begs New Zealand court to let  him stay as there is ‘no future’ with rising seas

Album review: Dizzee Rascal, The Fifth Dirtee (Stank/Island)

Album of the Week: Rapscallion rapper's cheeky charm is wearing a bit thin

Video: Elton John's new album

Watch the videos below to take in tracks from Elton John's new album, ‘The Diving Board’, Andy Gill's album of the week.

The Yong Sheng is the first commercial Chinese cargo ship to complete the Northern Sea Route

The shipping forecast - it’ll be colder but much, much quicker: New Arctic shipping route saves up to two weeks’ travel between Asia and Europe

Via the Northern Sea Route, ships can make the journey in 35 days, instead of the usual 48

Fringe festival fixture Lucy Porter

My Edinburgh: Lucy Porter, part of the Fringe festival furniture

I first came to Edinburgh when I was 18 to serve on the Perrier Awards panel, and was inspired to try stand-up myself. In the intervening 22 years the press initially dubbed me a a 'fresh face', then 'a rising star', then an 'established name'. This year I was described as a 'permanent fringe fixture'. Like the rain, the sweaty venues and the panpipe players outside Waverley station, I have become part of the festival furniture.

The low-lying coral atolls that make up the Marshall Islands are at risk from climate change

Act now or rising seas will sink our country, Marshall Islanders tell the world

Senior minister from the collection of low-lying coral atolls in the north Pacific says the end of this century will spell 'the end of my country and many others like it'

Four dead as boat carrying asylum seekers capsizes in Indian Ocean

Hundreds have died making the journey from Indonesia to Christmas Island and the Australian mainland in recent years

Meltdown: the Grace satellite has detected a rapid acceleration in the melting of glacier ice in Greenland and Antarctica

Massive ice sheets melting 'at rate of 300bn tonnes a year', climate satellite shows

The Grace satellite measures tiny fluctuations of the Earth’s gravity field resulting from the loss of ice into the sea

Album review: Jay Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail (Virgin EMI)

“Welcome to the magnum opus,” he insists and his 12th album is certainly magnum: 59 often leaden, mostly hubristic minutes to make that 1215 Grand Charter seem like light relief.

Getting on: the Earth from space

Watch out for the hot flushes (a few billion years away): Earth enters its mid-life crisis

The far-future Earth will be very hostile to life, says expert

The sun sets over the Chukchi Sea. Both the northern and southern hemispheres experienced the warmest temperatures for both land and sea

Unprecedented extremes and warmest decade since modern measurements: grim report from World Meteorological Organisation

Both the northern and southern hemispheres experienced the warmest temperatures for both land and sea

Increasingly unusual weather patterns in recent years have led climate scientists and meteorologists to hold a meeting about concerns over climate change

Stand by for another DECADE of wet summers, say Met Office meteorologists

Climate change may be intensifying the natural cycle and may prolong it, says expert, but it is too early to say

Culinary experiences in Portugal

Postcard from... Lisbon

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick