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

Inquest jury says soldier Mike Maguire was unlawfully killed in shooting at live-fire range

A soldier shot in the head in a safe haven at an Army live-fire shooting range was unlawfully killed, an inquest jury found today.

Costa Concordia victims tell of terror and chaos

Harrowing descriptions of how the 32 victims of the Costa Concordia disaster met their deaths have been presented to an Italian judge.

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Sentenced to 100 lashes in the Maldives: 15-year-old girl 'raped by stepfather who then murdered baby'

A teenage girl in the Maldives who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather has been ordered to receive 100 lashes after she confessed to having had pre-marital sex with another man. She is said to be deeply traumatised.

Builders lighten UK economic gloom

The UK's post-Olympic hangover is likely to be less painful than first feared this week, as the latest figures on the economy's performance at the end of 2012 gives some respite for the Chancellor.

The pollution spill may affect thousands of seabirds

Seabird death toll rises in mystery oil spill

Investigators were today still trying to identify the source of a pollution spill that may yet kill thousands of seabirds along a stretch of the South Coast from West Sussex to Cornwall.

India captain Mithali Raj (L) looks on as England captain Charlotte Edwards speaks ahead of the women's cricket World Cup

Charlotte Edwards: England' women can retain title

England women's captain Charlotte Edwards is confident of retaining the World Cup even though the side have struggled on the subcontinent in the past.

Alex Thomson celebrates third place in the Vendée Globe singlehanded round the world race. He saved enough for an early morning swig in Les Sables d’Olonne

Around the world in 80 days: Alex Thomson finishes third in gruelling Vendee Globe race

British sailor makes history after completing the 28,000-mile, three-month solo race

Editorial: We must not talk ourselves into a 'triple dip'

Yesterday's keenly awaited GDP figures allowed the doom-mongers to forecast that the UK was headed for a "triple-dip" recession, if we were not in one already. The Chancellor, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, professed himself disappointed with the news, even as he vowed to press on with Plan A.

The Water Discus Hotel

Plans afoot for Dubai's first underwater hotel

Dubai is no stranger to breaking records. First, they built the world's largest mall, then they built the world's tallest building...  And now, if plans come to fruition, the emirate could become home to the world's largest underwater hotel.

Survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck and relatives of the 32 people who died mark the first anniversary of its grounding

Survivors mark first anniversary of Costa Concordia shipwreck

Survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck and relatives of the 32 people who died marked the first anniversary of the grounding yesterday with the unveiling of memorials to the victims, a Mass in their honour and a minute of silence to recall the exact moment that the cruise ship rammed into a reef off Tuscany.

1,000 cubic miles of ice has disappeared between 2003 and 2010 from polar caps

Fear of 'catastrophic' sea-level rise as ice sheets melt faster than predicted

Most experts believe they have underestimated the effects of climate change, survey suggests

Lights out: the next total eclipse is in Gabon in November
Jordan Cobb was spotted jumping from the Torpoint ferry into the River Tamar on New Year's Eve

River search for teenage boy who jumped from Cornwall ferry called off

The search for a teenager who jumped into a river from a ferry has been called off, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

Jackson Bird (centre) celebrates dismissing Mahela Jayawardene yesterday

Michael Clarke hopes Australia's crushing victory over Sri Lanka sends Ashes warning

Australia 460 Sri Lanka 156 & 103 (Australia win by an innings and 201 runs)

Australia celebrate victory over Sri Lanka

Michael Clarke wants Australia to build on victory over Sri Lanka

Australia have taken 2-0 lead in series

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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 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?