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

Postcard from... Berlin

Anyone wishing to wash down that Christmas consumerist spirit with a well-earned guilty conscience should pay a visit to Hamburg. A new exhibition in the port city devotes itself to the frightening rate at which an ever-growing mountain of plastic garbage is irreversibly polluting the oceans of our planet, their wildlife and ourselves.

Man adrift at sea helps make Pi more real

When it comes to Life Of Pi, Steve Callahan may not know much about tigers but he sure knows what it's like to be stranded at sea – having been so for 76 days in a small dinghy. It's no wonder that Ang Lee brought him on board as official survival and marine consultant.

Ian Williams loses three of his four matches at Monsoon Cup finale

A reverse in fortunes saw defending world match racing champion Ian Williams lose three of his four matches at the Monsoon Cup finale of the World Match Racing Championship in Malaysia.

Ian Williams is aiming for a fourth world title this year

Ian Williams makes it five out of five in Monsoon Cup

A perfect opening set of five wins in his opening five races put Ian Williams and his Team GAC Pindar in a strong position for crossing the first hurdle of a place in the quarter finals of the Monsoon Cup in Malaya.

Despite an attempt to intervene by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, the rivals to succeed him as leader of the centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) extended their destructive fraternal quarrel into the courts

Political party of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy go to war over who should succeed him

Union pour un Mouvement Populaire is accelerating towards self-destruction

Vendée Globe turns demolition derby as fifth starter retires

The demolition derby aspect of the Vendée Globe round the world race continued to dominate coverage on Sunday as the fifth of the 20 starters limped off the racecourse and a sixth sought to fix a problem which could also force him to retire.

Scientists believe that at least a third of all the marine life forms may be completely unknown to science

A million species of animals and plants live in the ocean say scientists

The first official register of what lives in the oceans has revealed that the marine environment may be home to as many as a million species of animals and plants, but only about a quarter of them have actually been formally described.

Editorial: Lessons from the ashes

Sad to say, there is little that can now be done for Britain's ash trees. The rapid spread of the Chalara fraxinea fungus – confirmed at just two sites in the wild, two weeks ago, and now found at 61 – only emphasises the impossibility of confining it, and there is no cure. The impact on the countryside, and on all manner of flora and fauna that thrive in the ash's shade, is set to be as devastating as it is heart-breaking.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What do you know about company we're considering for our anniversary trip?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Toyota picks up speed despite China hit

Toyota has bumped up its profit expectations for the year to £6bn, despite its sales in China, the world's biggest car market, withering away due to a domestic boycott of Japanese cars as part of a territorial dispute.

With standing water across the country cholera cases are rising

Haiti fears cholera and food shortages will raise storm's death toll

The government of Haiti has warned that Hurricane Sandy represents a "disaster of major proportions," which could bring food shortages as well as an imminent spike in the number of life-threatening cholera cases.

Hurricane Sandy: Fishing pier toppled as Maryland battered

Hurricane Sandy arrived in this coastal resort town with the roar that was expected on Monday, as towering waves snapped a fishing pier, rain and seawater inundated city streets and officials shut down both major bridges that normally carry thousands of visitors to beaches and hotels in the summer months.

19 people rescued from North Sea as helicopter carrying oil workers makes 'controlled ditching'

An investigation is underway after 19 people were today rescued when a helicopter carrying oil workers made a “controlled ditching” in the North Sea.

What hope for our over-fished oceans?

Nobody does it quite like the New Yorker. And reporter Elizabeth Kolbert does a lovely job of masking mild panic in this report on our over-fished oceans in the latest edition. But really her piece is a reflection on a centuries old genre of literature, in which writers lament the sea. We're not talking here about Ernest Hemingway on his boat; rather, an ecological tradition. Confused? Try this:

French fishermen pelt British boats with rocks and flares in a row over scallop fishing

British fishermen reported the attacks to the Marine Management Organisation, which said an estimated 40 French vessels and eight UK vessels were involved

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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
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

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Isis are barbarians

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Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
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Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

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If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
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Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

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The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
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Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

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Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
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Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

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