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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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing