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 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk