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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Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform