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

My Life In Travel: Zane Lowe, DJ and BBC Radio 1 presenter

'It's never quite as much fun without the family'

Bright thing: A beach stall in Antigua

Traveller's guide: Affordable Caribbean

A week in Barbados for £549? Act fast and it's all yours. Fred Mawer guides you to the best island bargains, with budget holidays for all seasons.

Diving Belles, By Lucy Wood

Away with the fairies and mermen

Tom Queally and Frankel end 2011 in glory on Ascot Champions Day

Frankel is a world beater – it's official

To aficionados of the Flat, reluctant to interrupt their hibernation even for Kauto Star, midwinter reliably offers one comforting ritual. And while the publication yesterday of the International Classification as usual prompted debate, not to mention dissent, unanimity was by no means confined to the identity of the most accomplished horse on the planet in 2011. For whatever different people may make of his present rating, the fact that Frankel will be around to strive for a new peak in 2012 guarantees a treat for them all.

US warns Iran over vital oil route closure

The United States yesterday warned Iran that it would not tolerate any disruption of naval traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran's navy chief said the Islamic Republic is capable of closing the vital oil route if the West imposes new sanctions targeting Tehran's oil exports.

Air drop of fuel and water pump for stranded trawler crew

Aircraft from the New Zealand Defence Force have dropped emergency supplies to the crew of a stricken fishing vessel, trapped in ice near Antarctica.

British fisheries avoid quota cuts

Fishing fleets face fewer days at sea but bigger catch quotas after marathon talks which ended at dawn in Brussels.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant as seen by Tokyo Electric Power Company officials and journalists

Radioactive water leaks from Japanese nuclear plant

Japan's crippled nuclear power plant leaked about 45 tons of highly radioactive water from a purification device over the weekend, its operator said, and some may have drained into the ocean.

Oxx plunges into deeper waters with Born To Sea

The unsparing expectations preceding Born To Sea have been somewhat modified since the coruscating performance of another Irish colt, Camelot, at Doncaster last weekend. Nonetheless, many will be hoping that the three-parts brother to Sea The Stars can pick up the gauntlet when he makes his own second start at Leopardstown tomorrow.

Online House Hunter: A house by the sea

If the spring sunshine is making you dream already of a stay by the sea then how how about a home by the seaside?

New scheme a 'drop in the ocean' for disabled people

Only the most severely disabled people in Britain will be supported into work by a new scheme that the Department of Work and Pensions launches tomorrow. Called Work Choice, the Government has set aside £470m to help just 23,000 of the most disabled into jobs.

Tim Sturtridge: Changing of the seasons and the tides of the sea

It turns out that Harlech Tower in South Acton is not the only Nelson Mandela House.

Album: CocoRosie, Grey Oceans (Pias)

The medieval and futuristic rub up against one another on the fourth album from sisterly duo Sierra and Bianca Casady, whose eccentric folk-pop has become subtly familiar via advertising.

Oceans' acidity rate is soaring, claims study

The rate at which the oceans are becoming more acidic is greater today than at any time in tens of millions of years, according to a new study.

Next year may be hottest yet, Met Office says

There is a good chance that next year will be the hottest year recorded for the world, according to new forecasts from the Met Office's climate prediction and research branch, the Hadley Centre.

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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
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future