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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine