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

The Sonnets: 56

By William Shakespeare

Album: Bowerbirds, Hymns for a Dark Horse (Dead Oceans)

They come from North Carolina and sing round-the-campfire folk. Their songs unabashedly contain lyrics such as "It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth" and they are currently on tour with the lovely Bon Iver, with whom they share an entirely organic charm. But what's this in the "thank yous", hidden among sentiments such as "[this album is] dedicated to what still remains wild, on the earth, and inside us"? "Thanks to JD for taking us for a ride on his private jet." If that's not the modern dichotomy summed up in a sleevenote, then what is? You'll forgive them as you sing along, though.

Coconut Chaos: Pitcairn, mutiny and a seduction at sea, By Diana Souhami

In 1789 Fletcher Christian led a mutiny on the Bounty. He eventually took the ship to Pitcairn Island – stopping on the way to capture some women – where he established the small community that still exists there.

Paperback: Amerigo, by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

Phoenix £7.99

Tough-talking Putin rejects EU proposal on energy supplies

President Vladimir Putin has icily rejected US and EU criticism of Russia's purported use of its energy resources as a political weapon, and publicly rebuffed European attempts to gain access to his country's vast gas pipeline network.

Missing teenagers: Body found

Now, that's a fine example of Yorkshire bluff

Flamborough Head is a haven for seabirds and a beacon for sailors. Mark Rowe goes exploring
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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