'Human waste' rains down in Chicago office

Freezing temperatures cause pipes to burst in skyscraper

VIDEO: Surfer takes on huge waves amid 'The Black Swell' sweeping over the Atlantic

'It's as dangerous as it gets' explains big wave rider

Frozen skin, dead animals and hypothermia: What happens at -50ºC?

The icy winds blasting the US have the power to freeze bare skin and kill animals.

Don’t put your boiler on the back-burner: check that you’re fully covered in the event of your central heating breaking down

Savvy Money: Going away? Make sure your home cover is leak-proof

Burst pipes or broken boilers are bad enough so don't let your insurance leave you high and dry

The Hart district of Hampshire has been named the most desirable place to live in the UK. With 84 square miles of green wooded landscape and Hampshire's largest freshwater lake, the area has been dubbed

Hart can't possibly be the best place to live in Britain – there's not even a decent restaurant

Hampshire exile Jamie Merrill fails to see what’s so great about this particular slice of pricey commuter belt

People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail

Mandela was about politics and race - and even force

Small is beautiful on the British high street

In the US, they have the American dream: a vision of the power of enterprise to improve fortunes, a reverence for the little guy. But small businesses have always been central to our national story too.

Iraqis make their way through the flooded streets of Baghdad after last week’s storm. Many people have criticised the response from central and provincial authorities

Ten years after the invasion: Iraq helpless under rain of terror

Saddam Hussein may have gone but, for many poor Iraqis, little has improved. Now a devastating flood has left villagers homeless and there is precious little government support

Anthony Hilton: Private banks have lots to shout about, but they’re far too private for that

For years on my way to work I used to go past the front door of the private bank Duncan Lawrie without knowing it was there – which shows how private they were. But it also underlines a dilemma for firms such as theirs. When the essence of what they offer is a discreet personal service, how do you let people know you exist?

Typhoon Haiyan: Eight crushed in collapse after survivors loot Philippines rice factory

Desperate survivors in the Philippines looted shops and dug up water pipes in a bid to find food, medicine and water

A worker at the facility with a handful of fertiliser pellets that it produces

Come, friendly bombs, don’t fall on Slough. It’s doing good for humans now: Berkshire town to launch £2m nutrient-recovery reactor

Once mocked by Sir John Betjeman and Ricky Gervais, the town is now home to a unique machine that is turning sewage into high-grade phosphorous fertiliser - and could hold the key to securing future global food supplies

Cold weather brings warning of rise in dodgy plumbers

The number of callouts for boiler-related problems increased by 72 per cent from the first week of September to the first week of October, the AA reported this week.

Chaffinch Brook on Wimborne Way

10 years on, Thames Water ordered to pay sewage victims

'I have to call Thames Water at least three or four times a year. The smell catches my throat'

The Week Ahead: Growth hopes amid Homeserve’s woes

Today

Insuring households against the cost of broken boilers and burst pipes hasn’t prevented Homeserve from suffering its own in-house problems. It issued a profit warning in March, and is still awaiting the outcome of a long-running Financial Services Authority investigation into alleged mis-selling.

The Costa Concordia, which hit rocks off the shore of Giglio in January 2012

Costa Concordia: Italy prepares to salvage a maritime disaster

The fraught international operation to right the capsized ‘Costa Concordia’ begins tomorrow, and tensions are high

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick