Daily grind: An expert's guide to making the perfect cup of coffee

If you thought that making a cup of coffee simply involved a teaspoon of instant and a splash of milk, wake up and smell the proverbial! The 14th World Barista Championship takes place this week, and here we provide an expert guide to perking up, courtesy of Ryan Cross of Ristretto Roasters in Portland, Oregon

Questions of Cash: 'Boiler problem' was tracked down to faulty plumbing

Q. I have had the same problem with a boiler that does not work as your correspondent DH (Questions of Cash, 19 January). Mine was a Vaillant boiler, supplied and fitted by a local plumber. Since installation, I have had repeated problems.

Exmouth beach

Don't come on in... the water's terrible: major reduction in number of recommended beaches

A dip in the sea will be the last thing on many people’s minds this Easter – but that may be for the best on some parts of the coast, with the quality of seawater dramatically worsening at famous British bathing spots because of last year’s heavy summer rainfall.

Pension scheme closes at Wolseley

Wolseley has became the latest company to close its final-salary pension scheme to existing members.

Dalels in Westminster in 2011

Ray Cusick: The man who left a generation of children cowering behind the sofa from the Daleks

Michael Bywater pays tribute to Ray Cusick, who died last week, and his invention of a quintessentially British baddie

A photo from one of the passengers shows mattresses being placed at the elevators area on one of the floors of the ship

'Fun Ship' that wasn't: passengers kiss ground as they escape cruiser

Angry holidaymakers describe 'sauna of sewage' as they finally get off crippled US liner

Relatively low concentrations of benzodiazepines commonly found in rivers throughout Europe, including Britain, can significantly affect the behaviour of the European perch

Something fishy going on... Antidepressants contaminating rivers make perch antisocial

Drugs used to treat anxiety and depression are contaminating rivers and streams where they are building up in concentrations that can affect the behaviour of wild freshwater fish, scientists have found.

Yellow Pages released from price cap

The struggling owner of the Yellow Pages will be boosted by the lifting of an outdated advertising price cap on the telephone directory this week.

The great escape: 31 prisoners break free from Brazil jail via sewage system... only to be recaptured

Dozens of inmates escaped from a Brazilian prison crawling through the sewage system, authorities said.

Time-wasting calls to 999 slammed by police after woman calls for paramedic to take dog's temperature

Running out of toilet roll and difficulty ringing a Chinese takeaway have been revealed as some of the frivolous 999 calls made to a police force.

Treasury minister David Gauke has claimed it is morally wrong to pay tradesmen in cash

Odd job UK: booming black market economy is propping up jobs figures

The “jobs enigma” of 2012, that saw unemployment fall despite the gloomy economic outlook, is likely to continue next year, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The Boy With Tape On His Face, The Duchess Theatre, London

Kiwi mime artist Sam Wills tops off his Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award success earlier this year with a West End run of his winning show: a sweet treat, perfect for the season of goodwill and frivolous entertainment.

Newtown massacre: Town tries to move on as schools reopen

Children across Newtown returned to school yesterday, the first time teachers and students filed into classrooms since the massacre that shook the town, and the nation, on Friday.

Construction: Late payments bankrupting suppliers

Construction companies that pay suppliers late are causing hundreds of businesses to go under every month, it has been claimed.

Wales forward Matthew Rees in action during yesterday’s training session

Potent David Pocock returns for Australia to worry Wales

Australia welcome back their inspirational No 7 as Warren Gatland's team aim to avoid a whitewash

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker