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The struggling owner of the Yellow Pages will be boosted by the lifting of an outdated advertising price cap on the telephone directory this week.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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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
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booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital