Man, 85, crosses Atlantic on raft

A grandfather aged 85 has sailed across the Atlantic on a raft made of pipes after 66 days at sea.

Asterix creator embroiled in family feud after sacking daughter

One of the funniest and most popular Asterix comic books tells how money and a few carefully chosen words can tear relatives and friends apart.

Dirt: The filthy reality of everyday life - in pictures

If you’re a germaphobe, it’s probably best to look away now. A major exhibition at the London-based Wellcome Collection examines the uncleanliness of human life.

Cooper Brown: Workmen

I’ve spent all day waiting in the Cooperdome for the great British workman. This is a man who sits at home watching Jeremy Kyle waiting for somebody to be in trouble.

Video: Giant sinkhole swallows up cars in US

A giant sinkhole in Wisconsin ate up a couple of parked cars following a burst water pipe.

Icy weather hits profits at RSA

More than parent RSA Insurance has reported a 14 per cent plunge in annual profits as Britain's pre-Christmas snow and extreme conditions worldwide sent weather claims soaring £255m more than normal.

Album: Charles Bradley, No Time for Dreaming (Daptone/Dunham)

Sharon Jones sings backing vocals and the Menahan Street Band provide the grooves, but something about this soul remains distinctly ordinaire.

Best European Fiction 2011, Edited by Aleksandar Hemon

Does European literature exist? Of course it does, and this collection of 41 stories proves it. The Berlin Wall is down and revolutionary vanguards of skilful translators and enlightened publishers are forging ahead towards a Europe of superlative story-telling. Dalkey Archive Press heroically forges ahead with this idea too. The editor, the Bosnian-born writer Aleksandar Hemon, calls himself "the tormented anthologist", having to select the best pieces of literature "for the charge at the frontline of contemporary fiction".

New rain hampers rescue effort in Brazil floods

A new and ominous rain began falling again today in mountain towns where mudslides and flooding killed at least 479 people, hindering rescuers' efforts to reach survivors even as relatives hauled the dead down the hills to freshly dug graves.

Sri Lanka battles floods disease threat

Health workers in Sri Lanka are battling to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases following floods which have killed at least 23 people.

Water chief's payout 'should be put on hold'

Northern Ireland Water chief Laurence MacKenzie's £96,000 farewell payout should be put on hold, it was claimed tonight.

Plumbers and Penguins, Radio 4, Monday<br/>Woman's World, Radio 4, All Week

There's no people like snow people. They smile at -40C

Burst pipe cuts water supply to thousands

Around 3,000 homes and businesses were left without water in Yorkshire yesterday after a burst on a major pipe supplying a pumping station.

Thirsty in Thirsk: 3,000 homes without water

Around 3,000 homes and businesses were left without water today after a burst on a major pipe which supplies a pumping station.

Long wait for water reconnection

It could be early next week before all Northern Ireland customers cut off from water supplies are reconnected.

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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

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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

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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

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

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

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