Arts and Entertainment

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

Accessing MI5 files on July 7 'impossible', inquest told

Revealing top secret MI5 files about the July 7 bombers to the families of those killed in the attacks would be "impossible", it was claimed today.

Mystery of the disappearing Thames eels

98 per cent drop in river's population in the past five years

Eels disappearing from Thames

Eel populations in the River Thames have crashed by 98 per cent in just five years, scientists warned today.

Thames Water warns of funding gap

The UK's biggest water company today warned of a potential funding gap as the recession poses "significant challenges" for the business.

Put the Thames back, Mayor tells Tube bosses

Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered the River Thames to be reinstated on the London Underground map.

Body found in sea search for 10-year-old

Rescue teams searching for a missing 10-year-old girl who disappeared after playing in the sea found a body today.

Ofwat demands Thames Water reduces planned price hike

Thames Water will be told to reduce its planned price increases when the industry's regulator announces its five-year review this week.

Richard Chartres: Society will only advance if individuals within it find their soul

bishops are often accused of talking rubbish. Tonight is probably the first occasion on which a bishop intends to talk rubbish. "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long."

Verdi Falstaff, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, London

The three Girl Guides working on a tapestry front cloth of Windsor-upon-Thames for Richard Jones’ new Glyndebourne staging of Verdi’s Falstaff are well on the way to finishing when we, the audience, arrive.

Questions Of Cash: Thames Water's leaky system for allowances

Q. My mother's house had a water leak, which was fixed in April last year. In January this year, my father died. On 5 February, my mother phoned her water supplier, Thames Water, to change the direct debit to her account. She was dealt with unsympathetically and told she must pay £50 a month for an outstanding bill. She believed this problem had been resolved by my late father. After my mother was upset by the call I phoned Thames Water, but was told it could not talk to me because of the Data Protection Act. But I was promised that a "leak allowance form" would be sent to my mother, which she would complete and return with a letter authorising me to handle the account. The form never arrived. Instead, she received a distressing phone call asking when she could pay the outstanding bill. She told the operative that she could not deal with this and gave my name and number authorising me to sort this mess out. On 9 March, I phoned Thames Water again and it said I could now deal with the problem, but that it did not send out "leak allowance forms". I phoned again on 23 March and was told that it does send out "leak allowance forms". I next phoned on 6 April and was told it could not discuss the problem with me for data protection reasons: however, eventually it was prepared to discuss some information with me. Then, on April 18, my mother received a payment plan, for her to pay £276 a month. My mother is very distressed. MA, Stroud.

Green-living squatters: Revolution in Surbiton

A community has taken up residence on an island in the Thames – and the locals are far from amused. Cahal Milmo reports

Alice-Azania Jarvis: ‘The baliffs are after me - I’m not opening the door to anyone

Bailiffs. No one likes them but, these days, they’re laughing all the way to the bank. I had my first run-in with one last week. For the moment, at least, they’ve been called off my case (a victory for common man, I like |to think) – but, my goodness, they were nasty.

Where February is the new September

Courses beginning in winter offer part-time students and others greater flexibility

Kingston upon Thames

Secondary School Tables 2009

Crime falls in knife crackdown areas

Stabbings fell in areas targeted by a police crackdown on knife crime, Home Office figures revealed today.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Independent Travel
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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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