Voices Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset. Some parts of England have suffered the wettest January since records began

Three Independent letter writers covered the issue superbly

Keep it on ice: Mark Hix reveals his delicious freezer essentials

Great ingredients such as prawns, globe artichokes and tomato sauce can all be kept in your freezer, ready to be deployed at the drop of a hat for a delicious tasting dish. You can even have a vodka shot on hand, too

Bodies are taken out of Tacloban

Typhoon Haiyan: National state of calamity declared in Philippines as international relief workers struggle to reach survivors

Authorities say at least 9.7 million people across 41 provinces have been affected

Sydney Opera House

Australia travel: 10 inspiring articles to plan a holiday half-way round the world

This weekend London’s Royal Academy launches Australia, a new exhibition that focuses on two centuries of artistic endeavour in this dazzling country. To mark the occasion, The Independent’s travel desk has inspiring ideas for anyone considering a journey to Oz – the ultimate winter sun destination.

End of the piers? Seaside structures plagued by high costs and neglect

Seaside piers across Britain are under threat from rising maintenance costs and rocketing insurance bills, according to new research.

Admiral Joshi, left, meets India’s Defence Minister A K Antony, second left, by the sunken submarine

Divers search for Indian sailors trapped in submarine

Eighteen sailors are trapped after an explosion in Mumbai naval yard

Both Zanzibar acid attack teenagers to require skin grafts

One remains in hospital, while the other who was discharged will return for surgery on Thursday, her family said

Zanzibar acid-attack preacher Issa Ponda surrenders to police

Radical preacher wanted in connection with the attack on Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee in Zanzibar has gone on the run

Urine is not the best cure for a jellyfish sting

To pee or not to pee? Red Cross says using urine on jellyfish stings won't help

An unexpected boom in the number of jellyfish swarming around our coasts has prompted an unusual warning from the British Red Cross – don’t pee on a jellyfish sting.

You shouldn't pee on a jellyfish sting like in ‘Friends’ - and other medical myths

We all remember the episode when Monica, Chandler and Joey head to the beach. Monica gets stung by a jellyfish and to ease her pain Chandler urinates on her leg. And thus a worldwide health lesson was learned.

Urine is not the best cure for a jellyfish sting

To pee or not to pee? Red Cross says using urine on jellyfish stings won't help

An unexpected boom in the number of jellyfish swarming around our coasts has prompted an unusual warning from the British Red Cross – don’t pee on a jellyfish sting.

Masao Yoshida, a heavy smoker, had oesophageal cancer

Japanese ‘hero’ who saved Fukushima plant from total meltdown dies of cancer

Yoshida was widely praised for staying in post and limiting the impact of the nuclear disaster

Screenshot courtesy of NeverWet - a superhydrophobic spray

Superhydrophobic spray NeverWet enters US market in a $20 can

Two step spray coating makes fabrics, wood, metals and plastic waterproof

Aerial picture of Lago Epecuen village, some 600 km southwest of Buenos Aires

The 'real life Atlantis': Eerie photographs capture Villa Epceun - the Argentinian town that spent 25 years underwater

Eerie images have captured a deserted village once dubbed the “real life Atlantis” after it spent over 25 years under water.

Swamped homes on the outskirts of Rangoon after Cyclone Nargis in 2008

Lives still in limbo for Burma's forgotten cyclone victims

Four years after the disaster, Andrew Buncombe visits the inaccessible Irrawaddy Delta, where people have yet to fully recover from Nargis' impact

Ocean acidification caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is eating away at the shells of marine snails known as “sea butterflies”, the researchers said.

Rise of acid ocean eats away base of food chain

Shells of tiny sea snails are being eroded as more carbon dioxide is dissolved into seawater

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booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?