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

The Dead Sea: This aerial view photo shows sinkholes created by the drying of the Dead Sea, near Kibbutz Ein Gedi

Is the Dead Sea dying? Water loss continues at record rate

The Dead Sea is shrinking at a record rate, prompting calls for Israel and Jordan to stop fertilizer makers from siphoning so much of the water whose restorative powers have attracted visitors since biblical times.

Holistic dentists view the mouth as 'a barometer of the body's overall health'

Holistic dentists: Beyond daily flossing

Brushing? Check. Flossing? Check. Twice-yearly cleanings? Check and check. You may think you've got good oral health in the bag, but an article in Whole Living may make you think again.

Global warming 'may lead to smaller fish'

The biggest fish in the sea could be almost 25 per cent smaller by 2050 because of global warming, according to a new study.

Sea uranium extraction 'close to economic reality'

Extracting uranium from seawater is closer to becoming an economic reality which could guarantee the future of nuclear power, scientists said today.

<p>1. John Lewis Beach Huts towel</p>
<p>£18, johnlewis.com</p>
<p>Generous and featuring maritime stripes and a fun, coastal design – just what you need to get you in the mood for a day at the beach.</p>

The 10 Best beach essentials

Everything you need beside the seaside

The lucky ones: A boat carrying 200 people from Libya arrives in Italy last year

One man out of 55 survives on lost boat

No one came to Libyan migrants' aid during 15 days in busy shipping channel

Frédéric Panaïotis has been the cellar master at Champagne Ruinart since 2007

My Life In Food: Frédéric Panïotis, cellar master, Champagne Ruinart

Frédéric Panaïotis has been the cellar master at Champagne Ruinart since 2007. He creates the blends, from the non vintages to the prestige cuvées, as well as travelling the globe meeting customers. Prior to this he spent more than 12 years with Champagne Veuve Clicquot.

Truth Like the Sun, By Jim Lynch

If all the world's a fair, here is its creator

Marcus Wareing is the chef/patron of Marcus Wareing At The Berkeley

My Life In Food: Marcus Wareing

Marcus Wareing is the chef/patron of Marcus Wareing At The Berkeley. Having trained alongside Albert Roux, he went on to work as Gordon Ramsay's sous chef and then as his partner in L'Oranger in 1996. He opened the Gilbert Scott restaurant at the St Pancras Hotel in 2011.

(Front, left to right) Will Dixon, Neil Heritage, Rory Mackenzie; (back) Carl Anstey, Ed Janvrin, Alex Mackenzie

Outside Edge: Awesome oarsmen in deep trouble

Everybody's doing tests of endurance these days. Am I being left behind?

Fishing vessel is freed from Antarctic ice

A Russian fishing vessel stuck for 12 days and in danger of sinking in the frigid waters off Antarctica began a trek through 100 miles of sea ice to open water yesterday.

Twenty holiday myths exposed

Can a gin and tonic keep the mozzies away? Does a paper bag prevent jet lag? Kunal Dutta and Lyndsey Fineran get to the truth

The explosive truth behind Fukushima's meltdown

Japan insists its nuclear crisis was caused by an unforeseeable combination of tsunami and earthquake. But new evidence suggests its reactors were doomed to fail

Natural wonders: The New Forest is small but bursting with fun

In the second part of our series on national parks, <b>Jane Anderson</b> explores the wilds of Hampshire

Jellyfish close down nuclear plant

Both reactors at a nuclear power station have been shut down after "high volumes" of jellyfish were found on seawater filter screens.

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Day In a Page

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
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
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

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there