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

Radiation spike inside Japan nuclear plant 'inaccurate'

Mounting problems, including badly miscalculated radiation figures and inadequate storage tanks for huge amounts of contaminated water, stymied emergency workers Sunday as they struggled to nudge Japan's stricken nuclear complex back from the edge of disaster.

Radiation spikes in seawater by stricken Japan plant

Radiation levels have soared in seawater near Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, officials said on Saturday, as engineers struggled to stabilise the power station two weeks after it was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Power cables attached at Japan nuclear plant

Power cables have been connected to all six reactors at Japan's damaged nuclear plant, a significant step in bringing the complex under control.

A father's goodbye: 'Live well. I cannot be home for a while'

The Fukushima 50 may come out alive, but not unscathed

'Suicide squad' struggles to cool reactors as radiation levels rise

Japan yesterday deployed army helicopters and police water cannon manned by what the media are calling "suicide squads" in a frantic attempt to cool overheating fuel rods and prevent meltdown at a nuclear power plant ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami one week ago.

Britons to be evacuated from Japan

The evacuation of Britons from disaster-struck Japan will begin tomorrow evening, the Foreign Office (FCO) said tonight amid a warning the nuclear situation is deteriorating.

Japan prepares to restart work at nuclear plant

Surging radiation levels forced Japan to order emergency workers to temporarily withdraw from its crippled nuclear plant today, losing time in a desperate operation to cool the overheating reactors — the most urgent crisis from last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Q&A: How worried should we be about nuclear catastrophe?

How serious is this incident?

Third blast heard at Japan nuclear plant

Japan's nuclear safety agency says an explosion has been heard at Unit 2 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Fears of radioactive leak after blast rips through complex

Japan was battling to head off a further catastrophe last night, after a nuclear power station damaged by the earthquake was rocked by a huge explosion.

Huge explosion at nuclear plant

An explosion at a nuclear power plant on Japan's devastated coast destroyed a building Saturday and made leaking radiation, or even outright meltdown, the central threat menacing a nation just beginning to grasp the scale of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

Surfers ride the river Severn

The Severn Bore makes its way up the river Severn through Gloucestershire. A number of bores travel up the river every year, some big enough to surf.

Floodwater threatens overwhelming damage to Great Barrier Reef

The great deluge is pumping contaminated water into the ocean, with potentially disastrous results

Bosses face demands to quit over burst pipes fiasco

Water bosses tonight faced demands to quit as engineers struggled to repair leaking pipes to tens of thousands of homes in Northern Ireland, amid fears the drinking water fiasco could develop into a major health emergency.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas