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

Gould's Book of Fish: a novel in twelve fish by Richard Flanagan

A shoal of red herrings beached on Van Diemen's Land

Letter: This bug is covered

THE SENSATIONALISM of the story "Steel-eating microbes threaten to devour Britain's ports" (5 December) is ill-suited to this paper. The phenomenon of accelerated steel corrosion in areas intermittently covered by salt water is well-known and unlikely to be used in "germ warfare"; aggressors would use a more rapid action weapon. The phenomenon is so well-known that before I left this field more than 10 years ago I was working on solutions to it. There's a firm near Cirencester that has worked on impervious plastic wrap; galvanic protection also helps, and there are various paints and petroleum-based products on the market.

Millions of India cyclone victims wait for aid

THREE DAYS after a "super- cyclone" devastated a huge chunk of Orissa, on the eastern coast of India, the relief effort was finally getting under way yesterday. But with deaths probably already in the thousands, and victims maddened with hunger raiding government food stores, for many in the state help will arrive too late.

Food: The Olney way

The late Richard Olney knew almost everything worth knowing about French cuisine. Long-time devotee Simon Hopkinson pays homage to the American food writer's inspirational approach

World's largest bacteria found off Namibia

THE BIGGEST bacteria ever known have been discovered off the African coast. They consist of cells up to 0.75mm in diameter - equivalent to seven pages of a book seen edge-on.

Eating In: Worth its salt

The best salt, writes Michael Bateman, is sifted straight from the sea. And this year's heavy rains may make it more of a delicacy than ever

Acid leaks on to protected marshland

ANTI-POLLUTION TEAMS from the Environment Agency and English Nature were striving last night to contain a major leak of industrial acid onto a protected marshland which is a haven for wild birds.

The sunday poem; 6. Jo Shapcott

Every week Ruth Padel discusses a contemporary poet through an example of their work

Sailing: Crew use shirts to plug leak

TEAM NEW ZEALAND sailors tore off their shirts and formed a bucket brigade to save their America's Cup-winning boat from sinking in the Hauraki Gulf yesterday.

Food: A Christmas tail

Seabass baked in a sea-salt crust - a sumptuous seasonal treat for the discerning non-carnivore. Photographs by Patrice de Villiers

Travel Adventure: Rough ride on a wall of water

It's the ultimate balancing act. Eric Kendall feels the force of the ocean waves on a surf kayak

Signs of life on Jupiter's moons

THE PROSPECT of finding life in space has received a boost with the discovery of evidence suggesting the existence of huge oceans of salty water on two of Jupiter's moons.

Rising sea swallowing East coast

BRITAIN SHOULD wake up to the fact that the sea-level rise predicted to follow global warming is already happening and is eating away the coastline, the Government was warned yesterday.

Monica

Dumb brunette, bunny boiler, Valley Girl, minx, victim, fool for love. Who is Monica Lewinsky and what does she want?

Weave a little magic

PEOPLE IN FASHION: From the needles of knitting duo, Saltwater, Hester Lacey finds softness on a hanger
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy