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

How would you like to pay economy but fly business class?

Ladybirds are cannibals, or at least they are at the larva stage, but we won't go into that

Abseil rescue of father and son

A DESPERATE air and sea rescue saved a father and son who became trapped with two lifeboat crew in a sea cave on the Cornish coast last night.

E.coli bacteria found on holiday beaches

SAND ON beaches at two of the United Kingdom's most popular holiday resorts is contaminated with bacteria that causes common food poisoning, according to research published yesterday.

Letter: Salt water and tears

Sir: While I am intrigued by the possible transformation of insular Lincolnshire with Lincoln as an isthmus town, I was dismayed to read your account of the Agriculture Select Committee's report and the wildlife lobby's welcome for its "Let the coastline flood" policy (6 August).

Travel: Ring of bright water

The tube is the holy grail of every surfie - but for the first timer, mere mastery of the board has a very steep learning curve, as Eric Kendall found out

Former PC in Bermuda killing case

A FORMER British policeman was yesterday charged with manslaughter in Bermuda after the death of his live-in lover a year ago.

Former PC on killing charge

A FORMER British policeman was yesterday charged with manslaughter in Bermuda after the death of his live-in lover a year ago.

Summit bid salvaged from the storm

Everest Diary: Base Camp

Essentials: Just add seasoning

Salt water is good for healing wounds and cleaning silver , but Saltwater is also a fab new womenswear company. They are similar in style to Jigsaw but with an extra special touch. In contrast to the parade of impossibly pert bottoms peeping out of teeny shorts from the likes of Katherine Hamnett, Saltwater offer realistic clothes for modern girls.

Winter bows out with a cold snap

AN UNUSUALLY mild winter officially ends today with freezing gales, a nasty cold snap and a real threat of snow in the north as Spring, and March, arrive.

Environment: Surfers given pledge on sewage

The Government today pledged to investigate surfers' fears over sewage germs in seawater, after MPs warned that the growing popularity of the sport could pose health risks.

Weather: Current ideas in climate research

The oceans are the greatest unknown factor in the equation of weather. An international project based in Southampton, however, is bringing us closer to a detailed understanding of the interaction of sea and climate.

Rowing: Couple set fair for rowing Atlantic without rowing

David and Nadia Rice take to the water at Los Gigantes, Tenerife, on Sunday for what represents the greatest challenge of their lives, the first rowing race across the Atlantic. Mike Rowbottom hears why they want to take the risk.

Tennis: Grand Slam Cup - Rafter embarrassed by riches

Pat Rafter, tennis's man on a moped, is at a loss to know what to do with the $1.3m he has won during the past month. John Roberts reports from the $6m Compaq Grand Slam Cup in Munich.

Yachting: It's like trying to sleep inside a kettle drum

Gordon Maguire anticipates a damp, smelly, grindingly tough month aboard Silk Cut
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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 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own