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 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.

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.

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
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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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?