News

Up to 30mm of rain is expected today amid fears of coastal flooding, high tides and strong winds across the southern and western areas of England and Wales

A vintage tractor drives through flooded Thorney

Villagers tire of island life on flooded Somerset Levels

For nearly a month, residents of Muchelney and Thorney have been cut off from the ‘mainland’  after heavy rains

Moving target: Badgers blamed for the spread of bovine TB have been shot

Badger cull figures 'counted unfairly'

Defra accused of downplaying results of scheme so it can bring in longer killing periods in the future

Dragon’s tail: the Aberystwyth Promenade

UK weather: David Cameron blames Britain’s 'abnormal' winter storms on climate change as Met Office warns of more rain to come

Comments came as Environment Agency warned of flood risks continuing into Friday

Opening batsman Nick Compton is hopeful of an England recall after their recent batting collapses in the Ashes series defeat

Ashes 2013-14: Nick Compton determined to get head down to earn England recall to take advantage of disappointing defeat

Compton was dropped by England prior to the summer Ashes series but remains undeterred in his efforts to regain his spot after batting calamities on current tour

Dolly Parton has been strongly tipped for Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014: Dolly Parton rumoured as the second headliner

Arcade Fire and Lily Allen have already been confirmed as performers

Win Butler and his Canadian band Arcade Fire will play Glastonbury next June

Arcade Fire confirm Glastonbury Festival headline slot 2014

The Canadian rockers will be playing at Worth Farm in Somerset next June

Trio return for England women's Ashes defence

Katherine Brunt, Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole return from injury to feature in the England squad for the defence of the women's Ashes in Australia in the new year.

Fireworks contractor Geoffrey Counsell, 51, (right) with a member of his legal team, Gavin Reese (centre), outside Bristol Crown Court where he was cleared of breaching health and safety laws in relation to a firework display held on the night of a massive motorway crash in which seven people died and 51 were injured

Fireworks contractor Geoffrey Counsell tells of relief as he is cleared over foggy night M5 crash deaths

Man in charge of a fireworks display held on the night of a massive motorway crash in which seven people died and 51 were injured has been cleared of breaching health and safety laws

Mulberry profits hit by international expansion costs

British luxury giant sees profit dive 28% to £7.2 million

The trial needed to kill 70 per cent of the badger population to be effective

Badger cull in Gloucestershire ends with marksmen missing targets

Shooting in Gloucestershire halted three weeks early, falling short of even a reduced target

Lee James, left, and his victimBijan Ebrahimi

A death foretold: Vigilante Lee James’ warning to police days before he murdered disabled man Bijan Ebrahimi after he was wrongly outed as paedophile

As witch-hunt escalated, James had warned police that he would take the law into his own hands – but officers only read victim’s ‘I don’t feel safe’ email after his death

Bristol policeman critically injured after falling through mechanic roof in suspect hunt

Officer remains in a critical condition after pursuing a man who appeared to be acting suspiciously

Despite voters’ apathy, PCCs are here to stay

Such was the relief when a woman exercised her democratic rights in the Devon town of Exmouth that staff broke into spontaneous applause. No such joy for their colleagues at one polling station in Gwent – they spent the whole day waiting in vain for a voter to darken their doors.

Campaigners declare badger cull a failure after targets are missed

The Government’s badger cull is a “complete failure” and must be halted, animal rights campaigners and Labour demanded after shooting trials failed again to meet targets despite being extended.

The Somerset cull resulted in 850 badgers being killed over 40 days during

Pilot badger cull declared a ‘success’... but ministers halve targets for the number of animals to be killed

Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, will declare that the pilot badger cull has been a success, but admit that ministers have nearly halved targets for the number of animals to be killed.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert