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The Met Office issued an amber warning of rain for the Somerset Levels, where villages have now been dubbed ‘islands’

Tune in: British composer Frederick Delius

Frederick Delius: How a great British musical myth was born

A BBC film will shed light on the enigma of Frederick Delius

Tune in: British composer Frederick Delius

How a great British musical myth was born

German by birth and buried in France: a BBC film sheds light on the enigma of Frederick Delius. By Jessica Duchen

A protester dressed as Ali G, Sacha Baron-Cohen’s creation from Staines, complains about the ‘pointless’ change

Staines, home of Ali G, tries to go more upmarket

The late comedian Kenneth Horne, master of the double entendre, used to tell a joke about a town in London's commuter belt with a somewhat unfortunate name: "How to get rid of unsightly Staines – blow up the bridge and burn the cinema!"

Beaches fly flag for England

An increasing number of England's beaches have won Blue Flag awards this year, bringing the country into the top 10 worldwide.

Fleet Road, Fleet, Hampshire, England

Trending: What's the buzz about Fleet? Sex toys may provide the answer

Last year Fleet in Hampshire topped a national quality of life survey, now a new study might explain why: its residents spend more money on sex toys than anywhere else.

Hare says: 'Discontent with the world is so tied up with discontent about yourself'

Rebel with a cause looks back in anger

Left-leaning David Hare's new play is based on his days as a scholarship boy at public school. Michael Coveney meets him

Hare says: 'Discontent with the world is so tied up with discontent about yourself'

The unhappiest time of his life: David Hare on dramatising his school days

How does left-leaning playwright David Hare make a return to the stage with a play based on his days as a scholarship boy at public school? Michael Coveney asks him.

Cadet died helping colleague

A 14-year-old sea cadet fell to his death from the rigging of a training ship after he unclipped his harness to go to the assistance of another cadet, an inquest was told yesterday.

Man dies after stabbing

A man was killed during a fight that broke out in a residential street after a late-night party early yesterday morning.

Four-year-old girl joins Mensa

A four-year-old girl has been accepted into Mensa after achieving a score of 159 on an IQ test.

Samit Patel has a chance to force his way into England's side as a regular

Patel hopes sheer weight of runs will nudge the selectors

Samit Patel has shown plenty of hunger in the past, and today he needs to show the England selectors he has an appetite for big runs and a desire to cut the mustard at the highest level.

Rory Hamilton-Brown in front of a painting showing previous Surrey captains at The Oval

London calling to reclaim the County title

Northern sides have ruled the roost for a decade but Surrey and Middlesex are well placed to challenge in the County Championship, which starts today

<p>1. Bowdown Woods, Berkshire</p>
<p>The one-mile path at Bowdown (which includes some sharp slopes and flatland) may be one of the shorter walks on the list, but there's still lots to amuse the entire family, including a plethora of plants and unusual butterflies.</p>
<p>Free, bbowt.org.uk/reserves/bowdown-woods</p>

The 10 Best bluebell walks

The thermometer is all over the place but spring has sprung so it's time to go in search of the season's finest flowers

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation acquired NDS in 1992

Murdoch company in pay-TV piracy scandal 'paid Surrey Police'

The News Corp subsidiary at the heart of claims it used computer hackers to crack rivals' technology made a £2,000 payment to a British police force for "assistance given to us in our work", The Independent can reveal.

Leveson Inquiry: Piers Morgan told police that celebrity and crime 'sends rules out the window'

Piers Morgan admitted to police that the combination of celebrity and crime “sends most of the usual rules out of the window”, the Leveson Inquiry into press standards heard today.

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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
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?