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

Mother and son held over suspected plans to take man to Dignitas

A 65-year-old woman and 25-year-old man have been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of encouraging or assisting a suicide

Michael Carberry raises his bat to the crowd as he leaves the field of play

Twenty20: Carberry’s Hampshire Royals are still the team to beat

A boom year for Twenty20 cricket reaches its climax with a 25,000 full house expected at Edgbaston today, following on the heels of a 76 per cent increase in overall attendances compared with 2012.

Scene of a road traffic collision on the clockwise section of the M25 Surrey

Eight people injured - two seriously - in seven car crash on M25

Six ambulances and four fire engines attended the scene of the crash between junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey

Six people injured - two seriously - in crash on M25 in Surrey

Six ambulances and four fire engines attended the scene of the crash between junctions 10 and 11 in Surrey

Surrey given Hashim Amla boost

Surrey's hopes of avoiding relegation from the First Division of the County Championship have been boosted by the signing of South Africa's Hashim Amla, currently rated as the best Test and ODI batsman in the world.

Ryan Ten Doeschate top scored with 82

Essex through to T20 Finals Day

Essex booked the last place in the Friends Life T20 Finals Day with a 47-run victory over Nottingham-shire in the quarter-final at Trent Bridge.

Charlotte Edwards will captain England in all three formats

Now England women get ready for their Ashes

England announced their Ashes squads today. Selection is a tricky business in women's cricket these days because the trophy in this case now covers all three forms of the game.

The village of Balcombe is nestled in the valleys of West Sussex

The only way is Sussex: Protesters glued together. Activists attached to a fire engine with bike locks. Where else than in our most radical county?

Demonstrations against the shale gas explorations of oil company Cuadrilla are the continuation of an ancient and rich vein of radicalism and dissent in the home county

Anti-fracking protester is arrested in Balcombe

Police accused of using ‘excessive force’ during Balcombe fracking protest

Officers told to justify painful 'mandibular angle' technique using pressure point behind ear

A protestor lies down in front of the entrance gate

Sleepy Balcombe wakes up with a roar over prospect of fracking

Tom Bawden visits the West Sussex village where events are shaking up old allegiances

Eddy Shah, cleared of raping girl

Tycoon Eddy Shah is cleared of raping girl

The former newspaper tycoon Eddy Shah was found not guilty torday of raping an underage schoolgirl at a string of London hotels.

Ashton Agar hits out during his historic innings

Ashes 2013: 'We knew Ashton Agar could bat a bit... but not that well,' says Henley chief

Youngster was out for four on league debut for English club, but is now on 'upward trend'

House prices continue to rise as demand also increases

Around 21 per cent more Chartered Surveyors reported prices rose rather than fell in June, according to the RICS, which would make it the strongest month for house prices since January 2010.

Ricky Ponting in action for Surrey

Ricky Ponting struggles for grand farewell with Notts on top

Surrey 198 Nottinghamshire 50-0

Reggae star Smiley Culture stabbed himself during a police raid, inquest rules

Reggae star Smiley Culture died from a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest during a police raid at his home, an inquest jury found today.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'