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

Invisible Ink: No 132 - Marghanita Laski

Church halls are great friends of forgotten authors. A rootle in the used-book stacks of St Giles-without-Cripplegate in London brought me to this novelist, journalist and panellist, born to a family of prominent Jewish intellectuals in Manchester in October 1915.

Ian Bell (left) is watched by England team-mate Matt Prior yesterday

County Championship round-up: Clear as a Bell that England batsman is in sparkling form

Seven of the last 12 days of scheduled cricket here have been complete washouts, so in a summer of gratitude for small mercies, the 65 overs of play which were possible before another band of rain arrived were much appreciated, not least for the pleasure provided by another eminently watchable innings from England's in-form batsman Ian Bell.

Rain set to cause severe disruption

Britain was braced for severe disruption today with up to a month's rain set to fall in 24 hours.

Government responds to 'no strategy' claims in missing migrants row

The Government today insisted it had clear strategy to identify and remove people who fail to leave the UK when their visas run out, despite a damning report which revealed that the Home Office has no idea where 150,000 potential migrants are.

Womad Festival

Sorted for cream teas and kids

The Cotswolds boasts a glut of genteel festivals – and the Chipping Norton Set are big fans

PC Simon Harwood in court with his wife Helen

Pc Simon Harwood claims Ian Tomlinson was 'almost inviting physical confrontation'

A police officer accused of fatally injuring an unemployed man during protests in central London claimed that the victim was “almost inviting physical confrontation” before he was struck with a baton and shoved to the ground, a court heard today.

Isle of Wight Festival revellers forced to sleep in cars

Hundreds of revellers have been forced to sleep in their cars after traffic became gridlocked when the Isle of Wight Festival site turned into a mudbath caused by heavy rains.

Pc Simon Harwood 'was making an example' of Ian Tomlinson

The police officer accused of killing Ian Tomlinson was "making an example of him" when he struck him with a baton and pushed him to the ground, a court heard today.

Hosepipe bans to be lifted at last ... but floods are set to stay

Millions see the end of the 'drought' as yet another severe weather warning is issued

Matt Prior arrives for a training session at Lord's yesterday

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior passed fit for third Test against West Indies

Matt Prior has been passed fit to keep wicket for England in the third Test against West Indies at Edgbaston today.

Judge halts Travellers 'slavery' case

The jury in the trial of two Travellers accused of enslaving vulnerable men was discharged yesterday.

Emmanuelle Savarit puts her message across at the pizzeria Romana, South Kensington

French to elect first 'Kensington MP'

Across the UK, a general election campaign is beginning to gather pace. It may have gone unnoticed but, be assured, canvassing is in full swing; supporters are going door-to-door and the candidates are engaging in political tête-à-têtes at the hustings.

Emmanuelle Savarit puts her message across at the pizzeria Romana, South Kensington

France's sixth biggest city* goes to the polls (*that's London, by the way)

The English capital has more Gallic residents than Calais and Lille combined. And next month expats in the stronghold of South Kensington will have a big say in who is returned as the first French overseas MP

Where most royalists will raise a toast...

Is Hertfordshire the most patriotic place in the country?

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'