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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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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
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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
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness