News

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

British press magnate Lord Beaverbrook, former owner of Cherkley Court

Judge blocks attempts to open luxury golf course on Green Belt land in Surrey

Lawyers claimed course was ‘needed’ despite nearby clubs reporting a lack of demand

The prisoner kept in a squalid, isolated cell for five years – and what it says about the way we treat women in jail

The “cruel, inhumane and degrading” treatment of a woman held in an austere and “squalid” cell for more than five years has prompted calls for the Government to address the “national failure” of not having a national strategy to manage some of Britain’s most challenging women prisoners.

HMP Bronzefield as the prison has been criticised for holding a female inmate in segregation in a

'Cruel, inhumane and degrading': Female prisoner kept segregated in 'squalid' cell for five years

Inspector discovered case during unannounced visit to HMP Bronzefield in Surrey

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.

Surrey reach T20 semi-finals

Surrey booked their place in the Friends Life T20 Finals Day for the first time since 2006 after edging to a three-wicket win over Somerset in their quarter-final at The Oval.

'I didn't call Boris a fat b******', insists cyclist branded 'Gollum' by London Mayor during gruelling 100-mile RideLondon event

The London Mayor claimed that Bob Carter, 52, teased him as he struggled to climb Leith Hill in Surrey

Olympic bronze medallist Karina Bryant

Judo: Karina Bryant retires on anniversary of winning Olympic bronze

Olympic bronze medallist Karina Bryant has announced her retirement due to continued injury problems – a year to the day after standing on the podium at London 2012.

Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed by a Scotland Yard officer at the G20 protests

Met close to payout for unlawful killing of Ian Tomlinson

'Compensation deal close' with family of man who died after being pushed to ground during G20 protests

Chris Tremlett has been called up to the England squad for the third Test

Ashes 2013: Steve Finn dropped by ruthless England for Chris Tremlett

Onions also dropped as Taylor and Panesar are brought into squad for third Test that could clinch Ashes

Robin Scott-Elliot: Ashes wheel won't turn back if Aussies would rather watch 'Shaun the Sheep'

The Last Word: Here people watch sport, from football down, in numbers envied elsewhere

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Independent Travel
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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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