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London First is a body set up about 20 years ago by the London business community to promote the city as a place to do business and to lobby for the improvements – particularly to infrastructure – which everyone knows we urgently need but which government seems incapable of planning for.

Renold is back in the money

A company whose products are found in Big Ben's clock tower and the Thames Barrier has returned a half-year profit for the first time in two years.

Nature Club: From badgers to blackberries, readers report on their recent wildlife highlights

A family of badgers – two adults and three young – visit my garden. I've taken pictures, but they are so shy they disappear at the slightest sound. The female is the one with the mottled nose. When badgers fight, they often grab their opponent's nose and bite. The pinkish colouring is scar tissue from battles.

Staines considers name change to shed comedy connection

A town is considering a change of name in a bid to shake off links with the comedy character Ali G, local councillors said today.

Thames: The tale that the river told

Fifty years ago, it was biologically dead. In 2010, the Thames is in rude health. It's a transformation with huge implications, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

The Big Six: Hotels by the Thames

AA warns over speed cameras

Lives will be put at risk if councils scrap speed cameras, the AA warns. A recent switch-off of cameras in the Thames Valley area alarmed residents and there now appeared to be a "road safety policy void", the motoring group said.

Lee Ryan assault charge withdrawn

An assault charge against boy band singer Lee Ryan was withdrawn at the request of his partner when he appeared in court today.

'Walls of fat' removed from London's sewers

Enough fat to fill nine double-decker buses is being removed from sewers under London's Leicester Square.

Burley Cross Postbox Theft, By Nicola Barker

This epistolary novel looks behind twitching curtains

Accessing MI5 files on July 7 'impossible', inquest told

Revealing top secret MI5 files about the July 7 bombers to the families of those killed in the attacks would be "impossible", it was claimed today.

Former doorman to face Milly Dowler murder charge

A former doorman is set to appear in court facing charges of kidnapping and murdering 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002.

Open again after 145 years, the eighth wonder of the world

How do you turn an underwater tunnel with a flooding problem into a national sensation? Arifa Akbar tells the extraordinary story of the 'Thames Tunnel'

Thames Barrier closed again to protect capital

The Thames Barrier was closed for the third time in two days today to protect London from a combination of high tides and swollen rivers following heavy rainfall over the weekend.

Thames barrier closed for second time in 24 hours

Flood warnings remained in place across the country today although the heavy rain which affected England and Wales is expected to ease off.

Mystery of the disappearing Thames eels

98 per cent drop in river's population in the past five years
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?