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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.

Eels disappearing from Thames

Eel populations in the River Thames have crashed by 98 per cent in just five years, scientists warned today.

Thames Water warns of funding gap

The UK's biggest water company today warned of a potential funding gap as the recession poses "significant challenges" for the business.

Put the Thames back, Mayor tells Tube bosses

Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered the River Thames to be reinstated on the London Underground map.

New evidence in Milly Dowler murder case

Detectives investigating the murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler have obtained dramatic new evidence, sources said today.

Body found in sea search for 10-year-old

Rescue teams searching for a missing 10-year-old girl who disappeared after playing in the sea found a body today.

Ofwat demands Thames Water reduces planned price hike

Thames Water will be told to reduce its planned price increases when the industry's regulator announces its five-year review this week.

Richard Chartres: Society will only advance if individuals within it find their soul

bishops are often accused of talking rubbish. Tonight is probably the first occasion on which a bishop intends to talk rubbish. "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long."

Art that goes with the flow

Take 50 volunteers, some blue ribbon and the course of a dried-up river and what have you got? The latest artwork from Amy Sharrocks

Verdi Falstaff, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, London

The three Girl Guides working on a tapestry front cloth of Windsor-upon-Thames for Richard Jones’ new Glyndebourne staging of Verdi’s Falstaff are well on the way to finishing when we, the audience, arrive.

Questions Of Cash: Thames Water's leaky system for allowances

Q. My mother's house had a water leak, which was fixed in April last year. In January this year, my father died. On 5 February, my mother phoned her water supplier, Thames Water, to change the direct debit to her account. She was dealt with unsympathetically and told she must pay £50 a month for an outstanding bill. She believed this problem had been resolved by my late father. After my mother was upset by the call I phoned Thames Water, but was told it could not talk to me because of the Data Protection Act. But I was promised that a "leak allowance form" would be sent to my mother, which she would complete and return with a letter authorising me to handle the account. The form never arrived. Instead, she received a distressing phone call asking when she could pay the outstanding bill. She told the operative that she could not deal with this and gave my name and number authorising me to sort this mess out. On 9 March, I phoned Thames Water again and it said I could now deal with the problem, but that it did not send out "leak allowance forms". I phoned again on 23 March and was told that it does send out "leak allowance forms". I next phoned on 6 April and was told it could not discuss the problem with me for data protection reasons: however, eventually it was prepared to discuss some information with me. Then, on April 18, my mother received a payment plan, for her to pay £276 a month. My mother is very distressed. MA, Stroud.

Green-living squatters: Revolution in Surbiton

A community has taken up residence on an island in the Thames – and the locals are far from amused. Cahal Milmo reports

Questions of cash: 'Should I stick with my corporate bonds?'

Q: A recent article in The Independent ["How to make your savings pay", 7 March] recommended investing in corporate bonds to receive a good return of 6 per cent or more. While I have received this return on my corporate bonds with Halifax, the capital invested has fallen by 14 per cent. Should I maintain this investment? Will the capital recover? How bad could the capital value become if we have lots of corporate bankruptcies? JG, Mansfield.

Roni Horn, Tate Modern, London

Big ideas create little of interest

Alice-Azania Jarvis: ‘The baliffs are after me - I’m not opening the door to anyone

Bailiffs. No one likes them but, these days, they’re laughing all the way to the bank. I had my first run-in with one last week. For the moment, at least, they’ve been called off my case (a victory for common man, I like |to think) – but, my goodness, they were nasty.

Where February is the new September

Courses beginning in winter offer part-time students and others greater flexibility
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own