Arts and Entertainment

Colditz; the Great Escape; Bridge on the River Kwai and, recently, the Railway Man. Parodies of them by everyone from Beyond the Fringe to Russ Abbott. All second world war. Memoir after memoir. And yet with the single, powerful exception of the French classic La Grande Illusion, the prisoners of the Great War have gone largely unchronicled.

Cambodia's stock market begins trading for first time

Trading on Cambodia's stock exchange started today after a state-run company completed its initial public offering.

Water companies' 'unnecessary' pipe insurance costs consumers more than £100m, says Which? report

Most of the UK's biggest water companies are promoting potentially unnecessary insurance costing consumers more than £100 million a year, according to a watchdog.

The much needed rain looks set to continue over the weekend, and comes amid a drought and hosepipe ban in most of the South and East of England.

Drought hits half of UK and water shortages may last to Christmas

Half of Britain is now officially in drought, in the worst national water shortage since 1976 – a situation that may last until Christmas or beyond.

Drought-hit water firm may buy in supplies

The hosepipe ban has put certain water firms under such pressure that at least one is considering deals with other companies across the country.

David Randall: Let's strim these mowing jobsworths

Our writer bemoans the obsessive razing of our wild flora

Highest water bills set to be cut by £50

Britain's highest water bills are set to be cut by £50 a year after a £400 million handout to a private company cleared Parliament tonight.

Drought reaches parts of Yorkshire

More areas of the country are in drought following another dry month which has hit rivers and groundwater supplies, the Environment Agency said today.

According to a new book, increasing numbers of rivers in towns and cities in Britain are now so clean that anglers are fly-fishing in them for trout and grayling, which are specialised clean-water species

Look what’s struggling to swim the Thames now… trout

Previously filthy watercourses are now teeming with fish, a new book reveals

Contractors would not be able to charge tolls on existing trunk routes, such as the A14

Cameron to fill hole in nation's finances by privatising roads

Firms will be paid to maintain network – and tolls could be round the corner

D J Taylor: Privatisation is the source of rose rage

Hosepipe bans would be easier to accept if the water companies didn't make such vast profits. Plus, how to be a don

Letters: To beat the drought, plug the leaks

The Scottish Government's offer to assist drought-stricken parts of England with water is an interesting contribution on how to address the issue of water shortages.

South West Water Authority criticised over 'poisoning'

A water authority was criticised today for its “dereliction of duty” after “gambling” with the lives of 20,000 people following Britain's worst mass poisoning.

'Dry winters' lead to hosepipe ban

Millions of households will have hosepipe bans by Easter, water firms announced today as the Environment Agency warned of "severe drought" in the coming months.

Chris Smith pictured at his London office

Lord Smith: The man who hopes his flow of ideas will save us from drought

Rain finally fell at the weekend but much of the UK remains parched. Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, tells Michael McCarthy how moving water around is the answer

The Thames at low tide: 42 rivers and streams that run into it are on the Government's danger list

Water levels in 250 stretches of river are dangerously low

Officials review licensing system that allows farmers and businesses to abstract supplies

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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
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture