News A Landrover makes it's way along a flooded road near Lingfield

The Environment Agency has issued a set of severe flood warnings, the highest category

Coventry air crash pilots 'did not see each other'

The two pilots in a mid-air collision which killed five people either did not see each other or had no time to take effective avoiding action, an accident report said today.

Magnificent men in their fantasy machines

Andrew Roberts explores our long and dubious relationship with vehicle accessories

The snow is clearing... now for the ice age

For most of Britain, a brief thaw is on its way – but roads are set to freeze over tomorrow as temperatures plummet again

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The end of abundance

If we ask ourselves what has been lost, that we really care about, in the last 50 years, what has gone from the natural world in Britain that was special and is now much missed, we might come up with many different answers.

Options beyond skiing: A new sense of adventure

Specialist operators are now offering a wider range of winter options, says Stephen Wood

Beckford aims to make Toffees more than Arsenal-lite

When Everton last welcomed Arsenal, all the talk was about their defence – or specifically Joleon Lescott, whose appearance in last year's 6-1 opening-day capitulation confirmed in David Moyes' mind that it was time to accept the centre-back's wish to join Manchester City.

Don't let your parking space go to waste

Charging motorists to park in your home's drive or garage can be lucrative. Chiara Cavaglieri reports

Gas avalanche incinerates villagers after volcano blast

Searing heavy gas avalanched down an Indonesian volcano with a thunderous roar, torching houses and trees and incinerating villagers as they fled Mount Merapi's worst eruption in a century. Scores of bodies found yesterday raised the known death toll to 122.

A rabbi struggles to protect his Palestinian flock

A vandalised car, stolen ladders, irate police. It's all in a day's work for one unlikely hero. Donald Macintyre reports

Nissan Juke

It's got a wide grin, a cartoon body, and it will either make people smile – or recoil in horror

Volkswagen Passat

New model has revamped engine and slick electronics

Dom Joly: I'm at the Albert Hall and it's rubbish

I played the Albert Hall last week. I was on stage for all of 30 seconds but still... box ticked. It all started with a call from Dave Arnold, the overly talented film-score composer. He was organising a concert for Care, a charity he is passionate about. The idea was for a night of some of the greatest film music ever composed, all played live with full orchestra – all bells and whistles. In between the music some light relief was wanted and Dave asked if I could do something. I agreed – after all, unless you're Eric Clapton, it's not often you get the chance to play the Albert Hall. The problem was, what to do? I am not a stand-up comedian, so don't have 10 minutes of lighthearted patter to do before moving on to my next three gigs of the evening: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen and can I say how exciting it is to be at the West London Photocopying Awards.... Sorry I'm late, but I've just been playing the Albert Hall."

Dom Joly: I could have told myself where to go, but my kids did

Satnavs – who needs them? When they first came out I totally fell in love. It was like being in the SAS, you had your own little gadget that would tell you where you were and how to get anywhere with the help of what felt like your own personal satellite revolving around the earth just waiting to guide you to Waitrose.

Backyard aviator set to take flight

He has no engineering qualification – but then neither did the Wright brothers. Now Gabriel Nderitu, an IT worker in Kenya, is attempting to follow in their footsteps by building an aeroplane in his backyard.

24-hour room service: La Réserve Ramatuelle, Côte d'Azur, France

Decadent pampering in a super-rich setting
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A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
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First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
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Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
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Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
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Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

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Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

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The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?