News Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset

… and the Met Office warns there is still more rain to come

Nigel Farage presents ‘Ukip weather’ forecast in wake of storm over councillor David Silvester’s gay marriage comments

The party leader described the scandal over the Oxfordshire councillor’s repeated media appearances as a ‘storm in a teacup’

UK weather: Chobham tornado ‘lifts cats into air’ as storms and rain sweep across country, bringing further risk of flooding

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

The cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, shown here among ice in Antarctica, has been drifting without a crew in the north Atlantic for the past year

Lyubov Orlova: Ghost ship carrying cannibal rats 'may have sunk'

UPDATE: Experts say the cruise liner, adrift in the north Atlantic, may have succumbed to stormy weather conditions

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

More trouble for New Jersey's Chris Christie, as he's caught in scandal over storm relief

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visited Florida this weekend, on a trip likely intended to boost his profile as a potential presidential candidate. Instead, the scandal-plagued Republican arrived in the Sunshine State under a cloud. On Saturday Dawn Zimmer, the Democrat mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, claimed in a television interview that two of Christie’s close aides had threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief funds from her city if she continued to oppose a major property development plan backed by the Governor.

Book review: 'Stormbelt' by Robert Leslie (With essays by Edward Burtynsky and Cameron Sinclair)

In his essay alongside the photographs here, Edward Burtynsky says: “The images in this book ask that we follow the quiet journey of Robert Leslie and his camera through a land where the notion of the unstoppable economy, a land of plenty, the ‘American dream’, is brought into question.” 

A car tackles flood waters in Kent today, as the threat of more bad weather and flooding continues across the country

UK weather: Batten down the hatches, Owen Paterson warns, as country faces 'exceptional weather'

Extreme weather set to continue through the weekend

Large waves break along the coast at Porthleven, Cornwall where a 26-year-old man went missing on New Year's Eve.

New Year 2014: Two people feared drowned in Devon and Cornwall

A man and a woman died in two separate incidents on New Year's Eve

Ice-bound: Akademik Shokalskiy and passengers

Icebreakers fail to free Russian research ship stuck in the Antarctic

The penguins watching the increasingly bizarre multinational events unfolding in the Antarctic look rightly bemused.

Paul Lambert has seen his Aston Villa side lose their last four Premier League games

Paul Lambert needs to end home discomforts for Aston Villa

Last Christmas Aston Villa shipped 15 goals without reply. Manager Paul Lambert did not panic and neither did his employer, Randy Lerner.

A motorist navigates past a fallen tree after weather 'chaos' in north Antrim

Errors and Omissions: Plunged into chaos by journalistic exaggeration

The Independent's letters editor and chief pedant spots this week's best howlers

Australia batsman David Warner in action for the Sydney Sixers

Ashes 2013-14: David Warner continues his fine form with the bat despite Sydney defeat

Warner hit a half-century off just 31 balls after he was afforded time at the crease away from the Ashes Series

Seventy-nine people were injured after plasterwork fell on to the audience

Heavy rain and years of 'benign neglect' may have caused Apollo Theatre roof collapse

Owner of the playhouse had previously admitted that London’s theatre buildings had 'suffered years of benign neglect'

Four depictions of elephants as they appear in religion and myth

Elephants are culturally important across the globe

Maoism is still alive in India, where inequality flourishes

In India justice is the exception and injustice the rule

Pacquiao did all the hard work in the early rounds and was able to ease off as the final bell approached

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao outclasses Brandon Rios in Macau - to the joy of Typhoon Haiyan survivors watching from Philippines

Manny Pacquiao showed he remains one of the planet's classiest fighters as he bounced back from his shocking knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez with a unanimous points victory over Brandon Rios.

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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
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
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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
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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
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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
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