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

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

US bus siege: Police in stand-off with hostage gunman in Alabama

Police swat teams and hostage negotiators were locked in a stand-off today with a gunman authorities say intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a six-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama.

Scottish community in shock after scientist is killed by lightening strike in Argyll

A scientist has died after apparently being struck by lightning.

Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks

Album review: Fleetwood Mac, Rumours: Super Deluxe Remastered Version (Rhino)

Pitch-perfect pop before they went their own way

His story raises more questions than it answers, but one thing seems certain: the man who sailed from Papua New Guinea to northern Australia on a raft of twigs and sticks – braving a cyclone and waters infested with crocodiles and sharks – is fortunate to be alive

Mystery of Pole who built a raft of twigs – then set sail for Australia in a cyclone

‘Asylum seeker’ washes up in mangrove swamp after trying to cross from Papua New Guinea

Davos call for $14trn 'greening' of global economy

Political and business leaders warned of need to ensure sustainable growth
The Award for Best Face at the Golden Globes went to Tommy Lee Jones

Long faces and sour grapes: when awards ceremonies don't go by the script

The Award for Best Face at the Golden Globes went to Tommy Lee Jones.

A boy plays with a balloon in a Syrian refugee camp in Azaz

In Pictures: Winter hits Syria's refugees

Syria's 600,000 refugees face severe winter conditions across the country and the surrounding region.

Sand ahoy, captain! Vast dust storm hits Western Australia ahead of cyclone

Images posted by Perth Weather Live showed a towering red dust storm over the ocean ahead of the cyclone

Teitur, Kings Place, London

As Teitur starts playing his first song, a jaunty if lovesick number called 'Catherine the Waitress', on the grand piano, a few keen beans in the front row start to whoop and cheer.

Shane Warne comes together with Marlon Samuels

Shane Warne banned for Big Bash match following clash with Marlon Samuels

The former Australian spinner threw the ball into the West Indian's midriff

Bushfires continuing to wreak havoc across island state of Tasmania as 100 people remain unaccounted for

Whole state has been shaken by the disaster, which shows no signs of abating

The Kulluk oil rig near Sitkalidak Island, pictured on Tuesday

New twist in stricken rig saga: Shell was moving it to avoid tax

The oil giant will instead suffer a multi-million dollar loss on the exercise after the rig ran aground off the Alaskan coast

Ian McKeever was a well-known mountaineer

Conqueror of Kilimanjaro killed by lightning on beloved mountain

Irish climber Ian McKeever inspired others to follow their dreams

Jezki forges clear over the final flight at Leopardstown yesterday

Casey's Flemenstar seeks fanfare for common man

It is the moment of truth not just for Flemenstar, but for anyone clinging to the hope that he can restore the lost romance to jump racing. A sport increasingly dominated by wealthy patrons of a few top trainers today shares the tension and excitement suffusing the Casey family's tiny stable, just up the coast from Dublin, as Flemenstar attempts a new summit at Leopardstown. A first start over three miles in the Lexus Chase, in testing ground, requires him to disclose a doughtiness to match his brilliance. If he proves equal to the challenge, every neutral will join his connections in their dream of landing the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
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i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballArsenal vs QPR match report
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News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Day In a Page

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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

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
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

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
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all