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.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links