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

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

Lightning strikes and floods disrupt rail services across UK

Lightning strikes and flooding caused havoc on mainline rail services today.

Thunder, hail and lightning: Heavy storms mark climax of longest heatwave for nearly 40 years

Threat of flash flooding as localised, torrential downpours hit sun-baked ground

CIA backs $630,000 study into how to control global weather through geoengineering

Study part-funded by the CIA to investigate national security implications of geoengineering

A youth jumps into the sea at Carnlogh harbour in County Antrim

Another sizzling weekend in prospect as of 30C heatwave returns

But good news is tempered by health alert

Luisa Zissman in the interview room on tonight's Apprentice
The sun sets over the Chukchi Sea. Both the northern and southern hemispheres experienced the warmest temperatures for both land and sea

Unprecedented extremes and warmest decade since modern measurements: grim report from World Meteorological Organisation

Both the northern and southern hemispheres experienced the warmest temperatures for both land and sea

Still smooth: Burt Bacharach

Music review: Burt Bacharach, Royal Festival Hall, London

Burt Bacharach strolls onto the Festival Hall stage like he's stepping on board a yacht, the brass buttons on his blazer gleaming in the spotlight. A brief pause to acknowledge the applause, then the captain takes the helm of his Steinway to steer his crew smoothly through a half-century of hits.

If it’s like father, like son, Qatar's Emir Tamim will certainly be no pushover

The nation he built is  a flea which happily bites any great power that gets in its way

Emilia Gorecka was spurred on to finish second in the 5,000m

Britain's new wave adds shine amid the showers

For a good while on Sunday, the European Team Championships were in danger of being washed out – or flooded indoors.

Katrina left 800,000 people homeless in New Orleans in 2005. Right, Sandy on satellite

Lower pollution and cleaner air blamed for rise in hurricanes

Hurricanes, referred to as “acts of God” by insurers and seen by others as harbingers of the effects of climate change, are becoming more common as an unexpected side-effect of efforts to reduce pollution, research indicates.

Pregnant ewes at a farm in the Wiltshire village of Edington

After Schmallenberg and Bluetongue, expert warns of new diseases threatening Britain's livestock and crops because of global warming

Bleak assessment of climate change means world was facing 'a lot more unanticipated events'

East Anglia got the summeriest weather, with highs approaching 18C

UK prepares to bask in the hottest days of the year but rain and thunderstorms also expected

Temperatures will reach a high of 26C today and could hit 30C tomorrow

Sergio Garcia on the way to a double-bogey on the 14th hole. The Spaniard needed uniformed officials to protect him from the crowd after his comments about Tiger Woods

US Open 2013: Phil Mickelson beats red-eye and bad weather to make strong start at Merion

World No 5 attended daughter's graduation hours before tee-off as deluge caused delays

Post-mortems due on three brothers who died in Waterford fishing incident

Post-mortems will be carried out today on the bodies of three brothers who drowned when their fishing vessel overturned at sea.

Facebook follows Twitter and Instagram's leads: Social network site to use clickable #hashtags

To some, its use perfectly encapsulates the abject lack of imagination required to use social media: include it before a word or phrase to become “part of the conversation”. But now, in yet another sign that hashtags are the mass communication method of the future, Twitter's social networking rival Facebook has announced it is going to use them.

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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
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