James Ashton

James Ashton is Head of Business across the Independent, Independent on Sunday and London Evening Standard.

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Filling my Boots? I know we are paying our taxes

To some he is the alchemist who rescued the high street chain, to others he is short-changing Britain. Stefano Pessina breaks off from a global expansion drive to tell James Ashton he has nothing to hide

Jakarta's governor, Joko Widodo, (front right) this month

On the road to power? Meet Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s very own Boris Johnson

He’s the governor of a capital city who’s preparing himself for the next step up the political ladder. James Ashton in Jakarta meets the man many believe could be the next president of Indonesia

James Ashton: Money is flooding into emerging markets in Asia, and smart local operators are prospering from ties with overseas investors

Brands often need to partner with domestic firms who think they can cater best for changing local tastes

James Ashton: Come to Singapore, but be aware of the rules - chewing gum is bad, gambling is very, very good

Global Outlook It is hard to reconcile buttoned-up Singapore's transformation into the world's second-largest gambling mecca. On the one hand, chewing gum is banned and possession of a few grams of cannabis can lead to instant imprisonment. On the other, one of the original Asian tigers opened a crystal-topped cathedral of gambling four years ago that has been a roaring success. Stud poker is a particular favourite.

James Ashton: Airline attempts to guess which way the wind blows

Global Outlook Perhaps the unlikeliest attraction in Singapore is the one that most foreign arrivals see first. Changi airport proudly reports it has one million visitors a year who aren't even catching a flight. In a city state where land is at a premium, many families drop by for a few hours to let their children run around.

James Ashton: A cautionary lesson? Sweden’s technical edge under threat after education reforms

Some think fees for foreign students are having a detrimental effect

Business View: Osborne wants to coax more from firms, but he offered few giveaways

Ed Miliband’s conference-season assault on the Coalition made backing business a hazardous activity for the Chancellor. Yesterday’s upgraded growth forecasts tell a story of a catch-up recovery, but that in itself will not deliver votes at the ballot box in 2015. George Osborne knows he needs these green shoots to blossom and the many to share the gains of the few.

The 200-year-old company has invested £100m in research over the past three years

Can De La Rue bank on the Old Lady?

As profits jump almost 20% to £28m, and plastic notes take off, the currency printer’s boss is quietly cautious over its prize BoE contract

Babcock International whirls toward helicopter stake

Engineering services firm Babcock International is in exclusive talks to buy into the world’s biggest helicopter operator.

Pearson measures up for a future focused on hi-tech learning

'Financial Times' owner looks to make digital and education 70 per cent of sales by 2015
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Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game