Laura Chesters

Laura Chesters is a business reporter and covers the consumer, food, drink and luxury goods sectors on the business desk at The London Evening Standard, i, The Independent and The Independent on Sunday

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Property owners offered 4% of shale gas revenues

The proposal is based on the industry in the United States where individuals get a small slice of the revenue

Floats to cheer City amid retailer woes

Sir Richard Branson’s banking venture Virgin Money is expected this week to confirm plans for its float

UK welcomes Great Wallet of China

The UK’s shops are hoping to reverse the current downturn in tourism spend with a boost from a massive influx of Chinese shoppers this week.

Nike emerges as World Cup winner as profits surge

American sportswear giant Nike has emerged as the winner of the World Cup after it reported a sharp rise in profits, leaving rivals Adidas and Reebok knocked out.

Improved Chiquita-Fyffes merger plan fails to deter Brazilian suitor

The Brazilian consortium hoping to buy US banana giant Chiquita stepped up its fight today as Fyffes improved the terms of the deal.

Hammerson raises cash for luxury spending spree

Property giant raises close to £400 million in surprise fundraising

H&M sales hit by warm weather as shoppers shun autumn collection

Clothing giant H&M has reported a sharp slowdown in sales as shoppers delayed purchases of winter items following a mild September.

TNT Express issues profit warning on eurozone weakness

TNT Express, the Dutch delivery firm, has issued a profit warning today as eurozone weakness hit its margins.

Jimmy Choo puts foot forward for float

Patience paid off in the City yesterday as the long-awaited floats of the British shoe brand Jimmy Choo and Edinburgh-based housebuilder Miller Homes were confirmed.

Pub group hungry for rival Spirit

The pub group behind Hungry Horse and Loch Fyne restaurants wants to gobble up smaller rival Spirit Pub Co in a £700m deal.

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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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there