News

City hopes of an early a sell-off of the taxpayer’s stake in Royal Bank of Scotland were dealt a massive blow today as its finance director, Nathan Bostock, was poached by rival Santander UK.

Rose: Succession could have been handled better

Sir Stuart Rose admitted that the announcement that he was taking over as chief executive and chairman of M&S next month could have been handled better.

New chief did not take any banking exams

Ron Sandler, the man chosen by the Government to run Northern Rock, does not have any formal banking qualifications.

Court to rule if banks overcharged customers with 'punitive' fees

The long-awaited court case that will determine whether thousands of aggrieved bank customers can pursue overcharging claims against banks begins today.

Return to Somalia: The war on terror - a new front

Thirteen years ago, the US pulled out of the east African country after the bloody events that inspired 'Black Hawk Down'. Now it is back, supporting warlords in their battle with Islamist militants. Kim Sengupta reports from Merka

Lecturers given two-week ultimatum to settle dispute

Thousands of university students may be unable to graduate this summer unless their lecturers hand over the marks from their final exams within the next two weeks, university bosses warned yesterday.

Multiple births 'are biggest health risk in IVF treatment'

Women can be five times more likely to become pregnant depending on which fertility clinic they choose, figures show. More than half had a baby after treatment at some clinics compared with 10 per cent at others.

Dominic Lawson: Blair's government is suffering deathly decay. Just look at all those pallid faces...

Take Prescott - 'exhausted' does not do justice to the shattered expression in the old pugilist's face

Tilly And The Wall, Luminaire, London <!-- none onestar twostar fourstar fivestar -->

They don't know what they're doing. Tilly and the Wall's two female singers, and the tap-dancer they use in place of a drummer, can hardly hear themselves on stage, as faulty mics and monitors reduce the close harmonies and tap-beats to a semi-audible shambles. It says something for the indomitable, adolescent spirit of play that is the heart of their appeal that the crowd stick around for the ride, and are rewarded with a memorably shaky show.

Barratt detects housing recovery

Santander boss faces trial over &pound;111m 'parachute' payouts

Emilio Botin, the chairman of Santander Central Hispano which recently took over Abbey National, is to stand trial in Madrid this week over misappropriation charges.

Let the children play and profits may follow after

Child's Play

Economic guru Burns appointed to conduct FA review

Lord Burns, a diehard Queen's Park Rangers fan who influenced much of Margaret Thatcher's economic policy, has been appointed to conduct a structural review of the Football Association.

Shareholders barrack the Abbey board over Spanish takeover

The chairman of Abbey National, Lord Burns, almost lost control of his group's shareholders yesterday during a heated meeting that eventually approved the bank's £8.9bn takeover by Spain's largest bank Santander.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own