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.

Sport
Andy Murray reaches the final of the Australian Open after beating Tomas Berdych in another impressive display, but the match was marred by ill feeling
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The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
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The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
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newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
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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