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Outlook Stefano Pessina thinks I'm an idiot (this isn't a club of one, I grant you).

Alliance Boots gets a lift from strong sales of anti-ageing cream

Alliance Boots has posted robust full-year trading profits and sales, as customers seek comfort with its anti-ageing cream during the recession, but the health and beauty giant revealed deep job cuts at its wholesale pharmaceutical division.

Boots Opticians to merge with Dollond & Aitchison

Boots Opticians is to merge with Dollond & Aitchison, the high street retail chain said today.

UK's biggest companies face late-payments code

Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, will apply pressure to the heads of some of Britain's biggest companies tomorrow to get them to speed up payments to small businesses.

Jeremy Warner: Lack of demand, not credit, is the problem now

Outlook: An economic contraction caused by too much credit is unlikely to be cured by providing even more of the stuff

Rudd named as the next chairman of Invensys

The City grandee Sir Nigel Rudd is to add the chairmanship of Invensys to a curriculum vitae that already includes board positions at two other FTSE 100 companies.

Buyouts plunge by 82% in wake of crunch

Private equity deals have continued to dry up in the wake of the credit crunch, with the value of buyouts worldwide tumbling to a four-year low during the last quarter.

Boots sets eye on emerging markets

The health and beauty specialist Alliance Boots is to target the world's largest emerging markets after revealing soaring profits for the year in which it was taken private in an £11.1bn private equity deal.

No 10 urged to tackle moonlighting MPs

"Moonlighting" by MPs must end, Gordon Brown is being urged, in a drive to clean up British politics.

Foreign predators snap up record£81bn of British firms

The value of UK companies falling into foreign hands hit record levels last year, according to Government numbers, marking the country's fourth consecutive year as a net seller of companies.

Private equity faces years in doldrums, says Moulton

Jon Moulton, founder of Alchemy Partners, yesterday warned the private equity industry to prepare for the collapse of further deals this year, before turning his anger on the "enemies" outside and inside the buyout industry.

Private equity trade body in '£140bn' charm offensive

Private equity-backed companies have contributed £140bn in tax to the UK economy over the past five years, according to a new study commissioned by the industry trade body as part of its charm offensive to bring greater transparency to the market.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Hands seems to be getting it right at EMI

Rocky horror show for the Government

Boots to get green light on £7bn Alliance deal

The City threw up its hands in horror, but now thinks the chemistry is right for a merger

John Curtice: Time is ripe for Kennedy to get party bandwagon rolling

Twenty years ago the SDP/Liberal Alliance tried to "break the mould of British politics". They failed. But their successors, the Liberal Democrats, have now at least managed to break the mould of British by-elections.

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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
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England