A Stradivarius violin at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique in Paris

Stradivarius violin worth millions stolen from musician during armed robbery

The rare violin is known as the Lipinski and was on loan to the lead violinist Frank Almond

Samuel Muston: The great chefs skewering each other at the Kebab Awards

The news that Mangal 2's Ali Dirik won the best chef gong at Tuesday's British Kebab Awards will come as little surprise to artists Gilbert and George. Every night with the regularity of a German express train, the pair pootle up London's Kingsland Road from their house in Spitalfields and dine here, each time going through the same ritual of handing their coats to the waiting staff when they sit (unknown for normal punters) and being helped to put them on again when they rise to leave.

Calls for specialist food crime unit

A specialist food crime unit should be set up to investigate fraud in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, an expert has said.

The Business Matrix: Monday 6 January 2014

Hammond in fresh reform bid

Keeping it simple: Bill's cavolo nero salad

Batten down the hatches – its Defcon Crimbo

Here comes the Christmas juggernaut. Batten down the hatches. Raise the mistletoe. Double the electricity bill on exterior festive lighting. I'm very bah humbug regarding Christmas whereas Stacey is full steam ahead – Defcon Crimbo.

Father of a four-year-old boy whose mummified body was found in his mother’s house alerted police, court hears

The father of a four-year-old boy whose mummified body was found in his mother’s house urged police to check on the child a year before his death, a court heard today.

The reality of eating well means never being lazy

Jamie’s ‘Skint Meals’ represents a reponse to UK poverty with which I was nauseatingly familiar during my skint days

Lamb cutlets with tapenade, maple syrup and paprika
Blinky from The Simpsons

Putin’s fish is big... but I’ve got a whopper: Battle of the rod-swinging rulers as President of Belarus lands 125lb catfish in Chernobyl exclusion zone

In a rod-swinging contest between hard-man rulers, Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, has outdone Russia’s Vladimir Putin by reeling in a real-life Blinky, the radioactive fish of The Simpsons fame.

Review: The Dairy, 15 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, London

Chef might be too busy to pop over, but his food rules, says Lisa Markwell.

Families keep McDonald’s UK sales on the rise

McDonald’s UK has said that some British families are “running out” of cash ahead of payday, despite it posting another quarter of rising sales and enjoying its “busiest-ever” day of trading last month.

The 10 Best natural skincare

Chemical nasties can be a concern for all skin types but these brands boast the best of what mother nature has to offer

A volunteer at a Trussell Trust food bank sorts donations to the charity in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Benefit cuts sends number of food bank users soaring

New figures emerge a week after Lord Freud, the Welfare Reform Minister, questioned whether there was a link between the two events

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

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Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
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Say it with... lyrics

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Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

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Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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