Christmas cards

Festive discounts, and other offers. By Clifford German

Money: Plastic not fantastic

Don't let your flexible friends become enemies abroad, warns Paul Slade

Credit card giants are sued

VISA AND MasterCard's holdover the credit-card business was challenged by the US Justice Department yesterday. The case sets off a process that could end their dominance and open the world market to dozens of other companies, competing to offer different services and lower interest rates.

Cards get collectable

DO NOT chop up your credit card when it expires. You may be destroying a collector's item. Old credit cards are starting to appear on stalls at collectors' fairs, alongside the stamps, postcards and phonecards. There are also several US-based websites selling credit cards through online auctions.

Credit Cards: Trip the plastic fantastic

FROM THIS week Barclaycard has begun offering its cardholders savings on gas and electricity bills. It's the latest broadside in the credit card wars - the battle to get your custom.

Nikkei below 14,000 in year's worst fall

THE JAPANESE stock market yesterday suffered its largest single- day point fall this year, with the Nikkei 225 Index tumbling below the critical 14,000 level as new figures showed weaker-than expected economic growth.

Shopping: Get kitted out for class

The new school year is here, and for parents that means a whole new games ball, not to mention the Quicksilver backpack, the Gant pencil case and all the latest educational equipment.

The baby I could take, the MBA I cannot forgive

THE LIFE of Riley, you'd have said. Rich, posh Italian husband, elegant Paris apartment, new-ish baby daughter obviously destined to be a tremendous femme fatale, circle of interesting and well-to-do Eurochums, posh flat in Marble Arch, seat on the board, on it goes. Once a week, down to the Gare du Nord in the freshly washed Paris morning, Eurostar to London, transact business, catch up with other circle of slightly raffish, rackety London chums, then back to Paris the following day.

WPP broadens its horizons to grow

WPP, THE advertising group, is to set up divisions targeting the the financial services, high technology and entertainment sectors in an attempt to boost its long-term growth rate.

Ex-Blair aide in expenses fraud works for top lobbyist

A LOBBYIST who worked for Tony Blair during the general election campaign left a top job in government relations where he had been caught fiddling expenses and forging his boss's signature.

Books: The tour guide's defence

THE WORLD AND OTHER PLACES by Jeanette Winterson Cape pounds 14.99

Budget airlines eye up business travellers as fares go sky-high

FREQUENT flyers who thought the deregulation of European air routes completed last year would bring down fares have received a nasty surprise: even as low-cost carriers proliferate, the cost of full-fare business tickets is still rising.

Minister vows to shake up schools

SWEEPING CHANGES to the way schools are run will transform pupils' lives by the next century, the Government promised yesterday.

Hidden costs of plastic

WE ALL know the mantra: tickets, passport, money. These are the vital ingredients for a holiday abroad, and the banks, building societies and bureaux de change have been earning nicely from travellers' need for foreign money for many years.

Money: What is free cash worth?

Money-back offers are the latest credit card loyalty perk. Isabel Berwick asks if customers will notice the difference
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before