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Benefits rising for ‘Bake Off’ maker

Construction firms' £129.5m fines 'should be returned to councils'

The body representing local authorities called on the construction firms hit with £129.5m in fines to apologise today and said the money should be given back to councils.

David Prosser: Balfour Beatty builds itself a global future

Outlook Balfour Beatty's origins lie in the days of empire, when it exported its engineering and construction skills to Britain's colonies and dependencies around the world. In recent times, Balfour has been a little more parochial, but yesterday's deal to buy America's Parsons Brinckerhoff will once again give it a much greater presence on the global stage, increasing the business's exposure to the US by a third.

Balfour Beatty to buy US project group for $626m

Friendly takeover of Parsons Brinckerhoff to be financed by rights issue

Market Report: Rumours of Arabian knights lift Wolseley

Wolseley, the UK building supplies group, was dining out on some reheated speculation that investors from the Middle East were circling, sending it up almost 5 per cent in the morning.

Investment Column: Watch China before a punt on BHP Billiton

Our view: Cautious hold

Share price: 1555p (+27.5p)

For some time now, plenty of companies, both in the mining sector and elsewhere, have pinned their hopes on the emerging markets, specifically China and India.

The Week Ahead: Hopeful travellers lead the week's results

The travel & leisure sector will be in focus in the days ahead, with both TUI Travel and Thomas Cook due to post updates this week.

Week ahead: Prudential shareholders can expect good news on dividends

Prudential, the life insurer soon to be lead by Tidjane Thiam, is expected to announce a 6p dividend to shareholders this week.

Database blacklist saw thousands denied jobs

Thousands of workers in the construction industry were denied employment because of a secret "blacklist", a court heard today.

Government to approve M25 road upgrade

The government will approve a Private Finance Initiative scheme to widen and maintain London's M25 motorway despite a jump in the cost of the project, the Times newspaper reported without citing sources.

The Week Ahead: Struggling ITV set to announce rights issue

City analysts anticipate a dividend cut when ITV posts full-year results this week. The broadcaster, which is due to publish figures for 2008 on Wednesday, is expected to strike a cautious note in the face of falling advertising revenues, and, according to recent market speculation, may also launch a rights issue and announce the disposal of the Friends Reunited social networking website, which has failed to keep up with competition from the likes of Facebook and Bebo.

Report on Metronet collapse to arrive late as authors are split on who takes the blame

The National Audit Office (NAO) is to release its report on Metronet, the failed London Underground engineering group, by Easter – up to four months behind schedule.

GDF Suez and Iberdrola team up to bid for nuclear power sites in the UK

GDF Suez and Iberdrola are the latest European energy giants to join forces in the hope of securing a slice of the UK's multibillion-pound nuclear renaissance.

Investmemt Column: New chief cheers up Friends Provident

Balfour Beatty; Severn Trent

All change at top of rail firms as finance director leads Channel Tunnel running

Mark Bayley, the finance director of London & Continental Railways (LCR), is favourite to take over the top job at the Channel Tunnel high- speed rail link company.

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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 15 May 2015
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)