News

Berkshire hathaway has waded into the takeover battle for Transatlantic Holdings, tabling a $3.2bn bid for the reinsurer.

Kebabs and Wilde totty

`Ah, the exquisite Richard Littlejohn,' he would murmur, `the ineffable in pursuit of the unsayable'

Hockey: Jennings' loss leaves Guildford foundering

THE ABSENCE of the player-coach, Ian Jennings, on Army duties in Cyprus, may have cost Guildford their hopes of reaching the National Premier play-offs. Apparently rudderless, they conceded 15 goals over two games.

Letter: Patients' rights

Sir: Jeremy Laurance's report (16 November) on Rodney Ledward's surgical record must have sent a chill down the spine of any woman who has ever consulted a gynaecologist. Elsewhere in the report was another chilling aspect: Brenda Johnson, after suffering an unnecessary and incompetent hysterectomy by Mr Ledward, begged her GP to refer her to another specialist. He refused, saying it was "unethical".

Slough wins pounds 276m bid battle for Bilton

SLOUGH ESTATES, the property group, yesterday bought its troubled rival Bilton for pounds 276m after a last-minute swoop on the investment trust controlled by the Bilton family.

Slough tightens net on Bilton

SLOUGH ESTATES, the property group, yesterday moved a step closer to winning control of Bilton, after buying a large chunk of its smaller rival's shares in the market.

Outlook: Battle for Bilton

HAS SLOUGH ESTATES done enough to secure control of Bilton? The outcome, to be decided on Friday, depends on three shareholders - the Glenhazel Investment Trust, the Percy Bilton Charity, and Schroders asset management. If the trust, which is largely owned by members of the late Percy Bilton's family, votes against, the charity will follow suit and the company may survive.

Letter: MPs' private lives

Sir: What an amazing range of standards our leaders set for themselves! One Cabinet minister resigns through having accepted a dinner invitation from a stranger, which he describes as a "serious lapse of judgement", whilst a former prime minister takes tea with the Butcher of Santiago without as much as batting an eyelid.

Slough's Bilton offer gets a boost

THE pounds 276m hostile bid by Slough Estates, the property group, for rival Bilton received a boost yesterday after it emerged that Bilton's largest shareholder had called a meeting to discuss the offer.

Battle for Bilton hots up as Slough raises bid by pounds 276m

THE BID battle for Bilton took another bitter twist yesterday after the property company rejected a pounds 276m increased offer from rival Slough Estates as "wholly inadequate".

Revaluation will raise stakes in Bilton battle

BILTON, the troubled property group fighting a hostile bid from rival Slough Estates, is today expected to unveil a long-awaited revaluation of its portfolio, which will increase pressure on Slough to raise its pounds 260m offer and could trigger a counter-bid.

Slough pounds 1.8m `golden parachute' charge

BILTON, the property group defending a pounds 264m hostile bid from Slough Estates, has turned the tables on its rival by accusing its directors of having a pounds 1.8m "golden parachute".

Hockey: Brown back for Slough

THE CHAMPIONS, Slough, who started the season last weekend with a comfortable 3-1 away win against Fyffes Leicester, welcome back the England captain, Karen Brown, for their home game tomorrow against Hightown. Slough will also be hoping Anna Bennett, the Atlanta Olympian will be able to return. Bennett had a leg injury following the Olympics and has been out for two years.

Slough's bid for Bilton turns ugly

THE ATTEMPT by Slough Estates, the property group, to take over its troubled rival Bilton, took a bitter twist yesterday as the two parties engaged in a fierce war of words.

Outlook: Slough/Bilton

THE PROPERTY sector is a funny old rag-bag of companies. Many of them don't deserve to be separately listed entities at all, the original entrepreneur and driving force having long since departed, leaving a collection of disparate properties run rather in the manner of a gently declining family estate. And yet there they all are, with their highly paid boards of directors, poshed-up Mayfair head offices, and army of shareholders to support. Consolidation is not a word these companies seem even to recognise, let alone want to hear.

Spread of Silicon Valley transforms greenery into `suburban nightmare'

ONE OF THE staunchest barriers to housebuilding in the unspoilt countryside of southern England may come down as a result of a major planning enquiry starting tomorrow.
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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 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project