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.
Arts and Entertainment
Lennie James’s return as Morgan does not disappoint
artsConquer, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
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Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
techTech giants have left governments and regulators behind
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
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Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
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Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor