News

JPMorgan chief says virtual currency faces major regulatory hurdles

No charges against Madoff's UK operation

No one from the UK arm of Bernard Madoff's fraudulent investment business will face prosecution, the Serious Fraud Office has decided.

Simon Read: Don't get caught out by con tricks

There's something quite reassuring to read that hard man Jack Bauer has become a victim of a Ponzi scheme. Actually, it's not Jack who's been caught out but Kiefer Sutherland, the actor who plays him in the hit television show 24. He was persuaded to hand over $869,000 – around £540,000 – to a steer-roping promoter for a lucrative cattle deal which was set to net the actor a handsome quick profit. But the cattle never appeared and the cash vanished.

Tom Sutcliffe: A good play has no sell-by date

Watching the current revival of John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation the other night I found myself thinking about the durability of plays. This is a matter, you might have thought, of considerable interest to playwrights too, since they all must dream (at some level) of adding a work to the permanent repertoire. And since plays only truly live on stage, the question of theatrical durability is particularly pointed for them. They can't just lie fallow, as novels often do, coasting through that dangerous slough that lies between novelty and established endurance – the death valley of Yesterday's Sensation. They are likely to need some kind of performance history to get them across the badlands. There are lots of exceptions to this rule of course, but even the exceptions seem to prove the rule. John O'Keeffe's Wild Oats, for example, was a big hit in 1791, then pretty much took a 200-year sabbatical before the RSC revived it in 1976, a production that itself spawned a number of regional productions. But it would be hard to argue that it's been restored to the permanent repertoire.

Review of the Year 2009: Quotes

'I woke up as Britney Spears!'

Review of the Year 2009: The corporate classes

Fattest cats fell to earth with a bump

Larceny, she wrote: Patricia Cornwell sues

Best-selling crime writer claims millions in earnings have gone missing

Business Diary: Price war or marketing hype from the grocers?

Asda and Tesco are keen to talk up the price war story. But many in the industry doubt there is ever any new money involved in these affairs. Malcolm Walker, chief executive of Iceland and one of the country's most successful retailers, told Retail Week in 2007: "Everyone knows price wars are bullshit – you put some prices up and some down."

Hit & Run: SimplicITy computer delivers over-50s to the digital age

If social networking is something you do at the bingo hall, windows require (net) curtains, and a Mac is to be worn in the rain, chances are you're old. Because, apparently, old people don't do computers. Things like Twitter and spreadsheets only bother them when they're on the One O'Clock News. But anyone watching the BBC's lunchtime bulletin yesterday will have seen a pensioner called Betty using a computer designed to deliver her generation to the digital age.

Madoff fraud associate is found dead

A philanthropist accused of pocketing $7bn (£4.3bn) from the investment scams of his friend Bernard Madoff was found dead yesterday.

Bottom bunk and pizza: Madoff's new life in jail

Bernard Madoff, once one of the most powerful men on Wall Street, now shares a cell with a 21-year-old drug offender and eats pizza cooked by a convicted paedophile, according to a new legal filing that offers an insight into the fraudster's prison life.

Madoff: the $18bn hunt for justice continues

Six months after Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty to orchestrating the biggest financial fraud in history, his victims are still trying to recoup some of their losses from his family. Stephen Foley reports

Screen Talk: Rich pickings

Guy Ritchie has signed up to direct his first superhero movie, 'Lobo', a big-screen adaptation of the DC Comics anti-hero. Backed by Warner Bros, the story follows the antics of the blue-skinned cigar-chomping alien Lobo, an interstellar mercenary and bounty hunter. Introduced in the 1980s by creators Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen, Lobo was a parody of violent comic book heroes such as Wolverine and the Punisher. With stories featuring a nihilistic streak tinged with dark comedy and excessive violence, Ritchie will certainly have his hands full. Doug Liman was attached to direct the project, but the film's producer, Joel Silver, wanted to work with Ritchie again after their recent team-up for 'Sherlock Holmes'.

The great Madoff sell-off

The disgraced financier's home in Florida is up for sale. Stephen Foley goes through the keyhole

Peter York: No shagpile, no bad gilding – expensive but reassuringly dull

So what were you expecting from Bernie Madoff? The full-on Dictators' Home's Mobutu look of over-scaled rooms and bad gilding? Did you imagine his Ponzi plotting had a backdrop something like Aaron Spelling's LA repro château? Or the OTT McMansion setting for the shag-pile shootout in Scarface?

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Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
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Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
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A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
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Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
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Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
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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
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

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