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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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
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life