News Mike Ashley has mellowed in recent years, so his stake in Debenhams surprised the City

The Sports Direct tycoon is well known for keeping rivals guessing. Simon Neville attempts to unravel his stakebuilding plan for Debenhams

Market Report: China revival helps miners out of a hole

Good news out of China helped the UK's benchmark index back in to the black after four days of losses and pushed miners to the top of the leaderboard. China's exports and imports data was better than expected for July and metal diggers such as Anglo American soared more than 4 per cent.

Market Report: Upbeat Rio digs the miners out of a hole

The City forgot its fears about a major slowdown for Asia’s powerhouse when the miner Rio Tinto revealed its optimistic growth outlook yesterday.Miners slumped recently on the prospects of a slowdown in China but Rio’s update that iron ore shipments were ahead 1 per cent compared with the same period last year and 7 per cent against the first three months of the year helped it to take a spot near the top of the benchmark index.

Jim Armitage: British firms could be big winners if online gambling returns to the States

Outlook Could seven years of darkness finally be lifting over European… well, primarily British, online gambling companies? Since George Bush in effect made their businesses illegal in 2006, banging up a fair few British businessmen on the way, the sector has been a shadow of its former frontiersman self.

Vine added new tools in a response to video for Instagram

Vine adds 15 content channels in an attempt to hit back at Instagram

Changes are in response to Instagram adding video functionality

Market Report: Serco transported to new high by US deal

The company that operates Boris bikes, prisons and hospitals was a picture of health yesterday following news of a big contract win in the US.

Share scare FTSE 100 falls for fifth week in a row and recalls 2011 bloodbath

London’s leading shares were today set for a fifth successive week of losses — their worst performance since the eurozone crisis triggered a summer of turmoil in markets in 2011.

Market Report: Profit-taking puts brakes on Footsie

Hopes that the Footsie could match the record 11 days of gains last set in July 2009 were lost when weak US jobs data and profit-taking sent the benchmark index into negative territory. The blue-chip index has been flirting with the 6,700 barrier during trading over the past three days, but the chance to push on through this was dashed during the afternoon session. It lost 5.75 points to 6,687.8 after US jobs, manufacturing and housing data disappointed. Despite the dip it is still at levels last seen in November 2007.

Investment View: Buy LSE while they're cheap and hold on to them

The British economy might still be slumbering, but despite what you might have read, parts of the City have woken up. That ought to make for good times on the London Stock Exchange, or at least the company headed by Xavier Rolet which runs the London Stock Exchange, whose markets have been soaring.

5 November 2012: Nicholas Levene before he was sentenced for a £32m fraud

Court orders stockbroker who defrauded £32m to pay nominal £1 fee

A bankrupt stockbroker who defrauded millions of pounds from some of Britain's shrewdest business people was today ordered to pay a nominal £1 fee.

Online boom benefits Perform

The online gambling boom has sent sales and profits soaring at Perform, a provider of live and edited sports video for betting websites across Europe.

City raises PM's chances in election following his EU referendum speech

The City is betting that David Cameron has boosted his chances of being re-elected as prime minister in 2015 after his speech setting out plans for a referendum on the European Union.

William Hill in Sportingbet bid

The betting giant William Hill and its partner GVC holdings have unveiled a £485m takeover of the online gambling company Sportingbet.

Betfair's chief starts to rein in costs

Betfair's chief executive, Breon Corcoran, will outline a strategy of cost cutting on Thursday, following his recent decision to withdraw from Germany and not to enter Greece.

Daryl Jacob picked up a 10-day ban at Wincanton yesterday

Sir Brian throws down gauntlet to southerners

The Turf community does not have to seek far to place the anguish of its most famous name in due perspective. As Frankie Dettori writhes in embarrassment over his drugs ban, a far graver disaster still gnaws at the heart of the Scottish sport. The success at Cheltenham in March of Campbell Gillies and Brindisi Breeze had confirmed their mutual base, the Kinross yard of Lucinda Russell, as a welcome new force at the top level. By midsummer, in a ghastly coincidence, horse and rider had been killed in freak accidents.

Silvio Berlusconi: I'm being 'besieged by requests' to run in Italian election

Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has given a strong hint that he would stand in next year's election, declaring he would not allow Italy to spiral into recession and saying he had been “besieged by requests” to run.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there