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The steel erector Severfield Rowen, which is working on the City's Cheesegrater skyscraper, counted the cost of the "most challenging year in its history" yesterday as it crashed to a £21.5m loss.

Aitken papers stolen from solicitors by bogus cleaner

A TRAINEE SOLICITOR stole private documents from a firm of lawyers with several famous clients, including James Hewitt and the disgraced former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, a court was told yesterday.

Media: Football season kick-starts sales

SOMETIMES IT is hard to know if the money spent by the tabloid press on marketing is really worth it. Every September when the schools go back and holdays are over it is as if a starting pistol goes off. Television advertising money is spent, new magazine supplements are launched, give- aways are given away. And then all the marketing activity stops in October and circulations fall away again.

Lawyer claims boat inquiry would be too `traumatic' for police

RELATIVES OF the victims of the Marchioness riverboat tragedy condemned a barrister yesterday for saying a public inquiry into the disaster would be too "traumatic" for the police officers involved.

Travel - What's On Around The UK: Under starter's orders...

The week starts on a sedentary note with the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run - a must for classic car buffs. More than 400 enthusiasts from across the world will give their pre-1905 motors a bit of throttle while awaiting starter's orders at Hyde Park Corner some time between 7.30am and 9am today.

Obituary: The Rev Leonard Boyle

SANCTITY AND palaeography (the art of reading ancient manuscripts) seldom combine in the same person. Achille Ratti, Prefect of the Vatican Library and later, as Pope Pius XI, a staunch opponent of Fascism, had both gifts. So did Leonard Boyle, another Prefect of the Vatican Library, who opened its doors to readers from all over the world; he also stood up for freedom, and in consequence became a martyr.

Mercy for earl snared into drug dealing

THE EARL of Hardwicke and his former business partner walked free from court yesterday, despite their drug dealing conviction, after a jury said their "ensnaring" by the media merited "extreme mercy".

Mercy for earl snared by paper into drug deal

THE EARL of Hardwicke and his former business partner walked free from court yesterday, despite their drug dealing conviction, after a jury said their "ensnaring" by the media merited "extreme mercy".

Earl `snorted cocaine before going to Lords'

THE TENTH Earl of Hardwicke snorted cocaine with an "Arab sheikh" before taking him on a tour of the House of Lords, a court was told yesterday.

Books: In pursuit of painted ladies

Robin Blake grew up with a `Van Dyck' which led him to write the painter's Life

History and a reporter's notebook

HISTORY, CLAIMED Thomas Carlyle in his study of the French revolution published in 1837, "is a distillation of rumour." The subsequent 160 years have witnessed the invention of the camera, the tape-recorder and television, not to mention eavesdropping and data-storage technology of which Carlyle could not have dreamed. But for the purposes of writing history, even the most recent history, we really mightn't have bothered.

Rowing: Woods displays mastery of tideway to be first among watermen

TOM WOODS, of Poplar, Blackwall Rowing Club, celebrates winning the Doggett's Coat and Badge race on the Thames Tideway yesterday, a victory that denied Kate Saunders the chance to become the first Waterwoman badge holder, writes Hugh Matheson. Woods was greeted rapturously by a crowd packed to the rails on his family's pleasure cruiser "Silver Baracuda".

Obituary: Dick Richardson

DICK RICHARDSON was a dashing, colourful heavyweight who brought a touch of theatre to the dour British boxing scene in the mid-1950s. The 6ft 3in, 200lb Welshman was one of a quartet of big men who raised hopes of a home-grown world heavyweight champion. The others were Joe Erskine, Brian London and Henry Cooper.

In the footsteps of a Time Lord

Trails of the unexpected: for Doctor Who fans, London is full of sacred sites, from Cybermen in St Paul's to Daleks trundling in Trafalgar Square.

Historical Notes: Shakespeare armed against oppression

TODAY, AS always on Shakespeare's birthday, the great and good will parade through Stratford to mark his place at the heart of English culture.

Worst offender is `victim of success'

IT WILL come as no surprise to beleaguered commuters on the 7.51am Thameslink service from Wimbledon, south London, to Blackfriars that they are riding the most overcrowded trains on the network.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform