News

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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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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones