News

Retail sales rose at their fastest rate in nine years in December, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday. However, some City analysts immediately cast doubt on the reliability of the figures.

Insider dealers will not be charged for a year, says FSA

Financial watchdog is building case against those arrested in dawn raids

Fit and firing Nadal reaches the last four

The defending champion Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-6 late on Thursday night in Indian Wells to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in his first tournament since returning from a six-week injury lay-off.

Nadal powers on at Indian Wells

Defending champion Rafael Nadal booked his place in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells with a straight-sets win over Tomas Berdych.

Almagro collapse hands Murray victory

Andy Murray eased into the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after fourth-round opponent Nicolas Almagro was forced to retire with an ankle injury. Fourth seed Murray was leading 6-2, 1-0 when his unseeded Spanish opponent was forced to call it a day having already called a medical time out at the end of the first set. Next up for Murray is a tricky looking encounter with sixth-seeded Swede Robin Soderling.

Federer overcomes error-strewn display to see off Hanescu

Roger Federer made hard work of beating Victor Hanescu at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, on Sunday but eventually made it through to join Andy Murray in the third round.

Investment Column: An overview of Britain's banged-up banks

Sector view: Banks

Banks bid for £2bn Arriva deal

SNCF, the French national rail operator, will move closer to a £5bn-turnover merger with Arriva, the British Ftse 250 transport group, with the appointment of deal advisers this month.

Henin granted Indian Wells wildcard

Australian Open finalist and former world number one Justine Henin has been granted a wildcard place in next month's BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Abu Dhabi in for EDF asset

The auction for EDF Energy's electrical distribution business is expected to heat up after news emerged that Abu Dhabi, which has run the slide rule over the asset in the past, has held talks over a potential £5bn joint bid.

US economy recovering less quickly than forecast

The American economy grew less quickly in the third quarter of the year than official data has previously suggested, the US Commerce Department admitted yesterday, as new figures on house prices and consumer confidence suggested the country was coming out of recession only slowly.

EDF looks to cut debts with €4bn sale of UK electricity distribution business

The French energy company EDF may sell off part of its UK operation in a move that could raise more than €4bn to help it reduce its debts.

Madame Tussauds plans to remodel its future

The owner of Madame Tussauds, Merlin Entertainments Group, is believed to be in final preparations for a £2bn London Stock Exchange listing early next year.

Ian Birrell: Big men, bankers and the stench of corruption

We cracked down on terrorism, so why not on this larceny that kills far more people?

Sarkozy calls French banks to account

President Nicolas Sarkozy is to warn France's banks to stop paying big bonuses to traders.

Swiss UBS continues in the red as costs weigh

The Swiss banking giant UBS has failed to emulate some of its biggest rivals at home and abroad as it posted a third consecutive quarterly loss, hit by exceptional charges.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
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Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
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Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
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The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
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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 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?