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The very worst example of wedding greed comes in the form of the wedding gift list, which is a smart name for begging

Lego strikes gold with collectible minifigure

He's become the hottest ticket in town: a real-life equivalent of the golden tickets in Roald Dahl's children's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

North Sea set to create 50,000 new jobs as investment soars

North Sea employment is set to boom this year. Up to 50,000 new jobs are expected in Britain's oil and gas industry, according to analysis by a leading industry headhunter.

Both the Indian and Chinese economies have their attractions for investors

To invest in India or China? Which to choose?

Both countries' stock markets show huge potential but there are many issues to weigh up before investing your money

Private equity kings back on the march

Private equity firms have bounced back to life this year, with the value of buyouts rising by almost a quarter in 2012. The total of deals completed in the UK has risen 23 per cent to £15.7bn, according to Ernst & Young, compared with £12.7bn in 2011.

David Cameron pretended not to know what Magna Carta meant, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson today accused David Cameron of pretending not to know what Magna Carta means so he did not appear too clever.

James Bond dines on the Orient Express

No, Mr Bond, I expect you to dine

He insists on seasonal ingredients, is keen to sample the most exotic of local cuisines, and waxes lyrical about his breakfast. Charlotte McDonald-Gibson wonders if 007 was the prototype foodie

Ofgem pays out staff bonuses

The energy watchdog has paid more than £1 million in bonuses to staff in the past two years.

Shareholder revolt causes Cairn to drop bonus plan

Cairn Energy has confirmed that it will not be paying a controversial £2.5m bonus to its former chief executive, Sir Bill Gammell, nor make a £1m gift to charities he supports, after a huge shareholder revolt.

The German who does a lot of good work for charity (but doesn't like to talk about it)

A hard-up vicar, a care home and a choir are among the recipients of €190,000 benefactor

Rise in greenhouse gas emissions

The UK's greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2010, the first increase since 2003, figures confirmed today.

The England team will receive the top bonus if they can remain the No 1 ranked Test team

ICC throw money at game to save Tests

The International Cricket Council decided to try to save Test matches yesterday by throwing money at them. Whether this will actually persuade more spectators to watch, provide the players with an incentive to perform better, or spur the weaker nations to mighty deeds may be open to considerable doubt.

The England team will receive the top bonus if they can remain the No 1 ranked Test team

ICC increase prize money in bid to save Test cricket

The International Cricket Council decided to try to save Test matches today by throwing money at them. Whether this will actually persuade more spectators to watch, provide the players with an incentive to perform better, or spur the weaker nations to mighty deeds may be open to considerable doubt.

Joe Tizzard clears the water jump on Cue Card at Newbury

Cut in distance leaves Cue Card holding all the aces

The last day of an old year is as good a time as any to look to the future. Racing is unusual among sports that callow young beginners regularly compete on the same programmes as seasoned veterans, rather than being tucked away at junior meets or youth squad matches. And their presence in the public eye from the start makes the tracing of real talent all the more absorbing, though it's spotting not necessarily easier.

Reckitt executive cleans up again as Harf nets £23m

The deputy chairman of Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of the Cillit Bang household cleaner, is cashing in more than £23m of shares, marking the latest eye-watering payout at the Anglo-Dutch company.

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Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
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A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
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Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
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Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
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Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
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Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
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Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
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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
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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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
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot