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

Letter: Banana bonanza warms the heart

Sir: Tesco's generosity over bananas ("Banana economics", 15 January) is not the only occasion on which it has made sacrifices for customers. Three years ago Tesco issued vouchers to students at Bristol University entitling them to 50p off sandwiches. This coincided with a half-price sandwich offer. For a week we were able to purchase egg-and-cress sandwiches at a price of approximately 5p. For us there was such a thing as a free lunch.

Necessity not choice prompts ScotAm flotation

Scottish Amicable looks like one of those life assurers which is demutualising more out of necessity than choice. Furthermore, though the route being followed is no doubt in the best interests of policyholders, it is also very much in the interests of senior executives, arguably more so. Provided they meet certain, not particularly challenging, growth targets they stand to be richly rewarded with free shares.

Building society gold rush dwarfs Eighties bonanza

The pounds 20bn giveaway of shares in the Halifax and other building societies in coming months is set to dwarf the instant profits made during the Thatcher privatisation years, boosting the feel-good factor in the run-up to the general election and beyond.

The Investment Column: Spot winners in pounds 15bn society bonanza

Anyone who thinks the economy is not set for a buoyant 1997, driven by strong consumer spending, has not reckoned with the pounds 15bn to be released from the Woolwich and Halifax building society flotations, details of which emerged this week.

Leading Article: Tired of playing the waiting game

Why are we waiting? It is now an established tradition for an opposition leader to call, twice a week, for an immediate general election. We think Tony Blair's continuation of this ritual is tiresome. But it occurs to us, at the end of the first week of the long election campaign, to ask the Prime Minister why he thinks there should not be a general election now. We doubt that he can give us one good reason. He might claim that he has a five-year mandate, which has not yet expired. But last November's Queen's Speech confirmed that his is a government that has run out of things to do. His real reasons for hanging on are less elevated. Most importantly, perhaps, he is waiting for something to turn up.

Sorrell weeks from pounds 3.6m share bonanza

Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of advertising giant WPP, is just weeks away from a multi-million pound payout under the controversial incentive scheme established earlier this year. If the WPP share price remains above 230p until March, Mr Sorrell will be awarded shares worth at least pounds 3.6m.

City & Business: Not guilty - here's your penalty

The Takeover Panel is quite rightly launching an early examination of whether or not brokers and advisers should be allowed to buy, during the course of a bid, shares in a firm they are defending against a hostile takeover.

Pay ruling bonanza for women

Any female worker who was paid less than a man who succeeds her can claim compensation under equal-pay laws, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has decided.

Lawyers' bonanza as US firm hikes pay

Recruiters predict `salary warfare' to attract the best young minds

UK set for pounds 700m Telekom bonanza

British investors could be allocated more than pounds 700m worth of shares in Europe's largest privatisation, the sell-off of Germany's state telephone company, Deutsche Telekom.

pounds 120m bonanza for Kirkham's family

Sir Graham Kirkham, the Yorkshire entrepreneur who runs DFS Furniture, yesterday announced that his two children were to sell the bulk of their 22 per cent stake in the company, raising up to pounds 120m.

Founders of Prism Rail in pounds 27m shares bonanza

Seven founder investors in Prism Rail, the company set up to bid for passenger train franchises, were sitting on a shares bonanza worth pounds 27m last night after launching a rights issue to fund their latest successful deal.

Germans get hooked on the joy of shares

The Habits of a life-time are being shattered in German homes. Mattresses are being overturned and piggy banks raided as the ubiquitous "little man" scrapes together his spare pfennigs for a rare flutter on the stock exchange. Deutsche Telekom, the state-owned telephone company, is offering shares to the public in the biggest privatisation since Volkswagen was floated 35 years ago. The pundits expect a bonanza - perhaps a doubling of the share price within weeks.

Tate wins pounds 5m watercolour collection in Lottery bonanza

The Tate Gallery has acquired a pounds 5m watercolour collection, deemed to be one of the most significant collections of British watercolours and drawings to have remained in private hands.

C5 takes on 1,500 to tune videos

Channel 5 is recruiting another 1,500 video re-tuners before it goes on air early next year. It means Britain's final terrestrial channel will offer up to 8,500 people jobs in the run-up to its launch in February 1997.
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas