Voices

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

Cricket: Counties give go-ahead to Test bonanza

IT IS not often that the 18 fiefdoms that comprise the county game reach a consensus over cricketing matters, but two days locked away in a hotel near Heathrow appears to have done the trick. In a meeting that many felt was characterised by a mood for change, the main surprise was the increase in the amount of international cricket to seven Test matches and 10 one-day internationals from the year 2000, a move more likely to find favour with a television audience than with paying spectators.

Last Night: Rattle's rapturous final symphony

Sir Simon Rattle City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Investment: Special factors help Parity get ahead in IT

LIKE MOST companies in the information technology sector, Parity has enjoyed meteoric growth over the past few years. The market has warmed to its combination of systems integration and an IT staff agency business, marking the shares up by a factor of seven since 1993.

BP merger bonanza for Amoco executives

A GROUP of Amoco employees, led by its 10 top executives, stand to reap a $2.5bn bonanza from stock options provided the US oil company's $110bn merger with British Petroleum goes through.

Windfalls of pounds 5,000 as AMP floats in Sydney

MORE THAN 171,000 UK policyholders yesterday made windfall gains worth on average pounds 5,000 each as AMP, the big Australian insurer, floated on Sydney's stock market.

Itnet five share pounds 30m

FIVE directors of ITNET will share a bonanza of more than pounds 30m when the information technology group comes to the market early next month.

Whitbread and S&N to create pub jobs bonanza

TWO OF the country's biggest leisure companies are planning to create a jobs bonanza in the pub and restaurant industry. Whitbread and Scottish & Newcastle yesterday announced plans to employ another 10,000 people throughout the country over the next 12 months.

Bonanza for 'club clique' as RAC is sold off

THE Royal Automobile Club, Britain's oldest motoring organisation, is to be sold to an American company, Cendant, for pounds 450m. Four MPs are among a "club clique" of RAC members set to receive a pounds 35,000 windfall from the sale.

Buy-back bonanza for three firms' investors

IT WAS a bumper day for shareholders yesterday as three companies announced substantial share buy-backs. WH Smith led the way with plans for a pounds 250m capital return following the completion of the pounds 300m sale of Waterstone's to HMV Media. Burmah Castrol, the lubricants group, also showered its shareholders with pounds 250m. Separately Ascot, the engineering mini conglomerate, announced a pounds 50m share buy-back.

The dash to cash in on PEP allowances

Like greyhounds out of their traps, UK fund managers are streaking towards the 5 April end-of-year tax deadline, hoping to pull billions of pounds of investors' money in their wake.

Rail directors scoop pounds 4.4m jackpot

FIVE directors of Thames Trains yesterday shared in a pounds 4.4m bonanza following the sale of the privatised rail operator to a bus company.

pep news in brief

The Government's decision on ISAs (see our front-page story), removes fears by many fund managers that the cost of transferring their existing PEPs into ISAs could reach hundreds of millions of pounds.

John Lewis staff get annual bonus bonanza thanks to windfall effect

STAFF at John Lewis Partnership are to enjoy their highest annual bonuses since the retail boom of the late 1980s, as the company announced a sharp increase in profits boosted by the effects of last year's building society windfalls.

BP investors set for $1bn share buyback bonanza this year

British Petroleum is planning a rolling programme of share buybacks, likely to generate windfalls to investors worth hundreds of millions of pounds a year, despite disappointing shareholders yesterday with weaker than expected profits.

Camelot in quest for PR white knight

Lottery operator Camelot, facing demands that it should lose its licence, is seeking a media guru. Kim Sengupta reports.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system