Life and Style

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Tories name men to lead break up of FSA if they win power

Two Bank of England directors have been earmarked to take control of transferring banking supervision from the Financial Services Authority to the central bank if the Tories win the election.

Why dumping a friend is hard

What's the best way to end a romance? A Dear John letter perhaps, or a teary phone call? But how do you dump a friend? Do the same rules apply?

Album: Bright Eyes & Neva Dinova, One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels (Saddle Creek)

Originally released in 2004, One Jug Of Wine, Two Vessels was a six-track collaborative effort between Conor Oberst's Bright Eyes and their Omaha, Nebraska label-mates Neva Dinova.

Ben Chu: Why the banks are an undemocratic vested interest

The banks are resisting reforms to break up large, systemically unsafe, institutions today through their considerable lobbying power and their funding for political parties on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ten reasons for getting dumped on holiday

If you fancy making it to Valentine's Day with your relationship still intact here’s a what-not-to-do to do while on holiday with your other half.

Album: Eels, End Times Vagrant

Pity poor Mark "E" Everett: beleaguered by a family background pock-marked with mad genius, suicide and cancer, he's no sooner finally come to terms with turbulent desire in last year's Hombre Loco than he's left shattered by break-up, contemplating End Times.

Last Steps: The Last Writings of Leo Tolstoy, trs Jay Parini

It's either a brave man or a foolish man who describes feeling "an insuperable repulsion and tedium" on reading the plays of Shakespeare; the "vulgarity" of some characters; and the "inflated characterless style in which King Lear – like all Shakespeare's kings – talks". But by this point in his life, Tolstoy had eschewed his wilder, younger days to embrace religion and morality in his old age, and Shakespeare, he had decided, wasn't moral enough for him to appreciate. That is not to say he embraced the established Church – that gets it in the neck too, for forgetting its link to ordinary men.

The Merry Gentleman (15)

Michael Keaton's directorial debut is a low-key character study which just about survives its odd shifts of tone.

Virginia Ironside’s Dilemmas: My ex-wife makes excuses when I try to see my son

Dear Virginia,

My wife and I went through a bitter divorce last year – I can't imagine ever speaking to her again, to be honest. But what upsets me is my access to my seven-year-old son. I'm meant to see him every weekend for a day, but nearly every time I go to pick him up she makes some excuse, so I barely see him once a month. I understand why she might want to punish me for my part in the break-up, but why punish my son as well? I'm thinking of going to court. I'm in bits about this.

Yours sincerely,

Greg

Observations: Look right into the Glass house

There are numerous insights to be gleaned from watching Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts, Scott Hicks' 2007 documentary about the American composer which has recently received a UK DVD release. For the film, Hicks spent a year with Glass, documenting his exceptional work-rate and offering an intimate portrait of his home life.

Album: Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson, Break Up (Atco/Rhino)

A musical diversion that doesn't get lost in translation

Blackstone prepares for Hilton break-up

Hilton, the giant hotel group that was bought by Blackstone for $26bn (£15.5bn) at the top of the market in 2007, could be broken up under plans being devised by its owner.

Stephen Foley: Time to snip Wall Street down to size

US Outlook: It is 1909 all over again. A red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism is seen being manipulated by gargantuan companies, extending their tentacles into all areas of business and wielding their power to cow governments and extort the citizenry. Then, the clamour was for the break-up of Standard Oil, the behemoth assembled by John D Rockefeller, which controlled 80 per cent of US oil production and used its monopoly to squish rivals.

Billionaire brothers' gas feud

The Indian government has accused two billionaire brothers of holding the country "hostage" in a feud over gas supplies from their fields in the Bay of Bengal.

Now You See Him, By Eli Gottlieb

Nick Framingham has hero-worshipped his best friend, writer Rob Castor, since they were boys. When the news breaks that Rob has murdered his girlfriend, and Rob is found dead himself a few days later, Nick is hit hard, and the shock-waves jeopardise his already fragile marriage. This story weaves between Rob's last days, Nick's childhood, Nick's affair with Rob's sister, his troubled relationship with his own parents, and the slow, sad break-up of Nick and his wife Lucy (including some excruciating counselling sessions with the hammy and self-important Dr Purefoy).

Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
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Day In a Page

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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect