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Brent Cross shopping centre owner Hammerson was cursing the heatwave today despite rising rents and fuller occupancy in the first half of the year.

Panic buying, Church warnings, sales brought forward, early mornings...it's Chriiiiistmaaaaaas!

Today is 'Manic Monday', where approximately £1.3 billion is expect to be spent on Christmas shopping.

Shops hail last-minute Christmas shopping 'spree'

People buying food and last-minute presents face a race against time today as shops have been restricted to only six hours of opening.

Axe-wielding bikers raid jeweller's shop inside Brent Cross shopping centre

Robbers on motorcycles raided a shopping centre jeweller's shop armed with axes today.

French Connection puts 14 shops up for sale

The beleaguered fashion chain French Connection has put up the "for sale" sign outside 14 of its UK shops in large shopping centres across the UK.

Brush with fame: Pollyanna in her studio

Tiger mother: Wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering meets Deborah Ross

In last year's Independent Christmas Charity Auction, Pickering won the chance to be interviewed by Deborah Ross. So how would she fare with our fearless interrogator?

Leading article: Journey's end

This past weekend was always going to see a big influx of people into the capital for three of the year's major sporting events: the two FA Cup semi-finals and the London Marathon. And there are some things for which no one is to be blamed. It was no one's fault that the football brought to Wembley four teams from the North; no one's fault that a scrapyard fire broke out where it did, close to a key stretch of the M1, and no one's fault that the road had to be closed. Not every inconvenience can be put down to overzealous enforcement of "health and safety".

George Walker: Amateur boxing champion who went into business and made millions building the Brent Cross shopping centre

In his 81 years George Walker had noteworthy careers in boxing and big business, amassing a fortune and living the high life, surviving bankruptcy and having a daughter marry into the aristocracy. His experiences in both spheres could be described as bruising. His last fight was described by a veteran boxing commentator as "unquestionably the most brutal battle I have ever seen".

London boosts Hammerson

Hammerson, the owner of retail and office property, posted a double-digit rise in profits last year, boosted by strong demand for office space in London.

Northern furniture chain to make southern debut

Northern furniture retailer CSL is to make its southern debut at a former Borders shop near Brent Cross in north London.

Shoppers flock to high street sales

Hundreds of thousands of shoppers pounded the high streets today to snap up post-Christmas bargains in a boost for retailers before VAT goes up in the New Year.

Holidaypedia: I know what you did this summer ...

It's September at last – but what have we learned over the holidays? Here, Deborah Ross reveals all you need to know about the great British break. It may make you glad to be back at work

UK is still in recession, says Hammerson chief executive

Property group focuses on investment in France, where the recovery is stronger

Record-breaking sales frenzy continues

Millions of bargain-hunting shoppers once more hit the stores today as a record-breaking Christmas sales frenzy continued.

Discount fashion: Taking it to the Maxx

The company behind TK Maxx in Europe is embarking on a massive expansion. James Thompson reports

Borders shuts flagship store

Borders UK has strongly denied it is suffering disrupted supplies to stores from suppliers having credit insurance scaled back.

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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible