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Olympus paid $2 billion (£1.3 billion) for Gyrus and ran up the world’s biggest takeover advisory fee

Attorney General hints BP's partners may face criminal investigation

Transocean, the Swiss owner of the doomed Gulf of Mexico rig, faces the wrath of Americans as the cost of oil catastrophe reaches $3bn

Birthday Honours: Sundries

Queen's Police Medal (QPM)

David Andrew Crompton. Deputy chief Constable, West Yorkshire Police.

On The Road: The marvels of modern rock art on Dorset's Jurassic Coast

I love a good pebble. Smooth to the touch and totally individual. They've become synonymous with calm: used in Zen gardens, wallpaper on iPhones and by designers on tablemats to bring the outside in. In Lyme Regis, there's a whole beach of them. And on this beach I found Adrian Gray (pictured above) engrossed in the fine art of stone balancing. Not just pebbles in this case, but huge, back-wrenching stones that he somehow rests on one another at incredible angles. It really is a case of "how does he do that?". Is it sticky tape, magic or spiritualism? Well none of these. As Adrian says: "It's a paradox of fragility and solidity. These are really heavy stones, balanced in a very, very fragile way. It's the illusionary quality that makes it so magical. Your brain is telling you that's not possible, while your eyes say it is."

Fraudster jailed for £34m Ponzi scheme

Conman who defrauded 8,500 investors lived lavish lifestyle

Billions in US public money 'spent in Iran'

Details emerge of billions awarded by the US to firms dealing with Tehran

Johann Hari: The worst thing about Ashcroft is that his behaviour is legal

Contrary to the claims of apologists, there is nothing inevitable about tax exiles

Dick Francis: Champion jockey and best-selling thriller writer

Dick Francis sampled vivid peril as a bomber pilot and steeplechase jockey. He then gave millions of readers a flavour of his experiences, as author of nearly 40 best-selling adventures – creating a fictional world that could not be dismissed as fanciful, so long as it was measured against his own life.

Dick Francis, champion jockey turned thriller-writer, dies at 89

Racing world remembers best-selling author who triumphed over adversity. Mark Hughes reports

Thriller writer Dick Francis dies aged 89

Dick Francis, the champion jockey turned best-selling thriller writer, has died at the age of 89, his family said today.

Leading article: Frozen fun

Squeeze into the Lycra, don that helmet and sharpen those skates, for the Winter Olympics are upon us. The frozen Games never get the same attention as their summer counterpart, which is very unfair considering the range of attractions on offer, from the psychotic madness of the skeleton and the bobsleigh, to the rather more relaxed (though no less competitive) charms of curling.

Best for island escapes: Cyprus

From up there, you can see everything," said the speedboat's grizzled captain, pointing skywards with a grin and a wink. And with that, he snapped me into my parachute, leant on the boat's throttle – and lifted me gently from the deck and into the air, attached only by the slenderest of ropes to the back of his craft as it bounced through the waves beneath me.

Kings of Convenience, Barbican, London

Easy pickings from lo-fi royalty

Pearl's listing delayed by accounts rules

Insurers' London float plan in doubt as financial reporting switch continues. Simon Evans reports

Alan Blinder: An absolute Blinder

An economist who says the US government has played its cards perfectly remains fully optimistic

Carragher's title aim may be wide of mark

Liverpool's defensive linchpin still has eyes on that elusive medal but the Reds squad doesn't look strong enough to finish on top.
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Independent Travel
Apulia
Lake Annecy
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Walking in Cyprus
Lanzarote
Victoria Falls
Prices correct as of 26 September 2014
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
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Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'