News

The closure of a tax loophole has hit profits at online birthday and Christmas cards retailer Moonpig.

Brown leads global drive to close down tax havens

PM hopes to push through deal targeting privileged territories at April summit

Questions of cash: 'We were stranded. Why won't Flybe refund our costs?'

Q. Last August, we went on holiday to Sark, flying to Guernsey with Flybe. Severe weather conditions caused our ferry from Sark to Guernsey to be cancelled, making us miss our return flight to Manchester. We were insured through Flybe, and we told the airline in the morning that our family of five could not fly, and that we were stranded on Sark without accommodation. Flybe's adviser was most helpful and reassured us not to worry, that our insurance would cover us since a Force 9 storm was not our fault and that, for a small administration fee, he could transfer us on to another direct flight later that evening or on the following day.

Simon Calder: As sterling sinks, time to test out some funny money

Hitch-hiking is inherently rewarding. You travel through interesting places, chauffeur-driven by a member of a self-selecting group of friendly, helpful people. Occasionally, you can step out of a vehicle having made a cash profit too.

Recession? Hah! The Spirit of the Blitz will carry us through 2009

With the pound falling, those overseas holidays will have to go on hold. But that's no bad thing if it means we'll see more of our beautiful home islands

Offshore: Fears over liability in Crown Dependencies

An independent review into the British Government's role in supporting the banking systems of the Crown Dependencies and overseas territories was announced by the Chancellor yesterday in the pre-Budget report.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The memorable title of Shaffer's first (and sadly last) novel is the name of a war-time book club, invented by a group of Guern-sey villagers stopped by a German patrol for breaking curfew.

James Daley: Who's to blame for the Icelandic banking mess?

When Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling were talking tough to Iceland a few weeks ago – seizing the UK assets of Icelandic banks and promising to stand behind all UK savers with money in those banks' accounts – I felt a great national pride. After all, the Icelandic Government had apparently told us that they had no intention of honouring their obligations in the UK – even though hundreds of thousands of savers had deposited money in the UK subsidiaries of their banks.

Herm Island: Lovers' rock

John and Julia Singer fell for each other on the tiny island of Herm 14 years ago. Now they've bought it in a multimillion pound deal

The Weasel: The ghost writer

The most evocative writer's home in the UK is owned by the city of Paris. "No house ever said so much about its owner," declares Graham Robb in his masterly biography of Victor Hugo. "Hauteville House gives one the distinct impression of being swallowed alive by Hugo." During our recent visit to Guernsey, Mrs W and I puffed up the steep street in St Peter Port to the four-storey dwelling of this titan of letters for 14 years from 1855. After we rang on the bell, a doorkeeper brusquely inquired, "French or English?" When this had been sorted out, we had to give our names and were told to present ourselves half an hour later for a tour in English. It was all a bit bureaucratic considering the former owner's disdain for authority. During the wait, we explored the garden, which, like the house itself, is immaculately maintained by its Parisian curators.

The Weasel: Channel hopping

We have just spent a week lolling on beaches, disturbing the innocent rest of periwinkles in rock pools, relishing the eggy pong of ageing seaweed and eating unfeasible quantities of crustaceans. Nothing so unusual about that, since the Weasel household normally passes August on the Yorkshire Riviera. Except we weren't. Our littoral rambles took place on a nibbled triangle of granite 75 miles from Weymouthand 40 miles from Cherbourg. It may seem strange to take a holiday from a holiday, but I was summoned to Guernsey to act as witness at the wedding of dear friends. After my onerous matrimonial duties ("Can you ensure that no confetti is thrown? Rose petals and rice, yes! Confetti, no!") and droll speechifying ("Act in haste, repent at leisure"), we tacked on a few days to explore an island that, according to Perry's Guide to Guernsey, "was voted in one international survey 'the happiest place in the world'."

Mark Thatcher's got bags of 'wonga' but few options

Ex-PM's son almost out of places to shelter from enemies

After 450 years, Sark turns back on feudal law

For more than 450 years Sark stood alone as one of Europe's last bastions of feudal law, but yesterday marked the end of an era for the tiny Channel island as the UK Privy Council approved changes to its system of government, heralding the arrival of democracy for the first time.

Jersey's farmers call for repeal of cattle purity law

Among the dairy farmers of Jersey there is talk of a foreign invasion. For centuries Jersey cows have only ever been allowed to breed with indigenous bulls, and since the late 19th century the lineage of every cow has been recorded in an enormous tome called the Jersey Herd Book. The purity of Jersey's stock is something that many on the island are fiercely proud of.

Sark: Times change, even on this tiny island

Sark has become a democracy. Is it any different, asks Adrian Mourby

Paws for thought: dog days are here again

Dancing collies, flashy foreign interlopers and canine capers of all kinds: where would Crufts, which opens on Thursday, be without them? Way down the TV ratings, argues the Kennel Club, which could be why critics are being called to heel...
Arts and Entertainment
Lennie James’s return as Morgan does not disappoint
artsConquer, TV review
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people
Arts and Entertainment
Another picture in the photo series (Rupi Kaur)
arts
Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
techTech giants have left governments and regulators behind
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Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
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Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
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Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
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people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor