Voices

On a recent trip to Paris, I noticed that the French are really quite tardy about taking down their Christmas decorations. I can't speak for the private homes of individuals, but in the streets, there they were, twinkling on against January's grey skies.

Greggs returns to sales growth after strong Christmas- but plans to cut 410 jobs

Baker Greggs saw a 3.1 per cent rise in sales in the five-week festive period. But it still piled gloom onto staff by warning that up to 410 jobs are to be axed to save money.

RSA blames £200m hole on 'inappropriate collaboration' between bosses in Irish business

Probe finds “inappropriate collaboration” between bosses in the insurers Irish busines

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the Marks and Spencer's Christmas ad

M&S disappoints after clothing sales decline for 10th consecutive quarter as rival Ted Baker surges

Both are retailers keen to offer top-end, high-quality clothing at affordable prices to affluent and aspiring shoppers.

Slide in sales wipes 31 per cent off Mothercare

Mothercare suffered a humiliating setback to its plans for a turnaround in its UK business as the baby and childrenswear business issued a shock profit warning.

Mothercare shares slide 30% after profit warning

Shock profit warning sent shares crashing more than 30 per cent

Eat, drink and be very extravagant: UK shoppers embrace Waitrose and Sainsbury’s high-end brands

Shopping habits show Britons are regaining a taste for the finer things in life

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the Marks and Spencer's Christmas ad

No 'Magic and Sparkle' for M&S as retailer expected to reveal another fall in clothing sales

Chief executive Marc Bolland has yet to report a successful Christmas sales period

Del Boy and Rodney to return in Only Fools and Horses sketch

Familiar faces will return to British screen after a ten-year absence

Brendan Rodgers has been charged by the FA

Brendan Rodgers charged by FA for questioning integrity of Lee Mason

Brendan Rodgers was on Friday night charged by the Football Association for questioning the integrity of referee Lee Mason.

Now follow that, M&S... Next reveals a Christmas sales boom

Shareholders to scoop special dividends, meaning £3m a year for chief Wolfson

Rab C Nesbitt returns for a one-off Christmas day special

Rab C Nesbitt, TV review: 'A foul-mouthed sitcom about modern-day working class life'

Mrs Brown's Boys might have won the Christmas Day ratings battle, but it didn't tackle bedroom tax, ATOS, workfare and Scottish Independence

A Landrover makes it's way along a flooded road near Lingfield

UK floods: Top tips for driving in wet conditions and standing water as Britain faces ‘exceptional’ bad weather

The Environment Agency has issued a set of severe flood warnings, the highest category

The way we argued: Nigella Lawson

'I've eaten a lot of chocolate': Nigella Lawson gives first interview since 'mortifying' trial

The TV chef said she did not 'pity' herself after the fraud trial of her and her ex-husband's former personal assistants

Christmas cheer for House of Fraser as online shopping drives record sales

Online sales climbed a record breaking 58% as HoF celebrated 'best ever' Christmas

Rhodri Marsden: Smartphone users moan about battery life but don't choose mobiles with the longest

My current phone has been my trusty companion, faithful friend and indispensable conduit to the outside world for 23 months now. In four weeks, I'll be urgently embarking on the biennial horror of the upgrade process – not because I'm desperate to experience the thrill of developments such as fingerprint readers, virtual surround sound or support for communicating in Swahili, but because my relationship with my phone's battery has reached breaking point. We're barely speaking. It's not putting in anywhere near the effort that it used to, and despite regular admonishment, it refuses to mend its ways. Only today, I cursed its uselessness as it counted down from 100 per cent to 0 per cent at record-breaking speed, and I vowed to consign it to an unecological landfill grave as soon as possible.

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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas