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.

Transfer deadline day: 10 bizarre stories from previous windows

With the clock ticking things can get desperate

Derek Pain: Essenden's excellent efforts over Christmas have bowled me over

The no pain, no gain portfolio has experienced a near-crescendo of announcements with more than half of the constituents reporting in the past few weeks. Most statements related to trading but a couple involved new funds.

Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon have written a Christmas children's book featuring their twins Roc and Roe's take on a popular carol

Mariah Carey writes Christmas children's book with husband Nick Cannon

Publishers will release 'Roc and Roe's Twelve Days of Christmas' in autumn

Royal Mail revenue boosted by online shopping frenzy

Higher prices for parcels and loads of Christmas cards delivered helped Royal Mail boost revenues by 2 per cent in the past nine months, the recently privatised business reported today.

Snapchat launched in July 2011

Six free apps no student should live without

These six apps are all free and easy to download onto your laptop, ipad, and smartphone. These apps are perfect for students whether you are looking for something to pass the time or something convenient to fit around your needs and activities.

(Left to right) David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association; Mark Mathieson, Managing Director of Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy; Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive of UK Power Networks; Steve Johnson, Chief Executive of Electricity North West; Robert Symons, Chief Executive of Western Power Distribution; Frank Mitchell, Chief Executive of ScottishPower Energy Networks

An 'astonishing' degree of neglect: MPs take dim view of energy bosses over Christmas power cuts

Distribution companies accused of ‘utter complacency’ and neglecting their customers 

A police officer stands guard near the home of missing boy Mikaeel Kular

Community memorial service to be held for Mikaeel Kular in Edinburgh

Police 'strongly believe' dead child found in Kirkcaldy is Mikaeel

Doubt cast on official retail sales figures

Retail sales rose at their fastest rate in nine years in December, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday. However, some City analysts immediately cast doubt on the reliability of the figures.

Roger Lloyd-Pack has died at 69: Trigger quotes to remember

The "irreplaceable" British actor Roger Lloyd-Pack, known for playing Trigger in classic UK comedy Only Fools and Horses, has died. His career spanned roles in The Vicar of Dibley and Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. You can read our obituary here, but you might also enjoy these Trigger quotes from his best loved performances.

MyTablet - Argos's foray into the budget tablet market

Currys and Argos hail Christmas sales triumph

Online sales now represent almost half of all Argos' business

Nearing the end: January is the beginning of the end for third years, but is that so bad?

They say that in relationships there come several itching points. These are moot: could be two years or five; some even say 18 months. If I’m in a relationship with university – heartbreak, check; crying, check – then we’ve reached one of these hurdles. And the cut-off is not a year or even two, it’s in weeks. Let me introduce the 12-week itch.

Moss Bros hits eight-year high and hikes dividend after Christmas sales surge

Shares of Moss Bros soared to an eight-year high in London trading after the suit hire and retailer unexpectedly said it will boost its dividend.

ASOS sales climb 38% in run-up to Christmas as high street rivals suffer

ASOS recently launched in China, marking its eighth local language site outside the UK

High street hit by weak Christmas trading as number of shoppers falls 3.7%

Disappointing set of figures after many stores pinned their hopes on sparkling Christmas trading following a weak autumn

James Moore: Let's not get too excited about the seasonal spending splurge

Outlook Raise a glass to Greene King. The pub and restaurant group reported a sparkling 5 per cent increase in sales over Christmas. But fill it with Cava rather than Champagne.

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
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Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
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Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
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The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?