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.

Greene King sees record sales over Christmas period

Brewer and pub owner Greene King today said it enjoyed its best-ever Christmas and New Year.

The new chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen

We know recovery exists, just not what it looks like

The upturn is a strange beast, with patchy strength and a tendency to hide from some of us. Still, the good news is that it seems to be here to stay

Online sales growing at fastest rate in three years as high street suffers

Web sales growth in December accelerated to 19.2%, the fastest rate for more than three years

Bath prop David Wilson's calf injury leaves England short of options for the France game

Six Nations 2014: Injured trio could return for Ireland match

Stuart Lancaster believes three of England's orthopaedically challenged brigade – the Northampton full-back Ben Foden, the London Irish wing Marland Yarde and the Bath prop David Wilson – may return to fitness in time for the mid-point match of the Six Nations Championship, against Ireland at Twickenham on 22 February. The head coach did not say so openly, but he would surely take Wilson over the other two at this stage of proceedings.

Shuruq, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, wins the Al-Maktoum Challenge Round One in Godolphin's second colours

Shuruq shows old Godolphin virtues to open Dubai Carnival

Godolphin threw down the gauntlet on the opening of day of the Dubai Carnival with two runners who recently emerged from a six-month ban resulting from the Mahmood al-Zarooni steroid scandal – and were instantly rewarded in Round One of the appropriately named Al-Maktoum Challenge, but with a filly beyond reproach in Shuruq.

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.

Last year the use of mephedrone, also dubbed meow meow or MCAT, was reported to be soaring

Student home from university ‘cut off his own penis and stabbed his mother while high on mephedrone’

Police described both as stable after they were rushed to hospital with life-threatening – and in the teenager’s case, apparently self-inflicted – wounds

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

The pope has a lamb put around his neck by a woman dressed as a character from the nativity scene at Church of St Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in the outskirts of Rome

Pope visits Nativity re-enactment

Swinson criticised the fact that MPs do not automatically get maternity leave

Babies and the House of Commons: an impossible juggling act and a bad model for the country

David Cameron wants to make Britain family friendly but Westminster is a notoriously bad place to be a parent – as MP Jo Swinson revealed this week. Sarah Morrison reports

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

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 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable