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.

Luuk De Jong, Netherlands

Transfer news: Newcastle United rekindle interest in signing striker Luuk de Jong from Monchengladbach

Two years after failing with a £10m bid, Newcastle return for the Dutch striker on a loan basis

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

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

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

MP John Hemming has been suspended from Mumsnet after he posted a transcript of Italian court proceedings which identified some of the protagonists in the case

MP John Hemming suspended from Mumsnet after flouting anonymity guidelines

It might be regarded as a happy hunting ground for the crucial female votes of Middle England but Mumsnet has again proved it can be a jungle for politicians hoping to reach out beyond the confines of Westminster.

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

Debenhams chief financial officer resigns after profit warning

CFO Simon Herrick has stepped down with immediate effect

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.

Bad weather prompts crisis meeting over power cuts

Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

Tudor Monastery Farm Christmas, BBC2 - TV review

An opportunity to feel satisfied with your festive lot was provided by Tudor Monastery Farm Christmas, a seasonal special of BBC2's living history series, which gave us the lowdown on how a Tudor farmstead would have celebrated. On the one hand, they did get a whole 12 days off work – the luxury! – for a festive period which began on 25 December and extended well into January. On the other hand, the partying was preceded by Advent's four weeks of fasting and back-breaking toil.

The mild weather has been blamed for poor clothes sales at the retailer

Debenhams warns on profit after poor Christmas trading

Shares dive by 12 per cent amid warning of tough festive season on high street

Market Report: Debenhams' profit warning spooks markets enough to drag competitors down with them

By the time traders headed off after just four hours of trading to start celebrating – or commiserating – the end of an exciting year for stocks, the retail sector was already nursing sore heads thanks to Debenhams.

Police forensics arrive at a house in Smuggler's Lane, Bosham, West Sussex, where 55-year-old Valerie Graves was found murdered

Woman murdered while house-sitting at Bosham seaside property

A woman murdered while house-sitting for wealthy friends at their waterfront home in an idyllic Sussex village may have been the victim of bungled burglary, police said on Tuesday night.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor