News

Construction hit its fastest level of growth in six years, according to the latest survey of the building sector.

Arsenal makes profit but debts mount

Six on spin a high point for buoyant Irish

Ireland 16 Argentina 7

On time, on budget (no, really)

REAL WORK: NINE TO FIVE

Name Mel Thomas, 25 Occupation Commercial diver Salary From pounds 18,000 Address Stoke Newington, north London

Turn left on to the A50 and move into your own toll lane

EVER fancied owning your own road? Well, now you may get your chance. Thanks to the financial problems of Philipp Holzmann, two of Britain's first private trunk roads - the A50 and the A30/A35 - are all set to be put on sale.

The Investment Column: Redrow is on firm foundations but rate rises put shares at risk

REDROW, along with its fellow housebuilders, took the brunt of the punishment inflicted on the stock market by last week's surprise rise in interest rates.

McAlpine shuns renewed bid

ALFRED MCALPINE, the UK house builder and construction group, has rejected a second approach from Brunswick Developments, the family- owned property group whose assets include Brighton Marina.

MBA: `I got what anyone wants, a job that I'm happy in'

Barbara Burford (right), 54, runs a national programme for strategic human resources at the NHS Executive. Two years ago she completed a part- time MBA at Durham University Business School.

The Investment Column: Wilson Connolly

HOUSEBUILDER Wilson Connolly has no truck with the idea it is just lying back and enjoying the much-hyped surge in house prices this year. It claims there are other reasons - such as its strategy - behind the 42 per cent jump in first half profits.

Inside business: All right on the site

Roger Trapp reports on a housebuilder that is trying to reconcile rapid growth with green issues
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'