Cognac - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
Sport Timmy Murphy

Tinie Tempah was one of the celebrity names at Newbury yesterday, jockeys' temper one of the talking points. An incident in which Timmy Murphy was injured after coming to blows with fellow-rider Dominic Elsworth on Friday is to be investigated by the British Horseracing Horseracing Authority, with a hearing scheduled for Thursday. The men could face charges of bringing the sport into disrepute.

Arnault waters down merger proposals

Bernard Arnault was yesterday forced to make an embarrassing climbdown just 24 hours after he launched an audacious attempt to scupper the pounds 23bn merger between Guinness and Grand Metropolitan.

UK drinks pair reject LVMH proposals

Grand Metropolitan and Guinness yesterday rejected the latest proposals from LVHM that were designed to overcome the French luxury goods group's opposition to the UK drinks groups' pounds 23bn merger, writes Andrew Yates.

Arnault airs fresh merger ideas

Guinness and Grand Metropolitan were last night studying fresh merger proposals tabled by Bernard Arnault, chairman of the French LVMH luxury goods group, at a crunch meeting over lunch in Paris yesterday.

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

THE BROADER PICTURE: THE BULL-RUNNERS OF NORTHERN SPAIN

Swedes find cognac galore

Swedish divers have found a sailing ship that was transporting a huge cargo of cognac, champagne and red wine when it was sunk by a U-boat in 1916. The Joenkoeping was found off the Finnish coast. Divers are trying to find how many the bottles are intact. Claes Bergvall, of the C Star diving exploration group, said the wine and spirits could fetch huge sums at auction. The vessel was carrying 36,000 litres of cognac, 5,000 bottles of champagne and 6,000 litres of wine. The cognac and champagne where being shipped to Russia's tsarist army.

MARKET REPORT: French swoop on GrandMet adds spirit to late trading

Bernard Arnault enlivened a deadly dull stock market. The French tycoon's tea-time swoop on Grand Metropolitan sent turnover bubbling over 1 billion shares and pushed the nation's three leading spirit groups sharply higher.

New sleaze row knocks at door of No10

Downing Street yesterday reacted angrily to an accusation that the Prime Minister was threatening to create a new "sleaze" culture at the heart of Whitehall.

Greener denies boardroom row with Arnault

Tony Greener, chairman of Guinness, was yesterday attempting to play down an apparent boardroom rift with Bernard Arnault, the head of the French LVMH luxury goods group. Mr Arnault, who until recently controlled more than a fifth of Guinness's shares, voted against the proposed merger with GrandMet at last Friday's board meeting, throwing his future at the company into doubt.

'Dear Leader' sips cognac as nation starves

Hard information about North Korea is hard to come by, but in the last few weeks one thing has become increasingly certain: after two years of floods and economic stagnation, the country is on the verge of famine. An American congressman who visited this month saw peasants living off hot water and last year's cabbage leaves.

Racing: Money heads for Coome Hill

Coome Hill was the horse to attract betting interest on the first day after publication of the Grand National weights. The Hennessy Gold Cup winner is now 14-1 co-favourite, from 16-1, with Ladbrokes for the Aintree chase, despite a warning from his trainer that his principal objective is the Gold Cup.

Dove flies home as rivals fall to earth

The Gold Cup picture remains blurred after the Agfa Diamond Limited Handicap Chase developed into a chapter of accidents here yesterday. The most notable departure was Coome Hill, the second favourite for the Gold Cup, at the second fence; he was followed by Avro Anson in front of the stands, Go Ballistic five out and Major Summit, who sadly broke his neck at the penultimate obstacle, leaving Dextra Dove to outstay his sole remaining rival Northern Hide up the hill.

Racing: Hill to be overshadowed by Summit

For at least six weeks, ever since the Siberian winds arrived to disrupt every training programme from Cornwall to Middleham, the front end of betting on the Cheltenham Gold Cup has been boringly familiar. Take a last look at it this morning, however, since the next two days could leave many bookmakers with writer's cramp, as prices are revised and then scribbled out with each turn of events.

Hill no obstacleto Man

Coome Hill is likely to duck a confrontation with One Man at Cheltenham on Saturday. His trainer, the permit-holder Walter Dennis, is concerned that a good performance from Coome Hill in the Pillar Chase will ruin his handicap mark and he is now contemplating a switch to Sandown's Agfa Diamond Chase the following weekend.

Talkin' About a Resolution

Richard Ehrlich's Beverage Report

Call kept under wraps

Ireland will have to wait to see if Imperial Call has retained his old magic as the Gold Cup winner was yesterday pulled out of Saturday's Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown.
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week