Sport Lizzy Yarnold kisses her trophy after being crowned the women's skeleton world champion near Koenigssee, southern Germany

The Kent slider finishes ninth in Konigssee, enough to finish the season as champion

Virgin to move brand division to Switzerland

Sir Richard branson is unapologetic about moving a key part of his Virgin empire out of Britain to Geneva for tax reasons. The announcement is a symbolic blow for the Chancellor, George Osborne, who had hoped to lure more companies back to Britain through cuts in corporation tax.

Philips books quarterly loss

Philips slumped to a €1.3bn (£1.1bn) loss in the second quarter after booking a €1.4bn write-down, mostly on its lighting and healthcare businesses, the electronics giant said yesterday.

Virgin to test 1.5Gb service

Virgin Media is set to begin testing the "world's fastest broadband". Trials for the 1.5Gb service, 240 times quicker than the UK average, will start at four east London companies later this month.

TNK-BP plans gatecrash of Rosneft share swap

TNK-BP is proposing to act as a middleman in BP's $10bn (£6.1bn) share-swap deal with Russian rival Rosneft, but the British oil major does not support the plan.

Andrew Buncombe: Undecided – the politician critics saw as a rabble-rouser

Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, is perhaps the most controversial politician in India. He is also one of the most successful.

Tata buys British Salt for £93m

The Indian conglomerate Tata has bought British Salt for £93m from Lloyds' private equity arm. The firm produces half of the UK's pure salt at its Middlewich facility in Cheshire and also sells a range of white rock and brown rock salt for de-icing.

UTC to buy Clipper Windpower

The wind turbine maker Clipper Windpower has agreed to a £139.5m buyout by the US conglomerate United Technologies Corporation. UTC will pay 65p a share to gain control over the 50.1 per cent stake in the AIM-listed Clipper that it does not already own and assist with cash flow ahead of the transaction. Last year, UTC, which provides hi-tech products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries, paid £166m for a 49.5 per cent stake in Clipper.

Strike averted at Virgin Atlantic

The threat of strikes by Virgin Atlantic pilots has been averted after a dispute over days off was resolved.

Williams crashes out of Stena Cup

In a reversal of fortunes, former world champion Ian Williams went crashing out of the Stena Cup in Sweden while the man he so proudly beat in the pool stage, America's Cup skipper and triple Olympic gold medallist, walloped the current tour leader Mathieu Richard of France to go through to the semi-finals.

Essar suffers worst IPO in eight years

India's Essar Energy stumbled in what was the London market's biggest listing since December 2007 last night, with its shares slumping by more than 7 per cent to 389.5p on their first day of trading.

Album: The Futureheads, The Chaos (Nul Records)

"5-4-3-2-1... on your marks!" This is the up-and-at-'em statement of intent with which the Futureheads kick off their fourth album.

David Prosser: A chance for Toyota to pull clear of crisis

Outlook This will be a good test of how seriously Toyota takes the scandal that has engulfed it over the past month. Akio Toyoda, the president of the world's largest car manufacturer, and the grandson of its founder, has until now had an excuse not to attend a US Congressional hearing on the affair next Wednesday – he pointed out that he had not been invited. Now he has, with the Democrat chairman of the committee giving Mr Toyoda until the end of today to reply.

Branson puts his name in frame to buy Crystal Palace

Sir Richard Branson has revealed that he could be interested in a bid for Crystal Palace after administrators placed an advert in a bid to sell the troubled club.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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