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ITV buys stake in ‘Teen Wolf’ firm

Half of UK firms expect to create jobs next year, according to CBI report

More than half of the UK’s businesses expect to create new jobs over the next year, though real wages will continue to fall, a new report has found.

Lord Mackenzie and Lord Laird will not be able to sit in the House of Lords for months

Two peers suspended from the House of Lords after offering to do paid work for undercover reporters

Lord Mackenzie and Lord Laird both face temporary bans after being caught by Sunday Times journalists

Discover your financial history with a free credit report

More and more people are finding out what their credit standing is so they don't encounter financial difficulties now or in the future.

A credit report details all of your major financial history concerning loans taken out from financial institutions, and is used by them to determine if you're eligible for credit. After all, in trying to work out if you're able to repay a loan, looking back to see if you've abided by the terms of past loan repayment schedules will be the best guide possible.

Crab Nebula: Noble gas molecules detected in space for the first time

Molecular ions of argon hydride were detected in supernova remnant

Illegal miners dig for diamonds in Zimbabwe’s Marange gem fields, which were exposed by an earth tremor in 2006 and are the largest discovered in Africa in more than a century

The flawed diamond sale: Sanctions lifted on gemstones from Zimbabwe

Belgium has successfully lobbied for sanctions to be lifted on gemstones mined in Zimbabwe, promising a windfall for the ailing nation. But critics say the ethics of the move are questionable

Maxine Bannard posted this photo on Facebook alongside the caption: 'Awful! My girls were so upset'

Milton Keynes 'Winter Wonderland' closes after upsetting scores of children

The event featuring 'men in Santa outfits from Poundland' was closed after its first day following a storm of criticism from parents

Following a review into seven day care, hospitals that do not provide the same standard of care at the weekend as during the week will be fined

Have senior doctors work at weekends or face huge fines, hospitals told

The days of hospitals relying on junior doctors at the weekend are numbered, the director of NHS England has said

Bath wing Matt Banahan tries to break the Mogliano defence

Bath 63 Mogliano 0 match report: Rampant Bath show the value of coaching switch

Amid an avalanche of points against their hapless Italian opponents, Bath quietly eased a director of rugby out of his seat. It has been a curious week in the West Country – business as usual on the pitch and, in a way, business as usual off it, going by the last three years under the ownership of Bruce Craig.

Alcohol linked to death of British woman Lynne Spalding in stairwell of American hospital

The death of a British woman whose body was found in a hospital stairwell in America weeks after going missing was linked to chronic alcohol abuse, a coroner has reported.

Sophia, 23, joins fellow demonstrators on Kiev’s Independence Square

Ukraine protesters: ‘We want our country to have EU values, not a dictatorship’

The Independent speaks to three demonstrators to find out why they are taking to the streets

HS2 essential for UK, insist 'convinced' MPs

Report says risks of not going ahead with the project 'significantly outweigh the risks of doing so'

Just 11.5 per cent have changed suppliers this year

‘UK’s stale energy market makes it easy for Big Six to hike prices,’ says new study

While 21 per cent were changing suppliers in 2006, just 11.5 per cent have changed this year

Vaccines were found to be out of date at the Norris Road Surgery in Cheshire

Maggots in surgeries and out-of-date vaccines: Thousands of patients' lives put at risk by ‘years of basic GP failures’

New CQC report reveals pockets of bad practice and serious lapses in safety standards

Helle Thorning-Schmidt: Who is David Cameron and Obama's 'selfie' pal?

The Danish PM became an overnight internet sensation after her ‘selfie’ at Mandela’s memorial went viral

In some rural areas, almost every bus route is subsidised by the local council, and these are vulnerable as funding cuts bite further

Buses in crisis: Cuts see routes dwindle - despite people using them more than all other forms of public transport in Britain

In bigger towns and cities only one service in 20 receives support, while in some rural areas almost every bus is subsidised

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick