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Last year Carphone Warehouse hung up on its partnership with US retailer Best Buy, but today it picked up new partner Samsung and approving investors piled in.

Small Talk: Disaster can help Discovery

The huge earthquake in Chile last weekend – which measured a massive 8.8 on the Richter scale and had killed more than 800 people at the last count – has pushed up copper prices after power cuts caused production to halt at many of the country's mines.

Market Report: Kazakhmys gains as copper finds favour

The mining sector supplemented recent gains last night, with Kazakhmys rallying by almost 5 per cent as traders sought to increase their exposure to base metals.

Britain's oldest shipwreck discovered off Devonshire coast

A 3,000 year old Bronze Age trading vessel – the oldest shipwreck ever found in British waters – has been located off the coast of Devon in South West England.

Market Report: RBS retreats as cheerleader gets cold feet

Part-nationalised group Royal Bank of Scotland was under pressure after an analyst who had been a cheerleader for the stock this year downgraded it to "neutral". In a report titled Cold Feet? Ian Gordon said he now saw better risk/reward for investors in Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group.

Market Report: Japan Airlines woes gives BA the jitters

The Santa rally was finally ho-ho-ho-over yesterday after five straight sessions. The FTSE 100 followed the Asian markets' overnight retreat, with the Nikkei especially driven by fears that Japan Airlines (JAL) was about to collapse. The blue chips ended 39.75 points lower, dipping back below pre-Lehman Brothers collapse levels, to 5397.8 points. The JAL news also had a direct effect on the airline stocks in the UK. As the nerves set in, British Airways suffering for the second day in a row, falling 1.7p to 187.3p.

Market Report: FTSE 100 rally rolls past Lehman landmark

The seasonal goodwill continued in the City yesterday, as the so-called Santa rally kept on rolling. The first session after Christmas Eve's half day saw the FTSE 100 strengthen 35.2 points to 5437.6 and left the index on course for its biggest annual gain since 1997. Yesterday was particularly significant as, for the first time, the index closed higher than the session before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

Xstrata promises more M&A deals to come

Anglo-Swiss, mining group Xstrata yesterday promised investors that it will continue to seek "major" acquisitions, despite two months ago withdrawing a bid to merge with Anglo American. The company, which targets coal and copper, also said that it would also increase its capital spending next year by 89 per cent to take advantage of rising global commodity prices. Xstrata will spend a total of $6.8bn in 2010, while it is also considering a sale of its four copper smelters.

Corruption investigation targets Afghan ministers

Three Afghan cabinet ministers and 12 former ministers are under investigation for alleged corruption, the attorney-general's office said yesterday, announcing cases that could signal whether the government is serious about fighting graft in its ranks.

First challenge for Karzai is to approve corruption charges

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's promise to stamp out corruption has come up against its first test with the revelation that indictments against five high-ranking politicians on charges thought to range from embezzlement to money-laundering need only his signature to proceed.

Market Report: Asian assets lifts the Pru on good news day

The man from the Pru was looking sharp as several news items pushed the UK insurer to one of the strongest performers of the day. Prudential ended up 30p at 608p, as Germany's Allianz beat forecasts to post a 23 per cent jump in third-quarter operating profits. The results helped lift insurers across Europe as did a note from ING. The Dutch broker raised its valuation on 12 insurers across Europe, upping the Pru's price target from 392p to 584p.

Investment Column: Cairn's prospects make it a worthy buy

Kazkhmys; Evolution Group

Investment Column: Xstrata has issues to address but is cheap

Inchcape; Boomerang Plus

Kazakhmys to borrow $2bn from China Development Bank for copper projects

Kazakhmys, the Kazakh mining giant, yesterday announced major funding plans, including borrowing $2bn (£1.3bn) in loans, which it hopes will help get some major unfunded copper projects off the ground.

David Prosser: The great government firesale

Outlook: £16bn represents a tiny proportion of the total deficit
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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