News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Rumpelstiltskin, CBSO Centre, Birmingham <br/>Swanhunter, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

The wordless reworking of a classic fairy tale makes its timeless message more alarming than ever

Firm that led the way in DNA testing goes bust

Icelandic company made brilliant discoveries but was unable to profit from them

Derek Pain: AIM faces a hard slog to recapture past glories

No Pain, No Gain

The Scarpetta Factor, By Patricia Cornwell

When interviewed by this newspaper, Patricia Cornwell demonstrated the qualities that have put her in pole position in crime fiction: a fierce intelligence and a determination to be the best at what she does – both characteristics of her forensic pathologist, Kay Scarpetta. But Cornwell shares another characteristic of her heroine's, which undercuts her rather fearsome reputation: a certain vulnerability. When asked about the pretenders whose books are routinely straplined with the phrase "the next Patricia Cornwell", she replied plaintively, "I want to be the next Patricia Cornwell!... I want to be one of those young guns again."

Ed Mayo: We need action to break up the big beasts of the corporate world

When the credit crunch first hit, many people felt like bewildered observers. As the implications for national debt, public services and pensions become clear, it is evident we have been mugged by the capital markets.

Tips and deals: 08/11/2009

The guide

James Moore: From inactivity to hyperactivity... the regulator's folly

There's been a flurry of activity from Britain's financial watchdog in the last few months. Hardly a day goes by without the chairman, Lord Turner, appearing in the media with an eye-catching new initiative designed to clean up the banking industry here, or a wagging finger aimed at its bonus culture there.

Moulton plans to set up new buyout vehicle

Jon Moulton, one of the doyens of the private equity industry, who six weeks ago quit the firm he had established after a row with his former colleagues, is set to return to the buyout sector after announcing plans to set up a new fund.

Observations: Edinburgh's hit Oompa-fuelled show comes to London

Munich's Oktoberfest may have downed its last stein for another year, but the Bavarian spirit lives on in London in the form of an Oompah-fuelled show that proved Edinburgh's most unlikely hit of the summer.

Gustav Metzger, Serpentine Gallery, London

Anti-capitalist demonstrations

Eating Air, By Pauline Melville

What if the Angry Brigade terrorists of the Seventies were to link up with the Islamist militants of the 2000s? It's a fascinating question, raised by Pauline Melville in her new novel. Eating Air is a fantasia on yesterday's revolutionaries, a divertimento that skims back and forth between London, Brazil, Surinam and Italy. The key is comic; the language pregnant with wit. It does not just rain: "Spermatozoa of rain" wriggle down a window.

These dangerous debt managers must be reined in

A clampdown on dodgy debt-management firms looks likely after the Government published a consultation document on Friday, questioning whether the firms need to be regulated. "Taking tough, swift action against firms which fail to operate within the rules and which provide sub-standard services to consumers with problem debt remains a high priority," said the Ministry of Justice.

Anthony Rose: Thanks to recent harvest gluts and the credit crunch, there&rsquo;s been a reappearance on the market of some great deals

Three months ago, Majestic Wine was in the doldrums as its annual profits took a nosedive. A weak pound and fewer champagne corks popping were the main culprits. So autumn needed to be special for Majestic. And it is. The UK's favourite wine warehouse won the Wine Chain of the Year award at the awards ceremonies of both the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge.

Ben Yearsley: VCTs make investment less taxing

Venture Capital Trusts are a promising area of investment that, although high risk, can save an investor a great deal of tax. Clearly, there is no point making investment decisions purely because they are tax efficient. If you don't think the investment stands up in its own right then you shouldn't invest – any tax benefits should just be the icing on the cake.

Ready to Wear: The middle class now know the ethical cost of budget fashion

Isn't it funny – and at least occasionally quite gratifying – how times change. And so I find myself on a balmy Bank Holiday Monday afternoon discussing with my good friend Ben just how great it is that, perhaps for the first time in our lives, we find our unswerving and loyal devotion to spending exorbitant amounts of money on our wardrobes finally earning us the moral high ground.

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Day In a Page

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