News

Billionaire businessman Mike Ashley left the City baffled last night about a highly complex derivatives deal that was revealed on one of the busiest days in the retail calendar.

Cash-strapped single mum from Essex wins £1.6m

A week ago single mother Julie Styles was facing mounting money worries - today she is celebrating winning £1.6 million on the lottery.

Royal designer could boost Debenhams

Debenhams is counting on a Royal boost from the Duchess of Cambridge this summer, after the department store chain increased half-year profits and sales by a sliver.

Debenhams outsources call centre

More than 200 jobs are at risk at the retailer Debenhams' call centre in Somerset, which it will outsource to keep up with growing call volumes from its online operation.

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Wired for happiness: Don't be afraid of making a mesh of your living space

1. Ti Aspetto Dietro L'angolo wall clock

1. Tube Rug, Tom Dixon for the Rug Company, £4,237

The 10 best coffee tables

Want somewhere to to place your drinks, your feet and your magazines? Look no further than our selection...

1. Champagne cork stool, Impulse Purchase, £99

Size matters: Sometimes it's worth thinking about the bigger picture

1. Champagne cork stool

Mark Steel: If religion's marginal,I'm the Pope

If you're going to complain that religion is becoming "marginal", as Baroness Warsi did yesterday, it's genius to do it when you're a member of the Cabinet on a visit to the Pope. Maybe Warsi said to him, "For example, your Holiness, look how these days you're tucked away in a backstreet in Rome which hardly even shows up on the A to Z."

British Land keeps soaring as its rivals struggle

British Land has opened the gap in London's skyscraper race as it forges ahead with its £1.1bn development programme in the capital, its chief executive, Chris Grigg, said yesterday.

Tea drinking becoming a mug's game

Retailers have warned that the cornerstone of British social manners, the teapot, is dying out.

Royal Retriever: Poke a bit of fun at royal fever with this bright Ben de Lisi red cushion
with black piping and a print of the popular French bulldog. £18, debenhams.com

Window Shopping: In the doghouse

What better tribute to our favourite furry friends than to immortalise them in chintz, swag, cushions, lighting and other items of a home's interior?

<p>1. Retro Yellow</p>
<p>£23, jasmineway.co.uk</p>
<p>There isn't anything subtle about this retro vase from Jasmineway but if you are looking for a statement vase, this is the one for you.</p>

The 10 Best vases

1. Retro Yellow

£23, jasmineway.co.uk

There isn't anything subtle about this retro vase from Jasmineway but if you are looking for a statement vase, this is the one for you.

Debenhams bucks festive sales trend

Debenhams staked its claim to be one of the Christmas winners in the retail sector by posting a 6.5 per cent leap in underlying festive sales.

Millions set for Boxing Day sales

Millions of shoppers are expected to hit Britain's high streets tomorrow to work off their Christmas dinners while enjoying the Boxing Day sales.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform