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$5bn: the cost of saying Donald Trump is a mere millionaire

Businessman sues journalist who questioned scale of his wealth, reports Stephen Foley

Pageant official quits over Miss California move

In the latest twist in a scandal that has rocked an American beauty pageant, a former Miss USA has resigned as co-executive of the Miss California USA competition following owner Donald Trump's decision to let the state's controversial title holder keep her crown.

Last Night's Television: Coronation Street, ITV1<br />The Apprentice, BBC1<br />Rain, BBC2

"We've already watched a lot of television tonight," moaned Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, flinching from the prospect of a marathon viewing of The Thorn Birds with Deirdre. Ken doesn't really approve of television, thinking there are better ways to spend your time, and who could gainsay him given the immeasurably more interesting drama you can get just down the road at the Rovers Return, a kind of Epidaurus with bitter on tap. Dynastic curses, incest, blood feuds and murder are stacked up behind the bar, alongside the pork scratchings and dry-roast peanuts. Last night, for instance, Colin – Rita's box-fresh fiancé – was revealed to have impregnated Julie when she was just 14 years old. Colin, rather unwisely in the circumstances, tried to argue his corner, pointing out that Paula wasn't exactly a blushing innocent at the time, but Rita was having none of it: "What you did is unforgiveable... you abused a child." She then went to sit in the dark in the Kabin, mascara streaming down her cheeks while her friends tried in vain to get her to pick up the phone. Rita declined, which won't really surprise you if you've ever seen her phone, a grim piece of faux-sophisticate tat that looks as if it's been made out of raw liver and prompts me to offer a word of congratulation to that unsung team of geniuses, the Coronation Street set-dressers. Ken, meanwhile, was off down the canal towpath looking longingly at a barge crowned with a stone Buddha, from which classical music was seeping through the net curtains. For Ken, this represents nirvana, and though he turned away from it last night I don't think it will be long before he succumbs to temptation.

Last Night's Television: The Apprentice, BBC1<br />The Speaker, BBC2

"We've had a bit of depression in this boardroom over the last few weeks... it's time for a bit of laughter," said Sir Alan, dispatching the winning team at the end of the latest episode. Something similar might have been said of The Apprentice itself at the beginning of last night's programme. So far, it's been fine, but not exactly vintage stuff... and decidedly short on YouTube gold, the sort of jaw-dropping, did-you-see-that-bit moment that gets a series talked about the next day. Last night, made up for it, with easily the funniest episode so far. The task facing the teams was to brand and advertise a new breakfast cereal, a worthy- looking combination of bran flakes and dried fruit. The teams had to come up with a concept, and a cartoon character that might persuade parents to buy this mixture, and their children to swallow it. The fun started almost immediately. "Has the cereal-killer thing already been done?" asked Philip. His team-mates gently steered him away from that mysteriously unexploited territory, where children's breakfast and mass-murder meets. But that deranged proposal was only marginally more misguided than what he came up with next. Thinking on his feet, which were by now lodged squarely in his mouth, Philip outlined his stab at advertising surrealism, a campaign that centred on the comic potential of underwear: "It's so natural that you feel naked... but with pants!" he said, in a eureka tone of voice. Creative excitement gripped him and he stood to audition the jingle he'd composed to accompany his concept: "When you waaaake up and your belly's rumberling... You've got to dance in your pants till you get your belly filled. If you are off to work or you are off to school, you got to dance in your pants until you get in the mood".

The Speaker, BBC2; The Apprentice, BBC1

If The Speaker hasn't already shaken off most of its audience by now it can hardly be accused of lack of effort. An elimination contest intended to find the best young speaker in the country, The Speaker began, logically enough, with the first sifting of young hopefuls – and the by now familiar vocabulary of knockout television – long queues outside regional town halls, dodgy audition tapes, swing doors batting open to reveal the exuberant or the crestfallen. Where else would you start, you might ask, given that all such enterprises must sharpen to a point? To which one would simply say, "Much later, please." This might not make make sense with the more vulgar manifestations of the talent-show genre, since they relish the electronic bedlam of the opening rounds and the opportunities they offer for judicial astonishment and scorn. But it would have made sense here for several reasons.

Is Sir Alan softening up to make a credit-crunch Apprentice?

The waspish Amstrad boss can be a fearful figure for the show's contenders, so should his producers take some sting out of his tail? Ian Burrell speaks to them

Culture: Who'd want to be in the firing line?

I'm looking forward to the new series of The Apprentice, which begins this week, not least because it will be interesting to see how the format has been tweaked to take account of the credit crunch.

Reality TV goes Starck raving mad

The latest reality TV star is Philippe Starck who is on a mad mission to unearth the best of British design. Annie Deakin reports

Hit & Run: Not an heir out of place

As a couple, Brangelina are worth far, far more than the sum of their parts. So what do you get when you factor in their travelling caravan of six children? Well, it may not be the most scandalous paparazzo shot, but to celebrity watchers, the shot you see here is worth lingering over. It's not often that you get to see the whole clan, in the same place, so unguarded. But yesterday, as they made their way through Tokyo's Narita Airport, none of the Pitt-Jolies had been left with the nannies. It gives us an opportunity to learn a little about looking effortlessly cooler than anyone else in the world ever.

Crunch forces Trump to cancel holiday-home plan

Donald Trump has shelved plans to build hundreds of homes at his proposed golf resort in Aberdeen because of the slowdown in the property market. The US developer's lawyer George Sorial said: "The homes could take several years. We're not going to build anything until it feels right."

Another round of trouble as Trump sues for $100m

After a bruising campaign to build a golf course in Scotland, the tycoon sets his sights on a town in California

One Click Wonder: The Music Drags

With audiences flocking to &lsquo;La Cage Aux Folles&rsquo; and &lsquo;Wig Out!&rsquo;, and a stage version of &lsquo;Priscilla, Queen of the Desert&rsquo; opening in 2009, drag is taking the West End by storm. Here we celebrate the art form&rsquo;s best (and worst) practitioners...

Deborah Orr: Change is what the Scots want too

Glenrothes is not about the Union, even if Gordon Brown likes to think it is

Donald Trump adviser had opposed golf course

An ecologist advising Donald Trump on his planned £1bn golf resort in Aberdeenshire admitted yesterday he did not believe the course should be built on environmentally sensitive land.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future