Travel

Take your pick in Courchevel, Chamonix, Sainte-Foy, Megève, and Val Thorens

Emma Harrison stepped down as chairman of A4e this week

I was bullied out of A4E, says company founder Emma Harrison

The founder of a welfare-to-work firm has claimed she was “bullied” out of her job in a Westminster “maelstrom” as she rejected claims that it was missing targets for a Government work scheme.

The final word on business

Helena Pozniak asks school luminaries to name inspiring works of literature

Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg maintains that his website is not motivated primarily by money

Facebook opens UK engineering base

Facebook opened an engineering office in the UK today - the first of its type outside the United States.

Adele record label on song as profits surge tenfold

Adele's Midas touch continues to benefit her record label XL Recordings, which has reported a tenfold increase in annual profits to £41.7m on the strength of her record-breaking second album 21.

A happy ending – if you play the waiting game

Former proprietor of the Independent Tony O'Reilly has struck oil. It's enough to make you believe in happy endings

Tourist attraction boss considers suing Met Office over 'pessimistic' weather forecasts

A tourist attraction boss says he is considering legal action against the Met Office after “a series of overly pessimistic” forecasts which he says is threatening to bring the tourist industry to its knees.

Market Report: All the chat is of a US suitor for Cupid

According to the dating website Match.com, one in five relationships are now started online. City traders reckon Match's US owner, InterActiveCorp, wants to start a relationship with AIM-listed Cupid. The rumours did the rounds in August but some dealers now reckon it is a bit more than vague speculation.

Richemont buys Swiss watch firm

The Swiss group behind the luxury brands Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC has snapped up a small watch parts maker.

Odessa By Charles King Norton

The free-spirited port of Odessa, now uneasily located in Ukraine, was Russia's Black Sea window on the south – and a haven for exotic styles of life and art.

Shoppers rush to pay credit card bills

Nervous shoppers are paying off their credit cards at the fastest rate for nearly six years, the Bank of England said yesterday.

High-street revival plans at risk in legal battle

Plans by Mary Portas, the retail expert and television presenter, to revitalise the high street could be fatally undermined by a case in the High Court that has just been set for early October.

Darius Guppy’s friend and fellow Old Etonian Boris Johnson

Notorious friend of Boris Johnson sues blogger over claim he's Iran's stooge

Darius Guppy, the convicted fraudster who once sought Boris Johnson's help in a plot to beat up a journalist, has launched a libel action over claims that he has become a stooge of the Iranian regime. Guppy achieved notoriety in 1993 when he was jailed for an £1.8m insurance fraud involving a faked robbery. Guppy, best man to Earl Spencer, asked his friend Mr Johnson to give him the address of a journalist investigating the case, so that he could have him beaten up.

Lawrence Okoye made his Olympic debut today

London 2012: Team GB discus thrower Lawrence Okoye puts Oxford on hold for Olympics

Team GB's discus thrower Lawrence Okoye put his academic career on hold so that he could pursue his Olympic dreams. 

A rally in support of Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn: Former billionaire remains a local hero

He was once Ireland's richest man. But now Sean Quinn is bankrupt, under siege from the Irish government – and an unlikely local hero

Market Report: Resolution's payout freeze chills shares

There is not much worse than being promised something before it is cruelly snatched away. That's the situation in which unimpressed investors in Resolution found themselves yesterday after the insurance conglomerate cancelled a £250m handout.

Sport
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
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Streets ahead: Venice
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The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
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The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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