News

The ruling follows a request for advice from The Netherlands about three gay refugees seeking asylum from Uganda, Sierra Leone and Senegal

Anger at Italy foreign staff rights

A Scottish university lecturer working in Italy pleaded for EU help today against a bizarre Italian move to wipe the legal rights of foreign workers from the statute book.

Treasury faces £500m battle over stamp duty claims

The Treasury is facing potential legal claims of at least £500m after the High Court let companies share costs in seeking repayment of stamp duties on share issues.

Changes to EU law mean cut in pension income for men

Men approaching retirement face a substantial cut in their pension income if changes to EU law get the green light.

Business Diary: Crozier's run-in with the law

Poor old Adam Crozier. His colleagues rather dropped the new chief executive of ITV in it during the period before he took up his post.

Government vow to fight 'benefit tourism' move

The Government today vowed to fight the European Commission over efforts by Brussels to lift British social security restrictions designed to curb "benefit tourism".

Business Diary: A crack in Lego's brick wall

Bad news for Lego, the Danish toy manufacturer with which the world has grown up. Its bricks – specifically the most basic 4x2 block – have long been protected by European trademark law, preventing rivals from offering similar products. Now the European Court of Justice has upheld a complaint from Canada's Mega Brands, the maker of Mega Bloks, that trademark protection can't be extended to a shape in this way. There's no room for sentimentality in the courtroom.

EU judges rule out Lego trademark

The Lego brick, one of the most instantly recognised toys in the world, cannot be trademarked, European judges ruled today.

David Prosser: Flying into more trouble on airlines

Outlook Sooner or later, the European Commission is going to have to think again about the complicated and often draconian rules governing what airlines must do in the event of delays or cancellations of their flights. The airline industry has just been buoyed by a High Court victory, which will require the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to look again at new rules it effectively introduced last year, but the system is a mess.

Maastricht marijuana is for locals only, rules EU

No drugs please, you're foreigners.

EU ruling revives Telefonica's Vivo bid

Telefonica's attempt to assume control of Brazil's leading mobile phone operator, Vivo, edged closer to a conclusion yesterday after the European Court of Justice ruled against a key hurdle to the takeover.

Mobile telcos lose roaming challenge

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday upheld laws forcing mobile operators to cut roaming charges in the face of a legal challenge from Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile and Orange. The regulations, first passed by the European Commission in 2007, cap call charges at 49 euro cents (41p) per minute for making a call and 24 euro cents per minute for receiving one while travelling abroad, with further reductions due in 2011.

High Court lets Treasury off the hook on VAT refunds, but appeals loom

Ministers are are breathing a sigh of relief after a landmark High Court ruling appeared to indicate that the Treasury will not have to find billions of pounds to pay additional compensation to businesses it has accepted are owed refunds of value added tax (VAT).

Terror suspects' wives can claim benefits, EU judges rule

Treasury restrictions on State handouts to the wives of terrorist suspects are illegal, European judges ruled today.

'Great Hamster of Alsace' blocks march of business

It is only 10in long and spends half the time hibernating, but it could still block the march of business in one corner of France. No wonder it is named the "Great Hamster of Alsace".

Mini porn shows lose tax exempt battle

Sex shops showing films in cubicles lost their battle today to charge the same lower VAT rate as ordinary cinemas.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee