News

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

Brown condemns wildcat strikes

Gordon Brown condemned wildcat strikes as indefensible amid frantic efforts to prevent the row over the use of foreign labour escalating into mass industrial action.

Joan Smith: We all need time off. Only the reasons differ

New parents are entitled to leave, but singles, volunteers and the plain bored should be allowed to do something other than work

Solicitor forced to retire at 65 claims age discrimination

A solicitor fighting a test appeal after being forced to retire at 65 has a "fundamental" right not to be discriminated against because of his age, an employment tribunal was told yesterday. Leslie Seldon, a former partner at the Kent-based law firm Clarkson, Wright and Jakes (CWJ), is challenging an earlier ruling that he was not discriminated against when forced to retire.

Simon Birkett: We're choking to death while the Government dithers

Live in a big city and you risk suffering from fumes, breathing problems, even premature death. Yet the Government has spent 10 years in denial about the UK's air-quality problems. The rest of us know differently, and action is long overdue.

David Prosser's Outlook: Time for Darling to fight back on tax

Alistair Darling is on a full-scale charm offensive. Fresh from an appearance last night at the CBI's annual dinner, the Chancellor will today meet the board of the Association of British Insurers. His message to both audiences is that ongoing policy reviews, particularly of the charges made on the foreign profits of multinationals, are not intended to widen the tax net or to generate additional revenue for the Treasury.

UBM set to move tax base to Ireland

United Business Media, the global media group, is close to announcing that it will move its tax base to Ireland in a switch likely to prompt a fresh storm of criticism of the Government's taxation of companies with international businesses.

Shire's exit may prompt others to follow

Shire's decision to move its tax base to Ireland represents a widely held fear of the unknown, tax advisers warned yesterday, amid continuing uncertainty about the taxation of multi-national companies.

European Court's teacake ruling is sweet victory

Marks & Spencer tasted victory yesterday in a long-running legal battle with HM Revenue & Customs over £3.5m of overpaid value-added tax on chocolate teacakes. The European Court of Justice ruled in favour of M&S in the dispute, which spanned 12 years and took two trips to the European Court.

M&S takes biscuit: teacakes cost Treasury £3.5m

The humble chocolate teacake cost the Treasury £3.5 million today. That's the price of a VAT mistake which classified Marks & Spencer teacakes as chocolate biscuits.

The Sketch: Treaty that lays down the law with a gentle tidy-up

There's not much I can tell you about the Lisbon debate on human rights. It's all in the fine print. And that's so fine it makes your eyes swim and your brain go wrong. The meanings are so elusive you can treat it as a Rorschach test, to create any picture you like. It makes a Derrida of any mortal Englishman.

Christina Patterson: Keep it in the family (if you're lucky enough)

When I heard the words of the honourable member for Old Bexley and Sidcup this week, in response to being found with his pudgy paws in the taxpayers' till, I nearly crashed the car. "I have," he said, "let my family down very badly indeed". Quite apart from the fact that these were the four human beings in Britain that he hadn't let down at all, it was quite a shocker. But perhaps it shouldn't have been. Prick a pig and it squeals. Prick a Tory and he'll draw up his drawbridge and jibber about his family.

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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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried