Sport A view of Old Trafford

Bulova are replacing Hublot, who erected a distinctive Tower in the Old Trafford car park

Executive at VW to face state prosecutor

THE industrial espionage scandal involving Volkswagen and General Motors will deepen this week when Ignacio Lopez, the VW executive at the centre of the spying allegations, returns from his summer holiday tomorrow to face tough questioning by criminal investigators in Germany. The career of Mr Lopez and the future of VW may depend on the outcome.

Penny's lost and gone for ever

TERENCE BLACKER told me on Thursday that my last two columns had been unnecessarily spiteful. He's wrong, of course, the pompous ass. I'm more impressed by some wise words from my best friend, Little Jo.

Then & Now: The jury is out

1938: The Left Book Club published 'Justice In England', by A Barrister, who commented thus on the jury system:

BOOK REVIEW / News company, three's a crowd: 'Paper Dreams' - Stephen Glover: Cape, 17.99 pounds

STEPHEN GLOVER, one of the triumvirate who invented the Independent and the first editor of the Independent on Sunday, has written a vivid and exhilarating account of his six-year association with the two newspapers, which culminated in acrimonious personality clashes with his co-founders, and ultimately in his resignation. It is a book that exposes him to accusations of sour grapes, and while its tone is not exclusively acid it contains numerous blow-by-blow descriptions of office squabbles that diminish all involved.

Executive pay rises twice the inflation rate

EXECUTIVE pay awards are continuing to fall but are still running at twice the rate of inflation and nearly four times the level in the public sector.

Fiat executive on bribery charge

Fiat, Italy's flagship company, was dragged deeper into the country's corruption inquiries yesterday with news that a fourth senior group executive faced arrest, Reuter reports from Milan. Milan magistrates ordered the arrest of Mauro Bertini, a senior manager at Fiat's aviation subsidiary, Fiat Avio. He is charged with paying a 400bn lire (pounds 167m) bribe to win a contract from a state firm.

BBC offers Radio 4 on satellite: Criticism over service in Europe

RADIO 4 listeners in Europe who are threatened by plans to turn the Long Wave frequency into a 24-hour news broadcast were unenthusiastic about a BBC offer yesterday to broadcast its service via satellite instead, writes Stephen Ward.

The Independent Road Test: Hello, this is your computer speaking: The Renault Safrane is strong on gadgets, space and style but, in its 2.0-litre form, is weak on power and personality, says Phil Llewellin

Winning the equivalent of a bronze medal in the Car of the Year awards gave the new Renault Safrane a good start in life. Only the Nissan Micra and Fiat Cinquecento attracted more points than the French challenger, which went on sale in Britain last month.

Clinton to slash costs of the state

IN A second symbolic dose of the deficit-cutting therapy he is preparing for his country, President Clinton yesterday announced plans to eliminate 100,000 jobs from central government, slash administrative costs and abolish some of the more egregious perks and privileges enjoyed by senior federal employees.

Blast victim faces a bleak Christmas: David McKittrick meets a woman who has been forced to live in a mobile home since a bomb damaged her house

IT HAS clearly all been too much for Margaret Chapman. She sits, grey-haired and wheezing asthmatically, in a damp mobile home talking of builders and assessors and loss adjustors and estimates and compensation. She is baffled by it all, fretting over bills and trying not to think of Christmas.

Media: The troubleshooter's parting shot: Despite the success of his BBC programme, Sir John Harvey-Jones is getting out of the TV personality business, says Glyn Jones

THE BBC's Troubleshooter is over for good. Last night's programme on the uncertainties of the brewing business was the last in this series, and marked the end of a surprisingly successful attempt to portray the dangers, hopes and anguish inherent in managing British industry during an economic hurricane.

An unpleasant fallout over the refinery: For years villagers lived in the Texaco plant's shadow. But now tolerance has turned to acrimony, says David Cohen

Peter Prynne stretches out his hands to catch the white flakes cascading prettily from the October evening sky. 'Jesus - look at this stuff]' he says. 'This isn't rain, this is fallout.'

On the ropes and no end in sight: Tory alarm over recession grows Manufacturing output falls Jobless fears

THE PRIME MINISTER was facing mounting backbench pressure last night for positive action to end the recession after manufacturing output fell in August for the first time in four months. Indications grew that the demands may become politically irresistible when the Commons reassembles on Monday.

Why everybody needs opera when they're down and out

THE HYPE has done its work, the hype has made me suspend my normal faculties. For a couple of minutes, at least. I'm looking at the stage, at the extravagant set, the 30-foot painted backdrop, the guy with long hair belting out the lyrics, making absurd stagey gestures, and I don't immediately come to my senses and think: this is awful. No, I'm thinking: give it a chance. It's good. It's good, for God's sake, everybody says it's good; in a couple of minutes I'll see the point.

It's a funny business

Here they are, just a couple of ordinary middle-aged, middle-class people, sitting round the kitchen table, waiting for a neighbour to pop in to borrow a cup of sugar. But they're on TV, and any minute now we're supposed to laugh at them - because the channel's Head of Comedy believes that this is a situation we'll enjoy. In fact, an entire chain of people think it's funny. And that's the real problem: the cumbersome evolutionary process of the sitcom may explain why so few are good for a laugh.
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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there