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Up to 40 per cent have not made key checks on their credit rating or electoral roll entry

The Week Ahead: M&S will give clues to mood on the high street

Marks & Spencer is set to dominate the headlines tomorrow, as investors scrutinise the retailer's full-year results for signs of stability on the beleaguered British high street.

The Week Ahead: Marston's set to serve up some market cheer

Marston's, the FTSE 250-listed pubs group, is expected to meet market expectations with its second-quarter trading update this Wednesday, standing out as a relatively safe bet in a sector that has been groaning under mountains of debt and the pressures posed by the recession.

Retailers call for action to prevent 'ghost towns'

Retailers have urged the Government to provide them with more assistance to keep shops occupied, as Whitehall unveils a £3m initiative today to try to prevent high streets from becoming ghost towns during the recession.

Consumer Rights: A helping hand foiled by 'data protection'

Why a utility firm blocked an effort to assist a sick relative ... The curse of being 'blacklisted' for credit ... The pursuit of compensation for a cancelled flight

Market Report: British Land sunk by Goldman warning

The prospect of dilutive disposals sent British Land sliding to 431p, down 3.15 per cent or 14p, last night. Goldman Sachs warned that, given the rapid deterioration in the domestic economic picture, the company's high level of gearing meant that it may have to embark on a large disposals programme – possibly close to the largest by value in its peer group – to return to its long-term average leverage ratio.

Cameron: I'll strip corrupt lords of peerages

Exclusive: Tory leader says he would show no mercy over 'cash-for-amendments' allegations

Market Update: FTSE 100 down 54.7 points

The FTSE 100 eased to 4154.31, down 54.7 points, while the FTSE 250 lost 30.92 points to 6225.3 at around noon.

DJ Taylor: Once a rocker

The week's news about Prog rock, Morris dancing and Tolkien will help those haunted by their youthful entusiasms tell their Marillion from their Silmarillion

Jeremy Warner: Downturn will sort the retailing wheat from the chaff

Outlook And they are off. The start of the Christmas trading update season has brought relatively good news from the high street, or at least news that was not nearly as bad as some had been forecasting. Debenhams was down "just" 3.3 per cent in the 12 weeks to 3 January while the fashion chain New Look was actually up 2.8 per cent in a similar time frame. Even Next, which resisted the trend to discount sales in the run-up to Christmas, was down by "only" 7 per cent on a like-for-like basis, which in these markets counts as almost respectable, though this was over a longer time frame and may therefore disguise double-digit falls in November and December.

More shoppers out looking for bargains

Shoppers fought off the cold weather and economic gloom this weekend to hit the high street in greater numbers than last year, according to figures published today.

'More than 400 retailers' to collapse within months

Retail insolvencies are expected to soar over the next four months and hit the entire economy, as it emerged that retail footfall tumbled in December – despite a late surge in shoppers chasing bargains during the last week.

Five million shoppers head out for Boxing Day sales

A record five million people, or one in 12 of the population, went shopping on Boxing Day – an increase of 12.5 per cent on last year. However, retailers fear that after a few days of frenzied activity at the sales, shoppers will rein in their spending to pay off credit card bills.

Shoppers flock to post-Christmas sales

Shoppers were expected to make the most of record discounts in stores today, with retailers looking to make up for dismal trading in the run-up to Christmas as the country headed towards a recession.

David Prosser: Retail's future is bright: on the web, at least

Outlook: Marks & Spencer announced yesterday that its post-Christmas sale would actually start on Christmas Day itself, online at least
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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 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project