Student Cans of energy drinks are displayed in a store in California. The kick from caffeine has a growing number of consumers jumping into energy drinks-soft drinks spiked with nutritional aids and stimulants despite warnings from health professionals.

They're gross, says Eleanor Doughty, and they make you feel bad

Food and Drink: Deep hankering for something French: Emily Green surveys some of the bistros and restaurants that take their cues - not always successfully - from counterparts in France

THE OPENING this week of the Tate Gallery exhibition, Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55, co-sponsored by the Independent and the French Embassy, touches a deep hankering in these isles for French verve. It is especially acute among restaurateurs, such as Sir Terence Conran, who recently reopened Quaglino's in St James's in an extravagant bow to the great brasseries of Paris, particularly Brasserie Lipp.

Obituary: Fred Robinson

Frederick William Robinson, cartoonist: born Walthamstow 20 October 1912; died Buckhurst Hill 20 May 1993.

Talk of the trade: More worthy of Wapping than Farringdon

QUIZ time: which newspaper took a double-page spread last Friday to ask six royal biographers such questions as 'Have Charles and Diana had sex in the last seven years?' and 'Did Prince Charles sleep with Camilla two days before the (royal) wedding?' The intrusive Sun, the circulation-chasing Mirror? No. These matters of public interest were explored at inordinate length by the Guardian. Prurient or what?

Media: Talk of the Trade - Send uncorrected errors to . . .

Clive Soley's Bill for independent statutory press regulation will have its Third Reading on Friday. But the Government, putting the last touches to its own White Paper, will be unlikely to let it proceed any further. Nevertheless, the Labour MP was in bullish form at a luncheon of the Media Society on Monday. The overwhelming concern that ordinary people had about the press was not privacy, but accuracy, he said. And he asked his fellow speaker Peter Preston, editor of the Guardian, how he could advocate self-regulation for the press while arguing in leading articles for independent regulation of the police. Preston, in turn, claimed that he could not think of a single recent factual inaccuracy in the press that had not been followed by a prominent correction. Examples from those who disagree on a postcard to Farringdon, not City, Road please.

Ambushed by armed police in Farringdon Road

'PALACE CAR bomb seized', said the Star on Wednesday implying at the very least that the police had found a bomb with 'Destined for Buckingham Palace to blow up the Queen' written on it. In fact it turned out to be a cache of explosives they had found the week before and had only decided to publicise on the day that Parliament was debating the renewal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. What a coincidence. I wonder if the Prevention of Terrorism debate also had anything to do with the curious scene I witnessed on Tuesday.

Bunhill: Job offer in a million for the man who lost one

TOMORROW'S fifth anniversary of the Great Crash of '87 prompted me to try to track down Anil Gupta, the trainee accountant who despite earning the paltry sum of pounds 6,400 a year, managed to persuade stockbrokers County NatWest to let him play the options markets with Monaco-style abandon.

Column Eight: Highland Lamont lament

Norman Lamont should take note of the adage that recommends one not to bite the hand that feeds. In this case the hand belongs to Highland Distilleries, and the offering is whisky.

Food and Drink: A new broom that respects old Soho dust: One of London's best-known pubs now has a promising new restaurant, says Emily Green

SOHO might have been sanitised for good had all that galloping Eighties prosperity not been checked by the recession. For devotees of Soho's old style, down to the green airless rooms of the Colony Club, it was an uncomfortably close call.
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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
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