Oxford Street in London yesterday was full of shoppers, but another debt bubble could be looming

Low hopes for a happy new financial year in 2014

Consumers who put Christmas on credit are expecting their finances to worsen in the year ahead

Bobbing along: Bobs Worth and Barry Geraghty take the Lexus with ease

Bobs Worth bounces back in style

Gold Cup champion trounces Irish challengers to become clear favourite to retain Festival crown

Six months to recover from the festive fun

Two out of five parents are worried about how they will manage in the new year because of the financial hangover from Christmas.

Michu outpaces Gary Medel

Michu undergoes ankle surgery as Swansea City confirm star striker will miss up to six week with injury

The Spaniard has not featured since December 15 and has undergone successful surgery on the long-term problem

An inquisitive Adelie Penguin next to the stranded ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is trapped in the ice at sea off Antarctica

Rescue of Russian boat stuck in Antarctic ice delayed as Chinese icebreaker forced to turn back

The Chinese vessel has been forced to retreat after a failed attempt to reach the ship. A French vessel has already launched an abandoned rescue attempt

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Theo Walcott speaks to teammate Bacary Sagna after his two goals helped Arsenal beat West Ham 3-1

West Ham 1 Arsenal 3: Theo Walcott delighted to fire Gunners back to the top after they end winless run

A brace from Walcott plus a third from fit-again Lukas Podolski gave Gunners victory to send them top ahead of Liverpool's trip to Manchester City

A volunteer puts together a parcel of food at a Food Bank in Brixton, south London

Anti-EU Tory ideology trumps the needs of the poor after Government rejects EU fund for food banks

Do the Government have any intention of providing for the 13 mlllion who live below the poverty line in Britain?

Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Ten best Christmas films

The Independent's film critic selects the ten best festive flicks

The snow globe in Piccadilly Circus, London, which was installed over the statue of Eros to shelter it from vandals over the Christmas season, was another victim of the strong winds that are blowing across the Capital

Giant Christmas snow globe to 'protect' statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus shatters in high winds

A giant plastic snow globe meant to protect the famous statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus over Christmas has mysteriously broken, showering shoppers in polystyrene pellets.

Christmas films: the quiz

It's nearly Christmas, and there's nothing better to get you in the mood than snuggling up to a festive film.

Dolly Parton has been strongly tipped for Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014: Dolly Parton rumoured as the second headliner

Arcade Fire and Lily Allen have already been confirmed as performers

Google is marking Christmas on its page

Christmas 2013: Google brings festive cheers to its page

Those wacky folks at Google have got festive today, adorning the top of their page with a snowy woodland cartoon.

Under Pellegrini, Manchester City are on their way to surpass 100 goals scored this season

Manchester City on course to smash 100-goal barrier in Manuel Pellegrini’s first season in charge

The in form side have now scored 51 goals in 17 games

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
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Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
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world cup 2014
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Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
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Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
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Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
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Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
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Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice