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

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'