News

Shell saves $600m on gas deal with Repsol

Royal Dutch Shell has saved $600m (£362m) on a deal to buy rival Repsol’s liquefied natural gas assets in Trinidad, Peru and Spain. The supermajor had agreed to buy the portfolio for $4.4bn last February, but will now only be spending $3.8bn on Repsol’s LNG work outside of North America.

Abarth Punto Evo

There's a lot of interesting stuff in the new Abarth Punto Evo, the successor to the Abarth Grande Punto introduced in 2008: a strong 1.4 litre turbocharged engine with MultiAir variable valve timing, fierce-looking, attention-grabbing alloy wheels with an aggressive "claw" design, a "little lever" (Manettino in Italian) or Sport Switch, which allows the car to be put into a special "sport" setting that sharpens its throttle and steering response, as well as engaging the Torque Transfer Control (TTC) system, a sort of electronic limited slip differential.

Then there's a fuel-saving stop-start system, still a comparative rarity on cars of this sporty nature, which helps the Abarth Punto Evo to achieve impressive economy and emissions figures despite its excellent performance, as well as a host of safety features, including seven airbags.

Elder brother wins India's battle of the billionaires

A long-standing dispute between India's wealthiest siblings over the price of natural gas ended yesterday after the country's highest court ruled in favour of the richest of the two brothers.

Fiat has high hopes for new Doblo

Fiat is now selling the second-generation version of its Doblo people-carrier. The all-new car retains the boxy practicality of its predecessor but combines this with greatly improved levels of comfort and refinement. The company hopes that this Doblo will have broader appeal for private customers, as well as building on the outgoing model's established position in the Motability and taxi markets.

Alfa MiTo adopts MultiAir technology

Alfa Romeo's MiTo is now available with engines fitted with the Fiat group's advanced MultiAir technology. MultiAir was first introduced a few months ago on the Fiat Punto.

Dress code: Amy Molyneaux, Designer

What are you wearing right now?

A rose-print velour stretch dress from the new diffusion line, Peaches Loves PPQ at very.co.uk.

Motorcycling: Rossi does enough to clinch world title

Valentino Rossi clinched the ninth world title of his career, by finishing third in yesterday's FIM MotoGP race in soggy Sepang behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.

Car Choice: Good things really do come in small packages

Alison Thompson is currently driving a Fiat Seicento, which she bought almost seven years ago on entering retirement. She reckons it won't see her out, and she has up to £5,000 to spend on a replacement. Ideally, Alison wants a very small car, and does not wish to pay more than £35 per annum road tax. She hates irritating gadgets so it must be basic. She also lives in a rural area so it must be able to cope with muddy roads just as well as more urban environments.

Peter Popham: Knives are out for battle-scarred premier

Silvio Berlusconi has been plagued by law suits, most of them alleging corruption, ever since he entered politics 15 years ago, and he has devoted huge amounts of energy, ingenuity and parliamentary time to thwarting them. Now his latest attempt, like the earlier ones, has bitten the dust. Once again he is subject to the motto inscribed on the wall of every court in Italy: "The law is equal for all."

MotoGP: Lorenzo keeps title hopes alive with Portugal win

Jorge Lorenzo won the Portugal MotoGP in convincing fashion to keep his title hopes alive and foil a dream comeback for Casey Stoner.

Lorenzo remains on top, but Stoner takes the accolades at Estoril

At the end of qualifying for the Portugual MotoGP, Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo leads the way, securing his fifth poll of the season with a best time of 1:36.214 but it is Ducati rider Casey Stoner's performance, finishing third, that took all the accolades.

Sailing: Fiat chief backs Volvo entry

Fiat ceo John Elkann Agnelli announces tomorrow support for an entry into the next Volvo round the world race, due to start from Alicante in late 2011. A team to be skippered by solo ace Giovanni Soldini has already bought Ericsson 3, one of the two boats in the winning team in 2008-09 race, and will initially be based in Genoa.

Alfa Mito

Alfa advance takes engine technology to the next level. Something big lies under the MiTo's little bonnet

Peter Popham: The spooky reality of holiday season

Rome Notebook

Business Diary: Just like the old days in Throgmorton Street

Trading may have ceased at the old London Stock Exchange on Throgmorton Street when the bourse moved to Paternoster Square in 2004, but it still hosts the occasional crash. Several streets around the building in the heart of the City had to be closed yesterday after an enormous window fell from an upper floor, shattering below. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Italian tax authorities investigate Agnellis

Italy's tax office is investigating the inheritance of Giovanni Agnelli, the late chairman and patriarch of the Fiat car empire, who died in 2003.

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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas