News

The US economy continued to grow in the final quarter of the year, expanding at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Buffett's $1.2bn buyback

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway spent $1.2bn (£971.5m) today to buy back shares from the estate of an unnamed investor.

IG in the doldrums as the markets calm

Becalmed stock markets are good news for investors but bad news for the UK's biggest spread-betting firm, which reported sliding revenues today.

Hearts agree settlement to pay back taxes

The dispute related to players loaned to Hearts from Lithuanian club Kaunas.

Spotlight on: Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen Asset Management

Stock markets aren't much good, so I assume that fund management companies aren't up to much either.

Police probe into financial watchdog after money goes missing

A finance watchdog set up to improve the image of the City and improve regulation across the globe yesterday admitted it is being investigated by the police after a black hole appeared in its accounts.

Bond quits as investors veto £140m Xstrata payout

Sir John Bond resigned as chairman of Xstrata yesterday after investors backed the miner's proposed £56bn merger with Glencore but voted overwhelmingly to oppose £140m of retention bonuses he had sought to tie into the deal.

Xstrata chairman quits over bonuses veto as Glencore tie-up agreed

Sir John Bond dramatically resigned as chairman of Xstrata yesterday after investors backed the miner's proposed £56bn merger with Glencore but voted overwhelmingly to oppose £140m of retention bonuses he had sought to tie into the deal.

Lonmin gets green light for rights issue

Lonmin, the struggling South African platinum miner, has gained clearance to proceed with a crucial $817m (£513m) rights issue after shareholders voted in favour of the offering.

Playing the loyalty card: Rangers’ business plan is dependent on fans contributing £21m to the club’s flotation

The Last Word: Rangers court the Premier League as a friend in greed

When it comes to delusions of grandeur, Charles Green might have found his niche

Community unites to saves Devon bookshop

Mid-Devon faced losing its only independent bookshop after the owner decided to retire after 30 years running the shop in Crediton. But tonight it will be given a new life after determined residents launch a community share issue in a bid to save the shop.

Samantha Davies dismasted and forced out of Vendée Globe round the world race

Samantha Davies was dismasted 130 miles north-west of Madeira on the sixth day of the Vendée Globe singlehanded non-stop round the world race making her the third person to be forced out.

James Moore: Qataris are right to stand back from voting for these Xstrata retention deals

Outlook Thanks to the Qataris, Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg's protracted quest to win control of Xstrata is now all but over. The oil-rich state's sovereign wealth fund will likely carry the day for him because, even though the structure of this mining mega-merger means that only 16 per cent of Xstrata shareholders saying "no" could kill it, there isn't enough stomach among the rest to torpedo it now the big dog is laying at Mr Glasenberg's feet.

Starbucks: The US coffee company has paid £8m in tax on £3bn in sales during 14 years in the UK

Starbucks chief Troy Alstead faces grilling on tax

Starbucks chief Troy Alstead was today told his claims that the coffee chain continually made a loss in Britain “just doesn't ring true”.

First-time buyers looking to housing schemes to get a foot onto property ladder

Almost half of first time buyers are considering turning to shared equity and shared ownership schemes to enable them to buy their first home, according to new research from Lloyds TSB.  Of these, one in four said affordable housing schemes were their only option for getting onto the property ladder and they would not be able to buy a home otherwise.

Anthony Hilton: Make directors prove they are worth it

The highlight of the week for me was seeing Sir Adrian Cadbury come out of retirement to speak on Tuesday at an event hosted by the Stock Exchange to mark the 20th anniversary of the Cadbury Code. Produced by a committee chaired by Sir Adrian, it is now recognised as the founding pillar of today's corporate governance.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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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
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'