News

After a yes vote in September’s referendum the two countries are brought to the brink of the first Anglo-Scottish war for five centuries by a menacing deadlock over whether the pound will survive north of the border. Scotland has seized control of Trident.

In Brief: Argentina’s peso tumbles; New FRC chief gets £120k for two days a week; Clothing sales down; Pearson’s forecast profits missed; Second woman to head FTSE 100 company; Markit’s data shows growth of 0.5%

Argentina’s peso tumbles further

Argentina’s peso has suffered its steepest daily decline since the country’s 2002 financial crisis, as the central bank gave up its battle against the currency’s decline. The bank’s decision to stop intervening in the forex market increased worries about what is already one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

Gigi Chao pictured with her father, Cecil

Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao 'doubles marriage bounty to £80m' for man who marries his lesbian daughter

Property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung first offered £40 million after his daughter Gigi Chao entered into a civil partnership

Lex Fenwick leaves Dow Jones as chief executive

William Lewis named interim CEO as News Corp plans to review Dow Jones’ institutional strategy

Whistleblowers who expose bank scandals to get better protection

Companies that fail to deal properly with concerns raised by staff to face fines

Vali Draghici, (centre, red t-shirt) 40, from Buzău, who was getting off at Frankfurt to work in steel welding and construction. He was one of many builders who befriended Alexandra 'Pamela' Benitez-Pozo, 32, who was going to Cologne where she works as a pole dancer and sex worker. She left her 4-year-old daughter Esthella back in Romania

UK immigration: Fewer than 30 Romanian arrivals since border restrictions lifted, says country's ambassador to Britain

Diplomat also says ten UK companies had been in touch with his embassy, wanting to employ Romanians

Romanian and Bulgarian migrants have not flocked to Britain, says EU chief

There is no evidence of any influx of Romanians and Bulgarians travelling to Britain since the lifting of restrictions on workers at the start of the year, the EU’s social affairs chief has said.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres lays a wreath at the coffin of the former Prime Minister in Knesset Plaza, Jerusalem

Israel’s former prime minister Ariel Sharon wins praise from US presidents, but universal disdain on the West Bank

Former leader tol be buried on a hilltop overlooking his family’s Sycamore Ranch in the southern Negev region, alongside his late wife Lily

Cigar terraces have opened in luxury hotels over the past few years; they are considered a must-have for London's top addresses

Cigar smoking enjoys a revival in UK

A swathe of grand cigar terraces have opened in luxury hotels over the past few years

Softer European ring-fence rules could hurt UK banks

European banking watchdogs could allow banks to evade tough rules designed to ensure that lending operations are ring fenced from “casino” investment banking.

Mr Desmond bought Channel 5 for £103.5m in 2010

Richard Desmond considering sale of Channel 5 for £1bn

Richard Desmond has called in Barclays bank to advise on the sale Big Brother broadcaster Channel 5 in a deal the media mogul hopes could raise as much as £1 billion.

The London Underground is in talks with major supermarket retailers about opening a network of shops and 'click and collect' grocery services on the network

London Underground admits plans to sell parts of stations to supermarkets

The London Underground is in talks with major supermarket retailers including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Asda about opening a network of shops and “click and collect” grocery services on the network.

An aerial view of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, circa 1960 - According to the Financial Times the Prime Ministe has dropped his support to build a new generation of garden cities

Cameron accused of dropping support for garden cities for fear of a backlash from 'nimbys'

Meanwhile, demand for new housing grew by 25 per cent in 2013

Bending Adversity, By David Pilling - Review

From the outside, Japan can seem like an enigmatic and mysterious country. Historically closed off to foreign influence until relatively recently, the island nation can seem to Western eyes to be almost incomprehensible in its outlook – culturally, politically and even economically.

Unemployed told to leave Ireland in desperate move to slash welfare costs

Ireland is asking its citizens to leave the country if they can't find a job in a desperate bid to slash welfare costs.

Controversial plans to create UK's first toll road for a decade 'to be dropped'

Improvements to the A14 will instead be paid for by the Government

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Day In a Page

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