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The French could be running more of Britain’s transport network after state transport group Keolis/Eurostar was named one of three shortlisted bidders for the reprivatisation of the East Coast franchise.

FirstGroup boards US school buses for pounds 602m

BRITAIN'S LARGEST bus company, FirstGroup, yesterday made its first major overseas move, agreeing to pay pounds 602m for America's second largest school bus operator.

Outlook: A convenient excuse for Sainsbury's

THE STOCK market was expecting more bad news from Sainsbury's yesterday and duly got it. But it certainly wasn't expecting this perennial stock market struggler to announce a hell for leather expansion in convenience stores, opening 200 Sainsbury's Locals in three years with plans for an astonishing 1,000 in the longer term.

Investment: Should you invest in... air travel?

THE CHOICE for the UK investor looking for involvement in the air travel sector is limited. "From the UK major capitalisation point of view, there are only really two stocks, British Airports (BAA) and British Airways (BA)," says Jon Thornton of Aberdeen Asset Management.

FirstGroup set to boost guided buses

FIRSTGROUP, the rail, bus and airport operator, plans a dramatic expansion of its network of "guided" bus routes after the runaway success of the concept in increasing passenger numbers.

Cover Story: The reining-in of the Stagecoach Kids

No stunt was too naff for Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag, co-founders of Stagecoach. But with the publicity came the unwelcome attention of the OFT and a growing image problem. That was until the chino-wearing Souter brought in the suit-wearing Mike Kinski (left), and buttoned-up sobriety became the order of the day

Podium: How we can improve our buses

From a speech by Salford University's reader in geography to the Royal Geographical Society conference

People and; Business: BCCI 'stigma' case is Cherie's chance to shine

CHERIE BOOTH, wife of Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, launched the most important court battle of her barrister's career this week on behalf of 950 former employees of BCCI.

The National Network: Which Companies Are Getting There And Which Are Showing The Strain?

Runs fast trains to East Anglia. Punctuality fell in all seven route groups with one triggering discounts under the Passengers' Charter. Recently raised the standards in its charter, offering better compensation and higher service standards.

Market Report: Safeway puts Footsie on a lean diet

SAFEWAY, the supermarket chain where profits are under pressure, fell 6.5p to 276p, uncomfortably close to the 12-month low. Half-year profits are due today and they are expected to be disappointing: say, 17 per cent down at pounds 190m. For the year the market has pencilled in pounds 360m, which would represent a near-pounds 20m increase on last year but below the pounds 400m of earlier times.

The week ahead: Get ready for the mid cap comeback

ARE THE 250 underperforming constituents of the mid cap index about to shed the doubts which have enveloped them for two years? Philip Wolstencroft of investment house Merrill Lynch thinks so. He says: "We remain positive on mid cap stocks compared to big caps."

Market Report: Bankers' gloom exaggerates slump

BANKS ENDURED another pounding as Footsie crashed 156.2 points to 4,908.2 - its lowest since December. At one time the index was down to 4,881.3. It was financials, led by the banks, which powered the index through much of its long bull run. Now the gloom engulfing the nation's banking parlours is, to some extent, exaggerating the slump.

Big-ticket battle for bus maker

News Analysis: A pounds 255m bid by Mayflower trumps an agreed offer for the bus and fire-engine maker Dennis

DTI reverses bus sale order

THE SALE of a bus company owned by FirstGroup, the transport company, was blocked yesterday by the Department of Trade and Industry after ministers watered down recommendations made by competition authorities.

Investment Column: FirstGroup can travel further

HAS FIRSTGROUP, the buses-to-airports group, travelled too far, too fast? Since the beginning of 1998, the shares have nearly doubled in price, from 223p to 431.5p. Earnings per share have gone up by 30 per cent every year for the past three years. Can it sustain this sort of pace?

Penny stocks pay off for Mainline

MORE THAN 2,300 employees of Mainline, a Yorkshire bus company, were yesterday told they would receive payouts worth up to pounds 32,000 each if they vote in favour a takeover in three weeks time.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own