The World Economic Forum begins in Davos

World's 85 richest people have as much as poorest 3.5 billion: Oxfam warns Davos of ‘pernicious impact’ of the widening wealth gap

The 85 richest people on the planet have accumulated as much wealth between them as half of the world’s population, political and financial leaders have been warned ahead of their annual gathering in the Swiss resort of Davos.

The Whitaker's Quiz of the Year: Round 9 - Winners and losers

1. Who was controversially given a free meal by Selfridges after an employee refused to serve him?

An African tycoon who could bring back Bob Diamond's sparkle

Bob Diamond, the disgraced former chief executive of Barclays, may have been the name who drew London investors to his new company aiming to buy banks in Africa, but it is his 32-year-old Ugandan business partner, Ashish Thakkar, who will be providing the all-important contacts.

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

All Between the Covers wants for Christmas (apart from a canvas book bag for a stocking) is a whole bunch of stuff signed by the brilliant author David Nicholls. Fortunately he has donated some books and film scripts to The Independent’s charity auction, and they can be found on our website. Bidding ends at 11am on 12 December. Nicholls’s lot comprises three books – one of them a boxed hardback of One Day – and three film scripts, including Great Expectations. Covers is keeping the lot under lock and key, only occasionally taking them out to covet them. We can reveal, therefore, that the script for Great Expectations contains the direction: “Ext. Marshes, Kent – dusk”. And ... action!

Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

Bitcoin: 'Assassination Market' website raising the online virtual currency to hire assassins that target key US figures revealed

Those allegedly targeted on the site include Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, President Obama and NSA director Keith Alexander

The streets around London’s Wembley Stadium are being considered as the location for the UK’s first electric single-seater car race, according to organisers

Wembley set to get green flag to host Formula E electric car race

It is more accustomed to playing host to legions of worse-for-wear football fans. But the streets around London’s Wembley Stadium are being considered as the location for the UK’s first electric single-seater car race, according to organisers.

Born This Way? Lady Gaga in London on 30 August 2013

Money Honey: Lady Gaga's personal assistant takes her to court over 7,000 hours of unpaid overtime claim

The singer's former PA claims she was not paid for overtime work and was not allowed any personal time off

JPMorgan ordered to pay $50m damages to Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik

Wall Street investment bank JPMorgan has been told to pay more than $50 million (£32 million) in damages to Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik.

Telefonica ups German bid as Slim gets onside

Telefonica, the Spanish mobile giant that owns O2, yesterday raised its bid for Germany’s E-Plus and won the backing of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who could have blocked the deal.

The Silk Road has been described as the 'eBay of illegal drugs'

Silk Road website's secretive owners says drugs market ‘worth 10 or 11 figures’

The secretive owner of notorious online black market The Silk Road has boasted that his website is now so lucrative that he wouldn’t sell it for “less than 10 figures, maybe 11”.

EL James claimed the top spot in Forbes’ list of the highest-earning writers

Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James named top-earning writer for 2012

The Brit succeeded crime writer James Patterson to top the list

Simon Cowell has been placed joint first with Howard Stern on Forbes' top ten highest-paid TV personalities

Simon Cowell and Howard Stern top Forbes' list of highest-paid TV personalities

Simon Cowell has come joint first place on Forbes' list of the highest-paid "personalities" on American television.

Angelina Jolie makes a speech before a screening of the movie 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' which she directed, at United Nations University in Tokyo on 29 July. She has been named the highest-paid actress in Hollywood by Forbes.

Très Jolie: Angelina named the highest-paid actress by Forbes despite not appearing in a movie for three years

She might not have been seen in a film for three years, but Angelina Jolie is Hollywood's highest-paid actress with estimated earnings of $33 million in the last year, according to Forbes.

The cover of Lady Gaga's new single 'Applause'

Lady Gaga reveals artwork for new ARTPOP single 'Applause'

Lady Gaga has released the artwork for her forthcoming single ‘Applause’ in which she appears with paint smeared down her face.

Irish President Michael D Higgins with his wife Sabina

Forbes magazine issues apology after wrongly outing Irish leader Michael D Higgins as gay

Journalist admits  ‘terrible’ mistake after claiming President Higgins was homosexual

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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
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month