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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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
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A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
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UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
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World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

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Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

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New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
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By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
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Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice