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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'