US news website Gawker launches crowdsourcing campaign to raise money to buy video allegedly showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack

Online gossip site asks readers to fund purchase of footage as controversial politician describes claims as 'ridiculous'

Beckett in the late 1970s, when he was head of Ford; the job brought him into conflict with Labour over pay awards

Sir Terence Beckett: Head of Ford and the CBI who attacked the Conservatives over austerity

Sir Terence Beckett, who has died at the age of 89, had a career which included six years as chairman of Ford in Britain and several years as director general of the CBI. But despite his successes, the industrial and political problems of Britain in the 1970s and 1980s prevented him from achieving as much as this model of a modern manager could have done a few years later. As he himself put it, "We have had an inheritance of inertia in this country which has been disguised by the industrial revolution, the empire and North Sea oil."

Car sales go up a gear, fuelling optimism over economic revival

An impressive jump in new car purchases last month has reinforced hopes that confidence is returning to the economy.

The new Ford Fiesta

Fiesta leads Top 10 as new car sales leap 14 per cent

'The UK continues to perform well ahead of the troubled eurozone'

Motoring review: Ford Kuga Titanium AWD

America got the best city car ever. We got this truck

Automotive taste has finally driven itself off a cliff with the velvet-wrapped Porsche

Motoring: Upholster your Porsche for a really smooth ride

We've seen Premiership footballer players in camouflaged Bentleys and Justin Bieber behind the wheel of a chrome-wrapped sports car, but automotive taste has finally driven itself of a cliff with the velvet-wrapped Porsche.

Magnus Olsson has died in Spain after suffering a stroke at the age of 64

Sailing: Magnus Olsson dies in Spain, age 64

Magnus Olsson has died in Spain after suffering a stroke at the age of 64. He had previously survived two heart attacks, which are not thought to be connected to the stroke.

Severe delays after man dies in accident that blocks M25 in Surrey

A serious accident on Britain's busiest motorway led to severe rush-hour delays for drivers today.

American car industry has best month since 2007

American car manufacturers drew hordes of customers during March, with Chrysler and Ford reporting their strongest monthly sales performance since the US economy began a long period of contraction in 2007.

Shain Gandee, who starred in the MTV reality series

MTV Buckwild star Shain Gandee found dead in car alongside uncle and another man

Shain Gandee lived for the outdoors, often going on muddy, off-road thrill rides in the hills near his West Virginia home. A recent late-night escapade ended in tragedy for the MTV reality show cast member and two others.

Stephen Donald

All Black hero Stephen Donald pulls plug on Bath to head to Japan

Stephen Donald, the outside-half from New Zealand who kicked the All Blacks to a first world title in almost a quarter of a century before flying halfway round the planet for a lucrative stint in Premiership rugby with Bath, has had enough of life in these parts. He is about to leave the Recreation Ground with a season still left on his very expensive contract and take up employment in Japan, where the weekly demands on mind and body are somewhat less severe.

Paula Radcliffe is helped up after pulling out of the women’s marathon at the Athens Olympics

Kevin Garside: Nothing can erase what Radcliffe has achieved but her race is run

One more 10k is all she asks, one more crack. She is 39. It’s over

Lost world: Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall in 'Parade's End'

Bafta Television Craft nominations 2013: Parade's End leads charge for BBC drama with five award nods

The BBC leads the nominations for this year's British Academy Television Craft Awards with five nominations for period drama Parade's End.

The ad was produced by Ford's Indian advertising agency JWT, provoked an outcry

Ford India apologises for advert showing Silvio Berlusconi driving car with three women bound and gagged in the boot

Advert causes outrage as critics accuse Ford India of undermining attempts to tackle violence following a spate of high-profile attacks on women

Classic 1300E: in praise of the executive Ford Escort

These vintage, luxury models from a bygone era remain highly sought-after

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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