McDonald's hits recession hurdle

Olympic sponsor McDonald's clattered into the hurdles yesterday as the fast-food behemoth reported its worst sales in nine years during July.

It is not the O2 Arena, it is the North Greenwich Arena

Trending: That's not my name!

Confused by weird new venues and odd-sounding drinks? Don't panic: it's all an Olympic exercise in making over non-sponsors. Simon Usborne reports

Being Modern: Gourmet crisps

What colour have you got? Red? EURGH! I've got my blue ones, and I ain't givin' you any. That, at least, is representative of a typical breaktime conversation at my primary school, a few decades ago. And it hardly needs a semiotician to break it down: red equals ready salted equals not enough flavour equals EURGH! Blue equals either salt and vinegar (Golden Wonder) or cheese and onion (Walkers, which, for reasons unfathomable, switched the universally held acceptance that green was cheesy and blue was salty), which equals yum, and you ain't havin' any.

The Olympics are a golden target for art satire

Here are some Olympic images that organizers have not approved: A hooded youth making off with an Olympic ring; the same multicolored hoops turned into toasters; a dog doing something a bit rude to a London 2012 mascot.

The 10 Best slicers & dicers

Whether you want chunky chips or slender vegetable strips, it’s worth investing in the right kitchen kit...

Salt warning issued over children's meals

Children's meals at some of the UK's leading pub and fast food chains contain more salt than they should eat in an entire day, a study has found.

Wolfgang Puck, the caterer for the Oscars: 'I now prefer London to Paris - it has such a good food scene'

My Life In Food: Wolfgang Puck

One of the most influential chefs in the world, Puck has more than 20 fine-dining restaurants dotted around the world, one of which, Spago in Beverly Hills, has two Michelin stars. For the past 18 years, he has been the caterer for the Oscars.

The White Swan Inn's dining room is an object lesson in refurb, with maroon walls, stone-flagged floor and room dividers in the form of folding screens

The White Swan Inn, Market Place, Pickering, North Yorkshire

Pickering in North Yorkshire is a country town with exactly the right sort of attractions: 12th-century castle; bustling steam railway; church with medieval wall paintings admired by Pevsner and, not least, a quietly handsome inn on the high street.

George Osborne under fire over 'pasty tax'

A group of MPs from across the political divide lined up today to urge the Government to rethink its proposals to slap 20% VAT on baked goods.

Raymond Blanc

Raymond Blanc: My mission is to fight against intensive harvesting of the seas

Raymond Blanc’s eyes sparkle as he remembers an old love. “My first fish was a big tench and I kissed her.” Laughing with seductive Gallic passion, he recalls picking the animal out of the water and caressing it with joy. “I knew it was a she because she had those sparkling lips!” he adds. “I was so happy, but I ate her immediately.” Ooh la la.

Nuno Mendes is the chef/ patron of the Michelin-starred Viajante in London

My Life In Food: Nuno Mendes

Nuno Mendes is the chef/patron of the Michelin-starred Viajante in London and the man behind the acclaimed supper club, The Loft.

Editor-At-Large: British justice should not be about revenge - even against looters

The images of gangs of hoodies smashing up shops and looting made me feel ashamed of my country, but the testosterone-fuelled response of our leaders was equally cringe making.

McDonald's halves fries in children's Happy Meals

McDonald's stores in the US have announced plans to halve the amount of French fries served in their Happy Meals in an attempt to make children's meals healthier.

Robin Scott-Elliot: Hazel shines but sexism of golf means it's a good sport spoilt

View From The Sofa: The Open, BBC1/BBC 2
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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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