Money

The rates may be enticing at the grocers turned banks but consumers need to take more care than they would buying beans, says Lindsay Cook

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Edinburgh Festival `99: Diary

Karl Minns of Comic Trio The Nimmo Twins

Salt in food `led to baby death'

A THREE-month-old baby died from salt poisoning after his parents fed him Ready Brek instant cereal, mashed potato and gravy because special baby foods were too expensive, an inquest heard.

The Vote for Europe: MEPs win bonuses in perks `cutback'

EURO MPs will collect bonuses of up to pounds 200 per week under new rules designed to crack down on waste, The Independent has learnt.

Food: Taking stock

Why bother with fancy ingredients and fancier names? True gravy should come from the joint and that's all it should taste of. Illustration by Paul Blow

KPMG savages non-executives

ONE OF Britain's most senior accountants has issued a fierce attack on the complacency of non-executive directors after a survey found that they are underpaid, undertrained, too old and ignorant about developments such as the Internet.

Arts: Just keep playing the music

MUSIC: MUSICALLIANCE '99; BARBICAN, LONDON

Restaurants: Fit for public consumption

The City reaches of the Thames are less than salubrious, but its characterful old pubs are a rich reward, says Cole Moreton

The mission: Supermarket shopping without spectacles but with lots of baked beans? It's all a bit of a blur for Matthew Sweet

I was 15 when I got my first pair of glasses. It was a shocking experience. Not because of their oblong, fake-gold Bamber Gascoigne-ish naffness - which, for some reason, I found winningly attractive - but because of what I saw through them. Every leaf had a separate identity. Hedges were not just vague green mounds but bundles of distinct little privet leaves. I had thought the world was an Impressionist sort of a place. In that moment, I knew it was a mess of Pre-Raphaelite detail.

Diageo sells

Diageo sells

Personal Finance: We've seen it all before

NOTHING beats a plummeting stock market for a shock headline or three. Panicked dealers, worried old ladies, the threat of meltdown. And then a bounce back. We had it all last week.

Health: Health Check

I HAVE invented a new diet and I am launching it today to a waiting world - free, gratis and for nothing. I have called it the Wet and Dry diet, and I guarantee that if you follow it for three months you will find your bathroom scales pointing in the right direction.

Leading Article: Neither a gazumper nor a gazunderer be

WE SHOULD be wary of Hilary Armstrong today, when the housing minister announces measures designed to make the buying and selling of houses easier, cheaper and faster. These are laudable objectives. And there is no doubt that the business of conveyancing is more difficult, expensive and slow than it need be, and that this works against a fair market in the most expensive things most people ever buy.

Music: Jazz chops and gravy

LO'JO/TARIKA QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL

In the Sticks: For the love of a sex-starved cow

IT'S BEEN so wet even the dogs have been watching too much telly and playing video games. I gave up worrying about the kids wasting their childhood in front of a screen when we all spent a Saturday afternoon indoors watching a 1956 Tony Curtis movie and reading seed catalogues. All the usual pleasures of this time of year have been rained off. Blackberries are too mouldy to pick, garden bonfires too soggy to burn, and the field with the best mushroom crops is under two inches of water. All the little house repairs I never did because the summer was so wet are taunting me now. The damp patch at the back of the living room cupboard is spreading and the blocked guttering outside our bedroom wakes me every night as the British monsoon pours out of it as if Gene Kelly were waiting underneath.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?