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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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game