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Mike Ashley once boasted he had “balls of steel”. Frankly, for anyone else to spend £45 million on shares in Debenhams after its Christmas drubbing, you’d need them.

Rise in profits for Debenhams

The department store is expected to post improved figures, amid speculation of a Finnish purchase

Insurer snubs House of Fraser

Britain's biggest credit insurer is refusing to cover suppliers to House of Fraser amid concerns about the company's performance.

Lady Gaga 'outerwear' helps to boost Asos sales by 30 per cent

Lady Gaga proved the unlikely inspiration for a sales boost of almost a third at online fashion group Asos, the latest retailer to post strong results over Christmas.

Best Christmas week ever for House of Fraser

Department store chain House of Fraser revealed record seasonal trading today as it offered more signs that retailers enjoyed a robust Christmas.

House of Fraser shines

House of Fraser has become the latest large retailer to post storming festive-trading results, driven by a strong performance from its new stores and branded offer.

Credit crisis diary: Lord Carter calls in the heavies

Ever sensitive to the accusation that ministers brief the press before Parliament, government officials applied a strict lock-in at yesterday's briefing for journalists on Digital Britain, with hacks banned from leaving the room until Ben Bradshaw had finished his House of Commons statement. One Evening Standard writer brave enough to make a break for it was escorted back into the room by security guards.

Exclusive: Most of Baugur’s head office staff to be made redundant today

Nearly all of the London head office staff at the beleaguered retail investor Baugur will be made redundant today.

For sale: the British High Street

Icelandic group with major holdings in more than 20 chains faces meltdown

200-year history no comfort for Viyella

Viyella, one of the oldest names in the British clothing industry, has joined the victims of the recession. Its womenswear section went into administration, though other parts of the business are still trading.

Middle-East funds go for Debenhams' Oxford St store after £150m deal fails

Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are poised to swoop on the flagship Debenhams store in Oxford Street, following the collapse of a £150m deal with a Ukrainian investor.

Green edges closer to Baugur takeover

Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green edged closer to a deal to buy the debts of Icelandic investor Baugur, a once- powerful predator that acquired a string of famous brands.

House of Fraser tries to reassure suppliers over Icelandic links

Baugur's connections to Iceland's troubled banking sector have raised fears that it may sell some of its UK high street assets

Woolworths and Iceland to meet for new bid talks

Iceland's chief executive, Malcolm Walker, is expected to meet Woolworths chairman, Richard North, this week to discuss a new takeover bid for the pick-'n'-mix retailer.

New House of Fraser management boosts sales and profits

House of Fraser has delivered a healthy uplift in sales and profits, as the changes made by its new management team bear fruit despite tough trading conditions on the high street.

Baugur: the iceman cometh...

First Oasis, then Karen Millen and Hamleys. Baugur, the Icelandic retail investment group, has already bought a string of familiar names from the British high street, but a successful tilt for Woolworths would result in its biggest acquisition here yet.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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
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
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'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

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Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected