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Retailers enjoyed a "spectacular" Christmas, official data showed, with total sales growing at their fastest rate in years.

Elizabeth Woodville in The White Queen

TV review: The White Queen is less historically plausible than Game of Thrones (despite being ostensibly true)

The White Queen, Sun, BBC1 // Goodbye Granadalan, Sayt, ITV

Ikea is launching a refugee shelter

Ikea's right-on refugee shelter flat-pack

Move over Billy bookcases and Kassett CD storage, Ikea is launching, as part of World Refugee Day on 20 June, an unlikely addition to its flat-pack range: a refugee shelter. A mallet will be provided with the instructions.

August will see the launch of Ikea’s 2014 catalogue which, for the first time, includes a set of dinky versions of some of its most famous pieces

No more flat pack? Ikea furniture now comes ready-built, but there's a catch: it's for dolls' houses, not grown-ups

Bagging yourself a sofa, table, storage unit, rug, chair and cushion for £12 might sound like a steal even by Ikea’s standards, but there is a catch: you’d have to share measurements with the Lilliputians if you wanted to kick back and relax on this particular living room furniture.

Ingvar Kamprad has stepped down from the board of Ikea

Page 3 Profile: Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea founder

<b>Who?</b>

Too Swedish? The Volvo S60 R-Design

Don’t like the taste of Swedes? Well neither does Volvo's new Chinese owner

Are Volvos too Swedish? They are, according to Li Shufu, head of the Chinese firm that bought the car manufacturer in 2010. He told a TV interview that the interiors “feel too Scandinavian”, and the management’s a bit Swedish, too, whatever that means. Volvo’s PR team has swung into action to insist Mr Shufu’s comments got lost in translation, but maybe he’s onto something. Here, Trending presents a handy guide to what is and isn’t  “too Scandinavian”.

Ikea's 'Gosa Raps' fell foul of an unfortunate, though erroneous, translation

Branding: Always read the label - it may mean something completely different when translated

Pity the poor folk who invent product names; their lives are about to become very complicated

Horse Sense? A Stockholm Ikea. The store’s move has been approved by ministers

Withdrawn meatballs back on sale

Ikea is to return its signature dish – horse DNA and all – to its in-store restaurants, and other retailers may follow suit

SITTING PRETTY: One of the highlights of the collection, this tan leather SO3 Seglora sofa is eminently desirable and the leather should age beautifully. £1,400

A rare Stockholm collection

Ikea launches its seldom seen Stockholm range next month. Trish Lorenz gets a sneak peak

Ikea's profits hit by price cutting

The flat-pack furniture giant Ikea has posted its lowest profits for three years in the UK.

You thought the horse meatballs were bad... Ikea withdraws cakes over 'faecal matter'

Ikea, the world’s leading flat-pack furniture retailer, has withdrawn chocolate almond cake sold in its stores in 23 countries after it was found to contain sewage bacteria.

The News Matrix: Tuesday 26 February 2013

Socialite's ex found guilty of blackmail

The 10 Best desk lamps

Throw some light on whatever you're working on with a classic, quirky or even a canine design

The officials said that traces of horsemeat were found in

Ikea withdraws meatballs from sale after inspectors find traces of horsemeat

Officials said that traces of horsemeat were found in "beef and pork" meatballs in the UK, Netherlands, Portugal and others

NILS: Both men and women are pretty fond of sitting. But as you’re not able to fold this and it’s not made of lace, Ikea’s made it male

Ikea furniture: Are Billy, Sofia and friends really sexist?

It’s incredible what you can get at Ikea these days: those mugs with the too-small handles; fairy lights; beds; meatballs; a bit of casual sexism. If you were to have a flick through the Swedish flat-pack company’s substantial catalogue, paying attention to the names it gives its products, among the many Nordic place names it uses for things such as mirrors and bedside tables, it seems to have a distinctly gendered naming process.

Review: The Middlesteins, By Jami Attenberg

Horns of a heavyweight dilemma

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent