News Charges against three men accused of stealing from waste-bins outside an Iceland store in London have been cleared by the CPS.

The men were accused of stealing food reportedly totalling to £33 out of Iceland bins last year

Leading article: A damning judgment on the SFO

It is difficult to overstate the seriousness of the debacle that was the Serious Fraud Office's high-profile investigation of the property tycoons Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz. Indeed, the High Court judgment against the SFO yesterday represents a wholesale challenge to the competence and, worse still, good faith of the organisation which investigates and prosecutes complex fraud cases in the UK.

James Moore: We need a shake-up on white-collar crime after the latest debacle

Outlook Oh dear. It seems the Serious Fraud Office has mucked it up again. Surely the better acronym for what Reuters yesterday described as "the UK's top fraud busting agency" without a hint of irony would be the SFU (I won't spell out the Anglo-Saxon).

Williams targets lesser lights as British handball makes Games bow in Copper Box

Great Britain handball playmaker Ciaran Williams has targeted the two non-European teams in his side's group when they make their Olympic bow next week.

French firm in talks to buy toy shop Hamleys for £60m

Britain's most famous toy shop Hamleys could be sold to a French firm for around £60 million, it was reported today.

Inside the Thrihnukagigur volcano

Iceland: Step into the mouth of a volcano

Lisa Young clips on her safety line to descend deep into Iceland's Thrihnukagigur, which last erupted 4,000 years ago

Artist spotlight: Team Me

Norwegian six-piece Team Me blend prog and indie sensibilities to make music that bursts with energy and ebullience, recalling the work of acts such as Arcade Fire, Polyphonic Spree and early Broken Social Scene.

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Swansea agree £6.8m fee with Hoffenheim for Gylfi Sigurdsson

Swansea have smashed their transfer window in order to keep on-loan midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson at the club on a permanent basis.

Patrice Evra untroubled by France form

Patrice Evra is unconcerned by France's struggles in beating Iceland last night as they build up to Euro 2012.

Warm weather stifled sales at House of Fraser

House of Fraser has blamed warm weather, the consumer downturn and costs associated with opening a new distribution centre for a sharp fall in its profits last year.

Travel Challenge: A summer break in Iceland

Each week we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a short summer break in Iceland. Prices are per person, based on two people travelling together. All packages include three nights' accommodation in the capital Reykjavik and flights from London in June.

Court finds former PM guilty over banks

An Icelandic court has found the former prime minister Geir Haarde guilty of failing to hold a dedicated Cabinet meeting before the collapse of the country's banking system.

'Independent' Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist: A whole world in their words

It called for soul-searching and sacrifice but, after much impassioned debate, the shortlist for this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize took the shape that you see here. If anything, the panel of judges – Xiaolu Guo, Jon Cook, Nick Barley, Hephzibah Anderson and myself – had to contend with an embarrassment of riches. Whatever our perennial regrets about the limited quantity of fiction brought into English from other languages, the quality of translations felt as bold and bright as ever. In Britain, we owe so much of our view of global fiction to independent publishers of various shapes and sizes. Responsible for around two-thirds of all submissions for the Independent prize, they contribute five out of the six titles on this list – although I ought to stress that neither commercial nor geographical provenance ever sways the decision.

Dronke: scrupulous, sparkling translations that brought texts to life

Ursula Dronke: Enlightening scholar of medieval literature

Ursula Dronke was a brilliant, vital, and impressive representative of a world that seems to be fast disappearing from our grasp: a scholarship girl who, from a luminous sense of their intrinsic value, dedicated her life to difficult works of the human imagination; she was still publishing in her 90th year.

Steam bath: swimming in the Blue Lagoon

48 Hours: Reykjavik

With new flights, longer days and a busy cultural calendar, the Icelandic capital is an appealing prospect, says Nick Boulos.

Vikings 'carried mice to colonies'‎

Mice hitched a ride with Vikings to mount their own invasions in the 10th century, research has shown.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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