News The over-budget decontamination of Sellafield by the NMP consortium has been the subject of repeated criticism

‘This is a massive indictment of NMP’s failure to deliver’ says environmental consultant after reading letters written to clean-up consortium

Retail sales slip back 1 per cent as fashion stores weather April showers

The wettest April on record "washed away" sales of summer clothing and footwear, it emerged yesterday, leaving retailers hoping for a revival in their fortunes from the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.

Clinton Cards in turnaround struggle

Embattled retailer's chief completes review after failed bid to sell company

First victims of MF Global paid out

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has made its first payout to victims of the collapse of MF Global. It has paid £130,000 to customers of the broking firm after receiving more than 4,000 claims from victims. However, it did not reveal how many of these were accounted for in the first payout.

ETX Capital in talks to buy crisis-hit WorldSpreads

ETX Capital is in exclusive negotiations to buy its collapsed spread-betting rival WorldSpreads. Talks have been ongoing over the weekend and a deal is likely to be announced within the next 24 hours.

ETX poised to swoop on its collapsed rival WorldSpreads

Deal likely to be announced in next 24 hours after weekend negotiations

Administrators find £13m black hole in WorldSpreads accounts

Customers of a spread betting firm are likely to be left seeking compensation after an estimated £13 million black hole in its accounts was revealed today.

Banks 'set for more job losses'

Further job losses in the banking sector are on the way, a report said today, after the eurozone debt crisis, compensation costs and higher taxes slashed the combined profits of the UK's five biggest banks.

Business week in review

In profit...

After scandal, Swiss come clean with a new governor

The uproar over his wife's currency dealings may have cost Swiss National Bank governor Philipp Hildebrand his job, but the auditors have at least given his likely successor Thomas Jordan a clean bill of health.

Shops struggle but bright for food

Hopes that the high street has turned the corner were dashed yesterday as retailers posted another fall in underlying sales.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill buys Peacocks

The Scottish clothing group Edinburgh Woollen Mill has acquired the fashion chain Peacocks out of administration, saving 6,000 jobs.

3,100 jobs lost but Peacocks is saved

More than 3,000 jobs were lost today after ailing fashion chain Peacocks was sold out of administration.

'End big four's domination of listed audit market' call

The major challengers to the big four accountants have told the Competition Commission (CC) that the audit market for listed companies must be opened up for the good of British business.

Sir Stelios set to vote against easyJet directors

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou set the scene for a stormy annual general meeting of easyJet next Thursday as the company's founder saidhe would vote against there-election of a string ofdirectors and its pay report.

Peacocks: Budget fashion chain is set to go into administration after failing to restructure its £600m debts

New fears for jobs at Peacocks

Thousands of staff at collapsed retailer Peacocks were facing further uncertainty today after it was reported that only one company remains in the race to salvage the firm.

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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