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Strong demand for Costa coffee and a solid performance by budget Premier Inns saw a sharp rise in third-quarter sales at Whitbread, leaving it confident it will meet targets for the year

Vitamin makers admit price-fixing conspiracy

SIX BIG vitamin manufacturers agreed to pay $1.1bn (pounds 688m) in a price-fixing lawsuit that could benefit British consumers.

A worm that turns

Drinkers in Scottish bars don't offer cash for review copies - except when Irvine Welsh is on the cover. Brian Morton kept the book, and hails a masterpiece

Try me: 'Portmore' hat by Stephen Jones, pounds 290

I've been wearing the same hat to weddings since 1988. I'm not a huge fan of weddings. I've always thought that it would be a lot simpler to just post a large cheque to the florist and have done with it. It may be this churlish attitude that leads to my being asked to so few of the things and the hat in question lasting so well. Between nuptials and the odd trip to Henley, it sits on one of the many busts of Napoleon that adorn the bedroom but this time, when I got it down, it fell apart in my hands.

Marketing vodka: the pure thrill

Susan Murray is charged with making Smirnoff vodka a truly internationa l taste. Roger Trapp reports on her cool style

Can Barbie turn into Maggie?

Donna Karan must have taken one look at her client and booked some extra time on her meditation rock. She was bottle blonde, a bit plasticky around the edges and positively teetering on shoes that made her feet look bent.

We asked for your opinions on the author of `Trainspotting'

Irvine Welsh: readers reply

ABF shakes off Cinderella image

The Investment Column

You think snowstorm paperweights are kitsch? Try one ringed in baby-pink marabou

Stuck for a present to buy for that apocryphal person who has everything? Just the thing, and hipper than the Mike Flowers Pops cover song of Oasis's "Wonderwall", is the naffest of naff mantlepiece icons - the snowstorm paperweight.

MEDIA: stateside

Quentin Tarantino movie-maker, Quentin Tarantino union-buster. Yes, the king of deadpan gore has angered the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) by shooting his new movie with a non- union crew. Tarantino is a fierce opponent of unions and refuses to join the Writers' Guild of America, a decision that made his Pulp Fiction script ineligible for guild awards. Tarantino is now working on From Dusk to Dawn, with an $18m budget. He and his producer, Lawrence Bender, figured a union crew would boost their costs by more than $500,000. The IATSE is trying to organise the non-union crew, but Tarantino refuses to release a list of workers, describing the IATSE request for names as "an invasion of privacy". IATSE's West Coast chief, Harry Floyd, would be well-advised to stay away from car rides with John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson.

MARKET REPORT: Turmoil in the drugs industry gives investors a lift

Drugs gave the stock market a lift. As the protracted talks between Fisons and Medeva broke down, Smith & Nephew and Zeneca enjoyed renewed support.

Raving with an MBA

Andy Beckett meets Irvine Welsh, bad-boy writer with a secretly respectable past

A HERO FOR OUR TIMES

In America, the cult of the drag queen has never been bigger - and drag queens don't come any bigger than RuPaul, the downtown boy who just played Las Vegas
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen