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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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Independent Travel
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 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence