News

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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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
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footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
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An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
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Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
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Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
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George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
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Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
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Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?