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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Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
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world cup 2014
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Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
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Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
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Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
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peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
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Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
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Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

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Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

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