Children pester parents for payday loans after adverts blitz

More than half of ads are shown in the daytime, with cartoons and jingles common

Lady Gaga to perform live in outer space

The US pop star will sing a track at zero gravity for a music festival in 2015

The report says the working week should be cut from 40 to 30 hours

Want to be healthier, save the planet and boost the economy? Then work less - cutting working week would improve well-being and boost economy, say experts

It may be the excuse long-suffering commuters have been waiting for, as new research suggests that working fewer hours each week can be good for your health, protect the environment and even boost the economy.

Mind the financial gap – and make sure you stay insured

Hard-up families risk disaster if they drop cover on homes, cars and holidays, says Chiara Cavaglieri

McDonald’s has admitted 90 per cent of its UK employees are on zero-hours contracts.

They won't be lovin' it: McDonald's admits 90% of employees are on zero-hours contracts without guaranteed work or a stable income

Fast-food chain is potentially the largest zero-hours employer in the UK’s private sector

200,000 victims of Equitable Life collapse may miss out on compensation after Atos slips up again

Under-fire contractor and Treasury criticised by MPs for running ‘arbitrary’ scheme

Video: Woman caught on camera telling ‘hitman’ she wanted husband dead as its ‘easier than divorcing him’

Julia Charlene Merfeld also said she didn’t want to deal with breaking her husband’s heart by separating

Academics at Oxford University pay to be cryogenically preserved so they can be 'brought back to life in the future'

Some staff are having their heads frozen while others are having whole bodies undergo the procedure

Simon Read: In need of protection? Don't jump in and fall for the wrong insurance cover

Look, I know you don't want to talk about this – I'm not all that comfortable discussing it myself – but if you have financial responsibilities then you really should think about protecting your family.

Pennsylvania mother who reappeared 11 years after being declared dead was answering an outstanding arrest warrant

Brenda Heist, from Lititz, Pennsylvania, went missing in 2002 after dropping her children off at school

Investment View: Steer clear of the Pru, but if you do invest, be careful

Getting on the wrong side of your regulator is a bad idea. Particularly  in financial services

James Moore: Royal London looks set to prove a strong mutual is in the interests of all

Outlook Royal London has quietly become a force almost without anyone noticing it. The mutual life insurer has gobbled up the Co-op's life insurance and fund management business, the latest in a series of acquisitions.

Editorial: Equality is for everyone – men, too

Today is a landmark in gender equality – but of a kind that may not be entirely welcome to women. An EU ruling that forces Britain's insurance companies to stop charging men and women different prices is now law. And that means that women drivers – whose safer record behind the wheel than their male counterparts has benefited them for so long – will almost certainly see their premiums rise.

Questions of Cash: I've been having a hard time trying to cancel my Norton software payments

Q. Several years ago, I loaded a Norton Security software package onto my laptop. A charge was debited from my credit card annually. Recently, the laptop failed completely. I tried to cancel my payment but Norton's website does not recognise that I have a subscription.

Women save much less than men for old age

The gap in the amount that men and women are saving for retirement has grown to a record high of nearly £30,000 over the average lifetime, the provider Scottish Widows has revealed.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'