Arts and Entertainment Lorde and Disclosure have been confirmed to play at this year's Brit Awards 2014

The acts will join Arctic Monkeys, Bastille, Rudimental and Ellie Goulding

Mastercard agrees to cut fees it charges banks

Mastercard agreed to slash the fees it charges banks across Europe as part of a deal with the European Commission yesterday in a move welcomed by British retailers.

Card fraud hits record high despite fortune spent on chip-and-pin security

British consumers are robbed once every seven seconds, often by criminals overseas. Julian Knight and Kate Hughes report

The great credit-card crunch... or why firms squeeze us for extra fees

As the recession bites, retailers, airlines, entertainment firms and even government departments are increasingly imposing fees on consumers when they use their credit or debit cards to pay for goods and services.

Let your holiday savings take wing

Chiara Cavaglieri reports on the credit cards that offer free air miles to hard-pressed Britons

Thrifty Living: How to track the best travel deals

While the onset of recession has driven prices down on the high street over the past few months, there’s been no such savings to be had for regular train-travellers. Prices on some networks rose by as much as 7 per cent at the start of January – almost eight times greater than the current rate of inflation.

Fraudsters are cunning, but you can outfox them...

The world of fraud is changing fast, but there are plenty of ways to protect your cash and your identity

Figures soar for secure online payments

The number of credit and debit cards which are signed up to a secure online payment system has soared by more than 650 per cent during the past two years, figures showed today.

Wealth Check: Debt weighs heavy as she stands on her own two feet

A divorcee who is working all hours to make ends meet asks how she can break free of her card bills. By Harriet Meyer

WorldPay founder creates a voice-only 'biometric' payment system

A voice biometric system for authorising banking transactions was launched yesterday, and even Rory Bremner's impressions are not clever enough to fool it.

'Agenda': the long and the short of excellence in poetry

If you enjoyed the recent Independent promotion of booklets on the "Great Poets", you should continue to keep at the cutting edge of poetry by subscribing to Agenda magazine. In her introduction to the new issue, editor Patricia McCarthy endorses the two kinds of art that WH Auden defined: "escape art", and "parable art" which "shall teach man to unlearn hatred and learn love". "Lauds" is another very shapely issue. Its engagement with celebrated poets is set by the sepia photographs from a private collection on the covers, confirming that Agenda always manages an original approach to even the most studied poetries.

Planning a trip? Then plan your money first

If you're buying foreign currency, be wary; charges can add a lot to the cost of a holiday.

Inside Lines: 'I will KO Chambers' vows Moynihan

Princess Anne was not quite in her infamous "Naff 'orf" mode when she chided the media at the annual general meeting of the British Olympic Association, over which she presides, but she made sure we got the message. "Please get your facts right," she said icily. The BOA have had a rather bad press of late and HRH is not alone in coming out fighting. Colin Moynihan, who threw a mean punch as an amateur bantamweight boxer, is now very much "hands on", adopting a far more aggressive role as chairman after the organisation's recent gaffes by overturning the proposed "gagging" clause in athletes' contracts and throwing out any idea of them using smog masks in Beijing. Moreover, he warns Dwain Chambers that if the sprinter contests his life Olympic ban in court, it will be a fight to the finish "whatever the cost". That, of course could be considerable – for both parties – but Moynihan, well connected in top legal circles, says he will hire the best possible lawyers. "I've been in sport 28 years and I am determined there will be no room for cheats in our teams for Beijing or London."

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Day In a Page

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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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