Life and Style

At the risk of straying into territory staked out by my more lurid male counterparts, I once saw a strip bar in Nashville with a neon sign outside advertising '99 Beautiful Girls! And One Ugly One'. They can get away with that kind of playful hucksterism down in the American South. Here, outraged punters would be demanding refunds and invoking the Trade Descriptions Act.

Parker battles for the ball with Arjen Robben

From McDonald's kid to England, but Parker still has peaks to scale

Never seen as a member of the 'Golden Generation', the midfielder has fought his way up to lead the team

New row erupts over unpaid work placements

The Government was today accused of "imposing" unpaid work placements on the unemployed ahead of a meeting over its controversial work experience scheme.

Simms Taback: Award-winning children's author

Simms Taback was an award-winning children's author and illustrator.

To promote its revolutionary new product, Ready Baked Jackets, McCain has introduced 3D fibreglass models of baked tatties at selected bus stops in London, York, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow

Why an innovation in advertising is causing a stink

It was probably only a matter of time before "Smell-vertising" became a reality and it looks like fast-food spud specialists McCain is the first major company to get in on the act.

Lisa Markwell: Turns out it's the shape of your food that matters

How do you get hooked on nuggets? There was a story in yesterday's newspapers about a 17-year-old girl whose relentless diet of chicken nuggets has resulted in major health problems. This result, of course, should not be "news" to anyone. Cheap meat cloaked in a greasy case as the basis for nutrition. It's blindingly obvious that it's a disaster.

Ford Focus Zetec S

Ford Focus Zetec S

'It's got more than enough poke to be a quick parental taxi'

The campaign embarrassed McDonald's on the day when Nick Clegg visited a training centre

Not lovin' it: McDonald's eats humble pie after Twitter backlash

McDonald's has admitted a venture into social media backfired when a Twitter campaign designed to spread good news about the fast-food giant was hijacked by unhappy eaters.

James Moore: A McJob? That's just what our Neets need

Outlook: Roll up, Neets (that's Not in Education, Employment or Training). Time to get out of bed, get on your bike and get in line because there's a McJob out there for you. In fact, there are more than 700 of them going to first-time workers and more than 1,250 to young people generally. Actually, the fast-food chain feels the same way about that pejorative term "McJob" as it probably feels about an army of militant vegans. The phrase is shorthand for low-wage, low-status, dead-end service jobs with no training and no prospects.

McDonald's relishes record UK year

Fast food giant McDonald's hailed a record year in the UK today after new menus and longer opening hours boosted sales.

McDonald's to create 2,500 new jobs

Fast food giant McDonald's will create at least 2,500 new UK jobs this year, it announced today.

Terence Blacker: Don't sneer if a Big Mac encourages reading

At moments when they are about to deliver yet another item of miserable news, Government ministers tend to intone the now-familiar mantra that we are all facing "tough decisions". It has become a verbal tic, rather like the use of "Inshalla" in Arabic countries.

Cameron aide broke rules by joining lobbying firm

One of David Cameron's senior Downing Street advisers has broken rules meant to stop former government officials from trading on their inside knowledge of Whitehall and access to ministers, The Independent has learnt.

League round-up: Boro and West Ham fluff their lines

Both Middlesbrough and West Ham United spurned the chance to go level on points with Championship leaders Southampton, although Boro have the satisfaction of starting 2012 in the automatic promotion places after a 1-1 home draw with Peterborough United lifted them above the east Londoners.

Anuj Bidve (left) and Subhash Bidve: The victim's father has claimed nobody from the UK Government or consulate has informed him when his son's body will be returned to India

Family heard of Salford murder on Facebook

A police chief has apologised to the family of an Indian student shot dead in Salford on Boxing Day who learnt of their son's murder on Facebook.

Race probe after student is shot dead in street

Detectives are investigating whether the murder of an Indian student, who was gunned down in the street as he visited a city with friends, was racially motivated.

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arts + ents
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Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
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Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
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It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
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Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
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Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
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Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
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Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

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Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
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Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
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A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

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Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower