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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before