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.

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

Andre-Pierre Gignac has only scored once in five months and is the focus of struggling Marseilles' supporters' frustrations

Transfer news: Newcastle 'target' Andre-Pierre Gignac adamant he will remain at Marseille

The Magpies are eager to recruit new strikers

Woman tries to buy two Apple iPhones online, ends up with actual edible apples

Buyer did not check inside the boxes and on arriving home found they contained real apples

McDonald's remove their branding for ads in France: can you name these products?

McDonald's sure do have confidence in their branding.

Nanoo Nanoo? Robin Williams is to make a return to television in the CBS comedy The Crazy Ones

Robin Williams to make first TV return since Mork & Mindy in CBS comedy The Crazy Ones

Robin William is set to return to TV for the first time since appearing in 1970’s sitcom Mork & Mindy.

Business week in review

In profit ...

Forget the royal baby, look at pictures of this Stormtrooper gatecrashing a historical re-enactment

Galactic warrior may have turned up at the wrong event

Not lovin' it: McDonald's rider refused to say neigh after horse was turned away from drive-through lane

She led the animal inside, where it left a load - resulting in a police fine

Pope Francis will make his first international trip to Rio for World Youth Day celebrations

Vatican calls on Brazilian government to provide bailout to cover £26m shortfall in funding for Pope's visit to Rio

Pope Francis will make his first international trip to world's largest Catholic country for World Youth Day celebrations

McDonald's faces boycott for refusing to sell Big Macs in the West Bank

The fast food giants have turned down an offer to build an outlet in Ariel, inspiring a backlash from the local community

Lining them up at Five Guys Burgers and Fries in New York

Byron? Pah! Can you do posher than George?

Our writers review their favourite burger joints...

Picture taken from Twitter with permission of George Osborne showing him eating a burger and chips as he put the 'finishing touches' to the spending review

Osborne defends his 'posh' Byron burger Twitter picture saying 'McDonald's don't deliver'

Mr Osborne tweeted a picture of himself eating the burger, from upmarket chain Byron

@George_Osborne: 'Putting final touches to the speech #SR2013'

Let Osborne enjoy his Byron burger in peace

The £10 Byron burger scandal rages on, but if we remove the bun and parse the gherkin on this whopper of a news story, what, exactly, is a Spending Review burger?

The 10-year

Revealed: Police officer Bob Lambert helped to write the leaflet that caused McLibel

Undercover infiltrator was the co-author of defamatory pamphlet about US fast-food giant

Singapore smog gets worse - can chemically induced rain clear the air?

Governments in south-east Asia meet to discuss growing crisis and people are warned to remain indoors

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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 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?