Arts and Entertainment

Alain de Botton is probably anticipating sceptical reviews of his new book. It is unfortunate that, as a philosophical analysis of the news media, it is bound to be assessed by the very outlets, often resistant to change, that it seeks to correct.

'Playground monikers for playground politicians': Giant balloons of Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson during the 2008 mayoral elections

Johnson's Life of London, By Boris Johnson - You Can't Say That, By Ken Livingstone

The Mayor of London enjoys a "mandate over policing", according to the Metropolitan Police Authority, whose chair and vice-chair he appoints. He "remains the direct line of accountability between the Metropolitan Police Service and the people of London". Through the MPA, the Mayor's oversight covers "the appointment and discipline of senior police officers".

Centrica profits fall as warm spell hits gas use

Centrica issued a profits warning yesterday and pledged to step up its cost-cutting campaign after an unusually warm autumn allowed cost-conscious consumers to reduce their energy consumption.

Labour to cut spending

A future Labour government would have to find "new ways" to deliver social justice without boosting public spending, Ed Miliband warned yesterday. The Labour leader said there could be no return to the "Blair-Brown model", under which tax revenues from Britain's financial services were used to raise spending on public services.

Sacked features editor sues News international

Senior News Corp figures such as the former Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis may find themselves giving evidence on the company's handling of phone hacking as part of a legal case being brought by a former executive on The Sun.

Vivendi storms markets with all guns blazing

French group Vivendi beat profit expectations in the third quarter, largely thanks to its computer game operation.

Sony to make its move into online television

Japanese electronics firm weighs up risky plan to take on cable and satellite giants in the US

Camera market's middleground snaps up CSC

The new category of compact system camera is taking the market by storm, offering photographic enthusiasts the chance to acquire all the bells and whistles of a DSLR in a much smaller package

TalkTalk loses 43,000 customers in a quarter

Customer losses at the broadband supplier TalkTalk were worse than expected, down 43,000 in the three months to the end of September. But the turn-around strategy is "well on track", its chief executive Dido Harding said yesterday.

Aggrieved journalists 'could use inquiry to get revenge'

Journalists should not be allowed to give evidence anonymously to Lord Leveson, the publisher of the Daily Mail is arguing.

Have yourself a techie little Christmas

As we approach the end of yet another year of technological innovation, we look at 35 of the best bits of kit currently on the market

Fund manager builds $800m News Corp stake

Chris Hohn, one of the City of London's most aggressive fund managers, snapped up an $834m stake in News Corp while Rupert Murdoch's company was embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal, it was revealed last night.

Dealmaking for entrepreneurs

Deal-making and negotiation skills are critical for entrepreneurs. Success depends not just on great ideas and marketing skills, but also on a network of deals which all entrepreneurs have to put in place. These include deals for funding, manufacturing, distribution, marketing and promotion, and deals with employees. And let’s not forget the deal at the end of the cycle – the exit deal – which is supposed to make all of that effort, and all of the other deals worthwhile.

Glen Mulcaire lost a legal bid to hide the identities of those who instructed him

Hacking 'took place until 2009'

Police believe the publishers of the News of the World were involved in hacking phones as recently as 2009, the Leveson Inquiry into press standards heard today.

Ian Burrell: Is Desmond planning to move Northern & Shell out of London to Luton?

Viewpoint: The N&S print plant lacks the prestige of the Thames-side headquarters of Express Newspapers

Sport on TV: Aussies are left looking for a hero in virtual world

Cricket is facing a test of credibility – but not because some players cheat. It's also because of the number of nurdlers and sloggers masquerading as Test cricketers. Last summer's series against India was billed as the battle for the world No 1 slot but they sent over a pub team – though admittedly one with a rather good ringer in Sachin Tendulkar. Now South Africa and Australia are contesting the main series of the winter as if it was an Under-9s house match. It's becoming difficult to tellif a player is deliberately underperforming or if he's just rubbish.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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