News

Why sloths descend from the safety of the trees once a week to go to the toilet has baffled scientists - but one specialist thinks he has the answer

T&N sale will help asbestos fund

T&N sale will help asbestos fund

Bre-X bosses netted millions on shares

Directors of Bre-X Minerals, the troubled Canadian mining firm, made millions of dollars from share-dealings last year when the stock price was riding high, it emerged yesterday.

Diamond find puts glitter into Emerald Isle

The sleepy valleys of Donegal used to nothing louder than the sound of fly fishermen casting lines could soon face a rush of Klondike proportions following a British company's announcement that important diamond reserves may exist there.

Vital ingredients of life are discovered on Jupiter's moon

Suppose there is someone out there

English China Clays dives into pounds 43m loss

English China Clays, the world's biggest producer of kaolin, yesterday slashed its final dividend by more than 33 per cent and unveiled pounds 95m of exceptional charges as it acknowledged strategic mistakes had been made in the past.

Book review

Never again will a single story be told as if it were the only one." This line, from G by John Berger, was used by Michael Ondaatje as the epigraph for In the Skin of a Lion. It is also there like a watermark, touching every page of Anne Michaels's novel.

T&N gets asbestos reprieve

T&N, the auto components maker, was yesterday given a temporary reprieve from a ruling which could have reopened hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits resulting from its past life as an asbestos company.

Inchcape sells ITS for pounds 380m

Inchcape sold its Testing Services business to Charterhouse Development Capital yesterday for about pounds 100m more than analysts' original expectations. The pounds 380m price tag secured by the new managing director, Philip Cushing, will make a big dent in the distribution group's debts, which stood at pounds 463m at the end of last year.

T&N warns on pounds 50m asbestos claims

T&N warned yesterday that it could have to pay out pounds 50m in new asbestos claims if it failed to overturn a recent US court ruling. The courts decided that a multi-million pound industry-wide settlement with claimants was illegal.

English China Clays faces serious shake-up

A large-scale shake-up at English China Clays, the world's biggest producer of minerals for the paper market, was in prospect yesterday after the group warned that continued destocking in the paper industry had hit first- half trading.

SFO flies out to Sumitomo talks

Three Serious Fraud Office investigators fly out to Tokyo today to talk to Japanese officials about the Sumitomo copper scandal.

SIB carpeted trader five years ago

The Sumitomo executive at the centre of the pounds 1.2bn copper scandal was interviewed by Britain's top financial watchdog, the Securities and Investments Board, nearly five years ago after complaints he had attempted to falsify trading documents.

Harmony on a plate

Apple pie without cheese/Is like a kiss without a squeeze.

Council criticised over `asbestos' flats

Westminster under fire: Report says Tory body housed families in danger blocks to thwart `left-wing' buy-out

Profits plunge at Wilson Connolly

Wilson Connolly confirmed the dire state of the house-building market last year with a plunge in sales and profits from its mass-market housing operation, which sells three and four-bedroom houses for about pounds 60,000, writes Tom Stevenson. The fall in profits from pounds 38.2m to pounds 22.5m was well below expectations in the City and the shares tumbled 12p to 162p.
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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick