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More than 250 rescue workers attempt to save an estimated 40 others whose homes fell apart while they slept

Books: A room with a view

To novelists, hotels mean the world in miniature - and Shusha Guppy enjoys her stay in the Himalayan heartlands

Everest Diary: Base Camp - No dignity in death for trekker who tripped too far

GRISLY goings-on at Gorak Shep, the huddle of dingy lodges that passes as the last outpost of civilisation before Base Camp.

Travel: A hard rain falls on the Reunification Express

Emma Dowson boarded a packed train in Vietnam and ran straight into a typhoon. In the process she learnt what happens when communism meets capitalism

Monsoon float disappoints as shares dip below issue price

The flotation of Monsoon, the women's fashion retailer, turned into a soggy affair yesterday when the company's shares fell below the issue price on their first day of dealings.

A spiritual guide to nail varnish

Desperately seeking a boost to your creative energy? Then you obviously need to change your nail polish. Jane Lovatt on the cosmic colours New Yorkers adore

Monsoon comes to market at second attempt

Monsoon, the women's fashion retailer, has succeeded in its second attempt to float on the stock market. The group's advisers yesterday announced that the institutional placing had been over-subscribed at an offer price of 198p. This values the group at pounds 352m.

Monsoon guru finds he's fashionable on the Stock Market

Peter Simon, the founder of Monsoon, found himself pounds 88m better off yesterday when a quarter of his company was floated on the Stock Market. Tamsin Blanchard analyses the appeal of the fashion chain which epitomises ethnic chic.

Business Outlook: Monsoon prompts worries on price

So it was second time lucky after all for Peter Simon, the founder of the Monsoon fashion chain. The former encyclopaedia salesman, who had to pull the group's float 18 months ago, has signed up a blue chip register of shareholders at the second attempt and got a top of the range price into the bargain. The Armani-clad retailer is now pounds 88m richer and he still has three quarters of a business worth pounds 352m.

Fashion: Young gifted and Manc

After just one catwalk show, a 26-year-old designer from Manchester has become every fashion editor's tip for the top. Tamsin Blanchard meets Matthew Williamson

Poor Christmas at Dixons prompts profit warning

Dixons confirmed City fears of a weak electrical goods market yesterday when it issued a profits warning caused by poor Christmas sales of items such as personal computers, wide-screen televisions and hi-fi systems. Nigel Cope, City Correspondent, reports.

`It's been a great year for us, so stuff you'

Well, you are a cowardly lot. Or maybe you're just nicer than me. Despite apparently having "touched a nerve" with my broadside on round robins, most of your letters did not actually come up with the goods. Clearly the worry of being crossed off Dick and Shirley's Christmas card list next year won out against the prospect of a year's supply of life- enhancing lessons for your children. So the prize must go to Liz Radcliffe, of Lancaster, for her own family newsletter, which shows an acute understanding of the genre. She starts with the more modest achievements of her husband - "a contender for the Nobel next time round" - and builds up to a crescendo with daughter Judy teaching swimming skills to underprivileged dolphins while son Jacob, after only one term at medical school, is showing "such great potential that he has been offered a chair in microbiotic surgery at Liverpool University. However, he turned it down as it would not give him enough time to train the England squad in rowing, plus study for his FRCS,FRCP, combined with lecturing in Radiology techniques in the 21st century." I particularly like her spin on the traditional closing line of a round robin - "If we have time, or if we are passing on one of our regular trips to your area. we will try to call ... I know your family news cannot live up to ours, but it serves you right for all your pompous letters in the past." Sadly Liz feels unable to accept the prize - her family's extra-curricular activities are already booked through to the millennium.

Retail worries cast cloud over Monsoon's float

The pounds 350m flotation of Monsoon, the women's clothing retailer, could be heading for stormy weather as investors fight shy of a new issue in the unsettled retail sector. Nigel Cope, City Correspondent, asks whether it will be second time lucky for founder Peter Simon.

Second-attempt at float to value Monsoon's founder at pounds 300m

A former encyclopaedia and fishfinger salesman, who started his retail career selling Afghan coats in a London market, will be worth more than pounds 300m when his Monsoon fashion chain comes to the stock market early next year. As Nigel Cope, City Correspondent reports, t is the group's second attempt at a float.

Fashion: Cheap date

There's only one way to dress for the Christmas party season: with lots of glitter and sparkle, and a good measure of sass. The good news? You needn't spend a fortune to shine

Mayhem rules under the influence of affluence

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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