News

Banks took a battering yesterday as traders ditched financial stocks after a shock profit warning from Deutsche. Traders feared that news of the German bank’s €1.1bn (£910m) fourth-quarter loss could mean other banks may still have issues to work through and further regulatory fines to deal with.

Gadgets galore – and a nice friendly chat with Wendy

Lakeland is cooking up a storm, with profits of £10m. Its secret? Listening to customers. Laura Chesters finds a kitchen Utopia in Windermere

Campaigners livid as Whitehall axes Breastfeeding Week

Critics say move may undo years of work, just as message on benefits of mothers' milk gets through

Value shops eye Mothercare sites

A handful of companies are circling Mothercare to buy small batches of stores from the struggling childcare retailer.

Editor-At-Large: Let's be honest – there are far worse things than adultery

My goodness, is there something in the water? Open a newspaper, turn on the radio or the television and it's impossible to avoid middle-aged, successful men caught with their pants down. From sportsmen, actors and politicians to bankers – what a motley gang of cheating, lying, deceiving cads. Maria Shriver discovers Arnie Schwarzenegger has not only sired a lovechild with their housekeeper, but the timing couldn't have been more insulting: the little boy is almost the same age as her own son. Her adulterous husband hadn't even bothered to leave the family compound for his extra-curricular activities.

Royal Wedding boosted sales, but not for long

Economists urged "extreme caution" about reading too much into a strong rebound in retail sales last month, as chains were boosted by the hottest April on record, a glut of bank holidays and the Royal Wedding.

Stars in their eyes: Why is the Government allowing celebrities into the seats of power?

Mary Portas is the latest television personality to be recruited by government – but politics is too important to be treated like a reality show, argues John Walsh

The designer baby boom

It used to be the place to go for bibs, bottles and buggies. Now Mothercare simply can&rsquo;t compete with our love of luxury brands. <b>Alice-Azania Jarvis</b> reports

April weather boosts retail sales

A winning combination of the royal wedding and warm weather triggered a bigger-than-expected surge in retail sales last month, official figures revealed today.

Market Report: BG flares higher on renewed takeover talk

Reheated bid chatter, plus a recommendation that investors should take advantage of its recent weakness, helped BG Group rise up the top-tier index last night. The gas explorer advanced 41p to 1,373p as vague speculation spread late in the session that it could be in line for an approach.

Mothercare to close one in three UK stores

The chief executive of Mothercare has urged landlords to be more realistic about rental demands, as the maternity retailer unveiled plans to close nearly a third of its 373 UK stores.

Mothercare to close 110 stores

Mothercare today dealt a fresh blow to the UK high street as it unveiled plans to close 110 outlets and focus on out-of-town superstores.

The Week Ahead: Rivals' woes prompt concerns for Vodafone

It has hardly been a promising run-up to the release tomorrow of Vodafone's full-year figures. The past few weeks have seen disappointing results from a number of its global peers, including Telecom Italia and the Dutch group KPN, while Carphone Warehouse, O2 and Everything Everywhere have all made cautious noises over the UK.

Shoppers count their pennies as retailers struggle

A new report paints a grim picture of retail spending across the UK, reports Laura Chesters

Mothercare puts 'For Sale' sign on 121 UK stores

Childrenswear chain circulates confidential list of available shops to other retailers
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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas