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When the CBI director-general, John Cridland, took the top job at the UK’s biggest business lobbying group in February 2011, his ambition was to find a fitting new home for the organisation: in his words, a “modest palace of glass and steel”.

Olympic rings adorn Tower Bridge

Giant Olympic rings became the crowning glory on Tower Bridge today to mark the countdown to the London 2012 Games.

Knowingly underpaid? John Lewis hit by cleaners' protest

Workers at co-operative told they will lose their jobs or have their hours cut by half

Andrew Mitchell: Moved to tears

Summit to pledge £1.5bn

Last summer Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, was reduced to tears as he watched the joy of Claudine, a Rwandan mother of five, when she was told she was not going to have another child.

Loser wins: Dwain Chambers (left) beat Adam Gemili yesterday but second place still earned the teenager his Olympic berth

Chambers says sorry for F-word TV outburst

Controversial veteran beats rising star of British sprinting but fails to make Olympic qualifying standard

War of the Red Roses as Flintoff hits Athers with verbal bouncer

You would have thought that as two Lancashire legends they could be the best of buddies, but there is clearly no love lost between Andrew Flintoff and Michael Atherton.

Downing Street: No imminent plans to disclose David Cameron's tax details

David Cameron and senior ministers are not planning to disclose their tax returns in the “very near future”, Downing Street indicated today.

Olympics news you may have missed...

Tonia Couch has been granted leave to appeal her omission by Team GB for the 10m platform diving at the London Games.

Malek Mohammed prepares for a training swim in Kabul

Poverty or bad luck no barriers to hope for young Afghan swimmer

Malek Mohammed was gathering firewood when he stepped on a buried remnant of Afghanistan's turbulent past. The landmine severed his right leg and flung him into the air.

Fire crews battle south-east London factory blaze

Around 70 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a factory today.

Rents grind down Starbucks

Starbucks UK has blamed high rents and a hefty royalty payment to its US parent for its fifth consecutive year of losses.

Zara to open record fifth Oxford St store

The fashion chain Zara plans to open a record fifth store on London's Oxford Street, reinforcing the buoyant demand for prime retail property in the capital.

Leading article: A poor example set by London

Alongside the council elections on Thursday, some 10 British cities will be voting on whether they want an elected mayor. It is to be hoped that they all vote "yes". At their best, mayors are not only a dynamic addition to local democracy, they are powerful figureheads for their city's identity and can help to reinvigorate slumping public interest in politics.

ROADKILL: Up to 100,000 foxes are killed by British drivers annually

Tally ho! Everything you need to know about urban foxes

As the biggest national survey begins on Channel 4 tomorrow, Sarah Morrison separates reality from myth

Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (29/04/12)

Rant

A People's History of London, By John Rees & Lindsey German

What do we want? A touch more passion

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn