News

The gross payouts will be £2.25bn less in 2014 than in 2013

£30m loss for PC World owner

The owner of Currys and PC World today continued a grim week for the high street's biggest names after plunging almost £30 million into the red.

VAT: Conservatives will vote against rate cut

Conservatives last night vowed to vote against Alistair Darling's plans for a 2.5 per cent temporary cut in VAT, as ministers faced claims that the centrepiece of the pre-Budget report would not do enough to kick-start Britain's weakening economy.

Credit insurers face huge rise in premiums

With more suppliers set to claim for bad debts, the cost of reinsuring risk could soar by over 10 per cent

Comet's credit insurance cut back as crisis spreads

Coface reduces insurance cover to some suppliers

BBC presenter thought Queen Mother was a 'bigot'

The Queen Mother once labelled some of Britain's EU colleagues as "Huns, wops and dagos", a BBC broadcaster has said.

High street worries grow as sales slump at John Lewis

Retailing hit as consumer slowdown gathers pace

Sony cuts profit forecast because of strong yen

Sony fuelled fears of a global recession yesterday as it issued a profits warning and warned it had been badly hit by the strength of the yen and plunging demand for flat-screen televisions and digital cameras.

Frugal shoppers trim spending on food

DSGi and Sports Direct also feel effects of downturn

Currys owner scales back investment

Consumer electronics giant DSG today said it planned to cut capital expenditure by around £30m this year as part of efforts to deal with deteriorating consumer confidence across Europe.

Short-sellers turn on pubs and retailers

Short-sellers barred from betting against financial services companies have instead stepped up their targeting of the UK's biggest pub companies and retailers as they try to cash in on the deteriorating consumer outlook.

Retailers braced for a tough Christmas

More retailers released dire trading figures yesterday, reinforcing fears that the sector is heading for its worst Christmas in 30 years.

DSGi trumpets its cost savings amid retail gloom

DSGi unveiled dire trading at its Currys and PC World stores in the UK yesterday, and revealed that it does not expect trading conditions to improve until 2010.

DSG cautious on consumer outlook

European electrical goods retailer DSG International Plc said it did not expect its markets to recover before 2010 as it posted a drop in first-quarter underlying sales and profit margins and pledged to cut more costs.

Sam Warner: Once trusted and admired, Glitter is all the more reviled

The intense public interest in the former pop star's behaviour reflects deeper concerns about how a child sex offender could inveigle his way into our affections, and highlights the need to prevent such criminals from fleeing abroad to find fresh victims

Deborah Orr: The real scandal of Gary Glitter

It is estimated that worldwide, 1 million children are vulnerable to abuse by sexual tourists
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty