ROK to make 160 workers redundant at troubled plumbers

Listed construction group Rok is set to make more than 150 people redundant as a result of financial problems at the England division of its plumbing, heating and electrical business.

Rok suspends finance chief and issues profits warning

The building group Rok issued its second profits warning in just three months yesterday and suspended its finance director over "serious failings" in financial controls at its plumbing, heating and electrical (PHE) business.

1 in 4 Blue Flag beaches 'should lose status'

More than a quarter of Britain's top-rated beaches should be stripped of their Blue Flag status, campaigners said today.

Gaza ban on women smoking pipes

Hamas has banned women from smoking water pipes in Gaza's cafés, calling it a practice that destroys marriages and sullies the image of Palestinians.

Travis Perkins buys plumbing and heating firm for £557m

Travis Perkins has agreed to acquire BSS Group for £557m to become the UK's biggest plumbing and heating distributor.

Wolseley plots sale of tool hire business

Proposed sale of Brandon Hire could be the first step in a revamp of the building materials group's UK operations

Minor British Institutions: The British Toilet Association

It is all too easy to deride the BTA – until you find yourself caught short, in which case you might want to sign up to their mission statement: "More and better toilets". It reminds us that our public lavvys were once the envy of the world, a national expression of our excellence in sewerage and plumbing.

DIY: Unblock the sink - with your laptop

Online how-to guides, blogs and instructional videos are transforming the way we renovate our properties, says home-improvement addict Anna Leach

Everyone’s doing
character analysis

Ranking games characters has been a popular sport this week. Both ‘Empire’ and ‘Entertainment Weekly’ have been having a go.

In The Red: 'This time I'm definitely selling my flat – I think'

Right. Deep breaths. Here we go: I think I want to sell my flat. I’m not, it has to be said, 100% sure. But I’m fairly certain, so there you go; that’s about as much of a definite statement as you can hope for from a chronically indecisive commitment phobe like me. In fact, this is one of the reasons I want to sell. So that I can rent. So that I’m not tied down. So that I can up and leave at a moment’s (or, at least, a few months’) notice.

Travis Perkins offers £553m for rival BSS

Travis Perkins has made an indicative offer of £553m for its rival BSS Group in a deal which would create Britain's biggest plumbing and heating supplies business.

The City Diary: Wheel keeps turning: Work's not just for fools and horses – ask The Plumber

Slackbelly exposes The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of The Square Mile

The real Mario is
finally revealed

For anyone who thought that Mario existed only in a fantasy world where plumbers spend their days fighting angry plants and rescuing princesses, think again.

Buyers guide to doing your due diligence

Found your dream home? Kate Watson-Smyth presents the essential buyer's guide
News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
newsRetailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
people
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Apulia
Lake Annecy
Bruges
Walking in Cyprus
Lanzarote
Victoria Falls
Prices correct as of 26 September 2014
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?