News

It all got a bit too much for one nine-year old, who had to run off to vomit after devouring 'delicacies'' such as crickets, ants and pigeon burgers.

The Week Ahead: Barclays' results signal start of the bonus season

Signalling the start of the banks' reporting season, Barclays' full-year results tomorrow will be especially closely watched after the publication last week of Project Merlin, the agreement between the Government and the biggest banks.

Market Report: Rentokil defies critics to rise after key resignation

The resignation of a senior boss and a savaging from brokers is not normally the recipe for a share price rise, yet that is exactly what Rentokil Initial enjoyed yesterday.

Plagues of roaches, rats, and bedbugs sweep Britain

Pest infestations are on the rise as cash-strapped councils phase out free extermination services

Business Diary: Consolation prizes for Forgemasters

Congratulations to Graham Honeyman, the chief executive of Sheffield Forgemasters, who has just won the Institute of Directors' prestigious director of the year award, as well as two other gongs at the same shindig.

Week Ahead: Old Mutual investors hoping for sale update

The dust may have settled since HSBC decided last month to pull out of a £4.5bn deal to buy Nedbank, but for Old Mutual – the majority owner of the fourth-largest South African bank – the pressure is on to show that its other major sale will not be heading down the same direction when it publishes its third-quarter results on Thursday.

Market Report: City hangs up on TalkTalk as takeover hopes fade

Dading hopes of a takeover deal knocked TalkTalk Telecom, the broadband internet provider which was spun out of Carphone Warehouse this year. The stock ended last night's session down 2.8p at 147p after JPMorgan Cazenove warned that, while the market might still be expecting a bid, potential predators were likely to remain on the sidelines for now.

The business on...Alan Brown, Chief executive, Rentokil Initial

So he's the rat-catcher-in-chief?

Rentokil does indeed have a pest control business, but it has other strings to its bow, too – everything from cleaning to courier services.

The Week Ahead: British Gas fuels gains for energy giant Centrica

Continued strength at British Gas is expected to drive gains for Centrica, the energy group which is due to issue half-yearly results this week.

Market Report: Soco swells as bulls bet on exploration success

Soco International surged by as much as 9.7 per cent last night as traders piled in on hopes of a doubling of the oil prospector's share price.

Locals are doing it for themselves

In rural areas across the country, pubs have closed down, stilling the beating heart of communities. At the weekend Byron Rogers witnessed a refreshing change in his village – and pints are being pulled once again

The Week Ahead: Whitbread goes full steam ahead with Premier Inn

Analysts expect another positive update from Premier Inn-owner Whitbread, with many in the City anticipating a positive outlook with the hospitality group's full-year figures this Thursday.

Business Diary: Rentokil bugged as PR gaffe is exposed

Red faces at Rentokil and its PR agency BrandsLife, which claimed research showed the typical train carriage might be home to 1,000 cockroaches, 200 bedbugs and 200 fleas. The shocking findings were widely covered in the media, but prompted some cynicism amongst scientists who actually know a thing or two about such matters. After a series of blogs questioning the research, Rentokil has published "a clarification and an apology". This was a worst-case scenario, Rentokil now admits, based on assumptions such as the carriage never being cleaned or carrying any passengers to stamp on the pesky insects.

Small Talk: LSE looks to tackle problem of AIM investor relations

Pretty much every company under the sun claims to want a "diversified investor base," not least those on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim), who see a varied shareholder register as a distinct feather in the corporate cap.

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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
South Africa
Spain
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