Flybe boss Jim French, credited with turning the regional carrier into a major player in the European aviation market, is stepping down as chairman after more than 20 years with the company.

Questions over Safeway sales

Wines of the week

The 50 Best wines; 'TIS THE SEASON TO DRINK BOLLY...

For those about to booze: Anthony Rose, The Independent's wine writer, picks the very finest of the winter's vinous offerings, from the greatest value to the greatest vintage

TELEVISION: Less a twist than a sharp yank

Top-notch drama serials are like London buses, not in the sense that you always wind up sitting next to someone with 15 shopping bags, mild BO and a tendency to hum songs from musicals, but in the other sense, that you wait for ages and then several come along at once. And not only have Wives and Daughters (BBC1) and Oliver Twist (ITV) come along at once, they are being shown simultaneously, with recriminations flying in both directions, as ITV accuses the BBC of sharp scheduling practice and vice versa. Perhaps there is a case for Donal MacIntyre, the breathing woman's Roger Cook, to turn his secret camera on the television industry itself. Who are these repugnant schedulers and where do they live?

BSE AFTERMATH: As Mr Baker the butcher explained, his best cut is `no longer forbidden fruit'

NOT EVERYONE was cheering the end of the ban on beef on the bone yesterday. Frank Baker, a butcher who had never removed beef from his shop window despite the ban, was scornful of the Government and supermarkets. "I'm a bit disappointed really, now that they've lifted the ban. It'll be the same old story, it's not the forbidden fruit any more is it?" said Mr Baker, a butcher for 43 years, at his north London shop.

Market Report: Foreign `tie-up' talk offers Safeway respite from gloom

SAFEWAY LED a lively pack of retailers yesterday as returning bid rumours won the sector a brief respite from its recent woes.

Safeway's dividend cut lays ground for price war

SAFEWAY, BRITAIN'S fourth largest supermarket group, announced a 40 per cent cut in its dividend yesterday as its new chief executive seeks to rebase the business to fight the price war against Tesco and Asda.

Outlook: Safeway cut

BRITISH SUPERMARKET groups are not as good as they think they are, product displays are unimaginative and the UK market is not even that competitive. These were just some of the tub-thumping pieces comments to emerge yesterday from Carlos Criado-Perez, the flamboyantly named Argentinian parachuted in to turn round the struggling Safeway.

Market Report: Five pillars of the FTSE 100 are defying the bears' marauding

"IT'S A market of stocks, not a stock market." So said a broker last week after another tiresome day spent chasing the same few shares higher.

Safeway set to win over angry farmers

SAFEWAY is confident of striking a deal with the National Farmer's Union (NFU) this week over its controversial plans to make suppliers contribute to a promotional campaign.

Retail stocks stage mass retreat

THE GLOOM in the beleagured retail sector deepened yesterday as shares in some of the biggest high street names plunged to near-record lows as analysts downgraded forecasts.
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