News

Drinks giant announced plans to cut costs by £200m as Chinese sales decline

Underage boom means kids are all right

Gigs for teenagers attract an audience more eager than ever to see the best bands play live, says Elisa Bray

Lady Gaga doesn't want wealth

Lady Gaga would give away "every dollar" she has if she could.

FBI releases 'secret' reports on hip-hop's Notorious murder case

Agency investigated links between killings of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur

P Diddy richest artist in hip-hop

P Diddy has been crowned the wealthiest artist in hip-hop, with a fortune of $475 million.

Diddy sued for $1 trillion

Diddy is being sued for $1 trillion.

Diddy buys son limousine

Diddy bought his 16-year-old son a £250,000 limousine for becoming an Honours student.

Album: Diddy Dirty Money, Last Train to Paris (Bad Boy/Interscope)

With Last Train to Paris, Sean "Puffy" Combs finally surmounts his increasingly ridiculous persona as meagrely-talented, bling-tastic music-biz mogul, and makes an album that comes close to bearing out his own immodest assessment of his capacities.

'I haven't succeeded at love': A rare audience with rap legend P Diddy

Question: how much does a rap mogul pay for his cardigans? Answer: $2,500 (£1,600). I know this fact because Sean Combs, the hip-hop hyphenate variously known as Puff Daddy, Puffy, P Diddy, and more recently, plain old Diddy, has just instructed his wardrobe man, Dave, to lend me an item of knitwear to cope with the sub-zero temperatures in the Mojave Desert, where he's making the video of the track "Yesterday", from his new album Last Train to Paris. Its price tag flutters in the breeze. "Make sure you give it back," says Dave. "And try not to get it dirty."

First Night: Lady Gaga, 02 Arena, London

Shocked and thrilled by Gaga's theatre of excess

Pop will eat itself

Today's hottest musicians are too busy making movies and selling perfume. What they don't understand is that the secret of a long career is a decent back catalogue – and their indifference is killing the music industry. Paul Gambaccini reports

Afghanistan soldier hailed at funeral

A soldier who died in hospital after being shot in Afghanistan was "a tiny man with a huge heart", a commanding officer said today at his funeral.

America agog as biggest star in basketball 'betrays' his old team

To his former boss in Cleveland, he is "narcissistic" and a "coward". To the fans of south Florida's premier basketball franchise, the Miami Heat, he might as well be God and the Tooth Fairy wrapped into one, riding into town to help them win the next national championship title.

Get Him To The Greek (15)

Russell Brand, hirsute imp of the perverse, gets to play at extended length (ahem) a rock star "legend" he first incarnated in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Diary: Luvvie and hate

That fine actor David Suchet has complained to The Stage newspaper that the use of the word "luvvie" to describe him and his fellow air-kissing thesps is "the worst thing that ever happened to our profession". Frankly, I thought swingeing cuts to the arts budget, or perhaps Michael Bay, might be considered more damaging to the actor's cause than a word that Wikipedia categorises as an "affectionate term" (and which I presumed had fallen out of usage in about 1976). But Suchet, currently appearing in Arthur Miller's All My Sons in the West End, is adamant: "The role of an actor in America, eastern Europe and western Europe – everywhere apart from this country – is considered a very serious job and a very necessary function. Here we are just luvvies, which is a great shame." Martin Brown, assistant general secretary of the actors union Equity, told our reporter that a number of notable performers have come to him in the past, terribly concerned by the prevalence of the term. Haven't they better things to do? Their make-up, maybe?

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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
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'