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

New drivers should wear bobble hats

A WEEK after he passed his driving test, my 18-year-old son drove through a red light, hit a taxi and did pounds 7,000-worth of damage to our new car. The fact that at the moment of impact he was simultaneously lighting a cigarette, talking to his girlfriend on his mobile and trying to find a particularly good track on his new Puff Daddy CD may have affected his concentration. The cab driver seemed to think so. I'm all for driving tests being modernised and made longer, harder and more technical, but if you think this will make young men safer drivers, you're wrong.

Comedy: He really is (sigh) a very punny bloke

John Hegley Almeida, N1

Music: Mistletoe and whine

Let celebrated singer-songwriter John Shuttleworth be your guide to the special world of the Christmas Number One. You'll wish it could be Christmas every day. With James McNair

Cometh the time, cometh the rapper

Justins, in New York's Greenwich village, is the restaurant that rap built. Owned by the recording star, producer and label boss Sean "Puffy" Combs, aka Puff Daddy and named after his son, Justins is a monument to rap's prodigious success in the United States. It is also, of course, Puff Daddy's monument to himself. Although restaurants are often uncertain business ventures, Puffy can afford to take the risk: he was recently given a deal worth pounds 50m by Arista Records, which distributes his Bad Boy label. The payment can perhaps be read as a symbolic "thank-you" note to Combs (written in the language of the high-denomination bills - "the Benjamins" - that he likes best), for masterminding a formula for cross-overs with rock and pop that has enabled rap to dominate the mainstream charts like never before.

Pop charts


The Charts TOP 10

The Charts


1 (-) No Matter What Boyzone






Supernaturals: A Tune for a Day (Food, below) The fact that the Supernaturals have an unhealthy appetite for limited-framework, new-wave guitars is just one of the reasons why this debut album so often slides into drabness. The Supernaturals palette is mostly jovial rock, with bounce in the melodies, but the songs belly-flop because they don't have the spark of class that, say, Dodgy found in themselves. An exception to this is the angry gem "Motorcycle Parts", but the Supernaturals are forever destined to lurk at the shallow end of sunny Brit rock. H

Music: The return of the rap pack

If you thought rap was dying out, think again. A new generation has the US in its grip.

Taking the lead once again

Guitarist Jimmy Page explains how he used the internet to break new ground in recording


Eminent US soulster Rahsan (not pronounced Ra-shaann) Patterson could be forgiven for thinking he is one cursed man whenever his toes touch British shores. His two London dates last year were not his twinkling highlights of 1997, to say the least. The first time around, no equipment arrived until the last minute, and the exhausted chap found he was battling through soundcheck woes when the doors were due to open. At the second gig? No soundcheck at all.

Pop: Andy gill on albums

Propellerheads, "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll"

Pop: Rap's pocket rocket

At 4ft-11in tall, 22-year-old Brooklyn rapper Lil Kim is on the petite side, but there wasn't anything diminutive about the reception for her at the Notting Hill Carnival last August
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

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