News

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

POP ALBUM CHART

The Charts TOP 10

The Charts

SINGLES CHART

1 (-) No Matter What Boyzone

BEST-SELLERS

TOP FILMS

POP CHARTS

SINGLES

POP: ALBUM REVIEWS

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

POP: CAUGHT ON THE HIP-HOP

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
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...