News

Apple's disappointing update this week sent shares in most of its suppliers tumbling, but smartphone parts maker Laird got City approval after its strategy update yesterday.

Market Report: BG Group nosedive sparks takeover talk

Huge share price falls get the City chattering about takeovers. The 13 per cent slump in BG Group's share price sparked just that yesterday.Dealers in the square mile were already gossiping by lunch time that the oil and gas group could be a takeover target for Shell.

Banks may seize indebted household waste collector Biffa

One of Britain's largest household waste collectors may be seized by its lenders because of crippling debts.

James Ashton: Qataris know that Heathrow is what really matters to BAA

Outlook Those Qataris must know something we don't. Only a day or so ago, they laid out £900m for a fifth of BAA, the owner of Heathrow. No sooner is the ink dry than BAA has thrown in the towel on its bid to hang onto Stansted airport, which it was ordered to sell by the Competition Commission three years ago.

The Market Report: Spotlight on Ithaca as bid talk returns

Are punters prepared to risk their hard-earned cash on Ithaca Energy again? There were plenty of burnt fingers in the Square Mile last month after the North Sea explorer called an end to bid talks with a number of suitors having failed to agree a deal, but yesterday takeover hopes were being stoked up once more.

Severn Trent pays £150m special dividend

Severn Trent announced a one-off, £150m special dividend for shareholders yesterday, as the water company cut leaks by 7 per cent to a record low last year.

Drought-hit water firm may buy in supplies

The hosepipe ban has put certain water firms under such pressure that at least one is considering deals with other companies across the country.

More takeovers in the water works

The sale of Northumbrian to Li Ka-Shing could be just the start of a wave of deals in the water industry

Fall in usage slows, says Severn Trent

Severn Trent has reported a smaller than expected decline in water consumption amid near drought conditions over the spring.

The Week Ahead: US and Europe set to hold back SABMiller

With its attempted takeover of Foster's seemingly stalled, SABMiller's trading performance will be in focus this week when the world's second-biggest brewer releases its update for the first quarter on Thursday.

Market Report: International hopes help WH Smith to advance

It may be a British institution, but WH Smith was being praised for its potential beyond these shores last night as the high-street stalwart charged up the mid-tier index.

Market Report: Bid hopes and cost cuts boost Micro Focus

Claims investors are underestimating both the likelihood of a bid and the positive effects of recent cost-cutting measures gave a boost to Micro Focus yesterday, helping the software company rise up the mid-tier index.

Leading article: Preparation is the only defence against drought

The consequences of an exceptionally dry spring are hitting home.

Farmers fear the worst after driest spring since records began

Crop yields could be cut by half as parts of Britain are declared drought zones – and hosepipe bans loom for millions

Drought grips parts of UK

"Intense" drought conditions are gripping parts of the UK after another month of scarce rainfall in some areas, experts said today.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project