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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.

Severn Trent fined record £36m after misreporting water leakages

Severn Trent, the Midlands water company, is to pay a record £36m fine and pledged to cut customer bills after it pleaded guilty yesterday to orchestrating one of the largest customer overcharging scandals ever perpetrated in the UK.

Leading article: Private water companies must do more to deliver

The privatisation of utilities proceeded from the principle that market competition would offer an improvement on state monopoly. It would help keep prices down and encourage better service – at least, this is how it was sold to consumers. For governments the expectation was that commercial companies would, by their very nature, run leaner, more efficient operations and so be able to invest more to update old infrastructure.

Water firm faces £35.8m fine

Severn Trent Water was today facing a record £35.8 million fine for deliberately providing false data to industry regulator Ofwat and providing poor customer service.

BAA's new chief executive Colin Matthews told to focus on Heathrow

Sir Nigel Rudd has told Colin Matthews, his new hand-picked chief executive of BAA, that his top priority at the embattled airport group should be to overhaul operations at Heathrow, infamous for crumbling infrastructure, delayed flights and lost bags.

CVC gives up on Biffa as rivals consider joint bid

The private equity giant CVC Capital Partners has walked away from a take-over bid for the waste management group Biffa, which accepted a £1.2bn offer this month. This comes as two suitors have held talks about teaming up for a counter bid.

Biffa poised for new offer

Private equity boss Guy Hands and French industrial group Suez were today being linked to a possible counter offer for waste disposal group Biffa.

Battle for Biffa: suitors aim to gatecrash deal

A takeover battle is set to erupt for Biffa with up to three suitors close to gatecrashing a £1.2bn private equity deal accepted by the UK waste group.

Biffa auction expected as it opens books to bidders

Biffa in effect put itself up for sale yesterday after agreeing to open its books to private equity bidders at the third time of asking, a move that could trigger a bidding war for the waste management company.

Wine: Something for the weekend?

2005 El Dueño Chardonnay; 2004 Salomon Pfaffenberg Riesling; 2004 Meyer Fonné Tokay Pinot Gris

The Investment Column: It's still safe to stick with Northern Rock

Severn Trent is clearly one for the low-risk investor; Only the divi makes Dawson worth holding

The Investment Column: Severn Trent worth tapping in to

DAT Group could still be a buy for the risk-takers; There's a gusher in view at Burren Energy

Severn Trent in 'robust' talks with Ofwat over water bill rises

Severn Trent, the Midlands-based water company, yesterday gave the clearest indication yet that it may take the industry regulator to an appeal if it fails to get approval for a sufficiently large increase in bills.

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches