News The seven private investigators pleaded guilty to conspiring to unlawfully obtain personal data at Isleworth Crown Court

Confidential information from top firms illegally accessed

Fast forward: It's in the oven

Where to find a microwave that'll do you a full English breakfast. By Michael Oliveira-Salac and Martin Skegg. Photographs by Phil Ward

Hong Kong deal

SIEMENS' Transportation Systems arm has won a HK$200m contract to provide the control system for the extension of a Hong Kong metro line.

European firms enjoy seller's bonanza

Boom time as US financiers compete with UK venture capitalists for private deals

GEC mounts net offensive

By swooping on a US technology firm, the one-time defence giant could become a force on the internet. Peter Koenig reports

Market Report: Greenalls ahead on rumours of bid by Whitbread

WHITBREAD basked in the glow of a pre-holiday rally yesterday as rumours of a pounds 1.1bn takeover of rival Greenalls enlivened a dull market.

Siemens ordered to repay pounds 18m in grant aid

SIEMENS, the German electronics giant, was yesterday ordered to repay pounds 18m it received in government grant aid to help build its doomed semiconductor plant on Tyneside.

Food & Drink: Up the function

Designer kitchenware may `express your personality' and provide a good talking point. But is it any better at actually doing the job? Photographs by Phil Ward

Immigration service under fire over computer chaos

THE IMMIGRATION service was reprimanded by the Government's spending watchdog yesterday over a computer system which has sunk the department into chaos.

Spending watchdog attacks IT `chaos'

THE IMMIGRATION service was reprimanded by the Government's spending watchdog yesterday over a computer system which has sunk the department into chaos.

8,600 UK jobs at risk in power generation merger

ALSTOM AND ABB joined forces yesterday to create the world's biggest power generation company in a move which leaves a question mark hanging over 8,600 UK jobs.

BTR and Siebe pay pounds 500,000 to become Invensys

BTR SIEBE, the merged automation and controls group, yesterday joined the growing band of companies which are adopting meaningless new names by announcing that it is henceforth to be known as Invensys.

Parliament Asylum Bill: Straw `regrets' Immigration Service chaos

JACK STRAW told MPs yesterday he "greatly regretted" the chaos in the Immigration Service, which he said represented the greatest management challenge faced by the Home Office.

German giants hire abroad and cut at home

GERMANY'S BLUE-CHIP companies have sharply increased their numbers of overseas employees at the expense of domestic workers, an influential survey will reveal today, writes Francesco Guerrera.

Music: Vorsprung durch Technik

What links Pulp, German encrytion machines and Sixties' sci-fi soundtracks? It can only be Peter Thomas

Internet Investor: BT enters the fight to make you free

It looks as though Internet service providers will have to drop their fees - or pay the price
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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 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power