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Sadly no reports of a Routemaster singing Wonderwall

Mandelson backs 'people's bank' plans



Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is backing plans to create a "people's bank" using the 12,000-strong post office network, it was revealed today.

Chain apologies for double-charging error

Retail giant H&M apologised today after thousands of shoppers were overcharged following a computer error.

Land of Leather is latest victim of credit crisis

Land of Leather, the 109-store furniture specialist, yesterday became the latest retailer to fall victim to the retail crisis after a dire start to the new year sales, as data revealed that the industry endured its worst December since the early 1990s.

Beginner's guide to: Cedit/debit card fraud

What are the most common types of card fraud?

NHS staff regularly breach security rules, says survey

NHS staff are regularly breaching security rules by sharing "smartcards" to access patient records, according to a poll out today.

Questions of Cash: 'I had to pay delivery costs for a sofa I don't want'

Q. I ordered a leather sofa from English Sofas, which was ripped during delivery. This was spotted by the delivery workers, who took the goods directly back to the suppliers. I cancelled the order because if the sofa is so easily ripped in transit, it will not cope with my grandchildren playing on it. I paid in advance by credit card and the cost of the sofa was credited to my account. But English Sofas refuses to refund the £85 delivery charge. SM, Gwynedd.

Four firms shortlisted for South Central train franchise

Four travel companies are in the running to operate the new South Central railway franchise, with the successful bidder to be named next summer.

Online contraceptive pill service launched

Women will be able to get the Pill online without having to visit their doctor under a new service being launched today.

Going on holiday? Don't let your cash get blown away

Currency exchange, debit and credit cards, traveller's cheques ... Esther Shaw sees how to curb fees and ensure your foreign funds go the distance

Food stamps are a continuing reminder of widespread poverty

In one form or another, food stamps have been around in the US since 1939, before taking their current form in the 1964 Food Stamp Act, one of the earliest pieces of major legislation in the Johnson administration's "War on Poverty".

USA 2008: The Great Depression

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now relying on them to survive – a sure sign the world's richest country faces economic crisis

Planning a trip? Then plan your money first

If you're buying foreign currency, be wary; charges can add a lot to the cost of a holiday.

Spending abroad: Tourists warned against foreign exchange fees

Bad decisions on overseas spending could leave up to four million Britons £180m out of pocket this Easter, according to price-comparison site Moneysupermarket.

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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: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
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'