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London First is a body set up about 20 years ago by the London business community to promote the city as a place to do business and to lobby for the improvements – particularly to infrastructure – which everyone knows we urgently need but which government seems incapable of planning for.

Basketball: Handy intervention foils brave Chester

THE UNDERDOGS nearly had their day at Birmingham's NEC yesterday where the Uni-ball Trophy holders, Manchester Giants, came back from 12 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat Chester Jets 83-82 and reach the semi-finals.

The Sweeper: Song Sheet

Addicks fans sing Wings

Nuclear waste fed into Thames stream

BRITAIN'S nuclear weapons facility was fined pounds 17,500 yesterday after admitting that for almost two years until February this year it illegally discharged radioactive waste into a stream feeding the Thames.

Thames is `unsafe for millennium party' claim

FEARS HAVE been raised about safety on the Thames in London, ahead of millennium celebrations in which the river will play a central role.

Thames Water expands into America with pounds 575m agreed takeover of E'town

THAMES WATER rejected yesterday suggestions that it was overpaying in its haste to expand internationally after unveiling an agreed pounds 575m takeover of the fourth biggest publicly-owned water company in the US.

Outlook: Thames flows west in search of regulatory relief

WELCOME TO Soprano country. The New Jersey mafioso must have seen the limeys coming; Thames Water has agreed to cough up big time without a severed horse's head even in sight. That at least was the interpretation the market placed upon Thames' decision to fork out a whopping pounds 577m for E'town - no, lamentably not another Internet venture but America's fourth biggest publicly-quoted water company.

Letter: Care on the streets

Sir: Deborah Orr's article "If you're on the street, you need more than soup" (16 November) makes some pertinent points about the way in which voluntary agencies work with the homeless and I strongly support her view that hostels have to find ways of accommodating the most difficult of people, including drug users who are unable or unwilling to stop using. She is also quite right to point out that giving food and money to people on the streets is not a long-term solution to ending rough sleeping in this country.

Marchioness families furious over Prescott's `broken promise'

SURVIVORS AND families of victims of the Marchioness disaster yesterday renewed their 10-year fight for a public inquiry, saying they had been misled by the Government.

Go-Ahead may be stripped of Thames Train franchise

SENIOR RAIL industry executives believe it is increasingly likely that the bus and rail group Go-Ahead will be stripped of its Thames Train franchise following the Paddington disaster last month in which 31 people died.

Basketball: Ford claim will spur on Riders

DERBY STORM have some way to go before justifying the claim of their coach, Martin Ford, that they are the "best team in the championship", but his words will have pride of place in the Leicester City Riders' locker room before tonight's game.

Dead man thought racism was `routine', inquest told

ONE of the last people to see a young Asian student alive told his inquest yesterday that his friend had not taken a violent racist attack seriously because it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Investment column: Thames Water still offers value despite short- term profits ebb

IT WOULD hardly strengthen Thames Water's appeal to Sir Ian Byatt, the water regulator, to post stellar financial results just three weeks ahead of the completion of his review into the industry.

Basketball: Towers hit by licence crisis

LONDON TOWERS' plans for the new season were thrown into disarray last night when the Basketball League issued temporary licences for only nine players out of their squad of 12, after discussions failed to resolve the conflict over how many of their players can be fitted under the salary cap.

Millennium Wheel may not be able to stand upright on New Year's Eve

THE MILLENNIUM Wheel, one of the showpieces of the capital's celebrations, may not be ready for its 31 December deadline.

Millennium wheel delay

London's 450ft millennium ferris wheel will be erected on the banks of the Thames at least 12 days late. Engineers are trying to solve a fault that stopped it being raised last week.
Life and Style
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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
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Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
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Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
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footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone