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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.

Renold is back in the money

A company whose products are found in Big Ben's clock tower and the Thames Barrier has returned a half-year profit for the first time in two years.

Nature Club: From badgers to blackberries, readers report on their recent wildlife highlights

A family of badgers – two adults and three young – visit my garden. I've taken pictures, but they are so shy they disappear at the slightest sound. The female is the one with the mottled nose. When badgers fight, they often grab their opponent's nose and bite. The pinkish colouring is scar tissue from battles.

Staines considers name change to shed comedy connection

A town is considering a change of name in a bid to shake off links with the comedy character Ali G, local councillors said today.

Thames: The tale that the river told

Fifty years ago, it was biologically dead. In 2010, the Thames is in rude health. It's a transformation with huge implications, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

The Big Six: Hotels by the Thames

AA warns over speed cameras

Lives will be put at risk if councils scrap speed cameras, the AA warns. A recent switch-off of cameras in the Thames Valley area alarmed residents and there now appeared to be a "road safety policy void", the motoring group said.

Lee Ryan assault charge withdrawn

An assault charge against boy band singer Lee Ryan was withdrawn at the request of his partner when he appeared in court today.

'Walls of fat' removed from London's sewers

Enough fat to fill nine double-decker buses is being removed from sewers under London's Leicester Square.

Burley Cross Postbox Theft, By Nicola Barker

This epistolary novel looks behind twitching curtains

Accessing MI5 files on July 7 'impossible', inquest told

Revealing top secret MI5 files about the July 7 bombers to the families of those killed in the attacks would be "impossible", it was claimed today.

Former doorman to face Milly Dowler murder charge

A former doorman is set to appear in court facing charges of kidnapping and murdering 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002.

Open again after 145 years, the eighth wonder of the world

How do you turn an underwater tunnel with a flooding problem into a national sensation? Arifa Akbar tells the extraordinary story of the 'Thames Tunnel'

Thames Barrier closed again to protect capital

The Thames Barrier was closed for the third time in two days today to protect London from a combination of high tides and swollen rivers following heavy rainfall over the weekend.

Thames barrier closed for second time in 24 hours

Flood warnings remained in place across the country today although the heavy rain which affected England and Wales is expected to ease off.

Mystery of the disappearing Thames eels

98 per cent drop in river's population in the past five years
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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
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Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

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The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
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Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
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The Magna Carta
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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
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Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
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All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
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