News

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.

Eels disappearing from Thames

Eel populations in the River Thames have crashed by 98 per cent in just five years, scientists warned today.

Thames Water warns of funding gap

The UK's biggest water company today warned of a potential funding gap as the recession poses "significant challenges" for the business.

Put the Thames back, Mayor tells Tube bosses

Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered the River Thames to be reinstated on the London Underground map.

New evidence in Milly Dowler murder case

Detectives investigating the murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler have obtained dramatic new evidence, sources said today.

Body found in sea search for 10-year-old

Rescue teams searching for a missing 10-year-old girl who disappeared after playing in the sea found a body today.

Ofwat demands Thames Water reduces planned price hike

Thames Water will be told to reduce its planned price increases when the industry's regulator announces its five-year review this week.

Richard Chartres: Society will only advance if individuals within it find their soul

bishops are often accused of talking rubbish. Tonight is probably the first occasion on which a bishop intends to talk rubbish. "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long."

Art that goes with the flow

Take 50 volunteers, some blue ribbon and the course of a dried-up river and what have you got? The latest artwork from Amy Sharrocks

Verdi Falstaff, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, London

The three Girl Guides working on a tapestry front cloth of Windsor-upon-Thames for Richard Jones’ new Glyndebourne staging of Verdi’s Falstaff are well on the way to finishing when we, the audience, arrive.

Questions Of Cash: Thames Water's leaky system for allowances

Q. My mother's house had a water leak, which was fixed in April last year. In January this year, my father died. On 5 February, my mother phoned her water supplier, Thames Water, to change the direct debit to her account. She was dealt with unsympathetically and told she must pay £50 a month for an outstanding bill. She believed this problem had been resolved by my late father. After my mother was upset by the call I phoned Thames Water, but was told it could not talk to me because of the Data Protection Act. But I was promised that a "leak allowance form" would be sent to my mother, which she would complete and return with a letter authorising me to handle the account. The form never arrived. Instead, she received a distressing phone call asking when she could pay the outstanding bill. She told the operative that she could not deal with this and gave my name and number authorising me to sort this mess out. On 9 March, I phoned Thames Water again and it said I could now deal with the problem, but that it did not send out "leak allowance forms". I phoned again on 23 March and was told that it does send out "leak allowance forms". I next phoned on 6 April and was told it could not discuss the problem with me for data protection reasons: however, eventually it was prepared to discuss some information with me. Then, on April 18, my mother received a payment plan, for her to pay £276 a month. My mother is very distressed. MA, Stroud.

Green-living squatters: Revolution in Surbiton

A community has taken up residence on an island in the Thames – and the locals are far from amused. Cahal Milmo reports

Questions of cash: 'Should I stick with my corporate bonds?'

Q: A recent article in The Independent ["How to make your savings pay", 7 March] recommended investing in corporate bonds to receive a good return of 6 per cent or more. While I have received this return on my corporate bonds with Halifax, the capital invested has fallen by 14 per cent. Should I maintain this investment? Will the capital recover? How bad could the capital value become if we have lots of corporate bankruptcies? JG, Mansfield.

Roni Horn, Tate Modern, London

Big ideas create little of interest

Alice-Azania Jarvis: ‘The baliffs are after me - I’m not opening the door to anyone

Bailiffs. No one likes them but, these days, they’re laughing all the way to the bank. I had my first run-in with one last week. For the moment, at least, they’ve been called off my case (a victory for common man, I like |to think) – but, my goodness, they were nasty.

Where February is the new September

Courses beginning in winter offer part-time students and others greater flexibility
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newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
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Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
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Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
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Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker