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Istanbul aggressively increased its overnight lending rate to 12% from 7.75%

ConocoPhillips to split into two separate companies

ConocoPhillips is to split into two, separately traded companies, the third largest US oil company said yesterday, sending its stock soaring by nearly 6 per cent in early trade in New York.

Time please ladies and gentlemen: M&B loses yet another chairman

The departure of the chairman comes at a time when the group is also looking for a new chief executive

Pendragon launches rights issue to deal with debt

Pendragon, Britain's biggest motor retailer, is to raise £71m through a discounted rights issue in order to tackle its debts.

Sir Stelios back at war with easyJet board

War broke out again yesterday between easyJet's founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and the company's board. In an 11-page letter, Sir Stelios threatened to organise a shareholder rebellion unless the airline abandons plans to buy more planes and returns profits to shareholders.

IPO yields $538m for Guryev

The Russian fertiliser group PhosAgro priced its initial public offering at the bottom of an indicated range, shrugging off stock-market volatility to raise $538m (£334m) for its largest shareholder, Andrei Guryev.

David Prosser: News Corp's final shot across the bows

Outlook Finally, did you spot how even in withdrawing yesterday, NewsCorp was still trying to call the shots? Its statement included a warning: if BSkyB pays a higher dividend than it has agreed so far, any future offer for the company from News Corp might be below the 700p bid first time around.

MWB steps up takeover bid

The hotels operator MWB has raised its potential offer for the 28 per cent of MWB Business Exchange that it does not already own after the office space supplier's second-biggest shareholder, Pyrrho Investment, said it would reject the initial bid.

Rent levels rise amid shortage of homes

A shortage of homes to let has forced rent levels higher and further increased the squeeze on cash-strapped consumers, according to figures today.

Hangover for Luminar as cash-strapped revellers shun nightclubs

Young people are increasingly staying away from pricey nightclubs in the wake of the economic downturn, forcing venue operator Luminar to issue its latest profit warning.

Laird shares fall on suitor's price stance

Shares in electrical products maker Laird fell 7 per cent to 190p after its US suitor Cooper Industries said it was still open to talks but would remain "disciplined" on the price.

No further damage after earthquake hits Japan

A strong earthquake jolted on Sunday the same area of northeastern Japan that was hit by a massive quake in March, but there was no sign of further damage along the coast or to the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, officials said.

Has cronyism wrecked Japan's long-term repair?

There have been better times to be Japanese. Still battling the unappeased demons of stagnation, bloated national debt, and the sclerotic effects of an ageing population, the authorities now seem paralysed in their efforts to rebuild after the 2011 earthquake. Despite the country's riches and technological know-how.

I'm sorry, says body-in-bathtub killer Tatsuya Ichihashi as he faces family in court

The Japanese man accused of murdering Lindsay Hawker has apologised to her family for raping and strangling the British teacher, but he denied intent to kill in the opening yesterday of his long-awaited trial outside Tokyo.

Parents fly to Tokyo for Lindsay Hawker murder trial

The parents of murdered British teacher Lindsay Hawker flew to Japan yesterday for her alleged killer's trial. Ms Hawker, 22, was found dead in a flat in Chiba, east of Tokyo, in March 2007.

Rank investors accept Guoco's unwilling bid

Investors selling shares in Rank, owner of Mecca Bingo, are set to ignore an extraordinary plea from the Guoco Group to turn down its 150p-a-share takeover offer.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick