News

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

Omega receives Barbican proposal

The privately owned insurance firm Barbican has become the third company declare an interest in Omega, the Lloyd's of London insurer which unveiled a proposal from rival group Novae last month .

MWB 'holding gun to head' of rival investors

The spat between MWB Business Exchange and one of its investors escalated into open warfare yesterday over claims the management was "holding a gun" to minority shareholders' heads. This comes as a rival bidder last night walked away.

'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' zooms in on Japan's obsession with insects

Whilst insects are often greeted with a shudder in the Western world, in Japan, these tiny creatures are a source of admiration and enthralment. It's this intriguing cultural difference that forms the basis of a documentary by Jessica Oreck, who spent six weeks in Japan filming the country's fascination with insects. "They couldn't get it into their heads that the same culture didn't exist in America," says the young director. "Every time I started oohing and aahing over a beetle, the entomologist would be like, 'What, they don't sell these in your grocery stores?'"

Shareholders call for clarity as MWB bid 'defies logic'

Angry shareholders yesterday demanded answers from MWB Business Exchange's independent board, saying it had "defied logic" by rejecting a £60m bid on valuation grounds in favour of an offer of barely half that sum.

Japan workers ditch their suits to save power

In a country synonymous with the buttoned-down corporate army that keeps its huge economy humming, getting Japan to ditch its suits is an uphill task. A summer power crunch in Tokyo exacerbated by the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, however, is forcing the government to ask the impossible.

Nuclear plant moves radioactive water

The Japanese utility battling to bring its radiation-spewing nuclear reactor under control said today that 1,500 more tons of radioactive water are being moved into temporary storage — the latest attempt to prevent a massive spill of contaminated water into the environment.

Inside travel: Japan

Foreigners are more welcome than ever in a city coming to terms with tragedy, says Adrian Hamilton

Japan staff exceed radiation limit

The operator of Japan's crippled nuclear power plant said two workers have exceeded a radiation exposure limit for men.

David Prosser: The case against fat cat pay has to be accurate

Outlook It is fair to say the short statement made yesterday by MM&K, the pay consultants, has produced fewer column inches than its pronouncement on Monday – a report on executive pay that received blanket coverage because it exposed fat cat directors ashaving received huge salary hikes last year, while their staff got almost nothing. Yesterday's statement revealed it had cocked up the figures on the pay of the manfingered as one of the biggest earners of 2010. It turns out Icap boss Michael Spencer actually saw his pay fall by 40 per cent last year.

David Prosser: Is the official economic data built on straw?

Outlook After the dismal manufacturing figures on Wednesday, yesterday's construction data from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, which showed a pick-up in the sector in May, was very welcome. That construction is recovering from the sharp downturn in the first quarter is good news in itself, of course, but the improving data also helps the case of those in the industry who say the Office of National Statistics painted a picture of their performance in the first three months of the year that was far too pessimistic. That's to be welcomed: not out of any desire to see the ONS embarrassed, but because it may mean the economy is not performing as badly as thought.

Kroenke deal gets approval

Arsenal say the Premier League have given approval to the takeover of the club by American Stan Kroenke.

Shareholders vote down Robert Walters pay awards

Robert Walters faced a stinging shareholder revolt at its annual meeting yesterday, with investors rejecting pay policies at the recruitment group.

Lennon ends season on Hampden high

Neil Lennon ended a troubled season on a high at Hampden Park on Saturday as Celtic lifted the Scottish Cup with victory over Motherwell. It gave Lennon his first piece of silverware as Celtic manager after they lost out to Rangers in the league. It is also likely to result in a new long-term contract. "He's got a good future," said Dermot Desmond, Celtic's majority shareholder "He'll get a new contract; for a very long time." Lennon said of the 3-0 victory: "We love the game, we try to entertain and we try to win with a bit of style."

Directors in loss-making Gulf Keystone earn over $1.1m each

The six executive and non-executive directors of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, the junior AIM-listed oil & gas explorer, all took home at least $1.1m last year.

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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
Spain
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