News A referendum will be held by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next election

Sir Nicholas Macpherson is accused of trying to scare the public into a Yes vote in an EU referendum

Berkshire in $3.2bn bid for reinsurer

Berkshire hathaway has waded into the takeover battle for Transatlantic Holdings, tabling a $3.2bn bid for the reinsurer.

Adrift in Canada: Simon Calder on the edge of Newfoundland

Windswept and wild, friendly yet forlorn: the island of Newfoundland is a corner of Canada steeped in beauty and sadness.

Business Diary: From bad to worse, or reverse?

Stuart Gulliver, the boss of HSBC, is clearly proud of his analysis of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis: so much so that he repeated his critical assessment of the deal on Greek debt several times during yesterday's briefing to analysts on the first half of the bank's trading year. The deal saw the crisis move from "acute to chronic" status, Gulliver said. He had to be asked to explain whether that was an improvement or not.

Album: Brian Olivet, Two Of Everything (Alive Natural Sound)

The Cincinnatti-based multi-instrumentalist Brian Olive reveals a deep affection for British psych-rock on this solo debut.

A Day That Shook The World: Concorde crash

On 25 July 2000, the iconic aircraft Concorde crashed without warning shortly after take-off, killing 113 people in France.

Officials: Bin Laden knew of 7/7 attacks in advance

Osama bin Laden had detailed advance knowledge of the 7 July bombings in London in 2005 and the failed attempt to blow up transatlantic passenger jets the following year, American security officials say.

Rare rock and roll guitar on sale

A rare electric guitar dating back to the start of the rock and roll era is to go under the hammer.

Titanic launch centenary celebrated

The 100th anniversary of the Titanic's launch has been marked at a commemorative event in Belfast.

Oh no, not again... volcanic ash cloud threatens flights

One year after an Icelandic volcano brought much of Europe's air traffic to a halt, a cloud of ash from a new eruption could spread to Britain by tomorrow, causing further disruption to airlines.

Turbulence for BA, Iberia as fuel bills rise by a third

The airline formed by the merger of Iberia and British Airways yesterday laid bare the industry's battle to combat soaring oil prices, saying its fuel costs had rocketed by nearly a third in its first quarter.

Ssshhh! The noisy US revolution coming to British libraries

Public libraries could be set for a radical overhaul that could see books offered alongside coffee, murder mystery nights, poetry evenings and open mic sessions, should the plans of a private US company be given the green light. Library Systems & Services, a Maryland-based firm, runs 13 public libraries in the US. Its aim in Britain is to manage 15 per cent of public libraries within the next five years.

Leading article: Liberal convictions are found lacking

The decision by the Coalition on control orders is a considerable disappointment

Gerry Rafferty: Scottish singer-songwriter who had global hits with 'Stuck in the Middle with You' and 'Baker Street'

Despite their ubiquity as recurrent oldies on radio stations around the world, Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" and Gerry Rafferty's soft-rock classic "Baker Street" have endured better than most Seventies songs. Along with their undeniable catchiness and feel-good sound, both compositions retain the lyrical bite and the world-weariness associated with their author, the troubled Scottish singer who spent most of the last three decades trying to disappear from view.

Prescott has transatlantic cabin fever

For Lord Prescott, the one-time Deputy Prime Minister and cruise ship waiter, a transatlantic Christmas voyage aboard the Queen Mary 2 was meant to be a trip down memory lane.

Seymour Pierce in transatlantic deal

Seymour Pierce is preparing to enter the US in a deal that appears to be a reverse takeover of the little-known Bermudan reinsurer Gerova Financial.

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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
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Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
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Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
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High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
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Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz