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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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent