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Tesla electric cars made safer

The drive of our lives: 50 Years of Britain's motorways

They promised to speed us towards a modern age and rev up the post-war economy. So what happened? Fifty years after Britain's first motorways opened, Simon Usborne finds out how much we owe to our superhighways – and why the wheels had to come off

Something to declare: Shrinking transatlantic choice; Albania; UK hotel bargains

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

The City Diary: Futurist gadgeteers join the MOD to fight the terrorists of Salisbury Plain

The vast chalk expanse of Salisbury Plain is the sight of a futuristic battle worthy of a 'Terminator' movie this weekend, with a range of gadgets built by automotive design firm MIRA and global defence outfit BAE Systems tackling a host of security threats as part of a Ministry of Defence science and technology competition. The MIRA equipment, such as a remote-controlled ground vehicle and an unmanned air vehicle, will be used to track down a sniper, an armed vehicle and a terrorist cell. MIRA and BAE will be pitted against five other teams in the Grand Challenge, and the winner will have a chance to work on further MoD projects. Let's hope it's all above board then.

Alain de Botton: Nice buildings don't always make us better people

I remembered thinking that architecture really mattered quite a lot when I spent time in a building which perhaps taught me more about the power of architecture to influence who we are and how we feel than almost any other I have been in.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: 'Hi-De-Hi' economics grips the nation

Not so much "lipstick economics" as "Hi-De-Hi economics". The idea of lipstick economics comes from Leonard Lauder, who noticed post the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that his companies were selling a lot more lipstick. When the economy turns sour, observed the chairman of Estée Lauder, people spurn big ticket spending but try to boost their mood with little comfort purchases that might make them feel good about themselves.

Does Sir Tom feel hunted?

Last July, the Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter felt confident enough in his investments to pledge £1bn to charity. A year has proved a long time in the retail and property sectors

Market Report: Whitbread takes top spot on Premier merger talk

Rumours that Premier Inn may yet merge with rival Travelodge helped take Whitbread to first place on the FTSE 100 leader board yesterday.

The curse of satnav: On a road to nowhere...

They've put vans in ditches, sent cars down rivers and got HGVs stuck in sleepy villages. Now, satnav is coming to Britain's mobile phones. Michael Bywater laments the unstoppable rise of a technology that's spoiling the countryside, rotting our brains and wasting our money

How to sleep – a bedside guide

If you lie awake tossing and turning, you're not alone. Will hot drinks, homoeopathy or yoga help you sleep? Esther Walker consults the experts

Travelodge looks to double hotel openings

The budget hotel chain Travelodge, which is in talks with the leisure and hospitality group Whitbread over a potential £3bn merger, yesterday said it would double the number of new hotels opened this year.

Lipman prepared to grab second England chance

The Australian-raised flanker cannot wait to tackle Italy and France after being recalled to the team, writes Tim Glover

Helen Weir: From Marmite on toast to a budget hotel, it's back to basics in high finance

A day in the life: Helen Weir sees Lloyds TSB as the Ronseal Bank, doing just what it says on the tin – reassuring in these febrile times

Sarkozy in pledge on sovereign funds

Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to protect French industry against sovereign wealth funds, the state-backed investment vehicles which won prominence and notoriety in equal measure last year.

The Fire, by Jörg Friedrich, trans. Allison Brown

The inferno that still blazes

Budget hotel boom creates 4,500 jobs

Travelodge to double in size and build 2,500 new rooms; Whitbread to return £400m from Marriott sale
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas