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ScottishPower cuts prices by 3.3 per cent

Comment: A seasonal discussion with the wordlywise

IT WOULD have been sad to end the year without another visitation from Dr Wordsmith, our peripatetic expert on the way we speak today, so I am delighted to say that this unpredictable linguist has just blown into the office on his way from one Christmas-tide party to another. He has expressed his willingness to tackle your end-of-the-year queries and to raise a glass to you all, so over to you, Dr Wordsmith!

Fitness regime that cannot be delayed any longer

EVERY MORNING outside our children's school, at about the time 400-or-so children are jumping out of cars and people carriers and forgetting their bags and leaving the doors open and pulling each other's hats off and stepping deliberately into puddles and running when they should be walking and shouting and getting shouted at and dropping things and picking up things they shouldn't, at round about that time a lone jogger of advanced years makes his way down the road.

Crisis in East Timor: In the city of the vanished disappeared

IAN MARTIN'S mind is elsewhere when General Kiki Shahnakri of the Indonesian Army, the TNI, opens his briefing to ambassadors of the UN Security Council on the situation in Dili. The tall, balding Briton in charge of the besieged Unamet compound here is tucking in.

The Trader:I'm getting shirty

`There are plus points. No one can accuse us of rushing things'

Conran summer food: Fish

If the depths of winter call for calorie-rich comfort food, summer demands lightness, speed and convenience. This is when seafood comes into its own. Consider the range, from lobster and Dover sole to more modestly priced salmon and mussels. In the first of a two-part series, we publish some of the best fish recipes chosen by

Eating In: Table manners

There are too many chefs throwing tantrums these days, says Michael Bateman. Happily Philip Howard isn't one of them. His style may be unassuming, but the results are exceptional

Restaurants: A night in uberburbia

FOR THOSE of us who smugly divide our time between what we regard as the real town and the real country, there is an unfortunate middle zone which we look on, quite without compromise, as Hell on Earth. I'm not talking about suburbia. We like suburbia. We may joke about its privet hedges, net curtains, and well-polished Ford Probes, but it is unchanging, unthreatening, and above all untempting.

Food And Drink: Packed like Sardinians

Word of mouth From dealing in Porsches to prosciutto crudo: Sybil Kapoor meets Stefano Vallebona, supplier of smart Sardinian food. Photograph by Nicola Levinsky

Eating Out: Taste of things to come

Hot, happening and opening soon

City Life: Tokyo - Where Japan's fat fish are sold to the fat cats

IT'S QUARTER to six in the morning, a few degrees above freezing, and I am standing in a dim shed on the edge of a murky quayside where a unique scene is being enacted.

Leading article: Warn, yes; scare, no

IN THE old days millenarians were worried about the end of the world. Now we are worried about whether the fridges will work when the date hits a big round number. The Government is caught on the horns of a classic dilemma: it wants us to be worried, but not too worried.

EU agrees drift-net ban

EUROPEAN UNION fisheries ministers agreed to ban drift-et or "wall of death" fishing last night in an attempt to protect dwindling stocks of dolphin.

Food: Salt of the earth

Sometimes all you need is bottarga and fresh potatoes, says Annie Bell

Taking Control: The power in a tuna sandwich

Stealth, denial, determination. These are the tools of a true control freak. Most people know at least one. In fact most people are related to at least one. I am no exception and, as Exhibit A, I would like to present the battle of the sandwiches.

O'Reilly steps down as Heinz chief executive

Tony O'Reilly yesterday stepped down as chief executive of the US group HJ Heinz, turning over day-to-day control of the company to his leading lieutenant.
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A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
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Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
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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
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn