News

The City had its eye on the break-up of consumer goods giants yesterday as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser were in the spotlight.

Arts community unites to call for release of dissident Ai Weiwei

A global campaign was gathering pace last night for the release of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who was detained by authorities on Sunday while attempting to board a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong.

Businesses urged to 'radically change' way they promote women

The Davies report calls on leading firms to fill one in four board positions with women by 2015 – or face compulsory quotas

Investment Column: GSK is healthy, and it's not just the drugs

Unilever; RPS Group

PG Tips maker agrees to halt animal tests on its tea

The maker of PG Tips has agreed to stop testing its teas on animals, after activists threatened to launch a name-and-shame publicity campaign to highlight the company's experiments on rabbits, rats and pigs.

Nudge or fudge? Public health fears as Lansley retreats from regulation

Tougher regulation of junk food, smoking and cheap alcohol cast aside as Government prefers to ‘encourage’ better public health

Cash Ventures: Oxfam chief in talks to raise a 'fund of funds'

Dame Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam GB, is in talks with European financial services groups about creating a "fund of funds". This would raise capital to invest directly in projects to help would-be entrepreneurs in some of the world's poorest regions.

Business Diary: Amazon's promo for Poundland

Much sound and fury already about Amazon's "lightning deal" pre-Christmas promotions that require you to have the reaction times of an Olympic athlete on your mouse if you want to get the really good prices. We'd advise anyone unhappy with the promotion to follow the advice of one customer, which was prominently displayed on the main deal page. They were highlighting the place to get real bargains from: Poundland. Funny how the post didn't last terribly long but we were tickled by a couple of alternatives that popped up yesterday: "Wowee, something I actually wanted," said one, along with, "What a load of cr*p". So they're not silencing all the critics just yet.

Veteran comic – and Albania's favourite – Sir Norman Wisdom dies, aged 95

Charlie Chaplin called him his "favourite clown," and generations of British filmgoers would have wholeheartedly agreed.

Quorn sale to carve chunk out of Premier's debt

Premier Foods yesterday said it was considering offers for its meat substitute business including "Quorn". The company said it had "received approaches" for the business – which could be worth up to £250m – and was now considering a possible sell-off.

Unilever takes fight to P&G with Alberto Culver deal

Unilever has agreed a $3.7bn (£2.3bn) deal to buy the personal care company Alberto Culver, in a move that will see it overtake Procter & Gamble (P&G) as the world's leading manufacturer in the hair conditioning market.

Why your sustainable fish may not be as guilt-free as you think

Since its establishment more than a decade ago, the reputation of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has been as spotless as the consciences of shoppers who buy fish bearing its blue "tick" logo in the expectation it has been sustainably caught. Until now.

Rising costs at Unilever

The consumer goods giant Unilever has missed its second-quarter targets on sales and margins and warned that it expects slow economic growth to continue in developed markets.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore