News New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

£1,099 - BA Holidays

Travel challenge

A city break in Cape Town

Letters: A missive from Sir Richard Branson

This letter appears in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

Sir Richard Branson lifted his Harris Tweed Kilt at Edinburgh airport in April to launch the new route from London

Virgin domestic flights a ‘disaster’ as passengers stick with no-frills rivals

Flights branded as 'Little Red' have experienced low sales

Piers Morgan thinks he's a better interviewer than his rivals

Piers Morgan: I'm a better interviewer than Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton and Alan Carr

The former Britain's Got Talent judge isn't known for his modesty

Virgin Trains is set to refresh its entire fleet of locomotives to get rid of their pervasive toilet smell

Virgin Trains set for £3.5m refurbishment – to remove smell from corridors

Richard Branson’s rail franchise set to work with the Government to finally deal with problem of unexplained spreading toilet odour

Loadsatalent: Sting, Paula Yates and Jools Holland on the set of ‘The Tube’

Now that's what I call music...

A raft of tantalising comebacks and a new radio show are testament to the fact that we're finally recognising the Eighties for what it was: a decade of peerless pop, says Pierre Perrone

Proposed new rules on pilots’ working hours could lead to air crews flying while 'dangerously fatigued', union officials have warned

British pilots will be ‘dangerously fatigued’ under proposed EU law, says union

Proposed new rules on pilots’ working hours could lead to air crews flying while “dangerously fatigued”, union officials have warned ahead of a key vote by MEPs.

Travel agenda

From holiday snaps apps and photography workshops to watching wolves in Ethiopia

Branson prepares for blast-off: 700 tickets for Virgin Galactic spaceflights sold

Virgin Group proprietor says his commercial space tours will begin within a ‘matter of months’

Virgin Media has teamed up with Netflix to pilot its on-demand streaming service to TiVo box subscribers

Virgin Media pilots Netflix for TV subscribers

The cable firm will send letters this week inviting 40,000 of its TiVo set-top box subscribers to download the new Netflix TV app

A pedigree Maine Coon cat ... but trying to buy one on the internet led to one reader narrowly escaping being conned

Questions of Cash: Why this website offer for a pedigree cat looks like a con

Q I found pedigree Maine Coon cats available on the Dodo.ie website that were being given away to a good home. I responded and received emails from the person giving them away, who lives in County Mayo, which was near enough for me to meet the person, check the kittens were OK and collect them. At the last minute, the person said that because of family circumstances she had to go to the Isle of Man, so would have to ship the kittens to us from there, but would only charge the shipping costs and for the pedigree certification. This would cost more than £200 and seemed odd. I looked up the person, Dora Antoinette, on the internet and found that she had a Facebook page. The same face on the Facebook page appeared on her emails, so things looked all right. But I then did another online search and found that the photos of the kittens in the advertisement had been lifted from a website about Maine Coon cats. Is this a scam? ZW, Northern Ireland.

Questions of Cash: Don't want direct debit? Sorry, but Virgin Media can't answer the call

Q. I wrote to Virgin Media in February requesting details of its charges, which are not provided in the company's monthly statements.

National Rail, which is in charge of rail infrastructure, has been set a minimum punctuality target for the first time

Nearly one in three of Britain’s trains are late according to strict new National Rail statistics

Delays as small as a minute are recorded as regulator sets arrival targets for first time

The Sport Matrix: Friday 16 August 2013

Spurs accept Bale will be out until end of August

As Brazil hots up for next year's World Cup, Spanish carrier Air Europa has announced that it will start flying from Madrid to Sao Paulo on 16 December

Travel agenda

Where to go and what to know

Career Services

Day In a Page

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 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee