Ocado shrugs off Waitrose threat as sales rise to £92m

The online grocer Ocado dismissed the growing threat from its partner Waitrose today as it reported a rise in sales growth over Christmas.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (left) and gun safety advocacy groups

Joe Biden raises pressure on Congress over gun laws

Opening high-level consultations on America’s gun laws in the wake of December’s shooting of 20 children in a Connecticut school, the Vice-President Joe Biden has served notice that Barack Obama was “determined to take action” and will sidestep Congress if necessary.

Asda recalls 'choking risk' dummy

Asda has recalled some of its dummies over a choking risk which emerged when one device came apart in a baby's mouth.

Tesco sees turnaround in its UK business

Tesco grew its core grocery sales significantly ahead of Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons in the run-up to Christmas, in the latest sign of a turnaround in its UK business.

Halfords will host driving tests to tackle waiting times

Learner drivers will be able to take their practical tests from branches of Halfords from next month, the Government has announced.

Newtown massacre: US races to stock up on weapons ahead of potential new federal ban

Rather than recoiling from the gun, Americans are emptying stores of ‘sporting rifles’ while online prices soar

A Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle. The weapon is similar in style to the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that was used during a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Firearm sales have surged recently as speculation of stricter gun laws and a re-instatement of the assault weapons ban following the mass shooting.

Post Newtown: Guns out of stock at Wal-Mart and magazine prices surge on ebay

With President Obama endorsing sweeping gun restrictions in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, prices for handgun magazines are surging on eBay and semi-automatic rifles are sold out at many Wal-Mart Stores locations.

The News Matrix: Thursday 20 December 2012

War has so far cost taxpayer £17.4bn

US supermarket chain Walmart could face fines of billions of dollars if the allegations are true

US retail giant Wal-Mart 'bribed Mexicans to open shops'

Wal-Mart, the US retail giant, could face fines of billions of dollars, as allegations emerged its Mexican affiliate paid officials to speed up store openings.

In India the place that matters this week is Gujarat

There has been a lot of heat and tension in India’s parliament over past week as the government has won grudging and expensive approval for its foreign supermarkets investment policy and there have been noisy scenes over allegations that Wal-Mart has been corruptly lobbying for the cause.

Political storm over Wal-Mart's 'illegal bid' to influence India

Indian government accused of corruption after supermarket spends $25m lobbying in US
Asda, Tesco and Debenhams are just a few of the retailers using blokes with beards in TV ads

Hairy Christmas, everybody! Move over Santa – blokes with beards are all over our TVs this year

To a certain white-haired gent, Christmas has long been about one thing, and one thing only: face fuzz, and plenty of it. And now it seems Britain's retailers are catching up.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

India's plan to allow foreign retailers wins parliament backing

The Indian government won an important symbolic victory Friday, securing Parliament's backing for its decision to allow in foreign supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Britain's Tesco.

Bangladesh factory lost safety licence before fire killed 112

The fire on 24 November that swept through the factory took 13 hours to control

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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
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
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
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