Market Report: Shell shocks market as profits dive 60 per cent

Investors in the world's second-biggest listed oil group were yesterday left shell-shocked after news of a 60 per cent fall in profits. Royal Dutch Shell's second-quarter results were 23 per cent below analysts' consensus forecasts and Richard Curr, head of dealing at broker Prime Markets, said they "came totally out of the blue".

A man casting his vote for Mali’s next president in Timbuktu

High turnout in Mali’s first election since coup

The West African nation of Mali voted in presidential elections on Sunday just 16 months after the country descended into chaos in the wake of a coup led by mid-ranking army officials.

Bertrand Traore: The Burkina Faso midfielder cannot be given a full contract until he turns 18

Chelsea battle to keep Bertrand Traoré after teenager excels in Asia

There is anxiety at Chelsea that they could lose the exceptional 17-year-old midfielder Bertrand Traoré over the next six weeks before they are able to hand the teenager a professional  contract on his 18th birthday in September.

Fulham manager Martin Jol

Transfer news: Fulham announce deal for French midfielder Ange-Freddy Plumain

The 18-year-old arrives on a free transfer

Papiss Cissé has scored three late winners but may not start against Benfica

Papiss Cisse and Newcastle reach agreement over Wonga standoff

Earning interest is forbidden by Islamic Law

The Business Matrix: Wednesday 24 July 2013

Swatch clocks up rise in profits

Jermaine Pennant

Jermaine Pennant is denied access to the United States for the second pre-season in a row

The midfielder's previous criminal convictions mean that he'll have to remain in the UK while the rest of the squad head off on a three-match tour of America

British national released following kidnap at gun-point in Nigeria

A British national kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria has been released, the British High Commission have confirmed.

The French aerial display team Patrouille de France (French Aerobatic Patrol) flies in front of the Eiffel tower as part of the traditional Bastille day military parade,

Mali fighters take pride of place in annual Bastille parade

Detachments of the French and Malian troops who defeated Islamist rebels in Mali earlier this year took pride of place in France’s traditional Bastille Day military parade along the Champs Elysées  today.

Boyd Tonkin: American dreams, African realities - and the literary cult of the crossing

Aroyal palace – even one soon due to host a new arrival – feels like a fitting venue for an imperial swansong. While the HarperCollins garden party in the Orangery at Kensington Palace morphed into a valediction and celebration for the firm's departing CEO Victoria Barnsley, talk also turned on the lowering of other flags. Large-scale publishing in Britain, some guests claimed, has fallen more firmly than ever under the American yoke.

Ian Gaynair in action against the USA on Tuesday, a game that is currently being investigated after claims were made that two Belize players were offered bribes

USA victory under investigation after two Belize players claim they were offered a bribe ahead of the game

Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair reveal they were offered a bribe before the 6-1 defeat in Portland on Tuesday

Boxer Herbie Hide fails to attend drugs trial

The former world champion boxer Herbie Hide is facing arrest after he failed to attend court on drug charges, saying he was suffering from malaria in a Nigerian clinic.

A Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

Two extremist groups including Nigeria-based Boko Haram face UK membership and support ban

UK-based Minbar Ansar Deen and Boko Haram to be proscribed in the UK under terrorism laws

During the assault, Boko Haram Islamists marched students and staff into a dormitory, throwing explosive devices into the room with them. They then opened fire on the building and set it alight.

Nigeria massacre: Boko Haram Islamists kill 42 at boarding school in Yobe state

All secondary schools in the state closed until September after three deadly attacks in recent weeks

Paperback review: There Was a Country, By Chinua Achebe

The country was the breakaway Republic of Biafra, which seceded from Nigeria in 1967, in response to the continuing persecution of the Igbo people.

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'