News The iconic British brands sold 425,006 vehicles in 2013 - up 19 per cent on 2012

Iconic British brands sold 425,006 vehicles in 2013 - up 19 per cent on 2012 - and set records in 38 international markets

Margareta Pagano: It's time to stop playing politics with our energy

The warning from Ofgem that the UK is careering towards electricity shortages should focus politicians' minds on a solution, beyond ideology

Julie Meyer: Now is the time for the UK to rediscover its exporting mindset

Midweek View: In international markets the product is only as good as its salesmen, which is where Britain has fallen down

Who on earth actually thinks Mary Portas is the solution to the crisis on our high streets?

Irreversible changes in consumer behaviour, disruptive technologies, and recession are together destroying our High Streets. I know, send for the Queen of Shops!

UK's AAA credit rating 'still at risk'

Britain's prized AAA credit rating remains under “significant pressure”, the Fitch rating agency warned today.

Balloons, a blimp and deep sea divers all require helium

A ballooning problem: the great helium shortage

It’s used in everything from kids parties to medicine – but now supplies are running so low scientists want to ration it. Steve Connor reports on the great helium shortage

Wenger:

Arsene Wenger hampered by Arsenal fans' clamour to see 'next Lionel Messi'

Arsenal manager admits he was not aware of Michu

FTSE tops 6000 after US fiscal cliff budget deal

Relief over America's deal to avert a budget crisis sent London's FTSE 100 Index smashing through the 6000 barrier for the first time since July 2011.

Mario Monti defends austerity measures to restore confidence in Italy's financial future

Italian premier Mario Monti has defended his government's austerity measures as necessary to restore confidence in Italy's financial future, and warned voters to beware “magic solutions” promised by candidates in upcoming elections.

Silvio Berlusconi with his reported girlfriend, Francesca Pascale, after a PDL party meeting in Milan on Sunday night

Return of Berlusconi follows resignation of Mario to throw stock markets into turmoil

The spectre of another Berlusconi premiership panicked the financial markets today and saw Italy and the euro staring into the abyss again.

Andreas Whittam Smith: A muddle way not a middle way

Whatever the numbers yesterday, George Osborne couldn't change course. Bringing forward a Plan B would have been to say: "I have been on the wrong track since I took office two and a half years ago". However dim the prospects, he had to press on.

Civilian drones will be 'common in a decade' but pilotless passenger planes are still a long way off

Pilotless civilian aircraft could start to become a common sight in British skies within the next 10 years, it was claimed today.

Taxman admits Government powerless to force multinationals to declare profits

HMRC chief denies turning blind eye to global giants avoiding massive UK tax bills

Give me time, begs Hollande as his popularity plummets

President François Hollande, facing an unprecedented meltdown in his popularity, today criticised the impatience of French voters but promised that his softly-softly approach would triumph in the end.

The Maracana stadium, which will host the 2014 World Cup final, is currently being re-developed

Fifa make pledge over empty seats at 2014 World Cup

FIFA have vowed to keep empty seats to a “strict minimum” at the next World Cup.

The Potter's Hand By AN Wilson

An epic novel of the Wedgwood dynasty reveals the hearts of all but one man: Josiah himself

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform