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

Moment of truth for Hollande as government unveils €30bn of increased taxes and spending cuts

An increasingly unpopular President Francois Hollande faces a moment of truth today when his government unveils €30bn of increased taxes and spending cuts in an attempt to honour France's deficit-cutting commitments for next year.

One of Potash Corp's mines in Saskatchewan, Canada, where a foreign takeover was bitterly opposed

Firm hopes promise of jobs will gather support for potash plans

"There's potash in them thar hills" might lack the potency of the Klondike's rallying cry, but the discovery is causing passions to run high in the North York Moors.

How Whitby fell victim to potash fertiliser fury

Deep beneath the cherished North York Moors lies a valuable mineral that is dividing local people

Ian Birrell: Labour's cowardice on immigration

Cyrus Kabiru should have been in Edinburgh next week. He is one of 19 people to be given a TED global fellowship, marking recognition of his emergence as one of Africa's most inventive artists. But he has been barred from Britain. The organisers say such problems occur time and again with Britain. I hear similar complaints from musicians, angered at being prevented from performing here. They are among higher-profile victims of our official hostility to foreigners; a legacy of a stance on immigration devoid of common sense. And it is getting worse. This week, Labour is re-engaging with immigration. So yesterday we saw Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, apologising for her party's failure to introduce tougher controls while in office. This is an important moment. Here is a party that had a Home Secretary who talked of Britain being "swamped" with migrants and a PM who borrowed the language of the British National Party. At the last election, it had the most hostile manifesto on the subject. Yet it feels compelled to say it has been too weak.

Warner Bros. announces Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition

Fans of the Dark Knight will be able to access more than two hours of fresh gameplay in the shape of new chapter Harley Quinn’s Revenge.

The star of the show will be the French actor Jean Reno as Jo Legrand, a tough cop 'who will stop at nothing to solve mysterious murder cases'

Shot in Paris, filmed in English: Maigret Mark II est arrivée

Half a century after the BBC police series Maigret, a new English-speaking, French detective is set to appear on British screens next year.

The global brand Red Bull has a number of spin-offs, among which are two football clubs, and Red Bull Formula One racing

Thai billionaire who invented Red Bull energy drink dies in Bangkok, aged 89

The creator of Red Bull, who became one of the world's richest men thanks to the success of the fizzy, caffeine-laden drink, died yesterday in Bangkok of natural causes. Chaleo Yoovidhya was 89.

Protests last November by public-sector workers have forced pension plans to be diluted

Julian Knight: Pension compromise simply postpones the inevitable pain

The Institute of Fiscal Studies was busy last week. First, the IFS calculated that the Government's public-sector pension reforms will not save the Exchequer any money.

Sales rush: shoppers sprint into Selfridges on the first day of the sales at the department store’s Oxford Street branch. Analysts reported a flood of retail tourists from China

Shopping tourists fuel record retail sales

Rising numbers of Chinese, Saudi and Brazilian retail tourists seeking heavily discounted, tax-free luxuries have contributed to soaring Boxing Day sales figures in London's West End.

Gold: Prices have soared as the economic crisis rumbles on. The current price is £1,029.20 an ounce

Who'd be a wise man? Gold's gone through the roof, frankincense is 'doomed', and as for myrrh...

They journeyed from the East to pay homage to the boy king bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But they would struggle to complete the feat today. Times for wise men have never been tougher. Gold prices are soaring on commodity markets, myrrh crops have been hit by drought – and now frankincense could soon be no more.

Behind the lines at acredit rating agency

It's eerily quiet... more reading room than boiler room, and staff despise their jobs. But the global markets are in fear of them. Nick Loxham explains why

Triumph sales accelerate in tough market

Despite the ill winds blowing through the wider sector, Triumph, the Leicestershire-based motorcycle manufacturer with a heritage that stretches back over 100 years, showed that it was continuing to race ahead yesterday, with turnover up by 11 per cent in the year to June.

Divers pay the ultimate price to provide catch of the day

In the small Honduran village of Cocobila, a few metres from the Caribbean, there is a small cemetery filled with the graves of young men. Amid the makeshift crucifixes, Carlos Evans has just been buried. He died four days ago, aged 32, leaving a wife and two small daughters.

What's the price of lobster? 352 lives

Catching crustaceans is a vital source of income for the divers of the Mosquito Coast. But the depths they plumb can prove fatal. Jenny Kleeman reports from Cocobila, Honduras
PrimeMinister George Papandreou leaves his meeting with President Karolos Papoulias

Greece will form new coalition to stay in euro

PM Papandreou will step down today and new leader must secure an EU bailout package

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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