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

Toy pig pulled from farm set on religious grounds

A retailer withdrew a toy pig from a children's farm set to avoid the risk of causing offence on religious grounds, it emerged today.

Triumph celebrates five-fold profits rise

Profits rocketed more than fivefold at Triumph Motorcycles last year, as the British motorbike maker drove through better cost control and use of working capital.

David Prosser: The M&S strategic review that wasn't

Outlook Pity the modern chief executive. Most of us, on beginning a new job, take some time to settle in and then make any changes needed without fanfare. That's not good enough for the modern CEO: he or she has to launch a strategic review on day one at the company and, just a few months later, present a vision for its future that will transform its prospects for the better (regardless of whether or not those prospects were decent enough in the first place).

Obama picks consumer champion for new agency

The Obama administration will tap Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and long-time critic of finance industry lending practices, to set up a new US regulator charged with cleaning up the banking industry.

Harriet Lamb: The bitter truth about a sweet taste the world adores

Cocoa grows in hot, rainy climates mainly 20 degrees north and south of the equator. When the trees' pods are opened they contain up to 40 beans. The beans are fermented under leaves before being dried in the sun. Nearly 50 million people in some of the world's poorest countries depend on cocoa for their livelihood.

Supplements to ease pain of arthritis 'do not work'

Two supplements taken by millions of people for joint pain caused by arthritis do not work, according to research.

Mark Steel: Socialists? You've got to be joking

Everyone seems to agree that the Labour party is better off having the polite contest taking place now, rather than its old ideological fights. But the result is a series of debates about nothing, with no one daring to say anything, let alone disagree with the nothing someone else has said.

Shire in €428m deal for Movetis

Shire is set to buy the Belgian pharmaceutical group Movetis in a €428m (£354m) deal that will secure rights to Resolor, the €300m-a-year constipation treatment.

Record sales put Asos on target to hit £1bn by 2015

A decade after Asos set up as a small online retailer for people who wanted to dress like celebrities, the group has taken a crucial step towards its target of £1bn in sales with plans to move to a bigger warehouse, as it unveiled record annual results.

UK film industry warns against tax relief removal

The film industry brought in billions of pounds to the UK economy last year but a cut to tax breaks could see growth collapse, according to a report from Oxford Economics.

Shareholder storm will rock Pru's boat at AGM

The beleaguered life insurer Prudential will today make a further attempt to launch a fightback following the collapse of its $35.5bn (£24.5bn) bid to take over the Asian insurer AIA.

Osborne: I will cut taxes to aid private sector recovery

The coalition Government will cut and simplify business taxes to create the conditions for a private-sector recovery, George Osborne said last night.

AIG and Prudential discuss alterations to British insurer's £24bn deal for AIA unit

The Prudential is in talks with American international Group to restructure its $35.5bn (£24bn) deal for AIG's Asian life insurance unit. The negotiations are understood to be centred on funding behind the deal, include cutting back the $25bn cash component, rather than altering the overall price. AIG may agree to reduce the cash component by $2bn and instead subscribe to a Pru loan or hybrid securities of that amount.

Barroso: We need a stronger union in economic policy

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today vowed to press on with stronger economic policy co-operation after today's "unprecedented" agreement to stabilise the single currency.

World markets back under pressure

Post-election uncertainty, the continuing eurozone sovereign debt crisis and incredulity about US stock market volatility combined to send share prices plummeting again yesterday, with the FTSE 100 index falling 138 points, or 2.6 per cent.

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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 23 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
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
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
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
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
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
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
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’