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The Independent (U.K.) 

Raise a glass to Cuban diplomacy, but let the rum wars commence

They were dancing in the streets of Havana on Wednesday. They probably dance in the streets quite a lot in Havana, it seems that sort of a place.

Sony doesn't need any help from hackers to spook its movie bosses

The cancelled release of The Interview and a trail of leaked emails between executives and movie stars threw an unwelcome spotlight on Sony Pictures. The giant corporation it is part of has suffered no less of a testing time.

Market Report: Footsie ends year with a bang

The Footsie is ending the year with a bang. Last week saw the biggest five-day sell- off on the index in a year and a half, but yesterday it celebrated its largest weekly rise in two years.

The high street is getting clobbered for having too much clobber

How tough is it this Christmas on the high street? Very, judging by my walk along London's Oxford Street.

Ray of light for Serco as investigation is dropped

The scandal-struck outsourcer Serco took a vital step forward in its rehabilitation with the Government, its biggest customer, after City of London Police dropped their year-long investigation into its £285m prisoner transport contract.

Sky faces fresh competition probe

Sky was tackled again by the media regulator yesterday as Ofcom said it would look into the satellite giant’s “strong market position” in pay-TV sport.

Hailo's losses surge as global expansion eats into profits

Taxi fares worth £81m were booked through London start-up Hailo around the world last year, but its losses ballooned as the company ploughed cash into launching in new cities.

Subsidies go to polluting plants to provide back-up for clean power

Green campaigners rounded on the Government yesterday after it gave fossil-fuel plants most of the subsidies in a £1bn scheme to promote low-carbon electricity.

Celebs lose their sheen for publishers as gift-buyers spurn celebrity biographies

Sales of celebrity memoirs – a staple of the Christmas book market for years – have peaked and are now in decline.

Russians turn to art, jewellery and diamonds as rouble slides

Wealthy Russians in London have been buying up expensive jewellery, art and diamonds for millions of pounds apiece as investments to protect themselves from the collapsing rouble.

Chrysler in major truck recall affecting more than 280k vehicles

Chrysler is recalling about 288,000 older Ram pickup trucks in North America and elsewhere because the rear axle can seize or the drive shaft can fall off.

Camden Market stall holders in 'state of fear' over development plans

When Camden Market first opened in 1973, it was based in a bomb-damaged packing warehouse and was only expected to last a summer. Forty years later, it’s grown from counter-culture ghetto to capitalist mecca, with young tourists flocking to buy everything from Doc Martins and designer furniture to vinyl records and bongs.

Putin's banker Sergei Pugachev loses High Court battle to have asset freeze lifted

The Russian tycoon once dubbed “Putin’s banker”, who lives in London with his English TV presenter partner Alexandra Tolstoy, has failed in his attempts to have a £1bn worldwide freeze on his assets lifted.

Apple CEO Tim Cook 'deeply offended' by BBC report of exhausted Chinese factory workers and children working in brutal conditions

Apple CEO Tim Cook says is "deeply offended" by BBC claims that Chinese workers at factories producing the iPhone 6 are mistreated and forced to work in poor conditions.

BlackBerry is coming back: latest results show profit, at last

BlackBerry has long been left in the shade by more sexy mobile rivals including Apple and Samsung, despite having got there first. But the company’s results, released today, seem to show that the company is slowly on its way back.

Sky in fresh setback over Premier League rights after Ofcom scrutinises 'strong market position'

Sky has received a fresh blow as media regulator Ofcom said it would look into the satellite giant’s “strong market position” in the wider pay-TV sports market.

Banking misdeeds help cut Britain’s public finance deficit

Public borrowing fell last month as banking fines to the tune of £1.1 billion for foreign-exchange rigging helped boost the Treasury's coffers.

Police drops investigation into Serco's prisoner transport contract

The City of London Police has dropped a year-long investigation into Serco's £285 million prisoner transport contract, saying it found "no evidence of corporate-wide conspiracy".

Sony’s PlayStation 4 supplies running low as Christmas approaches

Demand for the PlayStation 4 has meant that the company is running low on the console in Europe, according to reports.

Google is now worth more than the whole Russian stock market

Google has become the third big technology company to be worth more than the entire Russian stock market — and Google itself isn’t even having a very good time of it.

Unilever drops Just Mayo lawsuit after labelling dispute

Unilever, the maker of Hellmann's mayonnaise, has dropped its lawsuit against "Just Mayo".

Instagram’s spam account purge leaves accounts shedding millions of followers

Instagram began the process of deleting the millions of spam accounts that plague the service — reducing follower counts by as much as 15% in the process.

Clash of the Irish titans as BA owner launches Aer Lingus bid

Three of Ireland’s biggest businessmen and the country’s government had the future of Aer Lingus in their hands last night as British Airways’ owner IAG launched a bid for the £1bn airline.

Passengers protest about delays 13 weeks into flagship rail deal

One of the Government’s biggest franchises under its flagship rail contracting scheme, the Thameslink line into St Pancras, ran just over half of its trains on time in the past month – triggering commuters to petition for change.

Switzerland cuts rates to fend off Russian cash

Switzerland slashed interest rates into negative territory yesterday as its central bank sought to ward off a flood of safe-haven cash from the collapsing Russian rouble.

Mark Leftly: A privatisation that should stay under lock and key

Westminster Outlook Interserve’s managing director of justice services, Yvonne Thomas, has tried to ease the concerns of the 2,000 probation personnel being take on by the outsourcing group as part of the Purple Futures partnership.

Mark Leftly: The City can’t toe the party line. It must talk to all the election contenders

Westminster Outlook This column was launched in January with the aim of illustrating the point that business and politics are “inextricably linked” as never before. Importantly, the financial crisis had changed everything: politicians could no longer let the City look after itself and there were, rightly or wrongly, an increasing number of votes in bashing the Square Mile.

Revealed: How to get ahead at Goldman Sachs

The Christmas break approaches but a select handful of Goldman Sachs rainmakers are counting down the clock to New Year’s Day – and a life of prosperity of which they only dared to dream.

Market Report: Retailers set for 'panic Saturday' ahead of Christmas week

It’s ‘panic Saturday’ this weekend, according to the flacks paid to make up this sort of thing, with Brits set to spend millions on everything from crackers to gravy ready for Christmas.

Pain for Russia, gain for the West - the price of low oil

Vladimir Putin warned yesterday it could take Russia two years to emerge from its current economic crisis. What does that imply for Russia? And what knock-on effects could this have on the rest of the world?

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