Léon-Robert de L’Astran, an 18th-century shipowner, was praised for his noble refusal to participate in the slave trade. Sadly, however, it seems that he existed only as an internet hoax — duping Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, for three years, along with Ségolène Royal and others.
If you’re buying a Christmas pudding or a frozen turkey from one of the big supermarkets this week, feel free to tell them that you won’t be paying until the end of April. If they make a fuss, you could, at a push, compromise by promising to settle the bill in March – but only if you get a discount on the normal price.
Bigger pay rises may be on offer in the coming year, according to Martin Weale, a member of the Bank of England's interest rate setting committee.
Prime minister seeks to demonstrate a tough stance on terror
Strengthening economic conditions in Britain have helped the pound outperform the majority of major currencies in the past year, according to research from Lloyds Bank Private Banking.