Arts and Entertainment Everything but the sink: 1646 kitchen scene by the Flemish painter David Teniers the Younger, now restored to Robert Walpole’s former Norfolk home

As it did 250 years ago, Velázquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X peers into the gloom at Houghton Hall. It is an extraordinary image in an extraordinary space.

Slump for annuity rates deals blow to pension pots

Annuity payouts slumped by 11.5 per cent last year, their biggest fall since 1998. Rates have now fallen in 15 of the past 18 years and the average annual annuity income is less than half what it was in 1994, according to Moneyfacts.

Falling annuities deliver another blow to retirees

Annuity payouts slumped by 11.5 per cent last year, their biggest fall since 1998. Rates have now fallen in 15 out of the past 18 years and the average annual annuity income is less than half what it was in 1994, according to Moneyfacts.

Global bonds climb despite downgrades

The safety of bonds took a hit 12 months ago. But they have proved an essential part of investors' plans

Pension schemes' deficit hits record high of £312bn

The deficit in UK pension schemes hit a record high of £312.1bn in May, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) reported yesterday.

Deficit in UK pension schemes widens to a record £312.1 billion

The deficit in UK pension schemes hit a record high of £312.1bn in May, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) reported yesterday.

Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente celebrates after he scored against SCP Sporting during their Europa League yesterday

Llorente takes Athletic Bilbao through to all-Spanish Europa League final

A dramatic winner from Fernando Llorente with two minutes to go sent Athletic Bilbao through to the Europa League final, where they will face fellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

Row brews over Bank of England's £50bn QE boost

Over a million pensioners will be poorer as they have bought annuities at artificially depressed rates

Annuity rate dive will hit millions of retirees short

The fall in gilt yields will reduce pension incomes, so it's more important than ever to choose the right product. By Julian Knight

Sangakkara spurns gilt-edged chance to put record straight

On American Independence Day next month, Kumar Sangakkara will deliver the Cowdrey Spirit of Cricket Lecture at Lord's. It will be full of wit and wisdom, aperçus and aphorisms because Sangakkara is a clever, articulate and thoughtful chap.

An Ideal Husband, Vaudeville Theatre, London

A couple not unconnected with a certain "cash for questions" scandal caught the eye amongst the first-night guests at Lindsay Posner's revival of An Ideal Husband. Securing their presence was a mischievous touch, for political sleaze is the perennially topical subject of Wilde's play. Its protagonist, Sir Robert Chiltern, owes his high-flying career to having sold a Cabinet secret in his ambitious youth. He faces ruin and the collapse of his marriage to the idealistic Lady Chiltern when the blackmailing Mrs Cheveley descends on London.

Pension liabilities hit a record high

The liabilities faced by defined benefit pension schemes soared to a record high during August as market conditions continued to deteriorate, according to Aon Consulting.

Bank says QE cut rates by 1 per cent

Research published by the Bank of England suggests the Bank's policy of quantitative easing – the direct injection of money into the economy – reduced interest rates by about 1 percentage point.

The Sonnets: 33

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 20

By William Shakespeare

Jeremy Warner: Printing money seems powerless to halt rise in gilt yields

Outlook No wonder the Bank of England is stepping up its programme of "quantitative easing" (QE). Proving the old stock market saying that it is better to travel in anticipation than actually to arrive, gilt yields fell precipitously ahead of the formal announcement of QE, under which the Bank of England is expanding the money supply by buying shed loads of gilt-edged stocks. But they have been rising steadily more or less ever since and after another surge yesterday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year gilt is now higher than before the programme began. The rise has been particularly acute since the Budget, which laid out in glorious Technicolor quite how shockingly large gilt issuance is going to be in future years.

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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 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links