Arts and Entertainment

Pamela Erens’s second novel is an anthem for doomed youth, an intense tale of teenage failure to make the leap to adult life. It is sensitively told, with Updike-like observation, but boy is it gloomy and joyless, and not recommended for neurotic parents of a teenager.

Investment Column: Insurance is where the action is to be found

It has been a lively old time for Britain's insurance industry in the last few months. Prudential was forced to scrap its blockbuster deal to buy the AIA Asian business in June. Clive Cowdery's Resolution buyout vehicle then followed last year's acquisition of Friends Provident with a £2.75bn deal for Axa's UK life business.

Resolution flags interest in Aviva amid insurance sector shake-up

Resolution indicated yesterday that it might consider buying parts of Aviva if the giant insurer sold its main non-life operations to RSA.

Aviva rejects £5bn approach from RSA

Aviva rejected as "unacceptable" a £5bn cash approach from RSA to acquire its general insurance business yesterday, as a war of words broke out between the rival insurers.

David Prosser: Amid the grumbling Aviva has shown RSA just a chink of light

Outlook It rather looks as if senior executives at Aviva and RSA spent the weekend stewing. On Friday, when the story broke that RSA had had a £5bn bid for Aviva's general insurance business turned down, both insurers were tight-lipped, refusing to either confirm or deny the gossip. But after a weekend of anonymous sniping from both sides, the two insurers exchanged some pretty spiky statements yesterday.

ROK to make 160 workers redundant at troubled plumbers

Listed construction group Rok is set to make more than 150 people redundant as a result of financial problems at the England division of its plumbing, heating and electrical business.

RSA's £5bn tilt at Aviva business falls at first hurdle

Aviva, the insurer formed out of brands including Norwich Union and Commercial Union, has turned down a £5bn offer from one of its rivals for its general insurance unit, it emerged yesterday.

My Life In Travel: Christine Ohuruogu, athelete

'I'd love to see more of South America'

David Prosser: Searching for growth in different places

Outlook After several years in crisis, Standard Life's performance has been more healthy in recent times and yesterday's interim results – the first set of numbers presented by David Nish since he became chief executive at the beginning of the year – were respectable.

Ennis hangs up her spikes for the summer

Jessica Ennis has decided to call time on her outdoor season in the wake of her heptathlon victory at the European Championships in Barcelona last weekend. After discussions with her long-time coach, Toni Minichiello, the 24-year-old Sheffield athlete announced yesterday that she would not be taking part in the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace next Friday or Saturday and would be hanging up her running spikes for the summer.

Aviva wins Noho Square scheme

Aviva Investors and Exemplar Properties have teamed up with the committee managing the assets of Iceland's failed Kaupthing Bank to develop a £750m scheme at "Noho Square" in London's Fitzrovia.

Market Report: Aviva presentation gives investors a smooth ride

Aviva stood firm last night as analysts recommended the stock after factoring in the numbers from a presentation by the insurance company.

Sayers' sights set on eight in a row

Goldie Sayers already has a place in the record books as one of six athletes to have won seven successive titles in the same event in the 130-year history of the principal annual British track and field championships – the UK Championships as is, the AAA and Women's AAA Championships as were. This weekend in Birmingham the Cambridgeshire javelin thrower has the opportunity to stand apart from the all-time greats of British athletics as the first ever eight-in-a-row national champion.

Simon Evans: Strong bosses are the industry's best insurance policy

Investors clamour for blood in the wake of chief executive failures. How best can they be served?

Business Diary: 19/06/2010

More Ultimate Violence tosh

More from those charismatic chaps at Ultimate Violence, who are (unfortunately) coming over to London from Las Vegas to offer training to City executives who feel nervous about encounters with the little people affected by them pushing the economy off a cliff.

Beleaguered Prudential chief snubs Goldman conference

Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Prudential, further angered investors when he pulled out of a Goldman Sachs financial institutions conference last week.

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