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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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past