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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home