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Benefits rising for ‘Bake Off’ maker

Budget cuts start to bite Whitehall's contractors

As the Government outlines its public spending cuts, companies are beginning to feel the pinch

The Week Ahead: Updates from builders to clarify housing market

Investors will be hoping for further clarity on the housing market when the builders Persimmon and Bovis Homes issue updates this week.

Jewels of British industry at risk of falling into American hands

American companies are preparing to launch daring takeover bids for a host of Britain's biggest corporate names – including BAE Systems and AstraZeneca – thanks to the weakness of the pound against the dollar.

Investment Column: Poor numbers don't give Ashtead its credit

Balfour Beatty; Consort Medical

National Audit Office to investigate M25 PFI deal

Watchdog to scrutinise motorway contract, signed in the depth of the credit crunch

Mark Steel: If only marriage were as wholesome as Tories pretend

Maybe a tax break for elderly people could help them to remember stuff

Jarvis administrator inundated as predators scent a killing

Firms flock to make bids for the separated divisions of the failed rail maintenance group

The Week Ahead: HSBC set to reveal robust full-year figures

Analysts are poised to upgrade their forecasts when HSBC posts what are expected to be a strong set of full-year numbers this morning.

London's Tube deal can't close the gap

With yet another row erupting over the Underground upgrade programme, the fractious PPP deal looks as much part of the problem as ever

Investment Column: Balfour is cheap and US unit gives cheer

Computacenter; Weir

Rising toll fears over crossing sell-off plans

Motoring groups expressed fears today that drivers could face increased toll charges under Government plans to sell off the Dartford Crossing on the M25 - Europe's busiest motorway.

Bidders chosen for £1bn offshore links tender

Thirteen companies are in the running to buy £1.15bn-worth of electricity transmission links to nine offshore windfarms as part of a £15bn plan to improve competition in the UK's green energy infrastructure.

Building companies fined £130m by OFT

Biggest ever investigation by regulator finds evidence of 'widespread' illegality

James Moore: Taxpayers hit by corporate cowboy sting

Outlook The cowboy builder has become something of a British archetype, providing a steady stream of easy fodder for television consumer shows when they're short of ideas. And when the crooks are exposed, they give the bigger boys the chance to suck air into their teeth and counsel people only to use proper accredited companies that might not be cheap, but do things properly.

Top ten penalties in contract rigging probe

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) today issued fines totalling £129.5 million to 103 construction firms after an investigation into the rigging of contracts.

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?