News

Retail sales rose at their fastest rate in nine years in December, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday. However, some City analysts immediately cast doubt on the reliability of the figures.

MPC says it is ready for more quantitative easing

In a confirmation of the current "dovish" bias of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), one of the Bank's senior policymakers has stressed that a further round of quantitative easing (QE) – the direct injection of money into the economy – remains an option for the Bank, on top of the £200bn already disbursed.

French board welcomes fifth woman

BNP Paribas now boasts more women non-executive directors than any other CAC-listed French company following the appointment on Friday of Fields Wicker-Miurin.

Murray brothers beaten at Paribas Open

Andy and Jamie Murray were knocked out of the ATP BNP Paribas Open doubles at the quarter-final stage on Wednesday night by Alexandr Dolgopolov and Xavier Malisse.

Bernanke asks for time as jobs data disappoints

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, yesterday warned there was no choice but to stick to his plan for a $600bn (£386bn) stimulus to the struggling economy, dubbed QE2.

Vickers calls merger of HBOS and Lloyds 'wrong'

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland tumbled after it emerged that the Independent Commission on Banking had described the decision to allow Lloyds to merge with HBOS during the financial crisis as "wrong".

Bonus rules will lead to exodus of top bankers, EU warned

Some of the world's biggest banks have appealed to Europe's banking watchdogs to water down plans to curb bonuses or risk losing its best bankers.

French watchdog fines HSBC

HSBC was among 11 banks fined €385m (£321m) by the French competition authority yesterday for collusion on setting cheque charges.

Economy suffers slowdown as double dip looms

Analysts gloomy after fall in construction orders and decline in business confidence

Margareta Pagano: Don't even think about banning the right to strike

Unions and bosses should work together to keep jobs

Bank confidence ebbs as Libor hits 10-month high

The rate at which banks lend to each other leapt to 10-month highs yesterday, marking their declining confidence as the fear of contagion sweeps Europe.

Retail sales beat market hopes

Retail Sales rose slightly more than forecast last month, with stronger demand at fashion chains and department stores offsetting a flat performance in food sales.

Business Diary: Survival claims to have scared off Vedanta

Is Anil Agarwal, the billionaire owner of mining giant Vedanta Resources, running scared? Survival International, the campaigning charity that has had Vedanta in its sights for some time, claims Agarwal pulled out of a conference at London Business School just because it announced it was intending to picket the event. The Vedanta boss withdrew only two days after Survival revealed its intentions, the charity points out.

Leading City traders given legal aid to fight insider dealing case

Assets have been frozen so the taxpayer will step in to fund their defence costs

The great City crackdown

Acknowledged as the most difficult thing to prove and prosecute, insider dealing is now on the receiving end of rigorous attention from the Financial Services Authority and the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Simon Evans reports on their recent activities
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions