Arts and Entertainment

'A puzzling argument on the value of economics'

David Cameron (top centre) at a cabinet meeting in Leeds today. The PM sayts he is detemined to push ahead with HS2

Snow hits rate of sales growth at John Lewis

John Lewis sounded the alarm bell for Britain's retailers yesterday when it warned that snow had hit sales.

Last Night's Viewing: Bob Servant Independent, BBC4
Life after War: Haunted by Helmand, BBC3

Bob Servant apparently owes his existence to email scammers. Like Henry Root, Willie Donaldson's imaginary letter writer, Servant was Neil Forsyth's alter ego in writing to online swindlers and con men, responding to them with a garrulous energy that drove even the most persistent of them to the point of distraction in the end.

BSA boss Coles set to stand down

Adrian Coles, the director-general of the Building Societies Association, has revealed plans to stand down once a successor can be found for him, probably later this year.

Traders' email messages give frauds away, study shows

Rogue traders capable of losing banks and other financial institutions billions in illegal or unauthorised transactions could be caught before their losses soar too high by analysing their email exchanges with colleagues, new research has found.

Shrinking in services rings alarm for a triple-dip recession

Fears of a triple-dip recession were stoked yesterday after an alarming new survey revealed the UK's powerhouse services sector contracting for the first time in two years.

James Moore: And you thought the OBR's forecasts were meant to be right?

Outlook Remember when the Office for Budget Responsibility was set up? There was a big song and dance about how it would provide clean and independent fiscal forecasts that would help to prevent governments from fiddling the figures, an accusation repeatedly levelled at Gordon Brown's administration – and most of its predecessors at some point.

Arm’s length: Doris Day and John Raitt in the 1957 romantic comedy The Pajama Game

Love's big secret? Play hard to get

That's the strategy used by both men and women to test a potential partner's commitment, claims new research

What the Sunday Papers said…

The Independent on Sunday: Chancellor will need to use 'dark arts' to meet targets

Dr King, our finances need a shot in the arm

Sir Mervyn King took a break from the woes of the economy yesterday as the Bank of England Governor picked up an honorary doctor of civil law degree from the University of Kent.

Eurozone downturn set to gather pace

The eurozone is on course for a deepening recession in the final quarter of 2012 as the worst slump in activity for more than three years looms. The financial data provider Markit's snapshot of manufacturing and services output across the region – where a score under 50 signals contraction – was stuck at 45.8 in November, close to its lowest since June 2009.

Bank's funding scheme boosts mortgage market at last

The Bank of England's Funding for Lending scheme is finally breathing life into a largely moribund mortgage market after a 14 per cent jump in home loans in October, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said yesterday.

What the Sunday Papers said

The Independent on Sunday: Critics of Big Four audit firms see evidence of 'closed shop'

Norton Rose merger to make it No 3

The chief executive of the London-based legal group Norton Rose has predicted the emergence of "15 or 20 truly global law firms" after announcing a merger with the US group Fulbright & Jaworski. Peter Martyr said that the combination will create the world's third biggest law firm.

Merger seeks scale to take on 'big four'

The accountancy firm BDO, the sixth-biggest in Britain, is to merge with the UK arm of rival PKF, the ninth-biggest, to create a business with 3,500 staff and £400m in revenues that will aim to challenge the "big four" auditors.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
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