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The cost of insuring against a catastrophic US default jumped to its  highest level in more than two years today after talks to prevent a breach of the nation’s $16.7 trillion (£10.5 trillion) debt ceiling faltered.

IMF puts the pressure on Congress to reach a deal

Christine Lagarde warns raising of US debt ceiling is 'mission critical'

Hungarian central bank wants IMF to leave after it pays back bail-out loan

Budapest has announced it is considering paying back its bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund early as well as closing the IMF’s Hungarian office.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Mud wrestling is only entertaining now and again

Oh, how they laughed. Explaining George Osborne’s absence from Treasury Questions, Chief Secretary Danny Alexander was on side-splitting form. “My right honourable friend the Chancellor is in Brussels today at the Ecofin council,” he told MPs, “exercising the considerable influence that Britain enjoys as a full member of the European Union.” Boom, boom!

George Osborne (centre) with global financial policymakers at the G7 meeting in Aylesbury

George Osborne cautiously toasts 'improved outlook' for global economy after G7 meeting

The Chancellor also pledged UK action on tax evasion and avoidance

Margareta Pagano: Can Aphrodite reunite Cyprus and Turkey?

The current plight of the Mediterranean island could be eased if it can build bridges with its former enemy to exploit nearby gas fields

Don't listen to the doubters: Facebook is your friend

The scare stories have it wrong; Facebook is a force for openness and accountability in the world, argues Eduard Mead.

IMF urges delaying austerity in troubled economies

The International Monetary Fund has urged Europe to ease on its programme of austerity and give the likes of Spain and Greece more time to sort out their debts.

The IMF's Christine Lagarde has been in Cairo this week, discussing the possibility of a loan package worth up to $4.8 billion

Egypt's leaders under strain as fuel shortage adds to economic misery

Egypt's leaders were under increasing strain last night as a fuel shortage heaped pressure on the battered economy and officials met with world finance chiefs to discuss a multi-billion dollar development loan.

IMF downgrades forecast for UK growth to 0.2%

The International Monetary Fund yesterday handed the UK a bigger growth forecast downgrade than any other advanced nation and warned the global economy remains in a "precarious" state.

Christine Lagarde’s organisation sent an alert

IMF takes axe to UK growth forecasts and warns of global outlook risks

Lender sees just 0.2 per cent UK growth in 2012 and urges action from eurozone

Bleak outlook as forecast for global growth is cut by IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to reduce its outlook for the global economy today, amid continuing financial woes in Europe, the stagnant US economy and slowing growth in China.

China's growth weakens as West's woes hit exports

The worsening impact of Europe's debt crisis on global growth was laid bare yesterday as a fresh slowdown put China on course for its worst year for more than a decade.

IMF reserves pumped up by Chinese pledges

The size of the International Monetary Fund's emergency fund to rescue bankrupt economies will rise to $456bn, thanks to a $43bn pledge from China at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, this week.

IMF reserves pumped up by Chinese pledges

The size of the International Monetary emergency fund to rescue bankrupt economies will rise to $456bn, thanks to a $43bn pledge from China at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, this week.

Spotlight On: Arnaud Lagardère, chairman designate EADS

Arnaud Lagardère – must be related to Christine, of the International Monetary Fund, right?

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
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As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
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Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

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A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project