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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
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Spain
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness