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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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Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London