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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.

Lagarde gets Indonesia backing for her IMF bid

Indonesia yesterday became the first major emerging market to back Christine Lagarde's push to be the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Margareta Pagano: Get Sugar off TV and Dyson into our classrooms

It's fantastic news that BMW is investing another £500m to build the next generation of Minis, a move that will protect 5,000 jobs for many years.

Lagarde still favourite as IMF nominations close

The French finance minister has wide support but could face a formal inquiry into claims that she abused her authority

Lagarde takes IMF campaign to emerging economies

The French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde dashed to India yesterday as she sought to secure the backing of the Asian country for her candidacy to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

David Prosser: Carstens is running out of time for IMF bid

Outlook Agustin Carstens, the governor of the central bank of Mexico, had better get a move-on if he wants to still be in the running for the job of running the International Monetary Fund when the nominations close on Friday. While Mr Carstens spent yesterday belly-aching about Europe's refusal to countenance a non-European heading the IMF for the first time in its history, the Europeans' candidate, Christine Lagarde, was busy chatting up voters in the developing world.

IMF backs Osborne's strategy – but warns tax cuts may be needed

The International Monetary Fund yesterday delivered a powerful endorsement of the Chancellor's strategy to reduce government borrowing – but warned that ministers may need to cut taxes and the Bank of England will have to inject more money into he economy if "major risks materialise". This is the nearest that any international body has come to suggesting a "Plan B" may be needed. The level of unemployment in Britain is, the IMF added, "unacceptable", and it also pointed to inflation and the fragility of the banks as "significant risks".

David Prosser: And the solution to our economic woes is... there is no solution

Outlook: When more than half the economy depends on two drivers, it's difficult to see how there can be growth if those two drivers are weakening

G8 backs Lagarde bid to head IMF

The leaders of the G8 are backing French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde in her bid to run the IMF, according to her cabinet colleague Alain Juppé.

France seeks swift succession to end protests over IMF post

Emerging economies object to 'carve-up' but do not have a strong candidate to replace Strauss-Kahn

David Prosser: Lagarde is wrong: her nationality is both handicap and advantage

Outlook Her nationality is neither "a handicap nor an advantage", claimed Christine Lagarde as she launched her candidacy for the role of managing director of the International Monetary Fund yesterday. The French Finance minister has many excellent qualities but in this analysis, she is surely mistaken on both counts.

Christine Lagarde declares she wants IMF job

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has announced she will seek the top job at the International Monetary Fund.

PM 'small-minded' over Brown's bid for IMF job

David Cameron and George Osborne have been branded "petty and small-minded" for rejecting Gordon Brown's bid to become head of the International Monetary Fund.

Steve Richards: Brown's bid to run the IMF deserves a fair hearing

There is evidence that Brown's fiscal stimulus propelled Britain and other countries towards growth

French minister set to fight off emerging nation bid for IMF job

European nations appeared to be closing ranks behind the French Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde, to run the International Monetary Fund, trying to nip in the bud a campaign to appoint an emerging-market candidate for the first time in the organisation's 65-year history.

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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
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
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Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

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Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
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BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home