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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.

Philip Hensher: Why should the BNP sit with the grown-ups?

This year, the British National Party gained 6.26 per cent of the national vote at the European elections. That was, from their point of view, a great success, and appears to lift them from an insignificant contributor to political debate to a minority presence. They crossed the psychological threshold between those parties who field candidates, and those who have gained seats at a more than local level.

London G20 meeting rejects plan to cap bankers' bonuses

But a new 'clawback' scheme means they can be forfeited if deals later prove unsuccessful

Margareta Pagano: To nationalise or not – that's a tricky question

Banks just won't lend, so what's a Chancellor to do?

Recession over for France and Germany

France and Germany have snapped out of recession unexpectedly early, according to the first estimates of growth released by the European statistics agency.

Guy Adams: Beauty, influence and the fame game

LA Notebook

Row with emerging nations threatens IMF's cash call

Russians warn that the IMF must deliver on its power-sharing commitments

Rates kept on hold as pace of decline shows signs of slowing

Bank keeps interest rates at 0.5% and presses on with 'quantitative easing'

G20 'needs more than empty words'

A minister handling preparations for the upcoming Group of 20 summit said that leaders risk fueling public dissent — and dire consequences for the developing world — if they fail to agree on clear action to tackle the global downturn.

Brown hopeful of G20 agreement

Gordon Brown still believes he can broker an agreement among the world's biggest economies to take further fiscal action to shorten the recession, despite disagreements with France and Germany at the weekend.

Merkel tips Brown's grand plan into crisis

Germany's Chancellor receives French backing as she uses a London meeting to warn against proposals to pump billions more into the global economy

Jeremy Warner: Sterling was far too high. Now it may be going the other way

Outlook: Jose Manuel Barroso, head of the European Commission, thinks Britain is “closer than ever before” to joining the euro and even claims to have had conversations with senior members of the UK Government to that effect. Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, would be more than happy to welcome us in.

French bank hit by €600m rogue trading scandal

Caisse d'Epargne traders took unauthorised gambles on futures derivatives

Central banks face criticism as inflation fears tie their hands

France's Finance Minister has launched an attack on the interest rate policy of the European Central Bank, amid growing concern about policymakers' inability to combat an economic slowdown in the face of rising inflation.

France looks at ways to curb 'fat cat' salaries across the EU

Pressure is building in the European Union for common rules to discourage, or punish, excessive payments to top business executives.

Economy minister admits she is 'seduced' by idea of French SWF

Christine Lagarde, France's economy minister, may establish a French sovereign wealth fund to counter the rising power of the state-owned funds from the developed world.

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Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Sport
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
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Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities