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My Week If there was any justice in the financial world, the people who run the big debt rating agencies would be hanging from lamp-posts along with the investment bankers for the way in which their activities contributed to the 2008 financial crash. But they emerged pretty well unscathed, barring a few uncomfortable sessions before congressional committees. Politicians threatened all sorts of legislative nasties at the time, but it turned out to be all sound and fury signifying not very much.

Tom Sandell urges FirstGroup to reassess 'premature' break-up rejection

Billionaire activist investor Tom Sandell has accused the £1.7 billion transport group of a “premature” rejection of its break-up plans for the business.

Money Insider: Keep a close eye on your credit history

Does your credit record contain the correct information? While many people will have heard of the term credit record, research from credit card provider Aqua shows that less than half of people have checked their own file to see what it contains.

Britain’s deficit soars to its highest for 24 years

But stronger-than-expected growth was seen over the past two years

Market Report: Speedy Hire shares take a dive

Speedy Hire shares collapsed on Friday following Thursday night’s revelation that chief executive Steve Corcoran was out the door after accounting irregularities were revealed.

Special report: Labour to tackle the great rental rip-off

Housing charity warns millions are being forced into debt, and profiteering agents still go unregulated

Money Insider: When did you last take a look at your credit record?

While many people will have heard of the term "credit record", research from one credit card provider revealed that only 48 per cent of people have ever checked their own file to see what it contains.

Protesters burn an effigy of the Philippine President Benigno Aquino III during
a rally in Quezon, northeast of Manila

Hotheads in the Philippines: Protests against president Benigno Aquino III as he addresses the nation

The Philippine president Benigno Aquino III said on Monday that three years of anti-corruption reforms have banished his country's image as the “sick man of Asia” but added he has lost patience over continuing problems such as large-scale smuggling and declared a tougher crackdown against wrongdoing in government.

Debt collection companies can be persistent

When can you blow the whistle on your employer?

Disclosures about the NHS and police have put changes to employment law in the spotlight

With a favourable profile, the outlook is brighter for borrowers

How to be the perfect customer

The latest tips on improving your credit rating from Chiara Cavaglieri and Julian Knight

Card providers are trying to lure customers with an increasing range of freebies and rewards EPA

Playing your credit cards to get something for nothing

Cashbacks, cut-price petrol and free flights can all be yours when you flash the plastic at the shops. Chiara Cavaglieri tells you how to benefit

George Osborne's credibility may take another hit, after Fitch credit rating agency downgraded the UK's rating

Another blow for George Osborne as Fitch downgrades UK's credit rating

Agency worried by 'weaker economic and fiscal outlook'

National Grid says it can link dividend to inflation

National Grid promised investors today that its dividend would rise at least in line with inflation every year — just months after it complained that the industry’s new regulatory regime was riddled with “numerous errors” meaning it could not adequately invest in new infrastructure.

George Osborne and Ed Miliband

Budget 2013: 'Put your hand up if you are not getting 50p tax cut': Ed Miliband denounces George Osborne in rowdy Commons scenes

Ed Miliband denounced “a more-of-the-same Budget from a downgraded Chancellor” as he tore into George Osborne for failing to keep his promises to produce economic recovery and for saddling families with higher taxes.

Key DMK party quits India's ruling coalition

A key regional ally has pulled out of India’s ruling coalition, jeopardising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s economic reforms but posing no immediate threat to the minority government, which can survive with the support of other parties.

Cabinet ordered to 'double' efforts to kickstart growth

David Cameron and George Osborne have ordered ministers to do more to kickstart growth amid a Cabinet “blame game” about Britain’s flatlining economy.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage