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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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project