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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 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor