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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.

The ‘Deepwater Horizon’ explosion in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and injured 16 others

Money mattered more to BP than the people who died, Deepwater Horizon spill trial told

As oil company finally comes to trial over rig disaster, $16bn settlement talks are intensifying

The Sketch: A distinct shortage of AAA metaphors as George Osborne still blames Labour for economic woes

It may be that most of the Tory backbenchers who are really perturbed by George Osborne’s dogged pursuit of Plan A simply failed to turn up for his ritual session in the noisy parliamentary equivalent of the stocks to which Ed Balls subjected him today. But they left the field clear for awe-inspiringly repetitive variations on a theme, that Labour was still exclusively to blame for the trouble we’re in. Including the “humiliation” as Balls put it, of losing a Triple A credit rating the “downgraded” Chancellor had once so prized.

George Osborne was accused of being a “downgraded” Chancellor tonight

Osborne sticks to deficit plan as angry MPs give him a downgrade

George Osborne was accused of being a “downgraded” Chancellor tonight, amid angry scenes in the House of Commons over the loss of Britain’s cherished triple-A credit rating.

City refuses to panic over the loss of UK's AAA credit rating

The City refused to panic over the loss of the UK’s AAA rating today as shares headed higher and sterling avoided a major sell-off.

Britain's loss of prized AAA credit rating hits sterling

Britain's loss of its prized AAA credit rating intensified the pressure on sterling today despite another rally for London's top flight shares index.

Markets set for sterling sell-off after AAA setback for Britain

Analysts expect pound to weaken against dollar and euro in response to Moody's decision

This is an AAA disaster created by George Osborne

The Chancellor's incompetence is clear from the employment figures. Despite all the Coalition's claims to the contrary, young people in particular are suffering needlessly

Chancellor George Osborne who insisted Britain would not

AAA rating will take at least 10 years to regain

As the Chancellor tries to make light of Moody's downgrade, Mark Leftly assesses the fallout

George Osborne in Eastleigh last week

Britain's loss of AAA credit rating a 'humiliating blow' to George Osborne, says Ed Balls

The Chancellor George Osborne has been accused of having suffered a “humiliating blow” after Britain was stripped of its AAA credit rating.

George Osborne denies fiddling the figures

George Osborne denied that the poor were bearing the brunt of austerity as he defended his mini-budget today.

George Osborne with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander yesterday

George Osborne's raid on middle class: 400,000 forced on to 40p income tax rate

Benefits capped, growth forecasts slashed and austerity plans extended to 2018: Chancellor breaks bad news in Autumn Statement

James Moore: Ease off from cuts and let the economy breathe

Outlook It's not only his Banking Commission that's causing Mr Osborne an unexpected migraine. Yesterday's public sector borrowing figures added weight to the view that he's more likely to persuade members of the commission to lie down and have their tummies tickled than he is to meet his public sector borrowing targets.

Market pressure eases on Spain amid bailout hopes

Rising speculation that Spain will soon ask for outside help to keep a lid on its borrowing costs has helped ease the pressure on the country in financial markets.

Britain's credit rating is 'not the be all and end all', says Danny Alexander

Britain's credit rating is “not the be all and end all” Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said.

Global bonds climb despite downgrades

The safety of bonds took a hit 12 months ago. But they have proved an essential part of investors' plans

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Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game