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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.

James Moore: This is Osborne's chance to clamp down on stupidity in the public sector

Outlook Did George Osborne just get a little bit of breathing room? Yesterday's public sector borrowing figures contained some welcome news for the Chancellor. January is traditionally a month in which the Government pays back a bit of what it owes, but the £7.75bn returned to creditors this time around was better than most forecasters had expected and well ahead of the £5.2bn surplus recorded in January 2011.

James Moore: Should we care what Paris Hilton thinks of our party?

The fact that the UK has so far escaped any hint of a credit downgrade has long been cited by the Coalition to support its preferred combination of spending cuts and tax rises to deal with the budget deficit. For goodness sake stop complaining about your hospital closing: Britain's still a AAA nation (Aa1 or somesuch in Moody's speak).

James Moore: Should we really care what Paris Hilton thinks about our party?

Outlook The fact that the UK has so far escaped any hint of a credit downgrade has long been cited by the Coalition to support its preferred combination of spending cuts and tax rises to deal with the budget deficit. For goodness sake stop complaining about your hospital closing: Britain's still a AAA nation (Aa1 or somesuch in Moody's speak).

George Osborne has reiterated his intention to curb spending

Clegg's hope of tax cut for poor hit by bleak news on economy

Credit rating alert and rise in jobless figures may force the Chancellor to rule out move

Leading article: Not much economic wriggle room

The shadow Chancellor claims that Moody's decision to place Britain's triple-A credit rating on "negative outlook" proves that the Government is cutting too far, too fast. Meanwhile, George Osborne insists that the agency's warning shot – suggesting a one-in-three chance of a downgrade to come – is a "reality check" that reinforces his commitment to cutting national debt.

George Osborne defends cuts despite credit rating threat

Chancellor George Osborne defended the Government's austerity package today after Britain was threatened with the loss of its AAA credit rating amid fears over weaker growth prospects and potential shocks from the eurozone crisis.

Britain warned it may be in line for a credit downgrade

Moody's says euro crisis raises questions over Government's ability to cut national debt

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

The Hunger Games: The new teen franchise with Twilight in its sights

The trailer concludes with the ominous tagline: "The world will be watching." Get ready for The Hunger Games, the new Hollywood blockbuster franchise which promises to trounce Twilight and replace Harry Potter in the box-office charts. Anticipation is mounting among millions of teenage fans ahead of the 23 March opening of the film, based on Suzanne Collins's bestselling novels. The trilogy, which has sold 30 million copies, is set in a post-apocalyptic world where children are chosen by the government to fight each other to the death in gladiatorial battles.

UK cuts exposure to euro laggards by £32bn

Britain's banks slashed $50bn (£32bn) from their exposure to France, Italy and Spain during the summer as financial institutions ran scared from Europe's debt crisis, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

A view of part of the Petroplus Refinery in Coryton, near Basildon, Essex

1,000 jobs at risk as key UK oil refinery 'closes'

The Government gave an assurance it was doing all it could to find a buyer for one of the country's biggest oil refineries today after it fell into administration, prompting fears of job losses and fuel shortages.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, yesterday insisted the EU's crisis fund would not be 'torpedoed'

UK looks east as eurozone absorbs more rating shocks

George Osborne woos China and Japan while nine EU members downplay credit downgrades

Market Report: Unlucky 13th for Footsie as Europe rating fears grow

It was all too good to be true.

Ratings agency downgrades Hungary to junk status

Fitch downgraded Hungary's credit rating to junk status on Friday, citing a standoff between the government and international lenders like the IMF and the European Union over possible rescue loans.

World's governments seek to raise $7.6 trillion in 2012

Bond markets to be asked to fund vast levels of sovereign borrowing this year

2011: a year of ups and downs downs

With the Footsie hitting its peak in February, defensive stocks have taken centre stage in the past 12 months. Household names and new issues alike have found it tough, reports Toby Green

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own