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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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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015