IT will rescue Britain, insists Microsoft boss

Ballmer predicts thousands of new computing jobs but calls for investment in skills

Hamish McRae: Sometimes governments get it right

The question now is how to choreograph the recovery and get the balance right

Britain stalls on new deal to rescue Africa

Chancellor claims fund-raising charge on all global banking transactions is not workable

Ireland pays £48bn to rescue five banks from toxic debts

Five High street banks in Ireland are to be paid £48bn by a state agency to cover their toxic debts in the biggest financial rescue in the country's history. Bonds issued by the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) will provide the struggling banks with £7bn more than the current £41bn value of their toxic debts.

Postal workers vote on national strike

Small businesses count cost as huge backlog of mail builds up in sorting offices

Product placement to the rescue of broadcasters

Easing of advertising rules could be worth £100m a year to ailing television industry

A deal fit for a future King? Waitrose pays princely sum for Duchy rights

Supermarket signs exclusive deal to make, license and sell Prince's luxury food range

Letters: Terrorist crimes

More panic in the face of terrorist crimes

Suicidal man faces £24,000 bill for rail firm's lost profits

Docklands Light Railway seeks compensation for loss of revenue while police rescued man from bridge

Focus DIY chain unveils rescue plan

Britain's biggest commercial landlords will back a deal to save DIY chain Focus at a creditors' meeting today.

Argentine FA hoping new TV deal will save ailing clubs

The Argentine Football Association on Tuesday broke a contract granting television rights to a local company, hoping to land a new, more lucrative deal to broadcast the country's matches. The decision to dump rights-holding company TSC came as Argentine officials try to rescue debt-ridden clubs whose financial woes have delayed the start of the season.

Observations: Horse Meat Disco reveals its manifesto

Escapist disco and recession have gone together since the sound was forged in grim, late-1970s New York, so the UK's premier Studio 54 revivalists have shown expert timing by waiting to release their first mix CD. Rather than encouraging afro wigs and flares, Horse Meat Disco has revived various strands of underground dance since 2003. The club night has gained influence and popularity more recently since it found its home in Vauxhall, south London's gay village, and thrived as a mixed-sex haven. Along the way, HMD has helped rescue disco from hen-night ignominy. Now it is part of a fully-fledged movement that ranges from the sophisticated productions of Hercules & Love Affair to the more chilled Scandinavian exponents of cosmic disco.

Adrian Hamilton: The bitter politics of debt reduction

In hard times there is virtue in the politician who proposes harsh measures

Retailers unveil strategy to rescue blighted high streets

The British Retail Consortium has urged the Government to help "rescue" the high street from an accelerated demise as the number of boarded-up shops soars during the downturn.

Theo Fennell rides to the rescue of his own company

'King of Bling' returns to board of celebrity jeweller and raises his shareholding
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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