Arts and Entertainment

'A puzzling argument on the value of economics'

Self-employed face greater risk of bankruptcy

Singer and former EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon was this week declared bankrupt. The 36-year-old filed for insolvency at Kingston upon Thames County Court after being unable to meet debts of £187,000.

Average London house £½m by end of decade

The price of an average London home will rise to at least £500,000 by the end of the decade – an increase of more than 30 per cent on today's £383,000 average – according to research published today.

Private housing boosts growth

Britain's construction firms ended a year-long run of decline in the final quarter of last year, but the sector is far from out of the woods, experts said yesterday. Industry output rose 0.9 per cent between October and December, the Office for National Statistics said, halting a slide which began in the third quarter of 2011. Private housing made the biggest contribution to growth.

Jim O'Neill (aka Mr Bric and Red Knight) to retire from Goldman Sachs

Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist credited with coining the "Brics" acronym to refer to the fast-growing economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China, will retire from the Wall Street bank later this year.

David Cameron (top centre) at a cabinet meeting in Leeds today. The PM sayts he is detemined to push ahead with HS2

Snow hits rate of sales growth at John Lewis

John Lewis sounded the alarm bell for Britain's retailers yesterday when it warned that snow had hit sales.

Last Night's Viewing: Bob Servant Independent, BBC4
Life after War: Haunted by Helmand, BBC3

Bob Servant apparently owes his existence to email scammers. Like Henry Root, Willie Donaldson's imaginary letter writer, Servant was Neil Forsyth's alter ego in writing to online swindlers and con men, responding to them with a garrulous energy that drove even the most persistent of them to the point of distraction in the end.

BSA boss Coles set to stand down

Adrian Coles, the director-general of the Building Societies Association, has revealed plans to stand down once a successor can be found for him, probably later this year.

Traders' email messages give frauds away, study shows

Rogue traders capable of losing banks and other financial institutions billions in illegal or unauthorised transactions could be caught before their losses soar too high by analysing their email exchanges with colleagues, new research has found.

Shrinking in services rings alarm for a triple-dip recession

Fears of a triple-dip recession were stoked yesterday after an alarming new survey revealed the UK's powerhouse services sector contracting for the first time in two years.

James Moore: And you thought the OBR's forecasts were meant to be right?

Outlook Remember when the Office for Budget Responsibility was set up? There was a big song and dance about how it would provide clean and independent fiscal forecasts that would help to prevent governments from fiddling the figures, an accusation repeatedly levelled at Gordon Brown's administration – and most of its predecessors at some point.

Arm’s length: Doris Day and John Raitt in the 1957 romantic comedy The Pajama Game

Love's big secret? Play hard to get

That's the strategy used by both men and women to test a potential partner's commitment, claims new research

What the Sunday Papers said…

The Independent on Sunday: Chancellor will need to use 'dark arts' to meet targets

Dr King, our finances need a shot in the arm

Sir Mervyn King took a break from the woes of the economy yesterday as the Bank of England Governor picked up an honorary doctor of civil law degree from the University of Kent.

Eurozone downturn set to gather pace

The eurozone is on course for a deepening recession in the final quarter of 2012 as the worst slump in activity for more than three years looms. The financial data provider Markit's snapshot of manufacturing and services output across the region – where a score under 50 signals contraction – was stuck at 45.8 in November, close to its lowest since June 2009.

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Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
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Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
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The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
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Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform