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Outlook Remember that arcade game in the 1980s – Whac-a-Mole? You get a mallet and clobber the brown, furry creatures that pop out of holes in the machine. Each time you whack one, another jumps up in its place.

The Business Matrix: Monday 23 December 2013

Sam Cam firm slips into red

Taxpayers lost £230m in Lloyds share sale

Figures undermine Osborne's claims that sale presented a profit for taxpayers

Ukrainian protesters shout slogans during a mass opposition rally in Independence Square in Kiev

Russia bails out Ukraine for $15bn – but deal triggers street protests in Kiev

The two countries’ leaders reached agreement at talks in the Kremlin that appeared to begin frostily but ended with them laughing at a ceremony where documents were signed on reducing trade barriers

More trouble for François Hollande as France is christened the new “sick man of Europe”

President François Hollande is wrestling with a sluggish economy and unemployment at a 16-year high

The six-wheeled Jader Rabbit rover is seent separating from the Chang'e-3 moon lander.

Gallery: China's Jade Rabbit rover sends back its first pictures from the Moon

The 600lb robot succesfully detached from the Chang'e-3 lander this weekend

Unemployed told to leave Ireland in desperate move to slash welfare costs

Ireland is asking its citizens to leave the country if they can't find a job in a desperate bid to slash welfare costs.

Pope Francis attacks huge salaries for the rich while poor survive on 'crumbs'

Pontiff attacks excessive bonuses, greed-based economy

James Moore: Watchdog's more like a tortoise with this slow review of banks' auditing

Outlook Lost in the heat of yet another day of shame for the banking industry was an important point made by Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.

Former Bradford & Bingley boss fine slashed

The City regulator has slashed a fine to be paid by the former finance director of failed bank Bradford & Bingley to a fraction of the £150,000 penalty initially proposed.

Thousands of riot police were forced to withdraw

Ukraine asks EU for €20bn in return for signing Association Agreement

Move comes just hours after the government sent in thousands of special forces to destroy a pro-EU protest camp in the centre of Kiev

James Moore: Barra's mission to help GM drive up the US economy

Outlook Congratulations to Mary Barra, who has become the first female boss of a big US car maker by taking over General Motors just as it stopped being unofficially known as Government Motors.

Outlook: Back-to-the-future banking on the cards at HSBC – or is that Midland?

Outlook: The bank has reportedly sounded out investors about the partial flotation of its UK bank

Pension schemes face funding crisis

Britain’s pension schemes remain gripped by a funding crisis, despite the nation’s recent economic revival, figures published today reveal.

The decision to award MPs an 11 per cent pay rise may be independent, but it shows a woeful lack of judgement

Politicians from across the spectrum are queuing up to denounce the scheme

After the death of Nelson Mandela, Africa tilts towards hope

Day two of the obituaries saw a rebalancing. The full backlash cannot be far behind

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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas