News

Outlook Raise a glass to Greene King. The pub and restaurant group reported a sparkling 5 per cent increase in sales over Christmas. But fill it with Cava rather than Champagne.

Ed Balls insisted he 'couldn’t give a toss' about speculation he could be ousted as shadow Chancellor

'I couldn’t give a toss': Ed Balls dismisses speculation about ousting as shadow Chancellor

Ed Balls insisted on Sunday he “couldn’t give a toss” about speculation he could be ousted as shadow Chancellor.

Jim Armitage: Kingfisher boss keeps his Krug in the fridge over British recovery

Outlook Ian Cheshire is one of our more cerebral chief executives. The Cambridge economics and law graduate who runs the B&Q owner Kingfisher is given to penning the occasional well-reasoned treatise on subjects such as "sustainable capitalism". His entry in Debrett's mentions his numerous advisory board positions in academia and Westminster. He is, in short, a man worth heeding – especially in matters economic.

Do the maths: Critics say the Department for Education has failed to respond to rising birth rates

Revealed: The real shortage of school places

Rise in birth rate in the UK has put primary schools under pressure to meet demand

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The cuts were bad, but the jokes that accompanied them were even worse

Dr Osborne did not say the economy was  ‘healing’ but ‘moving out of intensive care’

A policeman and a protester outside Bilderberg venue

Cost of policing Bilderberg conference was £1.3m

The cost of policing the Bilderberg conference – a meeting of politicians, academics and business leaders – in Hertfordshire last week was more than £1m, the Home Office has revealed.

Analysis: Economic recovery - a sprint that became a painful marathon

"We've always said the road to recovery would be a marathon, not a sprint" said the Business Secretary Vince Cable today in response to the GDP figures. Talk about rewriting history.

Touched by George Osborne's tears? Don't worry. It'll all end in votes

The Chancellor's grief at Lady Thatcher's funeral won't sway his critics, but many found it both genuine and moving

Budget 2013: Workers will not pay any tax on the first £10,000 of their wages from next year as rise in personal allowance brought forward

Workers will not pay any tax on the first £10,000 of their wages from next year - 12 months earlier than planned.

National Express feels loss of pensioners' subsidy

The Government's decision to axe half-price coach fares for the over-sixties saw 1 million fewer pensioners travel with National Express last year, as the transport group's annual pre-tax profit fell 9 per cent to £164.1m.

Falling pound and VAT hit Safestore

The UK's biggest self-storage firm counted the cost of the Chancellor's Budget raid on the industry and a falling pound as it veered into the red.

International Monetary Fund chief economist Olivier Blanchard (left) has some advice for the Chancellor George Osborne

Time for Plan B? Britain should ease austerity measures in Budget, IMF chief economist tells Osborne

Olivier Blanchard delivers 'time to take stock' message ahead of gloomy GDP figures expected tomorrow

What the Sunday Papers said…

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

A two-tier motorway would be ineffective, unjust, and add to the government's pile of #Omnishables

Most people agree that we have a major problem with congestion. But is inserting a new class distinction into Britain's roads likely to solve the problem? Probably not

Simon English: Sir Martin's many reasons to worry

It is tempting to think that Sir Martin Sorrell gets taken way too seriously; that his position as chief (M)Ad Man makes journalists hang on his every word rather more than a dispassionate analysis of his predictive record merits.

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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?