News US President Barack Obama pauses while making a statement about the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela in the briefing room of the White House

US politicians are closing in on a deal to ease the impact of spending cuts worth up to $200 billion (£122 billion) which are due to hit home next year, it emerged today.

Mortgage deals are likely to get cheaper

People planning to remortgage or fund a house purchase may find that the deals on offer get cheaper over the coming weeks and months, mortgage industry insiders have said.

Borrowing £5bn less than expected

The Government modestly undershot its expectations for public borrowing in the last financial year by nearly £5 billion, official figures revealed today.

Money Insider: Improved mortgage deals as swap rates recede

during the first six weeks of 2011 there was a growing belief that the Bank of England Base Rate would increase sooner than initially anticipated, something that was reflected in the increased swap rates. This resulted in many lenders re-pricing fixed rate mortgages and left borrowers feeling that they had missed the bottom of the market.

Growth forecasts revised down

The UK's recovery prospects were dealt a blow today after Chancellor George Osborne revealed a cut to growth forecasts and said the public finances were likely to be more stretched than previously expected.

Bond Buy: Jameel family pay 21m for Piaget store

A Saudi Arabian family, estimated to be worth $3bn, has bought the Piaget store on Old Bond Street in yet another record deal on London's exclusive shopping street.

Rate rise could be shocking for borrowers

Fixing could protect against mortgage rates climbing next year. Simon Read reports

Questions Of Cash: 'My funds were sent to the wrong account'

Q. ING Direct closed my account at my request, but transferred the funds – almost £90,000 – to the wrong account. It admits this, and that it was their error, but says it cannot reimburse me until it locates the missing funds. It has even suggested that I should track down the funds myself – and that this would be quicker. GF, London.

Yamauchi targets Great North glory

It just so happens that Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have been asked to fire the starting gun to get the 30th edition of the Bupa Great North Run underway in Newcastle tomorrow morning.

Storm clouds gather over Britain's high street

Storm clouds gathered on Britain's high street today after a shock fall in retail sales and a slew of pessimistic comments from major players.

Bank chiefs discussed rate increase

Bank of England policymakers considered further action to boost the economy this month amid concerns over tightening credit conditions and a slowdown in the UK recovery, it emerged today.

Lenders fail to notify savers of rate changes

Most banks fail to tell savers about changes to the interest they are earning on their cash, it was claimed yesterday.

Hamish McRae: Things are at a crucial stage for Europe but what if China turns off the tap to the US?

Economic Life: Austerity moves may persuade the markets most weaker eurozone countries are good for their money. Equally, they might decide the US is not a safe haven

Borrowing soars but tax receipts up

Britain's borrowing ballooned by another £12.4 billion last month, but tax receipts rose year on year as the economic recovery gathered pace, official figures revealed today.

Pound hit over hung parliament fears

The pound was punished today amid worries that plans to slash the UK's soaring deficit could be delayed by political uncertainty.

The Sketch: Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me!

"For ****'s sake, ****ing VICTIMS, don't you ****ing under****ingstand what the House of ****-Commons is? Ach, you don't know ANYTHING YOU ****S!"

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?