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WPP cheered the City yesterday as its half-year profits surged almost 20 per cent to £429m and the advertising giant promised to keep raising the dividend.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Benign outlook of Sir Martin's crystal ball

UBM may buck the cycle too; Moulton stirs it up in private equity; Rank's pensions transfer to Goldman

Hamish McRae: Consumers can earn their way out of trouble but public debt is the problem

It is time to stand back a bit, isn't it? The past few days have seen the rumbling concerns about a US recession leading to a more severe global slowdown than was expected and these worries have spooked global equity markets. In fact nothing much new has happened in the past few weeks; what has changed is perception rather than substance. Still, changes in perception matter and it is reasonable to ask how this shift in the global outlook will affect the UK.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Rates dilemma should be settled by a cut

Big, bad banks turn screw on customers; Rock shareholders gamble over vote

Outlook: Rentokil Initial

IT IS hard to know whether Doug Flynn is a good, bad or indifferent appointment as Rentokil Initial's new chief executive. Brian McGowan, the chairman, has all too obviously been struggling to fill the post - it is now six months since he sacked Mr Flynn's predecessor, James Wilde - but it would be unfair and wrong to regard Mr Flynn as a desperate, scraping the bottom of the barrel type of appointment.

Will showers rain on the advertising parade?

Sir Martin Sorrell, the sage of adland, must be obsessed with personal hygiene. Analysts were scratching their heads after the latest utterances from the chief executive of advertising group WPP. "We're definitely out of the bath - but watch out for the shower," he said last week about the outlook for the advertising market for 2005.

Ad boss keeps his job and earns $30m 'compensation'

The boss of the American advertising group which was taken over last week by Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP will receive almost $30m (£18m) "compensation" for keeping his job.

WPP tries to calm City over fears of ITV-style bonanza for Sorrell

WPP is set to run into more trouble this week after it emerged that the new pay scheme could give chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell a windfall of up to £44m if the giant advertising group were taken over.

Aegis pours cold water on upturn

Jurys out as hotels group peaks; Yule Catto needs to kick the habit on omeprazole
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Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders