News The eye of the storm: Speakes in the White House in 1982

An assassination attempt plunged Larry Speakes into the brightest of national spotlights as chief spokesman for President Ronald Reagan. When Reagan’s press secretary James Brady was severely wounded in the 1981 attempt on the president’s life, Speakes was thrust into the eye of the storm. As White House spokesman for six years, a long tenure in the sensitive post, he was credited with 2,000 news media briefings.

Talent 2010: The chef, Daniel Cox

He's come a long way since he baked cakes with his granny in Wales and took a Saturday job at a local butcher, but Daniel Cox never doubted that he would become a chef. Until now, you could be forgiven for not having heard of him. Any chef who rises, as he did, through the ranks of the contract-catering industry (in his case, cooking for top executives at UBS and Merrill Lynch) will struggle to catch the eye of the public. But all that will change in the next few weeks, when the 28-year-old chef opens the doors of his new restaurant in the centre of London. Cox will be head chef at Roux in Parliament Square, located in beautiful Grade II-listed premises with views over the Houses of Parliament, in partnership with the owner Michel Roux. Roux is a loyal supporter of the young chef; Cox made three attempts to win the prestigious Roux Scholarship, before he finally succeeded in 2008.

Standard Life looks to sell its Canadian insurance business

'Vastly improved' operation is to be reviewed by advisers UBS and Merrill Lynch

BofA to pay US government $425m to end guarantee

Bank of America is paying the US government $425m (£262m) to scrap a key provision of its bailout arrangements, the latest major bank to return cash to taxpayers. The payment marks the end of a $118bn guarantee which the US Treasury signed with BofA in January, when losses from its investment banking subsidiary Merrill Lynch threatened to bankrupt the whole company.

Bank of America set to repay $20bn in bailout funds

Bank of America, the bailed-out US bank which bought Merrill Lynch at the height of last year's financial panic, is trying to rid itself of curbs on executive bonuses by repaying some of the government money it received to stabilise its finances.

Citigroup shakes up top management

Citigroup shook up its management yesterday, replacing its finance chief and installing a new head of banking. It comes as the embattled bank prepares to hand the US government a 34 per cent stake in the company.

Stephen Foley: Never forget how close to the brink we came

Ken Lewis, chief executive of Bank of America, is on Capitol Hill for another beating-up over the acquisition of Merrill Lynch last year, and the controversial events of last December, when he considered trying to get out of the deal.

Bank of America shareholders vote out chairman

Ken Lewis retains CEO role with troubled banking giant

Merrill Lynch finds trading 'irregularity'

Merrill Lynch discovered a trading "irregularity" during a recent investigation of the troubled investment bank's London trading positions, the company said today.

New York subpoenas Ken Lewis in Merrill Lynch investigation

Ken Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America, has been subpoenaed in a New York state investigation into whether the company misled investors about its takeover of Merrill Lynch last year.

Ousted Thain to pay for $1.2m office refit

John Thain, ousted boss of Merrill Lynch, has begun an attempt to repair his tattered reputation, saying he will reimburse the $1.2m that the company spent to redecorate his office last year.

Former Merrill star Thain ousted at Bank of America

Thain hit by allegations he had spent $1.2m on his office as Merrill's losses spiralled

Jeremy Warner: Merrill's Thain: from hero to zero in just four short months

Outlook Have they no shame? The one-time golden boy of Goldman Sachs, John Thain, may be a dab hand at personal enrichment, but in other respects he seems to be stupid beyond belief.

Market update - 9 January

The FTSE 100 was down 28.17 points at 4477.2 while the FTSE 250 eased to 6687.48, down 4.77 points, at 11.53am.

Imperial advisers hit the phones to get £1.2bn bid approved

Advisers to the FTSE 250-listed Imperial Energy have targeted 60 -to 65 key shareholders to push through its £1.2bn sale to India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) before the new year.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015