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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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before