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.

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.

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

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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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
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Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
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Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
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Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
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Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
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Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink