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.

Dash for cash as rate fears spark UK share sell-off

EUROPEAN FUND managers are dumping British and US equities and boosting their stocks of cash because of growing fears of a hike in US interest rates, according to a new survey. Sentiment about Wall Street has hit its most bearish level for more than four years, Merrill Lynch said.

The Investment Column: ICI's new portfolio faces the same old problems

JUST OVER a year ago, it seemed nothing would stop the inexorable rise of ICI's shares. This symbol of great British industry was well up with the national spirit, transforming itself into what it called "New ICI".

Household water bills to be slashed by pounds 1bn

HOUSEHOLD WATER bills are to be slashed by pounds 1bn next week, a saving of around pounds 35 a year for the average domestic customer.

Paxman hands out prizes at Extel analysts' awards

THE AWARDS ceremony for the Primark Extel Survey 1999 went with more than its usual swing this year, thanks to the slick presentational skills of Extel's new American owners, Primark, a giant financial information company.

Merrill Lynch fined pounds 16m for Sumitomo role

MERRILL LYNCH was yesterday hit with a record pounds 6.5m fine by the London Metal Exchange over its involvement in the Sumitomo copper market scandal three years ago.

Cendant unveils Green Flag sale

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Buyback promise brings Mepit reprieve

US ARBITRAGEURS yesterday backed out of an attempt to force a wind-up of the pounds 1bn Mercury European Privatisation Investment Trust (Mepit) after the trust's board made the unprecedented promise of an open-ended share buyback.

Economists raise UK forecasts for growth

INDEPENDENT ECONOMISTS have upped their forecasts for UK growth for the first time in more than a year, according to figures released yesterday, with the bulk of experts now confident the economy will escape recession.

MAM to expand Merrill branding

MERCURY ASSET Management, the City fund management group acquired by the American investment bankers Merrill Lynch, is considering dropping the "Mercury" name from some products and markets. It will instead selectively market itself solely under the Merrill brand name.

Bovis runs rule over merger candidates

BOVIS HOMES, the housebuilder spun off from transport group P&O a year ago, is considering a merger with a listed rival in a bid to expand its presence in the North of England.

Investment: Airtours hints at buying spree

AIRTOURS, Britain's second largest tour operator, yesterday reported strong first quarter bookings and hinted at a possible pounds 300m buying spree.

Outlook: GUS complaint leaves a sour taste

IT WAS THE first anniversary yesterday of the launch of Great Universal Stores' hostile bid for the catalogue retailer Argos. It was also the day on which the Takeover Panel chose to throw out the complaint subsequently brought by the GUS chairman, Lord Wolfson, over tactics used by Argos and its advisers, Schroders, in the unsuccessful bid defence.

Games Workshop seeks new markets

GAMES WORKSHOP, the war games company that shocked the market with a profits warning last May, is aiming its battalions at overseas markets in the hope of making up for sluggish growth in the UK.

Federal Mogul lines up pounds 3.6bn LucasVarity bid

FEDERAL MOGUL, the acquisitive US engineering company, is eyeing up a pounds 3.6bn bid for LucasVarity, the motor components and aerospace group led by Victor Rice.
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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on pottermore site this morning

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Charlie Sheen said he would
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Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

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Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
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Apple CEO Timothy Cook
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Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
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Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
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Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

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Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes