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.

Investment: Mitie makes more millionaires

THE MITIE GROUP, the building and support services provider, yesterday added another chapter to its success story by posting a 30 per cent-plus profits increase for the 10th year running.

One chance to get it right

The biggest show in town last week starred 30,000 stressed-out City workers, and computer systems they all dreaded crashing

Analysis: Aggregate adds to US stake with $53m buy

Acquisition follows collapse of talks with Tarmac

Fund managers take refuge in safe havens

THE UK'S top fund managers have turned increasingly bearish on the economic outlook and are seeking refuge in defensive stocks, reveals a survey published by Merrill Lynch yesterday.

Compass serves up 16% profit surge

COMPASS, the contract catering group, continued its impressive run yesterday with a 16 per cent increase in full-year profits to pounds 159m and bullish predictions that it is well placed to withstand a downturn.

Shell told to axe 20,000

UP TO 20,000 jobs should be slashed at Shell across Europe if the oil company is to catch up with its closest peers, Exxon and British Petroleum, analysts will tell the company at an investors meeting next week.

BIS appointment

THE BANK for International Settlements (BIS) yesterday announced it had appointed John Heimann as the first chairman of the new financial stability institute. The institute is a joint initiative by the BIS and the Basle Committe on Banking Supervision which is seen responding to needs for strengthening financial systems worldwide.

Football: Ford on drive to deflate Preston

FA Cup first round: Rymans League amateurs prepare to reap rewards of playing at Deepdale

GUS to sell finance arm for pounds 1.2bn

GREAT UNIVERSAL STORES, the mail order giant, has put its finance arm up for sale in a move which isexpected to raise in excess of pounds 1.2bn for the company.

BT. Alex Brown braced for cuts

LONDON STAFF at BT. Alex Brown, the investment bank, have braced themselves for swingeing job cuts next week after its parent, Bankers Trust, said it was seeking to reduce expenses by 8 per cent after declaring third-quarter losses of $488m earlier this week.

Merrill Lynch head steps aside

Merrill Lynch head steps aside

Cost cuts push Merrill into loss of pounds 122m

MERRILL LYNCH, the world's largest investment bank, yesterday reported pre-tax losses of $206m (pounds 122m) in the third quarter after taking a $430m charge to cover a cost-cutting programme which will cost 3,400 jobs worldwide.

Merrill Lynch cuts herald City cull

DESPITE THE seismic changes convulsing their company, it seemed like a normal day for the smokers at City giant Merrill Lynch yesterday.

Funds fear further market falls

EUROPEAN FUND managers fear further market falls and believe interest rates should be cut to help ease the global crisis, according to a survey by Merrill Lynch/Gallup of Continental European fund managers.

Investment: Lacklustre view for Thistle

THISTLE HOTELS yesterday announced the first tranche of a pounds 185m return of capital to shareholders. But it was greeted with indifference - the share price rose just 1p, from 123.5p to 124.5p. Should shareholders be more enthusiastic?
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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there