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.

City jobs gloom as Merrill cuts costs by pounds 150 million

MERRILL LYNCH cancelled its Christmas party and warned of bonus cuts yesterday as part of a drive to save pounds 150m a year because of the market turmoil that has slashed the earnings of City investment banks.

Trinity slumps

SHARES IN Trinity fell to a year's low after the regional newspaper group warned that second-half advertising growth had slowed.

Top City analysts poached by US bankers

SALOMON SMITH BARNEY, the United States' investment bank, has poached a team of top City banking analysts from one of its rivals, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson (DKB).

Market Report: Rouble trouble turns the screens red

EQUITIES WERE on the slippery slope again. After two days of progress the roller-coaster stock market was hit by the latest misfortunes of the Russian rouble.

Pearson sells Flextech TV stake

PEARSON, the media group whose interests range from Madame Tussaud's to the Financial Times, yesterday sold its remaining stake in the pay- television company Flextech for pounds 27.6m. Flextech shares closed up 13.5p at 577.5p after the announcement: Pearson gained 25p to 1,055p.

Outlook: Managers may be best judges

ANOTHER DAY, another batch of gloomy economic surveys. Yesterday, it was the turn of UK fund managers and the retailers to turn into Jeremiahs over the state of the UK economy.

Merrill Lynch buys Canadian broker

MERRILL LYNCH, the US investment bank, yesterday bought Midland Walwyn, Canada's last major independent brokerage, for about 1.26bn Canadian dollars ($855m) in stock.

UK fund managers switch to bonds

FEARS OF global economic slowdown have prompted heavy buying of bonds by UK fund managers, according to a survey published yesterday.

Investment Column: Mixed fortunes in electronics

COMPARED TO Premier Farnell, Electrocomponents has had a quiet year. While the rival electronic parts distributor issued several profit warnings and waved good-bye to its chief executive, Electrocomponents has quietly gone about its business. The two companies' contrasting fortunes has been reflected in their relative share prices: Premier Farnell shares have lost a fifth of their value in the past year while Electrocomponents rose by 42 per cent.

The Investment Column: Greenalls full of good ideas

GREENALLS was slow to catch on to the huge investment put into the branded pub market by its competitors. But it is finally doing the right thing and trying to catch up, and underlying operating profits rose 8 per cent to pounds 89.7m in the six months to March.

SFA expels ex-Merrill analyst from register

A FORMER analyst with Merrill Lynch, who used inside information to help his housemates avoid a pounds 175 loss on a share deal, has been expelled from the register of the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA), the stockbrokers' watchdog.

Fund managers see single currency eclipsing sterling

UK FUND managers believe interest rates have peaked and the economy is slowing, and anticipate a further weakening of sterling, according to a survey published yesterday.

Deal set to send European shares soaring

EUROPEAN banking shares are expected to soar today as shock waves from two of the biggest financial deals the world has ever seen reverberate around the world's stock markets.

GUS set to raise offer to clinch Argos deal

GREAT Universal Stores, the mail-order group, is this week expected to add up to 80p a share to its offer for Argos in an attempt to clinch its hostile bid for the catalogue retailer.

US bidders for Energy clash over $2.8bn Texas share plan

A FRESH WAR of words broke out last night between the rival US bidders for Energy Group after one of them, Texas Utilities, was forced to disclose that it may issue shares worth up to $2.8bn to help finance its offer for the company.
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada