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My Week If there was any justice in the financial world, the people who run the big debt rating agencies would be hanging from lamp-posts along with the investment bankers for the way in which their activities contributed to the 2008 financial crash. But they emerged pretty well unscathed, barring a few uncomfortable sessions before congressional committees. Politicians threatened all sorts of legislative nasties at the time, but it turned out to be all sound and fury signifying not very much.

How Japan could emerge stronger from this disaster

Provided the natural disasters do not turn into nuclear disasters, then the crisis does offer the Japanese authorities an opportunity, albeit for the worst possible reasons, to boost and reform their economy.

Spain's credit rating downgraded

Moody's downgraded its credit rating on Spain today, citing worries over the cost of the banking sector's restructuring and the government's ability to achieve its borrowing reduction targets.

Markets bet on Greek default as credit rating slumps again

Greece's credit rating has crashed once again and now stands on a par with Fiji and Vietnam.

Tindall: Now you're seeing the real Johnson

It will be quite a meeting of minds. Martin Johnson, manager of England, and Andy Robinson, coach of Scotland, have been either pulling for each other or pushing against each other for a full two decades now – they fought hammer and tongs during their playing days with Leicester and Bath respectively before Robinson helped coach Johnson to World Cup glory in 2003 – so when the two men take up the Calcutta Cup cudgels at Twickenham nine days from now, the contest will have a whole history attached to it.

Moody out of France game with knee injury

First he was back in, then he was back out again. Lewis Moody, gung-ho flanker and England captain in absentia, had high hopes of reclaiming his place in the red-rose back row in this weekend's eagerly-awaited Six Nations game with France at Twickenham, despite playing fast and loose with his troublesome right knee by returning to action at least a week ahead of schedule. But yesterday's news from the camp was grim: Moody suffered a reaction after training and is now fighting to regain full fitness in time for the Calcutta Cup meeting with Scotland on 13 March.

Moody's return gives Johnson a dilemma for crucial France game

Bath 38 Northampton 8

Business Diary: A Diamond in all the rough?

Some good news for Bob Diamond (and goodness knows he could use some): despite all the criticism sent his way Barclays' brand has apparently increased in value by $4.2bn over the past year, at least according to the fifth edition of the BrandFinance Global Banking 500 – an annual review of the world's top banking brands published in trade mag The Banker. It's moved up to seventh place (from tenth) although is still behind HSBC (in third, down from first). The biggest faller will surprise no one: Goldman Sachs which fell from seventh to 16th.

Nick Easter would relish England captaincy

Nick Easter would be "honoured" to captain England in the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations after Lewis Moody picked up a knee injury.

David Prosser: Do the credit rating agencies dare hold the US to account?

Outlook It wasn't all that long ago that the economic debate in the UK was paralysed by the fear that the credit ratings agencies were about to remove our cherished AAA rating. This was the nub of the row between Labour and the Conservatives during last year's election campaign: just how much deficit reduction was needed to save our credit rating and how quickly?

Austerity may not be enough to save the EU's weakest links

Analysts at the credit ratings agency Moody’s Analytics have issued a stark warning that even with budget deficit programmes and savage cuts in public spending across the eurozone some of the weaker peripheral nations will still default on their debts, requiring a "restructuring".

Lewis Moody: In the Mood to conquer world with a big smile

England's captain has played in two World Cup finals but he still relishes the excitement before kick-off and is now an old hand at beating Aussies. Hugh Godwin meets Lewis Moody

'We can definitely win the World Cup,' says Moody

... although England's rugby captain reveals to the <i>IoS</i> that he has no idea what the draw is!

Portugal's debt rating set to be cut

The ratings agency Moody's has said it may cut Portugal's rating by one or two notches within three months, citing weak growth prospects as the government seeks to cut its debt.

James Moore: What the world is trying to tell us

Outlook: Warnings for Britain everywhere you look. The downgrading of Ireland's credit rating yesterday was based on Moody's view that their austerity cuts will so stymie growth that the economy may not produce enough tax revenue to finance debt repayments. Meanwhile, in the US, the latest employment data shows the "jobless recovery" continuing.

Lloyds reveals new hit from failing Ireland

Lloyds banking Group's exposure to the troubled Irish economy pushed its shares sharply lower in trading yesterday, as the Moody's credit ratings agency issued a radical downgrade of Irish government debt.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003