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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.

Spain under pressure on debt as EU leaders meet

As European leaders prepared for a crucial summit, markets and credit agencies piled the pressure on Spain and the euro once again yesterday – with a turbulent end to a dramatic year in prospect.

James Moody: Revered jazz saxophonist and flautist who formed a charismatic partnership with Dizzy Gillespie

Although he counts as a Bebop pioneer, James Moody's work had the elements of basic jazz at its root.

Dip in house sales takes gloss off US growth figures

The US economy expanded at a faster pace than previously estimated during the third quarter, official figures showed yesterday, but recovery hopes were tempered by evidence that the housing market remains hamstrung by tight credit conditions.

England's running puts Sheridan on back foot

Like a man who turned up expecting to be centre stage only to be left stuck in the wings Andrew Sheridan found England's sweeping, guns-blazing 35-18 victory over Australia on Saturday as much a shock as a memorable occasion.

All Blacks will fight to the death for Mealamu

New Zealand today confirmed they will fight "to the death" against the four-week ban handed down to hooker Keven Mealamu for an apparent headbutt on England's Lewis Moody.

Bath unable to hold rising Flood in rain

Leicester Tigers 21 Bath 15: England fly-half plays himself back to form and fitness with flawless kicking display in wet-weather battle as All Black challenge looms

Business Diary: The mystery of Sky's missing fan

It's the end of the era at Sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the first question at its annual general meeting has come from a Bristol City supporter disappointed about the lack of coverage of his team on Sky's football channels.

Moody likely to be fit to face New Zealand

Lewis Moody is on track to captain England against New Zealand on November 6 after making a rapid recovery from an eye injury which initially left him fearing for his sight.

Moody could miss New Zealand clash

England captain Lewis Moody faces a race against time to be fit for the autumn Test opener against New Zealand at Twickenham.

Moody's revisits Ireland's ratings

Ireland's standing in the credit markets could take another hit, the ratings agency Moody's warned, as it placed the country on review for a possible downgrade yesterday.

Borrowing hits record ahead of Coalition cuts

The gaping hole in the public finances was laid bare yesterday after borrowing grew to a record level in August as interest payments on sovereign debt jumped in line with higher inflation.

UK keeps triple-A credit rating as Moody's backs Government cuts

One of the world's premier rating agencies yesterday backed the UK's economy by maintaining its top credit rating, despite fears that the Government's cuts could send the country into a double-dip recession.

Irish debt downgrade raises fears of international deflation spiral

The colossal expense of rescuing Ireland's troubled banking sector has hit the republic's international credit rating once again.

Hungarians facing ratings downgrade

Ratings agencies may downgrade Hungary's sovereign debt after it snubbed the International Monetary Fund and rejected austerity measures in favour of a pro-growth policy to woo voters ahead of municipal elections in October.

David Prosser: Look across the Irish Sea for a glimpse of where our economy may be headed

Outlook: As in the UK, Ireland must build its recovery on more broadly based footings, with no prospect of property and finance regaining engine-room status
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Independent Travel
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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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