News Maths is the only subject where girls still lag behind boys

Girls lack confidence in their ability in maths and science and are therefore put off from applying for jobs in engineering and computing, a new study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows today.

US Independence: Shale gas helps make it self-sufficient in energy

US to become world leader in oil and gas thanks to fracking

The United States will leapfrog Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's biggest producer of oil and gas in the next five years as the controversial practice of "fracking" for hydrocarbons contained in shale rocks has enabled the country to increase production massively, according to an authoritative new report.

Taxman admits Government powerless to force multinationals to declare profits

HMRC chief denies turning blind eye to global giants avoiding massive UK tax bills

Cancer costs EU £99bn per year

Cancer costs European countries 124 billion euros (£99 billion) every year, according to the first estimate of the full economic burden of the disease in the EU.

Think-tank in warning to UK

Britain's struggling economy is on course to shrink this year as the eurozone's debt crisis bites, according to the OECD think-tank.

Vince Cable: The Lib Dem Business Secretary was described by Beecroft as 'a socialist'

Vince Cable denies Chancellor ambitions

Business Secretary Vince Cable denied today that he was pushing to be made Chancellor, as David Cameron faced a call from one of his own backbenchers to move George Osborne out of the Treasury.

George Osborne must stay the course, says OECD

George Osborne's programme of deficit reduction was today strongly endorsed by the head of a major international economic organisation, who urged the Chancellor to “persevere” and “stay the course”.

English schools neglect brightest children, says report

England is neglecting its brightest children, leaving them lagging far behind youngsters overseas, new research suggests.

Maggie Morgan takes a Spanish class for year two pupils at St Paul’s School in Brighton

Britain's children left behind in languages by the time they're three

At least 11 countries have lowered the age at which children start language lessons, says study

OECD hits out at pension plan

The Government's plans to enrol people automatically in pension schemes are flawed because the contributions are too low, an economic think-tank said yesterday.

Small Talk: SMEs could pay the price if banking reform hits lending

Unlike households, there are no state-backed safety nets to protect firms when they fall

Global aid fall sparks cash call

Europe's richest countries today faced pressure to step up cash support for developing nations after figures showed the first fall in global aid for 14 years.

Construction data boosts UK economy

The nation's builders saw new orders rise at the fastest rate in four-and-a-half years last month, a survey said today, further boosting hopes that the UK has dodged another recession.

UK heading back into recession, says OECD

The UK has slipped back into recession after the economy contracted in the first quarter of 2012, an influential think-tank warned today.

Richest nations 'pulling out of economic slide'

Developed nations are pulling out of the economic slide seen at the end of 2011, according to new data based on hundreds of millions of financial transactions.

OECD survey suggests boost for economy

Hopes that the UK might dodge another recession were boosted today as an influential forecaster revealed a positive shift in economic activity at the start of the year.

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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
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick