Bank Rate on hold, but markets expect May hike

The Bank of England's "emergency" policy of ultra-low interest rates marked its second birthday yesterday when the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted for the 24th month to leave rates on hold, and also to keep the £200bn programme of quantitative easing unchanged. The apparent calmness of policy, however, belies what the Bank admits is an "unusually wide range of views" on the MPC, which split four ways in January.

Johann Hari: Get bishops out of our law-making

Is Nick Clegg even going to abandon his atheism, and give the forces of organised religion yet more power over us?

Osborne under pressure to cut growth forecasts

The Confederation of British Industry today becomes the latest organisation to downgrade its growth forecast for the British economy, threatening the credibility of the Chancellor's predictions, the Government's prospects of reducing the fiscal deficit and higher unemployment as the economy struggles to rebalance.

Charities 'must catch up with modern world'

The internet holds the key to increasing private donations to offset council spending cuts, voluntary organisations are told

Leading article: There is nothing wise about economic inflexibility

One politician's pride cannot be allowed to drive policy; not with so many jobs at stake

Fears that UK will lose influence after huge cuts at World Service

Protests took place outside Bush House, the BBC World Service's London headquarters, yesterday in response to the news that 650 posts and five language services would be lost after a 16 per cent reduction in funding from the Foreign Office.

First Night: Twelfth Night, The Cottesloe Theatre, London

Gift of a role: Rebecca Hall stars in her father's play to mark his 80th birthday

Doris Heffer: Political secretary who formed a parliamentary double act with her husband Eric

I assert with the certainty of one who knew them both extremely well – one who worked with them and sometimes argued with them when they would give me a lift to the end of Horseferry Road on their way to their London pied-à-terre in Dolphin Square after the close of Commons business in the small hours of the morning – that without his wife Doris, Eric Heffer would probably not have become a Member of Parliament, and unquestionably not a member of the National Executive of the Labour Party, and indeed the national figure he became.

National Youth Orchestra / J&#228;rvi, Barbican Hall, London<br/>Madam Butterfly, King's Head Theatre, London

The country's rising orchestral players and their nimble conductor dance with death &ndash; and relish

Bank holds rates steady as the recovery slows sharply

The British economy barely grew in December, according to the latest estimates from the country's oldest economics research body.

The party's over but the fun's just begun

City Slicker: Edinburgh - Those in the know wait until Hogmanay's ended to go to this city. Rhiannon Batten offers ideas for new and returning visitors

Thousands set to protest against tuition fee rises

Thousands of students and lecturers up and down the country are expected to take to the streets today to demonstrate against the Government's proposals to treble university tuition fees.

The National, Brixton Academy, London

Peerless National treasures

'Manic Monday' online shoppers set to spend millions

Online shoppers are set to spend a total of £537 million today in what is predicted to be the busiest internet shopping day of the year.

Teachers fear restraint powers will bring chaos

Unions warn that unless they are given proper training, staff will be open to false claims of abuse
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peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
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Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
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tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?