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As the retirement age advances, workers are more likely to switch profession

First-time buyers feel squeeze as lenders withdraw best deals

First-time buyers are being forced to work even harder to find a lender who will help them take their first step on the property ladder, after another handful of major banks pulled their most competitive mortgages from the market this week.

Trio's £94m incentive to lift Rentokil back into the rat race

Former ICI team McAdam, Brown and Ransom appointed; Long tours City to ensure support

Catch us a strong leader, Rentokil investors insist

Shareholders demand that board appoints a full-time executive chairman who can turn the business services company around

Forty-plus parents: The struggles of the 'sandwich generation'

The financial hit is bigger if you have children late, and your own parents could need help too. Kate Hughes sees how to cope

Last 125% mortgage offer is scrapped

The 125 per cent mortgage was rendered extinct yesterday as the final lender withdrew from the market. Birmingham Midshires, owned by the Halifax, became the sixth mortgage lender this week to stop offering loans worth more than the value of a property, amid increasing nervousness from banks and building societies about defaulters and the spectre of negative equity.

Lloyds profits defy credit crunch

Banking giant Lloyds TSB today shrugged off the credit market turmoil that has rocked many of its rivals as it posted a 6-per-cent hike in annual profits to £3.92 billion.

Investors flood out of commercial property funds as returns drop

The amount of money being withdrawn from commercial property funds inc-reased almost twelvefold during the last three months of 2007, as investors rushed for the exit in a panic-stricken response to sharp falls in asset prices.

Is it time to stop investing in commercial property?

If you're worried by the turmoil in the markets, James Daley has some advice

Scottish Widows halts property fund transfers

Scottish Widows yesterday became the latest fund manager to close the door on withdrawals from its commercial property funds, as growing numbers of nervous investors continued to shift their money out of the sector.

A flicker of optimism for the fall guys of investment

Some funds are improving their performance and bonuses look secure, finds Cherry Reynard. So should you rethink if you're heading for the exit?

Wine: A lesson in le marketing

Looking through the shop window of this spring's supermarket and high-street press tastings, one of the more striking features is the extent to which France is taking on board the competition of the New World and its customer-friendly face. The dull lists of meaningless appellations and négociant names are giving way to a host of brand names à la New World. Some arrive with a French accent, like Chamarré, Première, La Terre or Blason de Bourgogne. Others like Stone Road wouldn't look out of place on an Australian or Californian shelf. And, following in the footsteps of Fat Bastard Chardonnay, there's a new tongue-in-cheek breed like Le Freak, Chat en Oeuf, and the self-deprecating Arrogant Frog, telling us that the French can lighten up if they have to.

Inspectors savage schools for failing to teach maths properly

Pupils who shine in maths GCSE exams often fail to understand the subject and are poorly equipped to do A-levels, inspectors report today.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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