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All-cash deal is the second largest in Google's history after the $12.5 billion acquisition of mobile phone maker Motorola in 2012

Books: The Renaissance man who's all talk

Conversation by Theodore Zeldin Harvill pounds 6.99

Fathers: Dads army

More and more fathers are choosing to stay at home to look after the kids full-time - and they're not all New Men in touch with their feminine side.

Lack of skills forces change in training

SKILL SHORTAGES have hit output in nearly half of British companies over the last year, according to a new annual enquiry conducted by the Confederation of British Industry.

Growth will relax without a rate rise

ARE THEY going to raise interest rates this week? No, I don't think they are - or perhaps I should say, since our monetary masters retain the ability to surprise, I see many reasons why they should not do so.

Scottish decline

Scottish decline

One size cannot fit all in the new euro-zone

Monetary policy will inevitably be wrong for some parts of the European economy

Waiters to charge pounds 1,000 for working on millennium eve

WAITERS willing to work on New Year's Eve 1999 are demanding a millennial sum to mark the millennium: pounds 1,000 to serve customers wanting to toast the end of the century.

Vibroplant in profit

VIBROPLANT, THE specialist plant hire group, returned to profit in the year to 31 March. Turnover rose by a third to pounds 49m and profits reached pounds 1.46m, plus an exceptional write-back of pounds 730,000 from previous provisions on the disposal of the US business.

MPC set to keep rates unchanged

THE Bank of England is firmly expected to leave interest rates unchanged at 7.25 per cent today, at the end of its Monetary Policy Committee's monthly meeting.

I have seen the future and it doesn't work

Are you ready for the future? A world of cyberspace conferences, e-mail memos, technological elites and down-trodden service workers. Jobs as we know them are finished, says Helen Jones.

Health: Real men can have feelings

The motor trade might not be the first place you would look to find a group of males discussing the things that get them down at work and home. It's a healthy trend - but will it catch on? By Peter Baker

Smaller Companies: Cleaning up with Johnson

LIKE many small firms, Johnson Group Cleaners lacks a high profile, so you would be forgiven if you didn't know that it owns the largest dry- cleaning business in the US. With 308 stores, including 10 huge drive- through outlets, however, this still only adds up to a 2 per cent share in what remains an extremely fragmented market.

Sterling slips as rate fear recedes

THE BANK of England's Monetary Policy Committee is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the end of its two-day meeting today, with many analysts increasingly confident that there will be no further rises in the cost of borrowing.

Companies face growing staff turnover problem

HIGH staff turnover - the scourge of labour-intensive businesses in the boom years of the late 1980s - has returned to plague British companies. More than a third of organisations report that employee turnover and the costly problems associated with it have got considerably worse over the past three years.
Life and Style
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The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
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Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
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Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
Environment
environmentCrop pests are 'grave threat to global food security'
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Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
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Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone