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

Figures offer fresh hope of end to recession

Hopes that the UK pulled out of recession in the final quarter of 2009 were fuelled today after survey figures revealed an eighth month of growth in the key services sector during December.

MPC unanimous against printing more money

Bank of England policy committee agrees to keep interest rates at record low

Weak service sector puts recovery in doubt

Banks are still reluctant to lend to service sector

Mixed signals make Bank's decision tricky

Strong evidence of recovery in the service sector emerged yesterday, as the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee prepared to make its announcement, at noon today, about an extension of its quantitative easing strategy of injecting money into the economy.

Prophets of doom see new bubbles

Two of the world's most influential investment gurus warned yesterday that financial markets were turning into "bubbles".

Daniel Howden: Victory demonstrates that Greek politics is stagnant

When a party leader with every possible advantage staggers to victory at the third time of asking, trailing two election defeats in his wake, it's clear that politics have stagnated in Greece. George Papandreou has finally succeeded in following his father and grandfather in becoming prime minister but it's an empty victory that will be met with little enthusiasm.

Recovery hopes raised as service sector soars to a two-year high

Activity in the services sector rose to a two-year high in August, giving a boost to optimistic forecasts for the UK's recovery from recession.

British recession is finally over, accountants claim

Latest surveys predict the return of growth but warn that recovery is fragile

Hopeful signs of a return to growth

Surveyors say property prices will end 2009 higher

Services sector stalls

The fragile state of the UK's economic recovery was shown today after it emerged recent progress in the services sector stalled during June.

Phlip Hensher: Students who think they can do no wrong

The student was in his third semester at university. He hadn't turned up to half the seminars he was supposed to and I hadn't seen his face more than once or twice at the compulsory lectures. Now he had made an outraged appointment to see me to ask why I'd given his end-of-module assignment a third.

Blanchflower calls for new fiscal stimulus to combat unemployment

David Blanchflower, the Monetary Policy Committee member who was the first to warn of the risk of a serious recession in the UK, last night warned that the current policy response, including the Bank of England's plans for "quantitative easing", might not be sufficient to achieve a recovery.

Service sector cuts jobs at record pace in January

The UK's service sector shed jobs at a record pace last month, adding to expectations of another hefty interest-rate cut from the Bank of England today.

Fed December minutes signalled recession and deflation fears

The threat of recession and the spectre of deflation haunted members of the Federal Reserve's interest rate-setting committee, according to the minutes of their historic December meeting.

England is Europe's most crowded country

England has become the most crowded major country in Europe, figures indicated today.

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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas