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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

Inside Business: Windows, rags and riches

A family concern with global interests, OCS has thrived throughout the century, says Roger Trapp

Pound rises as rates held

THE BANK of England's decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 5.5 per cent yesterday left industry disappointed as the pound climbed to a new high against the euro.

Governor seeks friends in the North

"WHERE'S THE apology, Eddie?" The question from the unemployed of Newcastle upon Tyne to the governor of the Bank of England was simple enough. But Eddie George, on his first trip to the North-east in five years, had no intention of delivering any apology.

Letter: Millennium strike

Sir: Whilst computer confusion or total collapse at the time of the rollover to the next century may be fascinating to some and frightening to others, there is a more serious consequence of this event beginning to emerge.

Letter: Blinkered economy

Sir: It is now well recognised that in many service industry areas there is overcapacity ("How is it that all these gloomy businessmen are employing more people?", 4 February).

Debate: Is it right that some public spaces be kept free of children?

The At-Bristol science museum, which opens next year, is to make one of its galleries adult-only in response to concerns about noise. But is it reasonable to expect to avoid children in public places? Yes, says Root Cartwright; why should their rights come first? But families still have a raw deal, says Rosalind Freeborn; we have to learn tolerance

City expects quarter point rate cut today

A SERIES of gloomy business surveys published yesterday fuelled speculation that the Bank of England would today deliver its fifth successive cut in interest rates, writes Lea Paterson.

How is it that all these gloomy businessmen are employing more people?

START WITH an immediate question and a bigger puzzle. The immediate question is how fast UK interest rates will come down; the bigger puzzle is what is actually happening to the British economy.

Lilleshall plunges on bank covenant breach

SHARES IN Lilleshall, the Berkshire-based provider of industrial services, plunged from 68p to 47.5p yesterday after the company announced it was in breach of its banking covenants with Lloyds Bank.

Service sector growth stalled

THERE WAS fresh evidence of a slowdown in the services sector yesterday, fuelling speculation that today's crucial growth figures will show that the economy stagnated towards the end of last year.

American Times Denny's Diner: You're welcome: US restaurants offer hand of racial friendship Ethnic minorities start winning the racism war in restaurants

A FACE appears on the television screen. It is brown, wide-eyed, and framed - quite discreetly - with dreadlocks. "I want to let you into a little secret," says the voiceover. "I'm black."

MPC expected to hold back from rate change

LEADING CITY economists expect the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to leave interest rates unchanged when it meets later this week, although most anticipate that the introduction of the euro will help push rates down sharply later.

Jobwatch

THE LATEST government figures show unemployment has risen for the second consecutive month, although employment levels continue to increase.

Service sector has its bright spots

News Analysis: There is no evidence yet of the across-the-board decline that has hit manufacturing

Who eats where: Your usual table?; Daniel Galvin Haircolourist

On the rare occasions that my family is together for a meal, we head for Sunday lunch at the Sir Charles Napier (near Chinnor, Oxfordshire, 01494 483 011) The owner, Julie Griffiths, goes out of her way to make sure you're comfortable. Being in the service industry myself, that kind of courtesy means a lot. There are too many places where the people serving you give the impression that they're doing you a favour. The quality of customer relations at the Sir Charles Napier is one of the reasons why it is always busy.
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us