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.


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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On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
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The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

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In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

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David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral