News Jack Lew’s previous squiggle of a signature, above, and the new one, below

When US President Barack Obama nominated Jack Lew as the new Secretary of the US Treasury in January, the media had one overwhelming concern about the appointment: Lew’s illegible signature, which resembles the doodle of an absent-minded child, would now appear on every US banknote.

AIG boss faces music over $165m in bonuses

Payments are distasteful but necessary, chairman tells congress committee

Obama feels backlash on 'Main Street' over bailout

Scramble to aid small businesses that employ 70 per cent of workers

Bernanke sees US recovery from 2010

The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested in a taped interview yesterday that the US recession could last most of the year and said the biggest risk was that the political will needed to fix the fractured financial system could be lacking.

Larry Summers: Can he make the sums add up?

They don't come much cleverer than Barack Obama's main economic adviser. Now the world waits to see if his ideas are smart enough to save us

China 'worried' about US Treasury holdings

China's premier today expressed concern about its holdings of Treasuries and other US debt, appealing to Washington to safeguard their value, and said Beijing is ready to expand its stimulus if economic conditions worsen.

Pound fails to help exports as demand for UK goods collapses

Exports slump even more than imports to leave trade deficit yawning alarmingly

Cabinet chief: Obama team 'unreachable'

Last week, it was all smiles and handshakes as Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama put on a show of unity in Washington.

Leading article: The world is relying on Mr Obama's rescue plan

Our fates are bound up with the success of the US President's efforts

Bernanke predicts recession could end this year

Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, held out the tentative hope yesterday that the severe recession in the United States might be brought to an end before the end of this year on condition that the correct steps are taken over the coming days and weeks to restore financial stability and to shore up teetering banks.

Margareta Pagano: Wall Street must wait for the Messiah to speak

Markets look for a miracle from Obama's government

Obama: one month in the White House

He has committed a few rookie errors and had to deal with a global recession that is only getting worse, but Barack Obama is yet to lose the gloss that won him the election. Rupert Cornwell reports

Europe's Black Friday seized on to defend British policies

As G7 finance ministers gather, damning report shows scale of Germany's economic woes

Obama forces Citigroup to cancel $50m executive jet order

Citigroup, the banking giant which is being propped up with funds from the US taxpayer, has scrapped plans to take delivery of a $50m corporate jet, after a public outcry and a reprimand from President Barack Obama.

America goes green

Obama makes good his promise to protect the planet by allowing states to set tough laws on car emissions and planning the appointment of a new climate change envoy
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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes