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The US Federal Reserve said it would continue to reduce its bond buying stimulus program by $10 billion a month and will keep interest rates extraordinarily low for as long as required.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: George Osborne’s lame pun takes Balls-baiting to a new level

Revelling in the latest growth figures, George Osborne lifted Balls-baiting to a new plane. He was asked an unusually long list of super-friendly questions by euphoric Tory backbenchers. Ones that in the secret dreams of the MPs involved, invite the answer: “Yes. My honourable friend has absolutely hit the nail on the head with that spiffing question correctly mentioning our long-term economic plan, allowing me to lay into the Opposition, and qualifying him for early promotion.”

Workers at mail-order company La Redoute protest in Lille against plans to sack 1,200 workers

Is life easy in the land of the 35-hour week, generous holidays and long lunches? ‘Non’, say burnt-out French

3.2 million people are working so hard that they risked mental or physical breakdown, study finds

The Business Matrix: Tuesday 28 January 2014

Strikes possible at Ford factories

Big numbers of young adults move to London from other cities and never return home

UK regions hit by brain drain: Exodus of talent to London adds to fears that recovery is geographically skewed

For Britain to prosper, cities must prosper. They are engines of growth

According to research, there is a strong link between financial issues and low mental well-being in people over 50

Debt-ridden over-50s ‘more likely to suffer mental-health problems’

High levels of personal debt in Britain could be creating a health time bomb, according to research showing a strong link between financial problems and low mental well-being in older people.

Behind good news headlines on recovery and jobs we are no better off than at the start of this slump

Recession will have lasted three years longer than any other in the past 100 years

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers vote Conservative, claims new research

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers most consistently back the Conservatives, according to new research.

Ed Balls will tell the Fabian society that Labour 'will look at new ways of delivering public services'

'Labour will bring back 50p income tax for top earners' says Ed Balls

Shadow Chancellor would shift the burden of the deficit to the rich, raising £10bn in three years

Anthony Hilton: Back-tracking over Unemployment rate makes a mockery of forward guidance

The recession of 2008 was the first internet recession.

Davos 2014: Mark Carney pours cold water on odds of imminent rise in interest rates

The Bank of England’s flagship policy of forward guidance on interest rates will “evolve” next month, Mark Carney said yesterday, as he sought again to dampen expectations of an imminent rate rise.

The regular Army is being cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020

Army cuts: Hundreds more soldiers to lose jobs

Gurkha regiment to be heavily hit in latest cuts

Hamish McRae: Good job figures and bad growth or good growth and poor jobs - a transatlantic tale of two recoveries

Economic View: In the past, there may have been more people working in the informal economy

The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney may soon be deciding whether decide to increase interest rates if unemployment drops further

Unemployment: Fall in jobless total is second biggest on record, renewing speculation about interest rate rise

Drop takes rate within 0.1% of threshold at which Bank of England could end interest rate freeze - but it may still "move the goalposts"

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney may decide to increase interest rates if unemployment continues to drop

Bank of England seeks to ease rate hike fears as the pound soars

City traders sent the pound soaring following a shock fall in unemployment and the first explicit signal from the Bank of England on how it would handle a hike in interest rates.

Labour promises extra £120 for workers who lose long-term jobs

Extra £20 a week in benefit for six weeks would apply if they had been in work for four or five years

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor