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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.

Two Bulgarians in London yesterday, the day restrictions were lifted allowing their countrymen to live and work in Britain

All quiet at the coach station as fears of invasion from Eastern Europe come to nothing

Fears that a torrent of Romanians and Bulgarians would take advantage of new rules freeing them to live and work in the UK prove unfounded

Figures obtained from the Link network by the Guardian newspaper showed there were 269 low-income areas without a free ATM nearby

'It makes Wonga look like Santa Claus': MP attacks lack of free ATMs available to people in poorest areas

The 'grotesque practice' of charging low-income people to withdraw their own money from bank accounts has been condemned after a report revealed that more than 300,000 of the poorest people in Britain live at least 1km from a cash machine that does not charge for withdrawals.

A fifth of women surveyed said managers failed to promote them

‘More than half of women are discriminated against at work’

Almost a fifth of the women surveyed so far say that their careers have stalled because managers failed to promote them or offer training opportunities

2013 - the year in review: Slowly, the world economy is turning a corner

An uneven recovery began to strengthen. The US, despite having to cope with feuding over its budget, seems to have sped up

David Cameron visits a house in which was raided by Immigration officers on 18 December. The Prime Minister has been urged to tone down his language when talking about immigration as it is believed to alienate voters

David Cameron urged to soften tone on immigration

Conservative modernisers have urged David Cameron to tone down his harsh language on immigration and welfare because they believe it is alienating voters.

President Hollande's approval rating has fallen faster than that of any other French President in the Fifth Republic, with 3.5 million French people out of work

François Hollande heading for crisis as he fails to deliver his promise to reduce unemployment

The French President staked his political credibility on a fall in the number of unemployed by the end of the year, but the figures are not going his way. What now for France’s increasingly unpopular leader, asks John Lichfield

Tens of thousands of benefit claimants not paid after Department for Work and Pensions 'error'

Over 32,000 people have not received benefit payments in time for Christmas due to an “administrative error” at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The workforce is rising in some countries and falling in others. Why? Economists are puzzled …

These inactive folks stand ready to return to the labour force if jobs become available

Traders at work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

First step to recovery: US Federal Reserve announces $10bn reduction in its stimulus measures

America's central bank acts after two year budget deal was recently agreed in Congress - removing the threat of another government shutdown in the near future

OUTLOOK: The world may not be ready yet to walk without central bankers' help

So, it's finally happened. The Fed's decision to slice $10bn (£6.1bn) a month off its quantitative easing programme is the clearest signal yet that Ben Bernanke, and his successor Janet Yellen, smell a real, full-blown recovery on the wind.

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

Fears raised that drop in unemployment could prompt early rise in interest rates

Increase in interest and mortgage rates would be unwelcome news for Coalition

UK unemployment drops to 7.4%, lowest since 2009

Unemployment rate fast approaching the Bank's 7% threshold

More trouble for François Hollande as France is christened the new “sick man of Europe”

President François Hollande is wrestling with a sluggish economy and unemployment at a 16-year high

Enda Kenny thanks Ireland as country exits its bailout programme

Ireland set to return to the money markets as the first euro zone nation to have completed a strict bailout programme

Stoke City owner Peter Coates

The Last Word: Football blind to scale of match-fixing threat

Game’s rulers must tackle a problem that dwarfs doping and hooliganism

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'