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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.

Unemployed told to leave Ireland in desperate move to slash welfare costs

Ireland is asking its citizens to leave the country if they can't find a job in a desperate bid to slash welfare costs.

British economy to surpass pre-recession peak in 2014, says BCC

UK economy set to grow at its fastest pace in seven years at 2.7% in 2014

Volunteers sort through items of food at a Rochdale Foodbank

Millions of families living in poverty despite being in employment says new study

More families than ever before are classified as poor despite adults having a job

The rate of unemployment among blacks is 12.5 per cent – more than twice as high as the 6.2 per cent among whites

Outlook: Nelson Mandela’s legacy is undeniable – but his scandal-riven successors are just not up to the job of preserving it

The South Africa of today  is, at best, underperforming its economic potential

Economist’s View: Like abolishing national insurance for the young, it’s all too little too late

If Britain’s economic plan is “working” why are British people worse off than they were when the Coalition took office? Living standards continue to fall in the slowest recovery in 100 years and growth is half what the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast in 2010.

Employment: Young targeted in crackdown on ‘jobless culture’

Jobless 18- to 21-year-olds without a basic standard of English or mathematics will be denied benefits unless they return to classes to improve their skills.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Bad news - Capita’s visa task bombs. Good news - they’re paid by results

More than a year has passed since the UK Border Agency awarded a four-year, £30m contract to a private firm, Capita, to track down immigrants who have overstayed their visas in the UK. Hiring a private firm for a task that is normally the responsibility of the state did not escape criticism. “We are appalled the Government has offered a contract of this size to a private company,” Ruth Grove-White, policy director at the Migrants Rights Network, told The Independent.

Fresh blow for François Hollande as French unemployment hits 16-year high

French president François Hollande’s woes deepened today as unemployment hit its highest level for more than 16 years.

Blockbuster to axe more than 400 jobs

Blockbuster has confirmed that 62 more stores are to close with the loss of another 427 jobs.

Hewlett-Packard plans to axe 1,124 jobs in UK

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard is set to cut more than 1,000 jobs in the UK as part of a global downsizing, the company announced today.

Irish unemployment falls to lowest level since 2009

The number of people signing on last month fell to just over 390,000.

Job losses feared as Manchester student union deficit reaches half a million pounds

Manchester University students’ union has been forced to make drastic cut-backs after it was revealed that they have built up a deficit of over half a million pounds.

Angela Merkel, centre, made concessions on pensions and the labour market but not on eurozone policy

Two months after election win in Germany, Angela Merkel forms coalition

Agreement with arch-rivals means introduction of minimum wage but higher taxes are ruled out

Mark Carney defends 'dead on arrival' forward guidance policy

The Governor denied that forward guidance has caused confusion among businesses

National sex survey: Distractions of modern life mean people have less sex

Worries about the recession and all-hours access to social media have had noticeable impact on British libidos, researchers say

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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