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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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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?