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Rishi Sunak pivots between largesse and pain in political balancing act

The bad news is coming: Rishi Sunak’s trademark signature has ominously disappeared from the slick Treasury graphics that associate the chancellor personally with big spending announcements. Mr Sunak and his allies are preparing for the moment next year when the chancellor will no longer want his name attached to big Treasury decisions of a different… Continue reading Rishi Sunak pivots between largesse and pain in political balancing act

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UK public sector workers face real terms pay cut, Sunak confirms

Public sector workers who have already endured a decade of pay restraint will face new, real terms cuts in their wages next year, the UK chancellor confirmed on Wednesday. Rishi Sunak said he could not justify “a significant, across the board pay increase for all public sector workers” when many in the private sector had… Continue reading UK public sector workers face real terms pay cut, Sunak confirms

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How ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ made all the right moves

“I am both delighted and dazed by the response,” announced Scott Frank this week, on the news that The Queen’s Gambit had become the most popular scripted limited series in Netflix history. In the four weeks since landing on the streaming service, the drama has been watched by 62m subscribers, ranked at number 1 in… Continue reading How ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ made all the right moves

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Virgin Money: reality cheques

Vaccine breakthroughs mean faster economic recovery and, in turn, better profits for lenders. Shares in Virgin Money, the UK’s biggest small bank, have jumped 40 per cent since. Straight-talking chief executive David Duffy gave investors a dose of reality at results on Wednesday: benefits will take time to materialise and Brexit disruption is looming. A… Continue reading Virgin Money: reality cheques

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How Janet Yellen will deploy her soft power at the Treasury

Just over four years ago, when Janet Yellen was still chair of the US Federal Reserve, she gave an address at the central bank’s Boston arm. Fed chairs normally give only two kinds of conference speeches: brief invocations that say nothing, or carefully timed guidance to financial markets about policy. In Boston, however, Ms Yellen… Continue reading How Janet Yellen will deploy her soft power at the Treasury

Business news

Xi Jinping congratulates Joe Biden on US election victory

Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly congratulated Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States, leaving Vladimir Putin among a handful of world leaders who have yet to recognize the former vice president’s victory. “Xi said he hopes the two sides will respect the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,”… Continue reading Xi Jinping congratulates Joe Biden on US election victory

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Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula — a sequel driven by a new plot vehicle

A late entry into the 21st-century zombie bull market, 2016’s Train to Busan made an art form of self-containment. A South Korean pulp shocker born of a brilliantly vicious conceit — the undead set loose in the confined space of an express from Seoul — the film did everything it needed to do, then ended.… Continue reading Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula — a sequel driven by a new plot vehicle

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Happiest Season — festive comedy with a supergroup of a cast

Be honest. How pained is your smile at the thought of a cheerfully low-budget American indie comedy as an early Christmas gift? Don’t be hasty. You may want to live with the playfully old-fangled Happiest Season a while before you reach for the receipt. The backdrop is festive, the heroine the lovestruck Abby, played by… Continue reading Happiest Season — festive comedy with a supergroup of a cast

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Audrey — the driven career and sad life of Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn believed her feet were too big. This is just one among many deeply felt hang-ups captured in the sad, enlightening new documentary Audrey. The star, according to her own testimony, would also have liked a smaller nose, to have been a blonde or better yet — this more than anything — a dancer.… Continue reading Audrey — the driven career and sad life of Audrey Hepburn