France and Italy took aim at Britain's prized European rebate on the eve of marathon budget talks that will be one of the biggest tests of David Cameron's leadership.
The government is heading for the loss of its triple-A credit rating and a breach of its debt target, one of the world's leading fund managers warned in the wake of a fresh deterioration in public finances.
Big banks are good for Britain and must not be broken up, said George Osborne, as he argued that having more large lenders would be beneficial to society.
The chief executives of two of Britain's biggest retailers have written to the government to seek an extension of Sunday trading hours on December 23, which is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year.
Amazon is making a "land grab" for a swathe of internet address endings, sparking worldwide protests.
Israel and the Palestinians bowed to U.S. and international pressure on Wednesday and agreed an end to eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip that has claimed more than 160 lives.
A slump in corporate tax receipts has dealt a blow to the Government's deficit reduction plans, and may force the Chancellor to outline further cuts and scrap part of his fiscal mandate in his forthcoming autumn statement.