Finance

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

The Press Association-House prices have recorded their strongest quarterly rise in three years in a further sign that efforts...
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Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

AFP-Despite pledging to pay millions of pounds in extra tax in Britain, Starbucks faces a battle to restore its reputation...
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UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001' UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

AFP-Swiss banking giant UBS, which last week was slapped with $1.5 billion in fines for manipulating global interest rates,...
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No clean bill of health for MoD

No clean bill of health for MoD No clean bill of health for MoD

Auditors have refused to give the Ministry of Defence's accounts a clean bill of health for the sixth year running. The Press...
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Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook

Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook
  AFP- Britain powered out of its longest double-dip recession since the 1950s after its economy returned to growth in the...
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Virgin Media gets Olympics lift

Virgin Media gets Olympics lift
  The Press Association- Olympic champions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt helped Virgin Media deliver its biggest quarterly increase...
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Bank of England divided over QE

Bank of England divided over QE
  The Press Association-Bank of England policymakers are divided over the benefits of pumping more emergency cash into the economy...
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Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts

Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts
  AFP- Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday he was confident the country's top court will not block the...
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Adnams gets boost from new beers

Adnams gets boost from new beers
  The Press Association- Brewer Adnams has toasted higher profits after a range of new beers helped it cope with "the most...
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HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report

HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report
  AFP-Global banking giant HSBC and its US affiliate concealed more than $16 billion in sensitive transactions to Iran, violating...
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German finance minister calls for stronger EU

German finance minister calls for stronger EU
  AFP-German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for EU member states to hand more powers to the European Union in "major...
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Services sector growth welcomed

Services sector growth welcomed
  The Press Association-A run of dire economic data that has spooked the UK's recovery hopes has been halted with a decent performance...
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Payday lender Wonga plans flotation

Payday lender Wonga plans flotation
  The Press Association- Payday lender Wonga is reported to be considering a US stock market flotation that could value the business...
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UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks

UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks
AFP-Britain's recession is worse than previously thought, as revised official figures showed on Thursday that the economy shrank...
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Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target

Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target
  AFP-British clothing-to-food retailer Marks & Spencer on Tuesday announced a drop in annual profits in a "challenging economic...
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Travel

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2 'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

The Press Associtaion-High speed rail between London and Birmingham might not be achieved in the 2020s because of...
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Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

The Press Association-An MP has voiced his concerns about the plight of a British national who was imprisoned while...
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Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

AP - The Louvre Museum is used to dealing with antiquities: Nearly all of its thousands of works of art date to 1848...
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French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

French Concordia survivors get €2m payout French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

AFP- The owner of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground off northwest Italy in January has paid more...
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Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

(Relaxnews) - Hotel prices in the Windy City soared by 23 percent this month, according to new research by Trivago. Chicago...
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Sport

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

The decision to Sebastian Vettel’s new partner probably falls between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner...
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Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers

Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers
  Three long years of Silver Arrow lurched past the targets. There was nothing: a measly victory in 58 races. This year it runs better already clear:...
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Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

AFP-Barcelona suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday when they slumped to a shock 3-2 loss at Real Sociedad. Barcelona...
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Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

Wiggins may target Tour defence after all Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

AFP-Bradley Wiggins says he is likely to defend his Tour de France title after all next year despite previously nominating the Giro d'Italia as...
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Messi in light training after injury scare

Messi in light training after injury scare Messi in light training after injury scare

AFP-Barcelona star Lionel Messi took part in light training on Thursday after being stretchered off with a knee injury during the 0-0 draw at home...
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Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

AFP- Freshly appointed as Chelsea's latest interim coach, Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for wondering whether he has accepted a poisoned chalice. The...
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McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open

McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open
  AFP-World number one Rory McIlroy made a late charge up the leaderboard but still trailed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn by five shots after a marathon day...
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Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris

Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris
  AFP- Towering Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz upset Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 on Thursday to complete the early exit of the elite from...
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Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'

Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'
  AFP- Chelsea have filed a complaint over "inappropriate language" allegedly used by referee Mark Clattenburg towards their players during their...
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Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal

Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal
  AFP-Four South Korean badminton players who were suspended for trying to throw matches at the London Olympics have appealed their penalties, the...
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Culture

Politics
Work plan 'finds jobs for 100,000' PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 07:45

 

The Press Association-As many as 100,000 people may have found employment during the first year of the Government's flagship Work Programme, with "a substantial majority" staying in jobs, employment minister Chris Grayling has said.

Mr Grayling said that the programme was delivering a "revolution in welfare-to-work", with around 22% of those taking part finding jobs, even taking into account the groups who are hardest to place in work, such as the disabled.

But he said there was a "big gulf" in performance among the private companies and charities who are helping place long-term jobless people in work on a "payment by results" basis. He said he was "completely relaxed" if some organisations drop out of the programme, telling those with poor records: "It's time to deliver or we'll find someone else to do it for us."

Labour said that the Work Programme had failed to deal with Britain's "jobs crisis", pointing to a £9 billion increase in Government estimates of spending on JobSeeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit over the next five years.

But Mr Grayling dismissed their criticisms as "nonsense", insisting that the total number of people on out-of-work benefits has fallen by 70,000 since the election, and that any increase in the benefit bill is down to the Government's decision to increase them in line with higher-than-usual inflation.

In a speech to mark the first anniversary of the Work Programme, Mr Grayling will say that the scheme has outperformed the expectations of the National Audit Office, which in January predicted that only 26% of the easiest-to-help jobseekers would find and keep work.

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Romney takes Republican nomination PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 07:40

 

 

The Press Association-Mitt Romney has clinched the Republican presidential nomination with a win in the Texas primary.

An Associated Press delegate count showed Mr Romney had passed the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination during the primary. Early returns show Mr Romney posting a big win in Texas.

It's a triumph of endurance for a candidate who came up short four years ago and had to fight hard this year as voters flirted with a carousel of Republican rivals.

Mr Romney reached the nomination milestone with a steady message of concern about the US economy, a campaign organisation that dwarfed those of his Republican opponents, and a fundraising operation second only to that of his Democratic opponent in the general election, president Barack Obama.

Mr Romney said: "I am honoured that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee.

"Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us.

"I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us. But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity."

He outlasted a carousel of Republican rivals who dropped out of the state-by-state primary contest. None of his former rivals actively campaigned in Texas.

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New era beckons for EBRD bank PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 May 2012 00:05

 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development headed into a new era Saturday after electing its first British president and approving investment for "Arab democracies" at its annual meeting.

After years concentrating mainly on investment partnerships with private-sector firms across the former Soviet bloc, the EBRD on Saturday approved the pumping of 1.0 billion euros into north Africa and the Middle East.

The bank said it was extending its reach in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings with an initial investment equivalent to $1.28 billion spread across Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan.

The EBRD though stressed that it would continue to support growth in eastern Europe, which was facing a slowdown in growth because of the eurozone debt crisis.

Its Arab investment announcement came on the final day of the EBRD's annual meeting in London and after the bank on Friday surprisingly selected top British civil servant Suma Chakrabarti to run as its president for four years from July.

Chakrabarti replaces German incumbent Thomas Mirow, who failed to win a second term following a five-way battle.

"I'm lucky in the end to have got very wide support from a wide range of (EBRD) shareholders.... in the eurozone and outside the eurozone and also across the rest of the world," Chakrabarti told a press conference on Saturday.

Chakrabarti, 53, said the bank faced "huge challenges" going forward including maintaining the EBRD's triple A credit rating, that would enable it to continue to borrow money cheaply.

Mirow, who was sat alongside his successor, said he had been "privileged" to lead the bank, which on Saturday agreed "to the creation of a 1.0 billion euro special fund to start investments in emerging Arab democracies in response to the wave of political change in parts of the Middle East and north Africa."

The EBRD added in a statement: "The fund is being financed out of the Bank's reserves and will allow the Bank to start operations as a prelude to full-scale investment in the new region after an extension of the EBRD's geographic remit has been ratified."

It said it would focus on the development of the Arab private sector by fostering the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises as soon as this year.

"The Bank expects to be able to eventually invest up to 2.5 billion euros a year in the new region, while not detracting from investments in its existing countries of operations, where funding totalled 9.1 billion euros in 2011," the EBRD added.

Founded in 1991 to help former Soviet bloc countries such as Hungary, Kazakhstan and Russia to switch and adapt to a market economy, the EBRD will shortly be led by its first president who is neither German or French.

For the first time at the EBRD, shareholders considered more than one candidate for the role of president after European Union finance ministers failed to reach a consensus in the run-up to the annual meeting.

 

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Romney backs marriage 'institution' PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 May 2012 23:35

 

The Press Association-US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has told students at a Christian university that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Mr Romney told the Liberty University commencement that marriage is an "enduring" institution that is reserved for one man and one woman.

He also said: "What you believe, how you live, what you value - it matters."

The crowd cheered his comments, made days after president Barack Obama embraced same-sex marriage.

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PM in row over Oxford black intake PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 April 2011 22:50

David Cameron is embroiled in a furious row with Oxford University after he launched a blistering attack on its "disgraceful" record for admitting black students.  

The university accused the Prime Minister of using "highly misleading" figures after he stated that only one black undergraduate went to the university last year.

While Mr Cameron's aides accepted he should have said one black Caribbean undergraduate, they accused Oxford of "missing the point", saying that the total number of black undergraduates admitted was just 27.

Mr Cameron made his comments about his old university during a question and answer session in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

He told the audience: "I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year. I think that is disgraceful, we have got to do better than that."

A spokeswoman for the university said the figure only referred to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin starting courses in 2009/10.

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Visa rules to curb foreign students PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:24

 

 

The number of foreign students and their dependants coming to Britain could be cut by around 100,000 a year under plans unveiled by the Government.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the "radical" clampdown would close fake colleges and block entry for those who cannot speak good English.

There will also be tougher restrictions on non-EU students staying in the country after their course finishes - including a rule that they must find a job that pays at least £20,000 a year.

Mrs May told MPs that while the coalition wanted to attract the "brightest and best" to the UK, the visa system became "broken" under Labour.

"This package will stop the bogus students, studying meaningless courses at fake colleges," she said.

"It will protect our world-class institutions. It will stop the abuse that became all too common under Labour. And it will restore some sanity to our student visa system."

She said she expected the measures would reduce the number of student visas issued by 70,000-80,000 annually - equivalent to a 25% fall.

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