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United Kingdom

Intel United Kingdom

  • A380: a comfortable, eerily quiet cruise ship of the skies

    ‘It felt less like being in a plane than in a strange kind of conference centre’

    The first thing you noticed was the silence. Even sitting by the engines at takeoff, you didn’t need to raise your voice on the A380 superjumbo. The quiet was almost eerie.

    It was a monstrous double-decker so big it felt like travelling in two planes stuck on top of one other. It was a kind of cruise ship of the skies with staircases, bars and private first-class cabins, spilling out a wave passengers when it landed at airports. And yet, when you were onboard, it somehow managed to feel delicate.

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  • African American businesses grew 400% – but they still need investment | Gene Marks

    Minority-owned businesses received lower loan amounts and were forced to leverage their own cash, a survey found. Without capital, it’s tough to invest in the future

    2018 was a great year for African American small businesses.

    According to a recent survey of more than 2,700 small businesses conducted near the end of last year by small business financing company Guidant Financial and online credit marketplace LendingClub Corporation, African American businesses grew by more than 400% in 2018 as compared to 2017. The pleasant surprise? That growth is being fueled by women.

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  • Anxiety running high about London's future as a financial centre | Barry Eichengreen

    The City isn’t going to lose its status overnight, but can the loss of assets pre-Brexit be reversed?

    Only now, as we approach the third anniversary of the UK’s referendum on membership in the European Union, are the implications of leaving the bloc finally sinking in. One indication, amusing to those with a taste for black humour, is the marketing success of Brexit survival kits containing a water filter, fire-starting equipment and enough freeze-dried food for 30 days.

    Another indication is the launch, at the end of January, of a parliamentary inquiry into London’s prospects as a financial centre. This investigation is a response to prominent financial firms voting with their feet. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup have moved nearly $300bn of balance-sheet assets from London to Frankfurt, and Barclays has won approval to move another $215bn to Dublin. BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, and Société Général have transferred 500 staff from London to Paris. HSBC has shifted ownership of many of its European subsidiaries from the UK to France.

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  • Bikes put spanner in works of Dutch driverless car schemes

    Report highlights problems bicycles cause to self-driving cars’ detection systems

    The Dutch love affair with the bicycle has emerged as an obstacle to government plans to introduce driverless cars to the roads of the Netherlands.

    A report on the levels of preparedness around the world has crowned the country as the leader in efforts to get ready for the new technology.

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  • Chasing rainbows: inside the battle between Radiohead and EMI's Guy Hands

    A new book details the saga of private equity company Terra Firma acquiring EMI in August 2007 for £4.2bn. This extract details the battle over Radiohead’s seventh album

    On Sunday 30 September 2007, just hours before the calendar flipped into Q4 and marked the start of the major labels’ busiest and most profitable retail period, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood posted a message on the band’s Dead Air Space blog. “Hello everyone,” he wrote. “Well, the new album is finished, and it’s coming out in 10 days. We’ve called it In Rainbows. Love from us all.”

    This seemingly blasé post to announce their seventh studio album was followed up by the details of the release. When it became clear what precisely they were doing, all hell broke loose – not just within EMI but across the entire record business.

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  • China's most popular app brings Xi Jinping to your pocket

    App’s amazing take-up is not entirely due to merit, the government has ordered members of the party download it

    An app produced by the Chinese government has become the most popular in the country, rocketing up through the charts with a little help from the Chinese Communist Party.

    The app’s name “Study (Xi) Strong Country”, is a pun – Xuexi being the word for “study” but also containing the president’s name, suggesting users are to “study Xi”.

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  • Donald Trump hints at extension to China trade talks

    President said potential delay was justified as deal ‘must be the biggest in history’

    President Donald Trump has conceded that he will delay planned increases in import duties on $200bn (£155bn) of Chinese goods if there is progress in trade talks in Washington next week.

    Appearing to soften his demand for talks to conclude before 1 March, Trump said there could be a 30- or 60-day extension, should negotiators get closer to a deal. He said a delay was justified, based on the scope and scale of the talks. Speaking on the White House lawn, he said: “Trade with China – how big does that get? It must be the biggest deal in history.”

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  • Facebook labelled 'digital gangsters' by report on fake news

    Company broke privacy and competition law and should be regulated urgently, say MPs

    Facebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as “digital gangsters”.

    The final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.

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  • Fired for not smiling enough? US fast-food workers fight unfair dismissals

    New York bill that could apply in other states would give workers stronger protections if they’ve been fired unjustly

    It’s easy to get fired in fast food. According to a recent report, one fast-food worker said she was fired because her nails were too long; another because she said she didn’t smile enough. That might be about to change.

    In a first-in-the-nation effort, a city council member in New York moved on Wednesday to make the city’s 60,000 fast-food jobs a lot less precarious – introducing legislation that would prohibit fast-food restaurants from terminating employees except for “just cause”.

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  • Flybmi tells customers to seek refunds from credit card companies

    Sister group Loganair to take over some routes as thousands remain out-of-pocket

    Flybmi is advising customers to seek refunds from credit and debit card companies or rebook with other airlines after the company collapsed late on Saturday, leading to the cancellation of thousands of journeys.

    On Sunday night, it emerged that Flybmi’s Glasgow-based sister company Loganair, which flies to the Scottish Highlands and Islands as well as to a small number of destinations in England, Ireland and Scandinavia, was poised to step in and take over five of Flybmi’s routes from next month.

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  • French media in crisis as they face their own #MeToo moment

    The scale of online abuse by ‘boys’ club’ Ligue du Lol has sent shockwaves through society

    Florence Desruol was a freelance consultant living in Lyon when the attacks began in 2009. Hundreds of abusive messages were posted online, a false account was created in her name, and her head was Photoshopped on to pornograph images and published.

    “I was called a slut, a whore, my face was grafted on to a picture of a naked woman having sex – it was all designed to humiliate and silence me,” she said.

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  • German economy just avoids recession but weaker exports take toll

    Europe’s largest economy recorded zero growth in the fourth quarter of 2018

    Germany narrowly avoided falling into recession in the second half of last year as weaker exports dragged Europe’s largest economy to stalling point during the final three months of 2018.

    The German economy recorded zero growth in the fourth quarter, managing to just avoid a technical recession after reporting a contraction of 0.2% in the third quarter amid a slump in industrial output.

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  • Honda set to close Swindon car plant

    The carmaker is set to announce the closure of its Swindon plant in 2022, putting 3,500 jobs at risk, sources say.

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  • Japan almost cancelled Brexit talks due to 'high-handed' letter – report

    Trade talks will go ahead despite reported dismay at language used by Liam Fox and Jeremy Hunt

    Japanese officials have reportedly accused Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox of taking a “high-handed” approach towards a post-Brexit free trade deal, and briefly considered cancelling bilateral talks due to take place this week.

    The Financial Times cited unnamed officials in Tokyo who reacted with dismay to a letter sent on 8 February in which Hunt, the foreign secretary, and Fox, the international trade secretary, insisted that “time is of the essence” in securing a trade deal with Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy.

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  • Optimism turns into harsh reality for small businesses

    Two small-business indexes show declines from irrationally exuberant levels of optimism during the Obama administration

    This past week, two very important indicators of small business optimism were released, and both revealed something about the state of small business in the US: reality.

    Earlier in the week, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index revealed a decline in confidence among its respondents to a level of 106 (last quarter’s was 129). However, the metric marked its seventh consecutive quarter of positive territory.

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  • Sports store that boycotted Nike over Colin Kaepernick ads forced to close

    Stephen Martin stopped selling Nike goods in protest at Nike’s pro-Kaepernick campaign – but now he’s going out of business

    Last fall, the launch of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” advertising campaign, which starred ex-NFL star and social justice activist Colin Kaepernick, generated plenty of criticism. Vitriol poured on to social media; some disgruntled customers burned their Nike shoes on video.

    Stephen Martin was upset enough with the choice of Kaepernick – the quarterback who began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and systemic racism – that he stopped selling Nike products in his Colorado sporting goods store.

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  • The A380 proves that it’s profit that really makes an airliner fly

    Even a great aeronautical achievement like a superjumbo can be brought low by the vagaries of economics

    When Concorde ceased commercial flights in 2003, it marked a peculiar moment in the history of human technological endeavour.

    When it comes to inventions that improve our lives, we are used to a linear trajectory. Medicines enhance life expectancy, vehicles become more efficient and reliable, computers more powerful and user-friendly.

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  • The self-driving car is a marvel doomed by unpredictable humans

    The astounding technology may work in theory, but the real world is a far more dangerous and uncertain place

    A few years ago, I wrote a Guardian article about jetpacks.

    A mode of transport that seemingly everyone wants and has been expecting (and angrily demanding of us scientists) for a good while, but which is still essentially nowhere in sight. I did my best to write about why jetpacks are not likely to be a household item any time soon.

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  • Train operators call for fare shakeup

    The Rail Delivery Group has set out a wish-list of reforms for the industry and it wants the UK and devolved governments to support them.

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  • UK's richest man moves to Monaco to 'save £4bn in tax'

    Brexiter Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company Ineos is reportedly working with PricewaterhouseCoopers to reduce bill

    Britain’s richest man, the Brexit supporter Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and two of his key lieutenants at chemicals firm Ineos have reportedly been planning to save up to £4bn in tax after moving to Monaco.

    The company, which is valued at about £35bn, is working with tax experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to create a new structure for the business to dramatically reduce the tax paid on its global revenues, according to the Sunday Times.

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  • UK's Saudi weapons sales unlawful, Lords committee finds

    Report finds UK arms ‘highly likely to be cause of significant civilian casualties in Yemen’

    The UK is on “the wrong side of the law” by sanctioning arms exports to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen and should suspend some of the export licences, an all-party Lords committee has said.

    The report by the international relations select committee says ministers are not making independent checks to see if arms supplied by the UK are being used in breach of the law, but is instead relying on inadequate investigations by the Saudis, its allies in the war.

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  • US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

    Annapolis seeing sea rise at about twice the global rate. Flooding there foreshadows problems other coastal towns can expect

    When the parking lot in the bustling tourist zone of downtown Annapolis floods, the employees at Pip’s Dock Street Dogs restaurant take off their socks and shoes, wrap their legs in trash bags and wade out into the water.

    A lot of the time, it’s not even raining. High tides intensified by sea-level rise are just pushing the water inland, overwhelming the drainage system.

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  • Why is the media showering Howard Schultz with free airtime? | Robert Reich

    Becoming a Serious Presidential Candidate used to require political support, now, for the right price, the media can do the anointing

    America is the only place in the world where any citizen over the age of 35 can run for president. No experience in government necessary. No support from a political party necessary. You don’t even have to have any ideas or policy proposals.

    Take Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks whose most notable achievement to date has been the Mocha Frappucinno.

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