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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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HMV sold in deal saving 141 branches

Category : World News

Collapsed music and DVD retailer HMV is rescued by restructuring specialist Hilco in a deal believed to be worth £50m.

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El-Erian: Alarms should be ringing in Europe

Category : Stocks

If the latest economic projections from the European Commission are to be believed, expect greater socio-political fragility in 2013.

Continued here: El-Erian: Alarms should be ringing in Europe

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Latin music star Jenni Rivera believed dead in plane crash – Los Angeles Times

Category : Stocks
Latin music star Jenni Rivera believed dead in plane crash
Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY — Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera, the “diva de la banda” whose commanding voice burst through the limits of regional Latin music and made her a cross-border sensation and the queen of a business empire, was believed to have died
Singer feared dead in Mexican plane
Mexican-American Singer Feared DeadVoice of America (blog)
Mexico singer Jenni Rivera dies in plane crashBBC News
E! Online

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Body found in search for man missing after rains – The Associated Press

Category : Stocks

Today’s THV
Body found in search for man missing after rains
The Associated Press
DALLAS (AP) — Two men were swept into rain-swollen creeks in Dallas and Fort Worth after thunderstorms brought up to 4 inches of rain to the area over the weekend. By Sunday, authorities believed they had recovered one man's body.
Body of man who disappeared during storm found in Fort Worth creekFort Worth Star Telegram
2 missing after rainstorms in Dallas, Fort WorthCBS News

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FirstGroup trumps Virgin as frontrunner for west coast rail franchise

Category : Business

Bus, rail and coach group pushes incumbent Virgin Rail into second place with improved offer for 14-year contract

FirstGroup has lodged the highest bid for the west coast rail franchise, making it the frontrunner to take over the prestigious London-to-Glasgow route.

The bus, rail and coach group is believed to have pushed incumbent Virgin Rail into second place on price with an offer that is 15 to 20% higher than the nearest contender.

FirstGroup and Virgin had been vying for the contract after the other two shortlisted bidders, Dutch-owned Abellio and a bid backed by SCNF, the French rail group, slipped out of contention.

According to one rail industry rumour, the biggest bidder has offered the Department for Transport a premium – or excess profits – of between £6.5bn and £7bn over the 14-year span of the contract. While that far exceeds the premium paid by Virgin, industry observers believe £5bn would be a par bid for one of the most sought-after franchises on the British rail network.

The premium is likely to be scrutinised by procurement officials at the DfT, amid criticism of the vetting process after the ill-fated £1.4bn bid for the London-to-Edinburgh east coast contract by National Express in 2007.

National Express won the contest but the deal collapsed in 2009 when it admitted it could not afford the rapidly escalating premium payments.

It later emerged that National Express had not been the highest bidder and the DfT had struck out a rival offer of £1.6bn, believed to be from Arriva. The department said at the time: “We award franchises not only on cost but also on deliverability.” Rail franchise competitions are judged on a number of criteria and it is not known whether, in the case of west coast, the largest premium bid is enough to guarantee winning the contract.

FirstGroup, which has a strong reputation for cost management and owns three franchises including First Great Western, is believed to have looked closely at the running costs on the west coast service.

Last month the RMT trade union, the largest rail union, warned that bidders were considering severe cuts to onboard catering to achieve higher premium payments.

While Virgin pays about £160m per year to the DfT, a bid of up to £7bn would require annual payments of about £500m. FirstGroup is rumoured to have considered staff cost cuts of about 20% on west coast, which could include cutting catering numbers from approximately 800 people to 300, or the service outsourced.

A hefty premium profile is also likely to draw the scrutiny of investors, who are paying close attention FirstGroup’s attempts to whittle down its £1.8bn debt burden. A plan to raise £100m from bus company disposals has hit a snag after Stagecoach withdrew from the purchase of FirstGroup’s Devon bus business after the Office of Fair Trading raised concerns over the agreement. Although a small deal, it was viewed as a negative development by analysts because of the prospect of the OFT and Competition Commission intervening in every disposal.

According to City sources, there are also concerns among investors that FirstGroup will have to launch a rights issue to reduce the debt, a development that may be viewed dimly if it is perceived to divert shareholder cash into lending banks rather than into the business.

However, the share price does not indicate serious concerns over FirstGroup’s debt with the stock trading at about six times earnings, whereas if there was genuine alarm the shares would be trading at two to three times earnings.

FirstGroup said: “We do not comment on speculation or market rumours of any kind. All decisions relating to the tendering of rail franchises are the responsibility of the Department for Transport.”

Virgin Rail said: “We do not comment on our franchise bids.”

If Virgin loses out to FirstGroup, it will be the first time that Sir Richard Branson, co-owner of the business, has been out of the UK rail business in 15 years.

Virgin Rail launched in 1997 and a year later was drawing record complaints from passengers. It is now a popular service and carried 30 million people last year.

A final decision on the contract is expected in August.

Athletes Get Gemstoned for the London Olympic Games

Category : Stocks

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwire – Jul 28, 2012) – Athletes are notoriously superstitious, doing almost anything legal to gain a competitive edge where one second can mean the gold. Conscious wellness jewelry company, Energy Muse, fills this need by providing lucky charms and crystal jewelry believed to bring results. US athletes are turning to crystal energy to help them achieve their dreams in London.

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Police ‘wait out’ survivalist murder suspect believed holed up in bunker – Chicago Tribune

Category : Stocks

CBS News
Police 'wait out' survivalist murder suspect believed holed up in bunker
Chicago Tribune
NORTH BEND— Police SWAT teams kept watch into the night Friday on a fortified, underground bunker found in woods 30 miles east of Seattle where they believe a heavily armed survivalist accused of killing his wife and daughter is holed up.
Washington slaying suspect believed hiding in fortified bunkerCNN International
Police pump tear gas into underground bunker of survivalist suspected in wife
Authorities: Bunker of Wash. fugitive surroundedCBS News
Fox News

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Allen West Defends Controversial Comments

Category : Business

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.) calls himself the No. 1 target of the Democratic Party.

West, who made headlines two weeks ago when he said he believed “there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party,” stood by his remark in an interview and said he’s fine with being the top target of Democrats.

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Juicing Advice Launches New Improved Website

Category : World News

The health and wellness resource, Juicing Advice, have just launched their new website. With easy to find information and an improved ability for users to share advice and recipes, it is believed that this will be an invaluable resource for health conscious consumers.

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