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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com 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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Housing demand ‘highest since 2009′

Category : Business

Demand for flats and houses in the UK has risen to its highest level for three and a half years, according to an industry survey.

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Data suggests UK avoided double-dip

Category : Business

A revision by the Office for National Statistics to construction industry data has cast doubt on whether the UK entered a double-dip recession last year.

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Suntron Corporation Showcases Manufacturing Capabilities and DFx Approach at SOFIC 2013

Category : Stocks, World News

PHOENIX, AZ–(Marketwired – May 8, 2013) – Suntron Corporation, a leader in integrated electronics manufacturing systems (EMS), will showcase its manufacturing capabilities for mission critical defense applications and its “Design for x…” (DFx) approach at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) 2013. The event will be held May 14-16, 2013 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, FL, and Suntron will be at booth #414.

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No 10 accused of ‘caving in’ to cigarette lobby as plain packs put on hold

Category : Business

Tobacco giant warned of loss of jobs in UK before packaging rules were dropped, and anti-smoking camp also cites possible fear of Ukip

Anti-smoking campaigners have accused the government of caving in to pressure from the tobacco lobby and running scared of Ukip after plans to enforce the sale of cigarettes in plain packs failed to make it into the Queen’s speech.

Minutes released by the Department of Health show that one of the industry’s leading players had told government officials that, if the move went through, it would source its packaging from abroad, resulting in “significant job losses.”

Cancer charities and health experts were expecting a bill to be introduced last week that would ban branded cigarette packaging, following a ban introduced in Australia last December. At least one health minister had been briefing that the bill would be in the Queen’s speech. But the bill was apparently put on hold at the last minute with the government saying it would be a distraction from its main legislative priorities.

Ukip, which enjoyed considerable success in last week’s elections, has positioned itself firmly on the side of smokers and there is a suspicion that the Tories scrapped the plan because they did not want to be seen as anti-smoking.

It has emerged that senior Department of Health officials held four key meetings with the industry’s leading players in January and February, when at least one of the tobacco giants spelled out to the government that its plan would result in thousands of jobs going abroad.

Department of Health minutes released last week reveal that Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International were each invited to make representations to the government, in which they attacked the plan and its impact on the UK economy.

Only the minutes of the meeting with Imperial have been released. They record that Imperial warned if plain packs were introduced it would source packaging from the Far East resulting “in significant job losses in the UK.”

The tobacco giant also outlined how its packaging research and development department supported small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK and argued that standard packs would “result in some of these being put out of business”.

It added that the plan would boost the illicit trade in cigarettes, which already costs the Treasury £3bn in unpaid duty and VAT a year. And it noted that 70,000 UK jobs rely on the tobacco supply chain, implying some of these would be threatened if the illicit market continued to grow.

When asked to hand over its assessment of the impact of the plan, Imperial refused, citing commercial sensitivity.

The decision to delay the introduction of plain packs is a major success for the tobacco lobby, which has run a ferocious campaign against the move. Cigarette makers fear that the loss of their branding will deprive them of their most powerful marketing weapon. The industry has backed a series of front campaign groups to make it appear that there is widespread opposition to the plan, a practice known in lobbying jargon as “astroturfing”. Many of the ideas were imported from Australia, where the tobacco giants fought a bitter but ultimately unsuccessful campaign to resist plain packs. Much of the Australian campaign was masterminded by the lobbying firm Crosby Textor, whose co-founder Lynton Crosby is spearheading the Tories’ 2015 election bid.

Crosby was federal director of the Liberal party in Australia when it accepted tobacco money. Crosby Textor in Australia was paid a retainer from BAT during the campaign against plain packs. Some anti-smoking campaigners are now questioning whether the decision to drop the plain packs bill was as a result of shifting allegiances at Westminster.

“It looks as if the noxious mix of rightwing Australian populism, as represented by Crosby and his lobbying firm, and English saloon bar reactionaries, as embodied by [Nigel] Farage and Ukip, may succeed in preventing this government from proceeding with standardised cigarette packs, despite their popularity with the public,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity Action on Smoking and Health.

The decision to drop the plan will become a divisive issue for the coalition because the Liberal Democrats were strongly in favour of the measure, which will still be introduced in Scotland.

It is also a concern for the government’s own health adviser. “Our view is that plain packaging is one of a range of measures shown to be effective in reducing the amount of people taking up smoking,” said Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, the government agency charged with helping people to live longer and more healthily.

A Department of Health spokeswoman denied that tobacco lobbying had been a factor in the decision to pull the bill. “These minutes simply reflect what the tobacco company said at the meeting, not the government’s view,” she said. “The government has an open mind on this issue, and any decisions to take further action will be taken only after full consideration of the evidence and the consultation responses.”

Food scares, the big four and F1: Justin King of Sainsbury’s on the retail race

Category : Business

The supermarket boss insists that he only wants to overtake Asda – but the Grand Prix rumours won’t go away

As the horsemeat scandal reached its peak in February, the bosses of Britain’s biggest supermarkets and suppliers were summoned to Whitehall to explain themselves.

Packed into a Defra meeting room on a Saturday morning, the shopkeepers were given an almighty dressing down and ordered to take responsibility for one of the biggest food adulteration revelations of recent years.

Among them was Justin King, at 51, and after nearly a decade at the helm of Sainsbury’s, regarded as the elder statesman of the grocery business. He was, he says, determined not to take the criticism lying down. He accused government officials of failing to understand the industry, and even threatened to call on the prime minister to demand a ceasefire.

Three months on, with horsemeat found in beefburgers, bolognese sauces, lasagnes and corned beef – but not in any Sainsbury’s products – King still recalls the behaviour of those running the country with exasperation.

He said: “That moment was when politics and business were at their most tense, because politicians felt they had to be saying something. The reason no one was saying anything was because we were doing the responsible, trustworthy thing, which is understanding the issue before we shouted about it, while the dynamic of politics is the opposite.

“In business, we understand it and then we talk about it, while in politics they talk about it and at some later date work out whether their understanding fits with what they said about it some weeks before.”

It was perhaps surprising that King wanted to take such an active role in tackling the scandal on behalf of the industry, given that his own supermarket group had come through unscathed while bitter rivals Tesco and Asda were caught out.

But the new old man of retail, having worked for PepsiCo, Marks & Spencer and Asda before his nine years at Sainsbury’s, says he has seen far worse and that the public is not quite as worried about horsemeat as might be expected.

“We’ve had foot and mouth, bird flu and BSE, all of which were examples where the supply chain was challenged, so this is nothing new. It’s all about trust and acting in a trustworthy way.

“People are pretty realistic. If you Google horsemeat, [a lot of the hits] are horsemeat jokes. So there was an immediate juxtaposition in the consumers’ minds that it was serious but they got a lot of enjoyment from it, too.”

However, King is keen to stress that businesses must stop feeling sorry for themselves and realise that the customers are victims too.

“I don’t think it is fair enough for retailers affected to say they were victims. I had a very simple view – which is that I’m on the same side of the table as the customer.

“The second you say you’re a victim in this situation, even when you are, you put yourself on the wrong side of the table. The real victims are the consumers, who have paid their hard-earned cash.”

This week, the City will see that Sainsbury’s has been largely unaffected by the scandal. Full-year results released on Wednesday will show sales up 4.6% to around £25.6bn, with underlying pre-tax profits expected to be up 5% to £748m.

The focus may now have moved away from horsemeat, but City investors will be keen to learn more about King’s future. He has been touted as the next boss of Formula One, when Bernie Ecclestone hands over the keys to the world’s most glamorous sporting franchise.

Last weekend that speculation reached a new pitch after the supermarket confirmed that headhunters Egon Zehnder had been retained to advise on King’s successor. Sources inside the company suggest the process could take a year and that the process is merely a matter of good management.

King refuses to quash rumours that he is interested in the F1 job – he only ever says that he is “not aware of a vacancy”. He is a huge racing fan and has helped his son Jordan to become one of the most promising drivers of his generation.

But if the call from Ecclestone, F1′s diminutive owner, fails to come, a career in politics might appeal.

King is a former board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and was a member of David Cameron’s business advisory group – before they fell out over King’s objections to government plans to allow new staff to surrender employment rights in exchange for shares.

However, poor pay in the public sector could prove a sticking point for the businessman, who earned £3m last year – 20 times more than the PM.

On the subject of King’s future, analysts at Barclays wrote: “No CEO remains forever, and at some point Justin King will prove the press predictions correct and move on. However, he may be keen to be in charge when Sainsbury’s regains its number two market-share position from Asda – his former employer.”

That could happen later this year, after a remarkable 33 consecutive quarters of growth.

According to industry data from Kantar Worldpanel, Sainsbury’s is outperforming its rivals as the only big four supermarket to be increasing its market share. The grocer now accounts for nearly 17% of all the money spent on groceries in the UK, a slight rise on last year, at a time when Morrisons, Asda and Tesco all lost customers.

Sainbury’s successful Paralympics sponsorship, leading position in convenience stores and growing online presence have also helped, while Tesco’s decision to open no more megastores, and write off £800m on land it had bought for new developments but will now never use, may also give King cause to crow.

He was always angry about Tesco’s land-grab. “If you’re acquiring a site just a mile from an existing site, are you doing it because you think it’s valuable to trade, or because it stops a competitor?”

And his vitriol for the number one supermarket doesn’t stop there. He is equally scathing about Tesco’s new price promotion, which promises shoppers that Tesco’s prices for own-label and branded goods are cheapest. Having complained directly to Tesco and failed to reach a compromise, Sainsbury’s has now appealed to the Advertising Standards Authority. “We have exhausted everything we could with them [Tesco], so were left with no choice but to go to the ASA,” he says.

“You can’t have advertising saying that where your chicken comes from is important, while at the same time still sourcing your chicken from Thailand and Brazil, and then doing a price comparison with Sainsbury’s chicken, which is sourced from the UK. That is inherently unfair.”

Tesco said: “We use an independent agency to check prices of branded and own-label products at other retailers – online daily for Asda and Sainsbury’s, and, since they don’t have an online grocery service, twice a week at Morrisons stores. The basis for our comparisons is made clear on the price promise website.”

This may not be enough to soothe King’s feelings, but perhaps he will soon be directing his passions elsewhere. Less horsemeat, more horsepower?

Oil and gas sector exports grow

Category : Business, World News

Exports related to the oil and gas industry grow for the 14th year in a row and are now worth £17.2bn, a survey suggests.

Originally posted here: Oil and gas sector exports grow

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Jump in new home registrations

Category : Business

The house-building industry has reported a significant jump in the number of new homes being registered.

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US car sales drive to six-year high

Category : World News

US vehicle makers reported double-digit sales growth for April, giving the industry its best month in six years.

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Hemp, Inc. (HEMP: OTC Pink Current) | Hemp, Inc. (OTC: HEMP) Inks Lucrative Deal for Its Nutraceutical Division — HerbaGenix™

Category : Stocks

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Hemp, Inc. (OTC: HEMP) Inks Lucrative Deal for Its Nutraceutical Division — HerbaGenix™

PR Newswire

LAS VEGAS, April 26, 2013

LAS VEGAS, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

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VIDEO: Australian films hit by rising costs

Category : Business

A strong currency and rising energy and labour costs are making Australia increasingly expensive – and the Australian film industry is one of the sectors feeling the impact.

Originally posted here: VIDEO: Australian films hit by rising costs

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