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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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Delhaize Group : Disclosure of major shareholding

Category : World News

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM–(Marketwired – May 3, 2013) – Pursuant to the Belgian Law of May 2,
relating to the publication of major shareholdings in listed companies,
Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB – NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international
retailer, has received a notification of the threshold of 3% being
downwards by Rebelco SA, subsidiary of Sofina SA, which owns 2.90% of
Group’s voting rights.

Read the original here: Delhaize Group : Disclosure of major shareholding

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Virgin bill goes viral on Facebook

Category : World News

A broadband bill sent to a deceased man by Virgin Media has gone viral on social media after his son-in-law complained.

See the original post here: Virgin bill goes viral on Facebook

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Say hello to zero hours, kiss goodbye to workers’ rights | Tanya Gold

Category : Business

Our labour market looks more and more like The

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Vincent Tchenguiz ‘spied on his own spies’

Category : Business

Court papers claim tycoon made surreptitious recordings to spy on Black Cube intelligence agency, which had been based in his office

Vincent Tchenguiz made “surreptitious recordings” in order to spy on ex-Israeli intelligence officers he had drafted in to his Mayfair offices to help fight a string of legal battles, the Guardian has learned.

The revelation that the Conservative party donor had spied on some of the closest members of his entourage comes two months after he kicked the intelligence experts, trading as Black Cube, out of his Park Lane office and his nearby £15m home.

Tchenguiz has accused them of defrauding him, while they in turn claim that he has breached a contract with them. Both deny the tit-for-tat allegations made against each side.

In papers lodged at the high court, Black Cube’s finance director, Avi Yanus, said: “Mr Tchenguiz told [Black Cube chief executive Daniel] Zorella – as he had also indicated to me – that his alleged concerns had been based on surreptitious recordings he made of private and confidential conversations between me and Mr Zorella and conversations between other employees of Black Cube.”

Tchenguiz confirmed the recordings were made as part of an investigation into Black Cube’s conduct.

As part of its claim against Tchenguiz, Black Cube detailed the unusually close relationship that its staff had reputedly formed with Tchenguiz before the falling out. Yanus said Black Cube had been at the “core of his entourage” after they were drafted into his Mayfair base almost three years ago.

In court filings he said: “Mr Tchenguiz likes to have an entourage surrounding him and for a long period of time … the employees of Black Cube formed the core of his entourage. He would refer to other people on the margins of his entourage as disloyal and would not let them join his private conversations or eject them from his company entirely.”

Black Cube was not well liked by some of Tchenguiz’s other advisers, the documents state. Referring to the collapse of talks exploring a potential investment by Tchenguiz in Black Cube, Yanus said: “I believe that other advisers of Mr Tchenguiz were hostile to the agreement being concluded and indeed wanted to get rid of Black Cube altogether”. A spokesman for Tchenguiz said: “Any hostility was well placed and justified.”

Originally operating out of Tel Aviv, Black Cube was drafted in to play an important role in multiple legal disputes involving Tchenguiz-linked companies, which threatened to engulf the businessman’s multi-billion pound investment empire.

These disputes emerged in the wake of the 2008 failure of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, from which he and his brother Robert Tchenguiz had borrowed huge sums.

At one stage both brothers had been incorrectly suspected of a corrupt relationship with former Kaupthing executives, leading to now notorious raids by the Serious Fraud Office two years ago.

Black Cube helped build the successful challenge to the SFO raids, which were declared unlawful last year. A judge said there had never been grounds to pursue an investigation into Vincent Tchenguiz. Search warrants used on his brother were also quashed and the SFO later abandoned that inquiry too.

Since then, Vincent Tchenguiz has launched a £200m claim for aggravated and exemplary damages against the anti-fraud agency. He has also hinted that this could be the first of a series of legal actions against parties who he believes have wronged him since the failure of Kaupthing.

Black Cube claim Tchenguiz regularly bragged that these actions – called Operation Athena by the businessman – could recover £500m. Yanus said: “Every few weeks Mr Tchenguiz would say

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Stobart lorry chief faces contempt trial

Category : Business

High court judge rules Andrew Tinkler and legal director Trevor Howarth may have lied to secure gagging order on whistleblower

The chief executive of Stobart Group, one of Britain’s biggest trucking companies, will go on trial for contempt after a whistleblower partially won a high court case against him and another executive.

Andrew Tinkler and Trevor Howarth, Stobart Group’s legal director, may have lied in order to silence Peter Elliott, a former contractor in an aviation company owned by Tinkler, a judge ruled on Thursday.

The case comes at a time of turmoil for the company, which owns other businesses including Southend airport. On Wednesday night Investec, its senior City broker, resigned following the ousting last week of Avril Palmer-Baunack, Stobart’s executive chairman. She lost her position in a boardroom shake-up after only 71 days in the job. The company said it had decided the role of executive chairman was no longer appropriate, an “odd explanation” according to one analyst.

Last year Howarth masterminded the Stobart empire’s controversial move into the legal aid market, setting up Stobart Barristers, a cut-price service which connects businesses to barristers without having to go through a solicitor.

Elliott, who turns 46 on Friday, was sentenced to three months in jail in June 2009 after breaking an injunction brought against him by various Stobart parties.

The high court in Manchester heard that he had tried to kill himself on several occasions following his prison experience.

He complained he had been the victim of “an orchestrated smear campaign” which “made me look like a scrote”. Ever since his release Elliott has sought to challenge his conviction by proving that Stobart executives lied in order to persuade a judge to impose the gagging order in late 2008.

On Thursday the judge, Mr Justice Pelling, QC, ruled there were five instances where Tinkler may have lied and two occasions when Howarth may not have told the truth.

He dismissed 15 other allegations of contempt made by Elliott, including a number against another executive, William Stobart, the youngest son of the firm’s founder, Eddie Stobart.

His judgment did not apportion any guilt, he stressed, but merely ruled that “a sufficiently strong prima facie case” had been established for him to send the seven allegations to a civil trial for contempt.

Tinkler is not only the firm’s chief executive but also brother-in-law to William Stobart. Between them they hold 12% of the group. Neither Tinkler, Howarth or Stobart were in court. Tinkler and Howarth later issued a statement via a PR agency saying: “We are confident in the judicial process in which we both expect in the fullness of time to be exonerated. “

Speaking after the hearing, Elliott said: “This is an important victory on the road to justice. I am an honest whistleblower who wanted to expose something that I believed was in the public interest and I ended up in jail. Even now I cannot yet tell the full story.

“I believe that today is a victory for all whistleblowers by sending out a message that our justice system will scrutinise those giving evidence to get gagging injunctions as well as those seeking to expose wrong-doing.”

The full circumstances surrounding the original injunction still cannot be reported fully. But the judge said in his ruling that Elliott had been gagged in order to stop him airing allegations about the allegedly unlawful activities of WA Developments International (WADI), a firm owned by Tinkler which ran Carlisle and Southend airports.

Elliott, an experienced helicopter pilot, worked as a pilot and consultant for WADI from May 2005 until March 2007, when the relationship broke down in what the judge described as “circumstances of great acrimony.”

The judge said: “Elliott maintains that he was forced to resign because, he alleged, WADI were conducting unlawful flying operations by permitting aircraft owned by it to be chartered to other companies with which WADI was linked, being primarily companies within the Stobart group.”

In a statement a spokesman for Stobart Group said: “We have no comment to make as this is a matter for Andrew and Trevor, and for WA Developments, and does not directly involve Stobart Group”.

Both men plan to appeal against Thursday’s ruling, their spokesman said.

Action wanted on hidden charges

Category : Business

Consumers need more protection against hidden charges tucked away in the small print, say the two law commissions responsible for promoting legal reform.

More: Action wanted on hidden charges

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You think the government is fighting tax avoidance? Think again | Richard Brooks

Category : Business

George Osborne has pulled off a stunning confidence trick: he has bamboozled people into thinking he is fighting tax dodgers

Chancellors of the exchequer have never been entirely straight about their tinkering with the tax system. With his penchant for “stealth taxes”, Gordon Brown certainly didn’t always come clean with the British public. But when it comes to the vexed subject of tax avoidance, his successor George Osborne has taken the deception to a new level and, after three years, pulled off a stunning confidence trick.

The parties agree that tackling tax avoidance is essential for the new government, and that all efforts will be made to do so,” declared the coalition agreement in May 2010. The commitment was a victory for the Lib Dems and

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Conservatives seek eleventh-hour press regulation deal

Category : Business

Newspaper groups including owners of Sun and Mail threaten boycott of regulator if plan proposed by Labour agreed to

Britain’s main political leaders are taking talks on the future of press regulation down to the wire amid signs that David Cameron is prepared to reach a last-minute deal to avoid a damaging defeat in the House of Commons on Monday.

As George Osborne insisted that the government was not “grandstanding” over the issue of press reform, the prime minister appeared to change tack by reopening talks with Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, days after abandoning all-party negotiations.

The renewed political discussions came as three of Britain’s largest newspaper groups, including the owners of the Sun and the Daily Mail, ramped up the pressure by signalling that they were prepared to boycott the proposed press watchdog and set up their own body if Labour and the Lib Dems succeed in creating a statutory underpinning of the new royal charter.

The deputy prime minister found himself effectively acting as a go-between between the prime minster and Ed Miliband . Clegg spoke to the Labour leader on three occasions during the day – twice before meeting the prime minister and once afterwards.

The reopening of limited all-party talks came amid signs that Cameron is heading for a defeat in the Commons over tabled amendments to the crime and courts bill to establish exemplary damages for media organisations that do not sign up to a new regulatory body. Labour and the Lib Dems, who have 314 MPs to the Tories’ 304 MPs, are planning to table their own amendments to strengthen the planned royal charter establishing the new body.

The Tories and Labour played hardball in what appeared to be something of an operation to paper over changes on all sides. Maria Miller, the culture secretary, was despatched on to the airwaves to say Labour had climbed down.

“Labour has been trying to push through a tough form of statutory regulation for the press with really unacceptable consequences for freedom of speech in this country,” Miller told Sky News. “I think their climbdown from that position has put them much closer to our position and I think that is to be welcomed.”

Labour dismissed Miller’s remarks and insisted that it was standing by its core demands – statutory underpinning of the royal charter, a guarantee of prominent apologies by errant newspapers and no press veto on members of the new regulatory body.

A senior Labour source said: “We are in lock-step with the Lib Dems on this. We are clear we are not going to accept [Cameron's] royal charter. Any agreement must be on the basis of our royal charter. We are planning to go ahead with the votes in the Commons.”

There was silence in Whitehall as the government parties prepared for another round of talks in the runup to the votes in the Commons.

The Tories claim that talks between the party leaders broke down last week when Labour sought to strengthen the royal charter on the basis of last-minute proposals by the Hacked Off campaign group. This prompted the prime minister to call for a Commons vote on his proposals.

One observer said: “It is like a game of poker. On Tuesday, the prime minister called their bluff. Then, at the weekend, when they published their royal charter and seemed to revert to their earlier position, they folded their hand.”

This was dismissed by Labour which said the prime minister appeared to be changing his position. The chancellor indicated that Downing Street may be adopting a more flexible approach when he said he was still hopeful of an all-party agreement.

Osborne told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1: “It would be great on Monday if we can get some kind of agreement, even at this late stage, between the parties. Frankly, press regulation that is achieved in a way that divides the political parties is not a press regulation that is really going to last and it is not a press regulation which is deeply rooted in our culture.

“I would say there is still an opportunity for us to get together and get a press regulation that works.

Ultimately we are not about grandstanding on this. We are about getting a press law that works and protects the press and gives justice to victims of press abuse.”

It is understood that the prime minister may be able to live with a statutory underpinning of the royal charter – one of the key Lib Dem and Labour demands. The legal underpinning is designed to ensure that the royal charter can only be changed by agreement of two thirds of MPs, and not simply, like other royal charters, by ministers.

Cameron believes such underpinning is not necessary but is willing to be flexible because he has seen off what Osborne described as “some all-singing, all-dancing Leveson law”.

But there are still differences over the composition of the regulatory body and on how apologies would be carried.

The prime minister is understood to share the concerns of many in the press that leading lights in the Hacked Off group, such as Brian Cathcart, could find themselves on the new body.

Downing Street said it was unable to answer the latest of several requests from the Guardian to reveal how many meetings the prime minister has had with editors, publishers or representatives of the press.

Press regulation: after Leveson, let’s put hysteria and mistrust behind us | Observer editorial

Category : Business

The differences between the Tories and the Labour and Lib Dem coalition are not so great that they couldn’t have been resolved

It is not the cruellest crisis facing newspapers. Think, rather, of readers disappearing into cyberspace. It is not David Cameron’s worst crisis either. Think of George Osborne’s sad script for Thursday’s budget. It is not even the most pressing problem of media regulation. Remember that the most recent phone-hacking allegations, as they surface, still date from the time when Tony Blair ruled in Downing Street, while internet trolls and scams remain unaddressed. But tomorrow, amid a rumble of Westminster guns, will see David Cameron’s royal charter pitched against the Clegg/Miliband royal charter. The prime minister

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Apple fined for making French staff work nights

Category : Business

Ruling could disrupt preparations for new iPad as court imposes damages after trade union complaint

Apple has been fined and banned from requiring staff at seven of its French stores to work night shifts.

The ruling may cause problems for arrival of the new iPad, expected next month, as staff often work after hours to reorganise the stores so that the latest merchandise is on display for product launches.

The courts took action after a group of trade unions filed a complaint. Apple was ordered to pay them €10,000 (£8,600) in damages and was warned it would be liable for a €50,000 penalty for every further infraction.

French law forbids shifts between 9pm and 6am unless the work plays an important role in the economy or, as with the emergency services, is socially useful.

Unions had complained that although Apple’s stores shut at 9pm, staff were often required to stay as late as 11pm, tidying the store after hours or on duty in the workshops. Apple declined to comment.

The ruling was described as a “severe condemnation” by Eric Scherrer of the cross sector union Confédération Française des Travailleurs Chrétiens. He added: “This decision is very good and shows the court’s willingness to enforce night working laws.”