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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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CUPE Nova Scotia charges so-called ‘cost-savings’ from merged DHAs are fictional

Category : Stocks

TRURO, NOVA SCOTIA–(Marketwired – May 6, 2013) - CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says the two opposition party leaders are floating fictional numbers when it comes to any ‘savings’ that would come from merging the province’s District Health Authorities (DHAs).

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Margaret Thatcher’s economic legacy

Category : Business, World News

Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies spread beyond her party

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Investors to SEC on social: ‘Dislike’

Category : Business

The SEC showed up late to the social media party with its new guidance, and investors now have more questions than answers about how companies can share material information.

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Pension reform ‘needs explanation’

Category : World News

The government should do more to explain the new state pension system to the public, a cross-party group of MPs says.

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At Your Next Party Make the Fun Last, Not the Waste

Category : Stocks

MISSION, KS–(Marketwired – Apr 4, 2013) – (Family Features) When hosting a party, the excitement is often about the guest list, invitations and the menu, but what about the amount of trash that comes out of gathering with family and friends? Actress Tiffani Thiessen and party planner, Heidi Mayne, share innovative and eco-friendly party planning ideas, so you can increase the fun, while decreasing your waste. 

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Cyprus plans capital controls and bank restructuring as ECB sets ultimatum – live

Category : Business

Party leaders in Cyprus are scrambling to find the funds to satisfy the IMF and the EU, after the European Central Bank threatened to turn off liquidity to its banks next week

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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.

Westerners might not get the top jobs any more, but our values prevail | Will Hutton

Category : Business

The west is no longer ascendant, but dynamism elsewhere in the world is spurred by what created our success

The first ever non-European pope takes over at the Vatican, while Italy’s economic ills and ungovernability foretell, it’s argued, the wider decline of the west. First-world Catholics enmeshed in scandal in Europe and the United States have turned to a devout Argentinian to clean up their mess.

Meanwhile, there are weekly signs of the west’s fall. It is not a western hi-tech company challenging Apple for global dominance of the smartphone market but South Korea’s Samsung with its new Galaxy, launched with great fanfare last week. This week, our government will reportedly announce in the budget that Qatar is coming to the rescue of poverty-stricken, austerity-ridden Britain with a £10bn fund for infrastructure. And everyone knows about the rise of China. The world is turning on its axis. It is now a commonplace that the west is in irredeemable decline.

Economically, the trends are well established. If they continue, by 2015 Europe’s share of world GDP will have fallen to 17% (and to 10% by 2040) from the 26% it commanded in 1980. The US’s dominance in defence is also being steadily eroded; its budget is stagnating while China’s is growing by double digits every year. Raw materials and oil flow to Asia rather than Europe.

Europe’s population ages and its work ethic, it is claimed, is undermined by our addiction to welfare. As our economies underperform, the most exclusive parts of London, Paris, Rome and Berlin are being bought up by the newly rich from Russia, Latin America and Asia. The richest man in the world is Carlos Slim from Mexico, while the Group of Seven leading industrialised countries is no longer the locus of world economic power. That has moved to the G20.

Even western democracy, one reliable export to the rest of the world, no longer seems so admirable. The US government is deadlocked over its budget so that after the arbitrary spending sequester on 1 March, parts of government will start to close down at the end of the month. Perhaps the benign dictatorship of the Chinese Communist party offers a better model for governance.

Yet look more closely and a more subtle, more encouraging story is at work – less the decline of the west than the steady spread of its values and practices. Jorge Mario Bergoglio is pope because he embodies – at least in Catholic eyes – the best of the western Catholic tradition. He may defend core values on marriage and sexuality, however irrelevant and unjustified they now seem in secular Europe and America, but is avowedly liberal on social issues and poverty. Catholic social policy, with its commitment to justice, fulfilling work and the necessity to enfranchise every human, is one of the better components of the religion’s tradition.

This social policy was an outgrowth of the church coming to terms, over the 19th century, with the Enlightenment. If it is so survive in the 21st century, it will have to come to terms with the Enlightenment’s view that sex is not immoral and sexual preferences should not be stigmatised. Pope Francis might also come to regret his alleged compromises with the Argentinian junta that may dog his papacy. But nonetheless he is the best the Roman Catholic church can offer in holding an impossible line – and might prove to be one of the last who tries to do so. Soon, there will be no part of the world, not even the Catholic church, not touched by Enlightenment virtues.

The same painful process has begun in the Arab world. The Arab Spring represented a series of societies insisting on a voice, the rule of law, representative government, freedom from arbitrary imprisonment and freedom of expression. Yes, the first beneficiaries have been religious fundamentalists and Islamist zealots, but that is only to be expected in the first phase of the process. Fundamentalism is a response to being under siege; it is because western Enlightenment values are so attractive that Arab societies, concerned to preserve their identity, reaffirm their “Arabness” via religion. The attraction of the Muslim Brotherhood is much more complicated than mere religious fundamentalism – they also have a partial Enlightenment commitment to justice.

Nor is China immune. Last week saw the Sina Weibo microblogging site full of anonymous mockery of President Xi’s monarchial, unopposed anointment to lead. Censorship is breaking down. The regime dares imprison fewer and fewer overt political prisoners. Meanwhile, the Communist party’s upper echelons anxiously debate how legitimacy is to be won in a one-party state, but even more anxiously question how China’s growth rate is to be maintained now it can no longer just copy western technology but must develop some of its own. Science, freedom of inquiry, peer review, openness to new ideas and honest statistics turn out not to be bourgeois western ideas but fundamental to innovation. They cannot be promoted in a one-party state.

Nor is it clear that the US is to be written off quite so quickly. The anti-Enlightenment American right has become locked in an anti-scientific, anti-sexual revolution and anti-justice ideology – and has lost the popular vote in five out of the last six presidential elections. Obama’s victory in 2012 could be read as the great republic reasserting its commitment to Enlightenment values. Part of the rapidly escalating American economic recovery is about cheap shale gas, but part is about the rediscovery of an Enlightenment commitment to research and development, now reaching record levels, and the innovation that goes with it. As the Tea Party right’s progress stalls, there is an emerging confidence that the US has not lost its way after all.

In Britain, a similar drama is playing itself out. David Cameron’s modernisation project was an attempt to make his party come to terms with Enlightenment truths – on climate change, the environment, same-sex marriage, open innovation and even social justice – but he has been beaten back into the same dark laager inhabited by American conservatives. A small state and a balanced budget are everything in this theology, along with an individualism is all that is needed for capitalist success and social harmony.

These are propositions that never did work. Successful capitalism is co-created by private and public initiative, a marriage between the market and the Enlightenment – its values and its publicly created institutions. Hence Britain and the US in their different historical contexts; thus South Korea today. It is this alchemy that drove the rise of the west and is now, in varying and incomplete guises, driving the dynamism in the rest of the world. We in the west should remember what drove our success. Rather than mourn our relative decline, let’s celebrate others getting as good, if not better, at what we used to practise and have allowed to atrophy. Then we must find ways to rediscover the alchemy ourselves.

Iraq must not blind us to Blair’s skill and seriousness | Martin Kettle

Category : Business

If we use the war to rubbish the former PM’s record, we brush aside the still relevant dilemmas he grappled with at home

Tony Blair inevitably cuts a much-diminished figure these days. It is eight years since he last fought an election, and nearly six since he left British politics. He, we and the world have all moved on, thank goodness. Partly by choice, partly through circumstance, he

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Peers pass low-cost arbitration law for victims of press defamation

Category : Business

Lords rebellion means key part of Leveson proposals will be enacted and report cannot now be kicked into the long grass

A cross-party alliance of peers hasinjected new momentum into the stalling cross-party talks on the future of press regulation by passing a law to implement a key plank of the Leveson report.

In a massive defeat for the government – the second biggest rebellion against the coalition – peers voted by 272 to 141 to introduce a low-cost arbitration system for victims of press defamation. Newspapers that do not join the system will face higher damages if they are found to have defamed litigants.

The amendments to the defamation bill also include a skeleton system of press regulation and so represent the statutory rubicon David Cameron has promised he will not cross. The PM now faces the challenge of overturning these amendments when the bill returns to the Commons next month, placing an unmovable obstacle in the path of those who hoped to shepherd the Leveson report quietly and unremarked into long grass.

Labour welcomed the vote, saying it gave fresh momentum to the talks, but stressed they wanted to proceed on a cross-party basis.

In a half-hearted bid to quell the revolt, Lord McNally, the Liberal Democrat leader in the Lords, promised the much discussed government proposal for a royal charter to oversee press regulation would be published next week. But even he admitted that momentum had been absent from the cross-party talks.

Another round of cross-party talks will be held on Monday, but there is increasing scepticism that either the press industry or the Conservative side of the government are looking for an urgent solution. Ed Miliband has also let slip many deadlines to put the issue to a fresh vote in the Commons, but the peers vote ensures a deadline now exists.

The rebellion in the Lords included prominent Tories such as Lord Fowler, Lord Hurd and Lord Ashcroft, as well as more than 60 crossbenchers including Baroness O’Neill, the chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and Baroness Boothroyd, the former speaker.

Explaining the need to introduce the low-cost arbitration service, the Labour backbench peer Lord Puttnam said: “As active members of this house, we have an obligation to act, and to be seen to act, on behalf of victims past, present and future. Anyone who reads the bill as it stands will not find so much as a hint of the fact that we live in a country that has spent much of the past two years debating the fallout directly attributable to the unaccountable power of newspapers over our public life and over the lives of ordinary citizens. It is almost as if Leveson never happened.”

“It offers us the opportunity to break the logjam that would appear to have afflicted both the talks between the newspapers and the government and the talks between the three main political parties themselves. At the very minimum, we would have the opportunity to make justice in disputes with newspapers quick and affordable. It will put into effect an arbitration system that would allow ordinary people to get redress if they are defamed”.

He added: “It goes without saying that the arbitration service would not be everything that Leveson recommends, but it is the element of Leveson that cannot happen without the support of parliament. The courts and the newspaper industry are unable simply to set up their own. Without statutory authority, the courts would not be able to give preferential treatment to those newspapers that used the low-cost arbitration service. Parliament would be giving power to the courts, and in doing so would be giving recognition to the newspapers’ own independent self-regulation body”.

Lord Fowler, a former Conservative party chairman, said: “The Leveson report was published at the end of November. We have waited and waited for action, but, instead, some newspapers, sensing a weakness of intent, have continued to attack Leveson in the most lurid and extreme manner, and often quite inaccurately”

He said the newspaper industry had imposed a news blackout on the cross party talks and the government had given no assurance it would act sensibly

Baroness Boothroyd said a new complaints procedure would change the culture of newspapers, adding “it will no longer suffice to be told that there will be an announcement ‘tomorrow’ … the amendments say quite clearly that time has run out and we must take action this very day”.

Lord Skildelsky pointed out that some peers had complained the amenedments amounted to “Leveson by the backdoor”. He responded “To my mind, that is an important merit of the bill because we are unlikely to get Leveson through the front door”. Lord Black, representing the newspaper industry, insisted there was no question of putting anything into the long grass.

He insisted: “It is going to happen; my lawnmower is out in force already. Media lawyers from across the industry are working flat out to establish a scheme that will be good for the public but not an intolerable burden on the regional press in particular. Crucially, we have to find a scheme that will not simply be a new cash cow for claims farmers”.