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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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PM in ‘new norm’ apprentice pledge

Category : World News

The prime minister will pledge to make apprenticeships the “new norm” for school leavers who decide not to go to university during a speech later.

Original post: PM in ‘new norm’ apprentice pledge

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New Bank of England head Mark Carney hints at big shift in policy

Category : Business

Canadian drops strong hints of new approach at Davos as pressure increases on government over flatlining economy

The man hand-picked by George Osborne to run the Bank of England has fuelled speculation that he will order a policy revolution to jump-start the stalled British economy as fears grow of a triple-dip recession.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Canadian Mark Carney, who will take over from Sir Mervyn King in July, hinted strongly at a new approach when he said that central bankers should be prepared to take aggressive measures to help economies achieve what he called “escape velocity”. “There remains considerable flexibility – which includes the use of communications, which includes the use of unconventional measures,” he said.

In the US, the Federal Reserve recently made a public pledge to keep stimulating the economy by printing money until the unemployment rate falls to 6.5% – an approach rejected by the outgoing King.

While UK interest rates have been at a record low of 0.5% for almost four years, and the Bank has already pumped £375bn into the economy, Carney insisted central banks’ policy options were still far from exhausted.

Carney’s reputation has soared during his time as governor of the Bank of Canada – one of the biggest world economies to have escaped the global crash without suffering the fallout endured by countries such as the UK.

Although he was speaking generally rather than singling out the UK, Carney’s comments will nonetheless be seen as evidence that he is preparing a substantial change of direction when he takes up his new post.

Suggesting that he might act quickly – perhaps with a pledge to hold interest rates low for a prolonged period – he said: “Monetary policy can be more nimble than fiscal policy.”

Some economists, frustrated by the slow pace of recovery and what they regard as the conservatism of King, have recently called for more radical action from the Bank, such as direct lending to small businesses.

Osborne, who was in Davos when Friday’s grim GDP figures were announced, has come under mounting pressure to moderate his deficit-cutting plans, to ease the pressure on the flatlining economy.

Business secretary Vince Cable is also leading calls within the coalition for action to increase spending on infrastructure, to help kickstart the economy into life. Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has already suggested the government may have been wrong to slash capital projects so quickly after coming to office in 2010.

Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, added his voice to the chorus of criticism, telling the BBC: “Based on my business experience, if what you thought was not delivering what you expect to be the outcome, surely you have to change what you thought a little. At a minimum, a repositioning of the stance, if not a full change.”

Meanwhile, some business leaders expressed concern that David Cameron’s pledge to call on an in-out referendum on EU membership might further harm the economy.

Sir Andrew Cahn, former chief executive of UK Trade and Investment, and now vice-chairman of the Japanese bank Nomura, said in Davos that he believed there was already “a chill” in the attitudes of some investors towards Britain.

A Nissan spokesman at the carmaker’s headquarters in Yokohama said: “We’re a global company and Europe is a vital part of our volume, so we’d like to ensure that our business can operate in Europe as freely as possible.

“We’ve invested £3.5bn in the UK since our Sunderland plant opened in 1986. It’s a highly successful plant and 80% of volume from there is exported [mostly to continental Europe]. We would welcome policy decisions that continue to support that success.”

P.L.A.Y. & Nebo Team Up to Support Pet Rescue

Category : World News

P.L.A.Y., Makers of High Quality Dog Beds, and Nebo, Atlanta-Based Digital Marketing Agency, Have Partnered Up to Launch the Rescue Pledge to Generate Support and Raise Awareness for Animal Shelter Adoptions

Read the rest here: P.L.A.Y. & Nebo Team Up to Support Pet Rescue

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Tax protesters target Starbucks

Category : Business

Tax avoidance campaigners say they are protesting at UK Starbucks cafes, despite the firm’s pledge to pay millions of pounds of extra corporation tax.

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Tax protesters target Starbucks

Category : World News

Tax avoidance campaigners say they are protesting at UK Starbucks cafes, despite the firm’s pledge to pay millions of pounds of extra corporation tax.

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Grover Norquist: 15 Things You Don’t Know About Him – The Fiscal Times

Category : Stocks

The Fiscal Times
Grover Norquist: 15 Things You Don't Know About Him
The Fiscal Times
He's never been elected to any public office, never appeared on any ballot in any state – but Grover Norquist, 56, president of the conservative anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, can still claim to be one of the most powerful people in Washington, D.C.,
GOP's Ayotte: Norquist's anti-tax-hike pledge doesn't keep me up at nightConcord Monitor
Would House GOP actually vote for higher taxes?CBS News
GOP resistance to anti-tax pledge growsCNN International
Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Portugal prepares U-turn on social security payment increase

Category : Business

Ministers pledge to renegotiate austerity measures with unions and employers amid growing popular backlash

Portugal’s government is preparing a U-turn on an announced rise in social security contributions that would have instantly increased workers’ payments by nearly two-thirds amid a growing popular revolt against austerity measures.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to town squares across the country a week ago to protest at the announced rise, which raised contributions from 11 to 18% of salaries, sparking a pledge by the government this weekend to reconsider the unpopular move.

The centre-right prime minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, had solemnly announced the measure to shocked Portuguese workers, who would have lost the equivalent of almost a month’s salary, during a televised speech a fortnight ago.

“The financial emergency that the country sank into in 2011 is still not over,” he said at the time. “We have begun to attack the problems we face but have not yet dominated them.”

But an eight-hour meeting of the presidential state council was besieged by protesters in the small hours of Saturday morning and ended with a government pledge to renegotiate deficit-cutting measures with trade unions and employers.

“The council was informed of the government’s readiness to study, within the framework of the social bargaining process, alternatives to changes in the social security rate,” a statement said after the council meeting. The council is presided over by the president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, and Passos Coelho is one of its members.

Half a dozen protesters who were arrested outside the presidential palace on Friday night are due to appear in court on Monday. Demonstrators had demanded the government’s resignation and chanted: “Thieves, thieves!”

The mounting anger in Portugal about the austerity imposed by the bailout came as France appeared ready to offer concessions to Greece, the first country to need help from eurozone partners. The French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, told the news website Mediapart: “The answer must not be a Greek exit from the eurozone.

“We can already offer it more time … on the condition that Greece is sincere in its commitment to reform, especially fiscal reform,” he said.

Aid to Greece from the IMF and European bodies is reliant on the cash-strapped country meeting tough austerity measures. Last week there were reports – later denied – that the latest inspection by the troika could be delayed until after the US presidential elections in November.

The Portugese rethink marked a turning point in the country’s patience with austerity, which was imposed on it after it asked for a €78bn bailout from the troika of the European Union, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year.

Portuguese voters appeared to accept austerity measures as inevitable at the time and in June 2011 they elected a coalition of Passos Coelho’s centre-right Social Democratic party and more right-wing People’s party to carry them through.

The country is now in its worst recession since the 1970s and the economy is expected to shrink by more than 3% this year. Recession is expected to continue in 2013, further reducing Portugal’s chances of shaking off troika control.

Passos Coelho had his knuckles rapped by the state council, which called for “political and social dialogue to seek consensus” rather than the unilateral imposition of measures in its Saturday morning statement.

The council also asked the government, which had accompanied the rise in individual social security payments with a cut in those made by employers, to share the burden of austerity more evenly. “Any solutions should … guarantee an equitable and just distribution of sacrifices as well as protecting those families with the lowest income,” it said.

Both the council and the government recognised, nevertheless, that Portugal must meet its obligations to the troika – which means finding another way to raise €6bn a year.

Earlier this month the troika agreed to relax Portugal’s deficit targets for the next two years but the government believes fresh measures are still needed to meet the new targets.

Portugal’s trade unions will bring their own deficit-cutting proposals to the table. They include a tax on financial transactions, higher business taxes, a harder line on tax fraud and higher taxes on dividend payments to large shareholders. A 0.25% tax on financial transactions would raise €2bn, according to the General Workers Confederation of Portugal.

Passos Coelho’s government will propose a new cut in holiday subsidies for workers, the Expresso weekend newspaper reported

Romney to pledge to fix troubled US immigration system – Reuters

Category : Stocks

San Francisco Chronicle
Romney to pledge to fix troubled US immigration system
* Appeal to be aimed at Hispanic voters, who favor Obama * Romney looking to rebound after a tough week By Steve Holland LOS ANGELES, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will pledge to Hispanics on Monday that if elected
Obama, Romney push China to forefrontSan Francisco Chronicle
Battleground states draw Obama,
Romney to hit Obama on immigration, jobs in speech to Latino leadersThe Hill (blog)
CNN (blog)

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Pacific Rim leaders pledge freer trade to buoy growth, ensure food security – Washington Post

Category : Stocks
Pacific Rim leaders pledge freer trade to buoy growth, ensure food security
Washington Post
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — China will ensure steady and robust growth by boosting domestic demand and rebalancing its economy to help counter the obstacles hindering a global recovery, President Hu Jintao pledged Saturday to Asia-Pacific leaders gathered
China pledges to rebalance economyThe Press Association
Gillard to leave APEC talks after father's deathABC Online
APEC Leaders Meet in RussiaVoice of America (blog)
Sydney Morning Herald

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US Delivers ‘Powerful Commitment’ To Afghanistan – NPR

Category : Stocks
US Delivers 'Powerful Commitment' To Afghanistan
by AP KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The US designation Saturday of Afghanistan as its newest “major non-NATO ally” amounts to a political statement of support for the country's long-term stability and solidifies close defense cooperation after American
US declares Afghanistan major non-NATO
Donors expected to pledge $16 billion in Afghan aidReuters
Afghanistan Designated Major US Ally During Clinton Visit to KabulVoice of America
New York Times
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