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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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Rich elderly ‘should shun benefits’

Category : Business

Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills or free travel should voluntarily give the money back, Iain Duncan Smith says.

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Rich elderly ‘should shun benefits’

Category : Business, World News

Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills or free travel should voluntarily give the money back, Iain Duncan Smith says.

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WH Smith continues to boost profits

Category : World News

WH Smith says its strategy of boosting profit margins to offset falling sales continues to bring results, with railways and airport outlets performing well.

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Welfare reforms fair – Duncan Smith

Category : Business, World News

Changes to the UK’s welfare system are fair, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith insists, as some of the new measures come into effect.

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Letters: Europe is not declining, the rest of the world is catching up

Category : Business

Terry Smith’s denunciation of the EU raises more questions than it answers (Lose the ball and chain, 2 March). He asserts as a “fact” that the EU is “the least competitive trading bloc in the world”, yet also tells us that the UK has a trade deficit with the rest of the EU of £55.7bn. If these countries, despite being so uncompetitive, have managed to export so much more to the UK

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‘Bedroom tax’ rules re-examined

Category : Business

Welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith instructs his department to “look again” at how the “bedroom tax” will affect disabled people.

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Auctions International, Inc. (AUCI: OTC Link) | AUCTIONS INTERNATIONAL APPOINTS TRANSITIONAL MANAGEMENT TEAM

Category : Stocks

MIAMI
BEACH, FLORIDA, JANUARY 22, 2013/CNW/ – Auctions International,
Inc. (“Auctions”) (OTCPINK: AUCI)
is
pleased to announce that it has received and accepted consents from
Mr. Andrew McLaughlin and Mr. Richard Smith to join its board of
directors. Mr. McLaughlin will also be joining Auctions as its new
CEO and Mr. Smith as its Secretary/Treasurer. The new appointments
are a direct result of the previously announced merger between
Auctions and Rangemore Productions Corp. (“Rangemore”) and take
effective immediately. Doug Mann will temporarily remain as a
director and as President of Auctions to assist with the transition.

Andrew McLaughlin


Mr. McLaughlin was
educated at Oglethorpe University and currently resides in Miami
Beach, Florida. Mr. McLaughlin has background in business management
with extensive experience in developing and marketing commercial
real-estate. He was very instrumental in Rangemore’s negotiations
for Island Studios (the “Studios”). Mr. McLaughlin will be
active in the day-to-day operations of the Studios while being
responsible for sourcing independent film projects
aimed
at enhancing Rangemore’s bottom line.
Mr.
McLaughlin’s extensive negotiating skills together with his strong
project management background will be invaluable in the operations of
the Studios and the development and marketing of the related film and
TV projects.

Richard
Smith


Mr.
Smith has over 20 years of experience in the investment industry with
a specialty in micro cap IPOs and mergers. His extensive knowledge
of the investment industry was garnered by years of experience in all
areas of the industry including a two year tenure as the Manager of
Listings for Western Canada for the Canadian National Stock Exchange.
He was a pioneer in cross listing companies between North America
and Europe, being the first to list a CNSX traded company on the
Berlin Stock Exchange. His wide range of knowledge and contacts have
made him invaluable with client companies, being able to advise on
market strategy and arrange funding in a timely manner. Mr. Smith
will be responsible for closing the merger between Auctions and
Rangemore and providing ongoing public market support and financing
to successfully implement the new business plan.

About
Auctions International, Inc.


Auctions
International, Inc. is

a
publicly traded company whose core business was the development and
implementation of a proprietary technology that enables virtual
auctions for any type of product or commodity over the internet. In
addition to the development and launch of its technology, the
management of Auctions is dedicated to identifying and acquiring
undervalued opportunities that have significant upside with the focus
being to add to shareholder value. As a result, o
n
December 31, 2012, Auctions entered into a Merger Agreement with
Rangemore Productions Corp. For more information on Rangemore
Productions Corp. please see below or visit
www.rangemoreproductions.com.

Auctions
is a Development Stage Company, as defined by Financial Accounting
Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification
(“ASC”) 915,
Development Stage Entities,
and has not yet generated significant revenues from their intended
business activities.

About Rangemore
Productions Corp.


Rangemore
Productions Corp. (“Rangemore”) is an independent film company
that operates a film studio on the Isle of Man known as Island
Studios. Island Studios is a complete film production facility
located two miles outside the town of Ramsey and
is approximately 7 acres in size and houses a film studio, sound
studio, make-up studio, dressing rooms, canteen and dormitory,
administration offices, and storage facility.
The
studios have been operating since 2002.
Along
with the studio operations, Rangemore will be actively producing
independent film productions. Management of Rangemore is in the
process of reviewing a number of film projects and joint venture
opportunities.

For
more information on Auctions or Rangemore please call Rangemore
Productions Corp. at 305-851-2469 or visit
www.rangemoreproductions.com.

Forward-Looking
Statements


Except
for the historical information contained herein, the matters
discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements.
Actual results may differ materially from those described in
forward-looking statements and are subject to risks and
uncertainties. See Auctions’ filings with OTCMarkets which may
identify specific factors that may cause actual results or events to
differ materially from those described in the forward-looking
statements.

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Delia no longer face of Waitrose

Category : Business

Delia Smith will no longer be one of the faces of food at Waitrose, after a three-year association with the supermarket chain ends in March.

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Bumi grants founder Nat Rothschild’s request for shareholder meeting

Category : Business

Rothschild, who quit four months ago over alleged financial irregularities, wants to return to mining company’s board

Indonesian mining company Bumi has consented to a demand by its founder Nat Rothschild to hold a shareholder meeting but launched an attack on the former director of the London-listed company.

Rothschild, who quit four months ago over alleged financial irregularities, wants to return to the board.

But Sir Julian Horn-Smith, the senior independent director of Bumi, said in a stock market statement that Rothschild’s “time as a director of Bumi was characterised by taking highly confrontational positions that proved counterproductive to addressing the company’s issues”.

Horn-Smith, a former director of Vodafone, had been on the board of Rothschild’s acquisition vehicle Vallar, which became Bumi after taking a 29% stake in the mining business controlled by the Bakrie family in Indonesia.

Rothshild quit after declaring he had “lost confidence” in the board to protect investors in Bumi from a proposal by the Bakries to take control of mines.

His call for a shareholder meeting to remove 12 of the current 14 directors on the Bumi board won early support from Schroders, which owns more than 4% of the company, and was said to be backing Rothschild in his effort to remove the directors.

Shares in the company were the biggest gainers in the FTSE 250, jumping nearly 20% to 288p, although they remain well below the £10 at which they were floated on the stock market in July 2010.

The shareholder meeting will be held in February and Bumi said it would provide shareholders “with a clear choice” between the current management or the changes proposed by Rothschild.

A week on from Newtown, business as usual for gun manufacturers and sellers

Category : Business

Many Walmart stores reported to have sold out a huge Christmas rush for weapons expected in US

A rush for firepower in the US has made guns among the most popular gifts Americans now buy each other for Christmas, the boss of Smith & Wesson has said.

James Debney, Smith & Wesson’s CEO, said “firearms have now taken their place in the basket of mainstream durable goods that consumers want to buy on Black Friday.”

The day after Thanksgiving is regarded as the official start of the Christmas shopping spree in the US. Debney said Black Friday sales of rifles and handguns last month “set an all time high for any single day”. Just a week before the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Debney was reporting a “tremendous” doubling of gross profits to $48.5m (£29.8m).

FBI statistics show 154,873 point-of-sale background checks were carried out on people buying guns on Black Friday, 23 November – 25,707 more than Black Friday last year.

The second-biggest day for gun sales last year was 23 December, when 102,222 background checks were carried out. In the six days to Christmas more than 500,000 background checks were carried out.

Gun sales are expected to be even higher this Christmas, as consumers rush to buy more arms following the Newtown shootings.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has sold out of guns at many of its supermarkets across the country. On its website, which advertises 358 different guns for sale, Walmart asks customers: “Need it by Christmas? Choose expedited shipping and get gifts in time!”

The supermarket put a Sig Sauer M400 on a special “doorbuster” promotion on Black Friday, offering $50 off the $867 rifle, which is designed for use by the army and police.

In a mark of respect to the Newtown killings, Walmart has removed from its website a picture and description of the Bushmaster AR15, a military-style semi-automatic similar to the one believed to have been used by Lanza in the shooting, but it is still, reportedly, available in stores.

Walmart refuses to disclose how many guns it sells, but the retailer told analysts in October that gun revenue was up 76% in the first half of the year.

Gun enthusiasts have also flocked to eBay to buy ammo. A current bid for four Glock handgun magazines – ammunition for one of the guns found at Newtown – is $118 compared with $45 on the day before the shooting. A bid for seven Glock magazines hit $201 on 17 December – up from $71.01 before the massacre.

A presenter on news channel KHOU recently introduced a report on the trend with the words: “It’s the holidays and, for some, nothing says Christmas quite like a little firepower.”

One gun store customer, Debbie Tingey, told the channel she was buying a handgun for her husband as a surprise Christmas present. “And, then I’m hoping, maybe mothers’ day he’ll surprise me,” she added.

Another shopper, Debbi Kremer, said a handgun licence would be a “good gift” and “maybe ammo in the stocking”.

Smith & Wesson, which makes James Bond’s Walther PPK and Dirty Harry’s Model 29 Magnum, said sales for the whole of November were 61.3% higher than the same month a year ago.

“It was another quarter of record revenue,” Debney told analysts and investors on a conference call on 6 December. “We achieved a tremendous increase in gross margin.”

In its results presentation, Smith & Wesson boasted that gun sales “for just the first half” of the year had almost matched total sales for the whole of the previous year.

“As you know, the firearms industry has experienced extraordinary growth in recent years we believe that one result of this growth is an expanded and diverse consumer base,” said Debney.

Annual US guns and ammunition sales total about $4bn, according to estimates from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

This has helped Smith & Wesson’s shares to increase in value by 94% so far this year, despite a dip in performance following the shootings.

Filings at the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, show the pension fund of 1.2 million Texan teachers and British banks and hedge funds are among the investors to have benefited from Smith & Wesson’s performance.

Oxford Asset Management, a UK hedge fund, owns 0.79% of the company, Prudential’s funds own 0.4% and Barclays Capital holds 0.21%. Prudential is also one of the biggest shareholders in Sturm, Ruger & Co, another big US-listed gun manufacturer which recently reported a 47% increase in sales to $118.2m. All three British investors failed to return requests for comment. Smith & Wesson also declined to comment.

The power of investors to influence the gun trade was drawn into focus this week when a Californian teachers’ pension fund pressured US private equity firm Cerberus to sell off its stake in Freedom Group, the gun company that made the semi-automatic rifle Lanza used in the shootings.

Cerberus Capital Management said it was preparing for a sale of its investments in Freedom Group in the wake of the “unthinkable” massacre in the town – where the father of the Cerberus founder and chief executive, Stephen Feinberg, lives.

Cerberus, which manages more than $20bn (£12bn) of investments, said Adam Lanza’s killing of 20 children and seven adults was a “watershed moment” that raised the debate on gun control to an “unprecedented level”. Cerberus said it was not the company’s role to enter the debate but added: “There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take.”

Freedom said the market for military-type weapons, like the .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle believed to have been used by Lanza, grew by 27% between 2007 and 2011. “The continued adoption of the modern sporting rifle has led to increased growth in the long gun market, especially with a younger demographic of users and those who like to customise or upgrade their firearms,” it said.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the second-biggest pension fund in America, had threatened to withdraw the $751m it had invested in Cerebus unless the private equity fund sold out of the firearms company.

Californian’s treasurer Bill Lockyer said he will propose that CalSTRS and California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) – the two biggest pension funds in the US – sell off all investments in firearms manufacturers that make guns prohibited under state law. California prohibits semi-automatic assault weapons, specifically including the Bushmaster, and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Will Pomroy, head of corporate governance at the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said: “It is up to individual funds to determine their investment strategies. However, we would expect funds to actively consider their approach to ethical and social issues as part of determining their strategy. Pension schemes and their advisers have an important role to play in encouraging higher standards of corporate responsibility.”

Andre Spicer, a professor at Cass Business School, said investors may be able to achieve more in the gun debate than politicians.

“[Cerberus'] move demonstrates again the willingness of shareholders to use their financial muscle to address recent issues,” he said. “Some see financial pressure as the next option in the gun control debate, given the difficulty of forcing any meaningful change to gun laws in the US through legislation.”

He said investor pressure may be followed by consumer action, that could see Walmart called on to stop selling guns and ammo in its supermarkets.

“It is likely that we will see investor activism being followed by consumer pressure. For instance, mass market retailers like Walmart, which is the largest retail of firearms in the US, may come under consumer pressure to drop guns as part of their product mix.

“Investor activism coupled with consumer pressure has proved a potent force for changing industries in the past. For instance consumer and investor activism played a large role in changing attitudes to the tobacco industry long before governments created the kind of anti-smoking legislation which is so wide spread today.”