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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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Telegraph extends paywall to UK

Category : World News

The Daily Telegraph is to extend its paywall to UK readers, the latest newspaper to turn to the measure as readerships become increasingly digital.

More here: Telegraph extends paywall to UK

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balloon crash couple were aspiring artists –

Category : Stocks
balloon crash couple were aspiring artists
Joe Bampton, who turned 40 a few weeks ago, and his 34 year-old Hungarian-born partner Suzanna Gyetvai, who through her professional name Zsi was registered with the online Saatchi gallery, worked at Lots Road Auctions in Chelsea, west London,
Hong Kong Grapples With Aftermath of Deadly Balloon BlastNew York Times
14 killed as hot air balloon explodes, plummets in EgyptCNN International
Egypt PM orders probe into deadly balloon crashThe News International

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Panorama confronts the Barclay brothers with tax revelations

Category : Business

Tonight’s Panorama will surely enrage the notoriously touchy Barclay boys. Sirs David and Frederick Barclay are media tycoons who like to stay out of the media spotlight.

Often described as reclusive, the proprietors of the Telegraph Media Group dislike the term. They prefer to regard themselves as people who merely wish to be private.

Semantics aside, the point is that they have a history of complaining whenever they are treated to the sort of publicity to which other entrepreneurs are routinely subjected.

And they have also taken to the courts. In the 1996, they sued John Sweeney, the journalist who is presenting tonight’s programme and the BBC for invading their privacy. In 2005, they went to court in France to sue The Times over a series of articles about their business deals (eventually dropping the action). In 2010, they sued Private Eye for running a spoof Daily Telegraph front page.

So the boyos have form. And I’d guess that they will be watching BBC1 at 8.30pm to see what Sweeney has to say in a Panorama entitled “The tax haven twins.” Then again, maybe they cannot receive the programme live in their castle on Brecqhou in the Channel Islands or in their other home in the tax haven of Monaco.

But they have plenty of British-based aides, and lawyers, who will surely be monitoring the broadcast, which the BBC’s publicity department says will allege that one of their London hotels, The Ritz, hasn’t paid any corporation tax in 17 years.

Panorama has investigated the accounts of the hotel, which was acquired by the Barclays in 1995. It’s a profitable business, but the hotel has taken advantage of a series of perfectly legal tax reliefs to ensure its corporation tax bill was zero.

The programme will also raise questions about another of their businesses, the catalogue company Littlewoods, which they bought in 2002. It secured a VAT rebate, plus interest, from the revenue commissioners worth £472m over payments dating back to 1973. But the company has gone to court to demand a further £1bn from the government in compound interest.

It’s an important test case for taxpayers because, should Littlewoods win, it could open the door to claims worth billions of pounds from other companies.

The twins say they have had nothing to do with the running of the UK companies since they retired to Monaco more than 20 years ago.

“We have not attended office, management or board meetings in the UK since leaving the country,” Sir David Barclay said in a statement. “My brother and I have no editorial, political or economic power in the UK.”

Littlewoods, the Ritz and the Telegraph are each controlled by offshore trusts. However, the trusts were set up by the twins and one of the brothers attends trust meetings.

The UK businesses are managed by Sir David’s son, Aidan Barclay. On the Littlewoods claim, he said:

“This represents tax taken incorrectly by HMRC and held incorrectly for many years, facts which HMRC publicly recognise and accept.

Directors of companies have legal responsibilities and duties to recover and secure their companies’ assets from the perspective of each company itself and its various stakeholders. It would be a dereliction of their duties not to pursue repayments which are properly due from HMRC.”

Aidan Barclay told Panorama that Littlewoods lodged its VAT claim before the family took over the company, which is true. But the £1bn test case for compound interest was launched after the Barclays’ takeover.

He also explained that the Ritz had reinvested profits made by the hotel, adding: “The Barclay family members and their companies abide by the law and pay the taxes required by UK law and the laws of other relevant countries.”

Sir David Barclay said: “We have always acted in a responsible way with regard to taxation and have never been involved in any tax avoidance scheme. We are not responsible for corporate taxes in the UK and are unaware what tax is paid on the Ritz.”

Panorama will also touch on the controversy surrounding the Barclays’ activities in Sark. the island adjacent to Brecqhou.

As David Leigh has reported, the Sark segment has already attracted complaints from the Barclays’ estate manager on the island, Kevin Delaney.

His Sark Newsletter carried a lengthy article on 10 October criticising Sweeney for his (allegedly) “unbecoming drunken antics” during his visits earlier this year to film on the island. He wrote:

“Empowered by the might of the BBC, Mr Sweeney filmed people without their consent.

He aggressively invaded my offices and harassed and intimidated my staff in his concerted efforts at staging a hostile confrontation with me on camera – despite being made aware, in writing, that I did not want to be interviewed by him.”

Delaney returned to the attack on the BBC in a bulletin dated yesterday (16 December) in which he alleged that the editor of Panorama, Tom Giles, had repeatedly threatened him with libel proceedings.

Sweeney says he’ll let the programme speak for itself.

Source: BBC Full disclosure: I was interviewed for the programme

The Philippines: China’s Passport Map Sets Off Protest – New York Times

Category : Stocks

The Philippines: China's Passport Map Sets Off Protest
New York Times
The Philippines has protested China's decision to issue passports containing a map that marks Chinese territorial claims in a maritime dispute with Southeast Asian nations. Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Thursday that the Philippines “strongly
Philippines protests China map
China Passport Maps Spark Protests From Vietnam, PhilippinesBloomberg
Philippines Protests Depiction of Disputed Islands on New Chinese PassportsVoice of America

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Happy Halloween—Safety urged tonight – News Banner

Category : Stocks

New Zealand Herald
Happy Halloween—Safety urged tonight
News Banner
Safety urged tonight. The Covington Trailhead was the site of Trickin' and Treatin' as locals and their young ones joined in the fun Saturday, despite the cold weather. Frank Levy presented a children's version of “The Wizard of Oz” with members of the
Is Hurricane Sandy Affecting Halloween? What Trick-Or-Treating Will Be Like Huffington Post
Halloween Safety TipsKMIR-TV
Share scares safelyNorth Platte Telegraph

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Newspaper review: Gary Glitter arrest widely reported – BBC News

Category : Stocks

BBC News
Newspaper review: Gary Glitter arrest widely reported
BBC News
The arrest of former pop star Gary Glitter by police investigating Jimmy Savile sex abuse claims is widely reported in Monday's papers. “Celebrities run scared after Glitter is arrested” is the headline in the i newspaper. The journalist who broke the Savile
Cops arrest Gary Glitter in Jimmy Savile rowIndian Express
Arrest Made in BBC Sexual Abuse ScandalNew York Times
Gary Glitter Arrested in Savile ProbeWall Street Journal
The Guardian

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Romney: Democrats love America too – CNN (blog)

Category : Stocks
Romney: Democrats love America too
CNN (blog)
Marion, Ohio (CNN) – Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan increasingly framed the upcoming election as a historic choice about the country's future, telling Ohio audiences Sunday they were up to the challenge of bridging Washington's partisan divide. “This is not
Romney and Ryan blitz battleground of Ohio in final push for
Ryan kicks off two-day Ohio bus
Romney Wrestles With Ohio's RecoveryBuzzFeed (blog)

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Stop the presses at Newsweek, but the Guardian rolls on

Category : Business

As the Standard has demonstrated, there’s plenty of money to be made from print advertising yet

The bad (as in rotten, ridiculous) news last week claimed that the Guardian was on the point of abandoning print and turning into an online-only non-paper paper. The good (as in obviously correct) news claimed that it isn’t – and heaven knows why the Daily Telegraph thought this secondhand sub-tweet of gossip worth publishing. But bad news and good news have a curious way of getting mixed up in the wild, woolly world of media futures.

It isn’t superficially stupid to think of great print brands operating in digital alone. That’s precisely what will happen to Newsweek as 2012 ends. No more printing presses, only Newsweek Global on a laptop or iPad near you. But this isn’t the seamless transition from past to glowing future that some apostles bathe in hope. Newsweek, in spite of gallant efforts to rescue its news magazine format, was sold for one dollar last time around and loses millions year after year. It can’t be fixed. Any digital reincarnation (if recent experience of such tottery transitions is any guide) may have to try to operate on no more than a third of its current editorial cost base.

Why? Because online advertising – see Google – isn’t some continuing wonder of growth and prosperity. It remains mostly stuck around 12% to 15% of what you can charge in print. Just look at the headlines from the London Evening Standard to get the point. It used to lose £18m or so when Associated ran it in a conventional way. Then, three years ago, the new Lebedev management (led by Andy Mullins) turned it free. And, in the financial 12 months just ended, big losses have turned to modest profit.

Free newspapers only have one real source of income: print advertising. Last year the Standard raised over £50m that way. This year – though the figures aren’t all laid bare yet – the growth has been double-digit. In short, the most dramatic newspaper turnaround in Britain so far this millennium depends on giving copies away and charging advertisers a premium rate they’ll pay. Back to a future that still seems to work.

Which is why, of course, that Telegraph tale about Guardian plans was rubbish. Guardian revenue still depends hugely on print, as the group’s chief executive made clear. You can’t do without it: you have to sustain it. Good news and bad news arrive in the same open envelope.

Conrad Black, have I got news for you – you haven’t discharged your sins | Henry Porter

Category : Business

The disgraced press baron’s complete lack of contrition should debar his re-entry into decent society

Conrad Black’s appearance on Have I Got News For You won’t do anything to rehabilitate the reputation of an unrepentant fraudster, but it will allow him to show that he at least believes he has nothing to be ashamed of and that he can re-enter British society with his head held high.

To that degree, the invitation serves Black’s purpose very well. He can flaunt his shamelessness and then repair to the various exclusive dinner parties being held to welcome Mr and Mrs Black to London. (In this column, at least, he has been stripped of his title, though in reality he is Baron Black of Crossharbour, PC, Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great and, weirdly indeed, still a member of the British legislature.)

Despite spending more than three years in Florida jails, the humiliation of being deported on his release last May from the United States – probably never to return – and having to appeal against being stripped of the Order of Canada, Black’s hubris and sense of entitlement remain astonishingly unimpaired. With this record, most people wouldn’t entertain an appearance on the TV programme, but his character is incapable of contrition and is immunised against mockery. In his own mind, he still fits Boris Johnson’s assessment: “An obvious man of destiny, not least because he exudes a sense of purpose, drive and ambition.”

So, the show will be an object lesson in the sorts of traits that propel one of the dodgiest outsiders to have run British newspapers over the last 50 years and forced their agendas on our national life. But that is the only marginal gain. It may be good television to watch him being baited, but the show’s producer, Hat Trick Productions, is wrong to give him the platform because in some way it does endorse his denial of grave criminality. This seems particularly true after the show’s long-running host Angus Deayton was sacked because of misbehaviour that pales in comparison to Black’s.

When someone has served a prison sentence, it is right that society allows redemption and degrees of forgiveness. Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer have both acted with discretion and some humility since leaving prison and people have been rightly willing to overlook their convictions.

But Black is a different story. Lest the producers or, indeed, any of the society hostesses in a flutter at the idea of Conrad and Barbara’s return need reminding of his crimes, they have only to read last week’s judgment in a US Federal. Judge William Hart wrote: “Black’s violations of the securities laws in the case occurred over two years, part of a wide-ranging fraud. Black has advanced no reason to believe that he now has any respect for the securities laws or any regret for the losses or costs his violations have caused. He is intransigent in his denunciation of the courts and the justice system.” The former newspaper baron, who once presided over the Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post and many smaller titles, must now pay Sun-Times Media – what was once Hollinger – $3.8m plus $2.3m interest.

It’s important that Judge Hart added the $2.3m interest penalty because of Black’s refusal to admit responsibility. Black may have had significant parts of his original conviction overturned on appeal, but it’s still true that he stole $6.1m of shareholders’ money in transactions disguised as management fees.Tom Bower’s excellent book, Conrad and Lady Black: Dancing on the Edge, makes clear that other people’s money was spent on a billionaire lifestyle for himself and his columnist wife, Barbara Amiel, when Black was only ever in the multimillionaire class.

Facing exposure, he tried to cover up by removing files from his offices, but failed to notice the gaze of a CCTV camera. As one investor said to him in a tense meeting before his downfall: “I’ve been listening to what my distinguished colleagues have been saying. They’re trying to be polite but what they’re saying is that they consider you a thief and I can’t say that I disagree with that.” That judgment remains true today. It ought to be said that Black is consistent in his belief that the crimes of rich businessmen should be subject to special understanding and leniency.

In 1991, when Gerald Ronson, one of the Guinness Four, was released from jail early and found himself being presented to the Queen Mother at a charity do, I was asked to write about this swift rehabilitation in the Daily Telegraph. Conrad Black exploded when he read what was a very critical article and demanded that the then editor, Max Hastings, provide space for him to denounce my column. At Hastings’s suggestion, he settled for a letter of complaint to his own paper.

I suppose he was being open about the interference and it is true to say that in the early years he ran the Telegraph group well, but the incident was symbolic of a robber baron mentality that was to end in his imprisonment. I have little doubt that it is has as much to do with politics as morals, or at least his journey to the wilder regions of conservatism, made hand in hand with his fiercely rightwing and hyper-materialist wife. This allowed him to think that he was entitled to that money because they were who they were and they were right on just about everything, from their support of Israel to the championing of Iain Duncan Smith.

It is clear that the Blacks still have a great love, but it was expressed in an autoerotic neo-conservatism that allowed them to behave as they did – a narcissistic entitlement that generally prompted uncritical adoration in the circles they moved in. Lady Thatcher and Lord Carrington were his sponsors when he was made a peer; politicians fawned at his annual summer party; Conrad and Barbara ruled. Only Andrew Neil asked the press magnate if he might not be in contravention of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which insists on enhanced accounting procedures in US public companies; Neil was fobbed off.

None of this would be necessary to say if Black accepted that he was guilty of taking shareholders’ and creditors’ money; after all, he suffered a shocking downfall and imprisonment.

But he doesn’t accept he was wrong and instead he takes to the pulpit of various blogs, with that snowplough of a literary style, to lecture us about the themes of the day, the sweep of history and men of destiny. For him, the theft of $6.1m is still evidently the trifling obsession of pygmies.

Comments will be turned on later this morning

Leveson could find a draconian solution to press regulation in Ireland

Category : Business

The recent furore over pictures of Kate Middleton highlighted the threat to newspaper freedom there

The argument, from Labour to Lib Dem to Hacked Off HQ, is simple enough. Whatever Sir Brian Leveson says, when he reports, must be implemented in full – unless, unexpectedly, it’s something we don’t agree with. Bring on statutory underpinning posthaste. Why let newspapers bang on about thin ends of wedges? Just look at Ireland and see how an underpin or two helps everyone.

And, indeed, there’s good reason now to look at Leveson’s favourite model regulator: an ombudsman and press council to be proud of, potentially recognised for more benevolent treatment in the libel and allied courts. But what happened when the Irish Daily Star published those Kate topless photos last month? Alan Shatter, the justice minister, took his draconian privacy bill off the shelf and began waving it at all Dublin’s papers. He was underpinned here and underpinned there. He had an obvious duty to contemplate retribution.

Such dutiful contemplation continues. Great serious papers such as the Irish Times may be clobbered because Dickie Desmond’s part-owned leprechaun saw a chance to stir the pot. Shatter, plus menaces, are pinned into place: which is really all you need to know when blameless papers in London, including the Indie, grow anxious about the stifling harm that Leveson may do.

■ After the Olympic torch went out newspapers returned to hawking their wares through a flat September. Normally, when readers come back from their August holidays, sales go up. Not on the latest ABC results. Only the FT, Guardian and ever-buoyant

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