HEADLINES IN BRIEF: CALL TO LIMIT CHINA’S UK NUCLEAR STAKE … ANTI-JAPANESE PROTESTS SWEEP CHINA … RAIL FARE REVOLT GAINS MOMENTUM … TREASURY CONSIDERS BID TO BOOST EMPLOYMENT WITH TAX-FREE 'MINI-JOBS' ... COUNCILS TOLD TO SELL MOST VALUABLE HOUSES TO BUILD MORE AFFORDABLE HOMES ... AND AUSTRALIAN BEACHGOERS DROP THEIR TROUSERS FOR TOILET PROTEST
CALL TO LIMIT CHINA’S UK NUCLEAR STAKE
By Anousha Sakoui and Jim Pickard
Chinese companies competing for one of the UK’s biggest nuclear projects are unlikely to end up with a majority stake in any winning consortium in an attempt to allay concerns about Beijing gaining control of the Horizon reactor programme. The deal represents a big test for large-scale Chinese investment in UK infrastructure projects given the sensitivities surrounding the nuclear industry.
ANTI-JAPANESE PROTESTS SWEEP CHINA
By Kathrin Hille in Beijing and Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo
The biggest anti-Japan protests in seven years flared across China yesterday deepening a diplomatic crisis over disputed islands in the resources-rich East China Sea. The demonstrations occurred after a group of 150 Japanese activists arrived at the islands early on Sunday to take part in a ceremony commemorating the nation’s war dead. Last week Japanese police arrested 14 Hong Kong activists, seven of whom landed on the same island.
RAIL FARE REVOLT GAINS MOMENTUM
By James Waterson
Conservative MPs yesterday hit out at proposed increases in rail fares and called on the government to do more to help cash-strapped commuters. Backbenchers in marginal constituencies are preparing to lobby the government to act on travel costs after a furious public reaction to last week’s announcement that average fares will increase by 6.2 per cent in January.
LIFT FOR UK’S ECONOMY AS SCOTTISH INSOLVENCIES FALL TO TWO-YEAR LOW
By Dominic Jeff
The number of Scottish businesses going bust fell to a two-year low in July, adding to hopes that the economy is in better shape than official figures suggest. Data from information firm Experian published today shows Scotland saw the biggest month-on-month fall in business insolvencies of any part of the UK, both on a month-on-month and a year-on-year basis. There were 65 business insolvencies north of the Border in July, a fall of 25 per cent on the same month a year ago. Scotland’s business failure rate fell from 0.09 per cent in June to 0.05 per cent in July and is now at its lowest point since July 2010.
TREASURY CONSIDERS BID TO BOOST EMPLOYMENT WITH TAX-FREE 'MINI-JOBS'
By Juliette Jowit, political correspondent
The creation of "mini-jobs", which allow people to take on work without paying tax or national insurance, is being considered by the Treasury as one of a package of measures to make it easier to create employment. The idea – being promoted by some influential Conservative MPs – is modelled on a scheme in Germany, in which employees can earn up to €400 a month (about £314) without giving up any of their salary, and employers pay only a flat rate to cover pensions, social insurance and wage taxes, making administration simpler.
COUNCILS TOLD TO SELL MOST VALUABLE HOUSES TO BUILD MORE AFFORDABLE HOMES
By Tim Ross, and John Bingham
New research has found that more than a fifth of council house tenants in England are living in homes worth more than the average privately-owned home. Councils are being urged to sell their most valuable houses and use the money to build hundreds of thousands of cheaper homes, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. Grant Shapps, the housing minister, said it was “blindingly obvious” that local authorities should seek to sell properties worth “millions” in order to use their resources “more efficiently”.
RIP-OFF PREMIUM RATE PHONE LINES TO BE DITCHED IN CONSUMER RIGHTS CRACKDOWN
By Joanna Robinson
Consumer crackdown: plans to scrap premium rate phone lines and hidden charges are set to provide more protection to consumers. New consumer rights measures are to be introduced to stop customers being ripped off by hidden charges. The Government is setting out plans to help ensure that costs and contract details are clearly set out, so that consumers are not caught out.
GLENCORE MINER MERGER UNDER INVESTOR PRESSURE
By David Craik
Mining giant Glencore is refusing to give in to investors furious about the terms of its £41billion merger with ¬fellow miner Xstrata despite growing fears that the deal is set to collapse next month. Glencore, led by chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, is expected to reveal no changes to the terms of the planned deal when it releases its first-half results tomorrow.
HEINEKEN WINS CONTROL OF TIGER BEER IN $4.5BN DEAL
Heineken has agreed to buy Fraser and Neave's controlling stake in the maker of Tiger beer in a deal worth 5.6bn Singapore dollars (US$4.5bn, £2.8bn). Heineken had raised its bid, from 50, to 53 Singapore dollars per share
ROW OVER PLANS TO RELAX SUNDAY TRADING LAWS
By Emma Birchley, News Correspondent
Relaxed Sunday trading rules for the Olympics could pave the way for longer opening hours in future - despite assurances that would not be the case. MPs voted in favour of reducing the restrictions on large stores as a way of boosting the economy for seven weeks until after the Paralympics. But now the Government has admitted it will consider just how successful the temporary relaxation has been - a move seen by many as a major breach of trust.
AUSTRALIAN BEACHGOERS DROP THEIR TROUSERS FOR TOILET PROTEST
Protesters dressed in bowler hats and black suits stage a sit in on toilets an Adelaide beach, protesting the public facilities in the area. Twelve people, dressed in bowler hats and smart suits, carried their own toilets down to the beach, placing them in a line on the beach front before dropping their trousers and sitting. The protesters said they were demanding public toilet facilities, of which there are currently none, in the local area.