Computer virus battered Reckitt Benckiser adds to Monday gloom .
Can its security fend off future outbreaks?
Trade unions have slammed a review into the gig economy and changing working practices across the UK . Unite, the country’s largest union said Tueasday’s report “spectacularly failed to deliver” on its promise to tackle the problem of insecure work, while the GMB described it as a “disappointing missed opportunity” . Business groups delivered a mixed reaction to the long-awaited Taylor review, with the Institute of Directors saying it “strikes the right balance”. Getty
2/29 Thames Water hit with 8.55m fine after failing to reduce leakages
While that is the premise of Snap’s popular messaging platform, investors also saw any gains from its red-hot IPO disappear when shares plunged far below their initial sale price on Tuesday . Morgan Stanley, a lead underwriter on the company’s initial public offering, slapped a price target of $16 ( 12.48) on the stock – a dollar below its March IPO price . Analyst Brian Nowak wrote in the note that we have been wrong about Snap’s ability to innovate and improve its ad product this year.
3/29 UK General election 2017: Pound sterling hovers near two-week high as voters take to the polls
Travel money and consumer finance startup Revolut secured $66m ( 51.3m) in funding last week, bringing total investment to $83m . The UK-based prepaid debit card provider offers foreign currencies at the Interbank or wholesale exchange rate – generally better than that offered by conventional bureau de change.
4/29 UK car production slumps by nearly a fifth in April as timing of Easter bites – Thursday May 24
I warned yesterday that Theresa May s Government would be unlikely to stand for it if Matthew Taylor s review into the Gig Economy proposed radical reforms to make Britain fairer . Turns out that she didn t have much to worry about on that score . The review contains lots of pretty words, but the likes of Uber, Deliveroo and the rest will probably be breathing a sigh of relief in the wake of its publication. PA
5/29 Marks and Spencer reports slump in profit hurt by clothing sales and cost of new food stores – Wednesday 24 May
An arm of the technology giant Samsung has decided not to set up its European headquarters in London because the city is not a fun place to live unless you are really rich . Speaking to The Times, Felix Petersen, the managing director of Samsung Next Europe, a $150m ( 117m) technology fund owned by the South Korean company, said that Berlin had been selected as a location for the fund instead.
6/29 English wine producers celebrate record turnover from past year
On the rise and no longer laughing, stocks of English wine have enjoyed a record year . Independent English wine producers have defied ridicule to register 132m in turnover from 2015-2016, an all-time high, according to new research by online business finance supermarket Funding Options. Getty
7/29 Ivanka Trump and World Bank to start fund for women entrepreneurs
The World Bank said it will start a fund to finance women entrepreneurs, an idea it developed in tandem with Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the US president . The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative will make more than $1bn available to improve access to capital for women, the Washington-based development institution said Saturday . The fund will provide technical assistance and invest in projects and programmes that support women and women-led small- and mid-size businesses, said the World Bank, which bankrolls development in poor countries.
8/29 How to use a student loan to build a 4m travel business
Lee McAteer and his 100-strong team will send 20,000 British millennials to summer camps all over the world, from Massachusetts to Mali, this year, through his empire of holiday companies catering for 18-30s . You could call him a pretty successful businessman . Or you could call him Lee Mac, like the aspiring business owners he gives free space and support to at his hip office in Salford . Or even Britain s best boss like the Daily Mail did when he pranked his team by turning the whole office into a giant ball pit . Just don t call him an entrepreneur.
9/29 British Airways to pay strikers’ bonuses to cabin crew who are working
In a move that seems certain to inflame the cabin crew dispute, British Airways is paying staff working normally the bonuses that would have gone to their colleagues who are on strike . Members of Mixed Fleet, who are employed on less-favourable terms than longer-serving Heathrow cabin crew, are normally paid a bonus known as My Incentive . Karen Slinger, head of inflight customer experience, has told staff that the airline is saving money as a result of not paying My Incentive within Q1 and Q2 to those Mixed Fleet crew taking strike action . Reuters
10/29 Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley tells high court he is a ‘power drinker’ and enjoys binging
Mike Ashley has reportedly told a high court judge that he likes binging on alcohol and is a power drinker . On the fourth day of a trial in London, where the Sports Direct boss is being sued by investment banker Jeffrey Blue, Mr Ashley was asked how much he had been drinking when he allegedly made a deal with Mr Blue relating to Sports Direct s share price, according to the BBC.
11/29 Brexit concerns shrink UK’s lead as Europe’s top finance hub
Brexit concerns have bitten into the UK s lead as Europe s top financial services location for investors, new research shows . The UK s financial services industry has retained its title as Europe s most attractive location for international investment, but its lead has narrowed due to fears over the impact of Brexit, according to a report by professional services firm EY. Reuters
12/29 Longest squeeze on household incomes since 1970s, says ONS
The aggregate real disposable income of UK households has fallen for three quarters in a row for the first time since the 1970s, according to the Office for National Statistics . The ONS said that the inflation-adjusted compensation of the household sector fell 1.4 per cent in the first three months of 2017, reflecting spiking inflation and weak pay growth. Macrobond, The Independent
13/29 Brexit worries Wimbledon strawberry farmer who depends on EU workers
The owner of the farm which provides Wimbledon with its strawberries has said she hopes there is a mechanism for European citizens to work seasonally in the UK after Brexit .
Marion Regan, who owns Hugh Lowe Farms in Kent with her husband Jon, relies on seasonal labour to make sure Wimbledon is supplied with fresh strawberries throughout the tournament. Reuters
14/29 Consumer confidence slips back to post-Brexit vote lows
Consumer confidence is now almost back down to the lows seen in the wake of last June’s Brexit referendum, adding to a picture of a wilting consumer in the face of fast rising inflation and weak wage growth . The latest GfK Index slipped to -10 in June, down from -5 in the previous month, its lowest since last July.
15/29 Tobacco giant Philip Morris wants everyone to quit smoking
Philip Morris International, the world s second largest tobacco company, has said it wants people to quit the habit . Peter Nixon, UK and Ireland managing director for the global tobacco giant said We are absolutely serious – one day we want to stop selling cigarettes.
16/29 Alibaba s Jack Ma warns evolving technology could cause World War III
Chinese business magnate Jack Ma said that evolving technologies are likely to pose a threat to more than just the job market and could in fact trigger a Third World War . In an interview with CNBC, the billionaire chairman of Alibaba said that world leaders have a duty to educate people to prevent the pain caused by a rapid rise in automation and artificial intelligence.
17/29 Japanese bank Nomura chooses Frankfurt for EU headquarters after UK’s withdrawal
Nomura picked Frankfurt as the headquarters for its European Union operations after the UK leaves the bloc, people with knowledge of the matter said . Japan s biggest brokerage will start preparations this month to form a base in the German financial centre, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential . It will seek regulatory approval and find office space before transferring fewer than 100 employees from London to the city, according to the person. Getty Images
18/29 will.i.am says artificial intelligence will be more disruptive to UK tech than EU withdrawal
The reckless rise of artificial intelligence is going to be much more disruptive for the London technology scene in the longer run than Britain s departure from the EU, according to musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist will.i.am . Speaking at an event celebrating his collaboration with Atom Bank, an app-based digital-only bank launched last year, the founding member of The Black Eyed Peas said that by 2030, Brexit will be an old school thought for the UK s rapidly evolving tech industry and AI will present a much more acute challenge.
19/29 How climate change will threaten food security of world’s poorest countries
Some of the world s poorest countries will be hit hardest as climate change affects marine fisheries all over the world, according to a new study . The global fishing industry produces a total catch worth of about $90bn ( 71bn) but the warming ocean temperatures are causing many valuable species to shift their usual ranges. Lisa Murray
20/29 Supersonic passenger jet to take off next year
An American firm is promising the return of supersonic passenger aviation, with transatlantic airfares about the same price as today s business class tickets . Boom, based in Denver, says London-New York will cost 2,000 one-way and take just 3 hours 15 minutes . With a planned cruising speed of 1,451mph, the plane is almost 100mph faster than Concorde.
21/29 Casamigos: George Clooney tequila brand sold for $1bn to drinks giant Diageo
George Clooney is selling his US tequila brand Casamigos to British beverage company Diageo for almost $1bn ( 790m) . The London-based distiller will initially pay $700m ( 553m) for Casamigos and possibly an additional $300m ( 237m) based on the performance of the brand over the next decade . The purchase will be Diageo’s biggest since it bought United Spirits for $3.2 billion ( 2.5 billion) in 2014. Getty Images
22/29 Jaguar Land Rover to create 5,000 new jobs
Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will hire 5,000 staff as it boosts its skills in autonomous and electric technology, a welcome business endorsement as Prime Minister Theresa May starts Brexit talks after a botched election . JLR, which employs more than 40,000 people globally, said it would hire 1,000 electronic and software engineers as well as 4,000 additional personnel including in manufacturing, most of whom will be based in Britain.
23/29 European shares rebound as Emmanuel Macron wins historic majority
Internet giants will face increased pressure to tackle online extremism as European leaders were expected to back a UK-led drive for tougher internet regulation . Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will lead calls to ensure there is no safe space for terrorists to plot attacks and share radical material online when he attends a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. Reuters
24/29 The real reason UK employers hire European Union workers
While the end of free movement is presented by politicians as taking control , for employers it means quite the reverse it means a loss of control, it means new barriers to recruitment and, for some, the risk of irreparable damage . In our research at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) before and after the referendum vote we ve detected a gradual change in outlook among employers. AP
25/29 Boris Johnson calls on internet giants to leave ‘no safe space for terrorists’
Internet giants will face increased pressure to tackle online extremism as European leaders were expected to back a UK-led drive for tougher internet regulation .
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will lead calls to ensure there is no safe space for terrorists to plot attacks and share radical material online when he attends a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. Rex
26/29 Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion
Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth that sells everything from toothpaste to tennis shoes, has announced it will purchase grocery store Whole Foods for $13.7bn ( 10.7bn) . The Seattle-based retailer will buy the popular health food chain for $42 per share, pending approval by its shareholders. Getty
27/29 Workers producing Ivanka Trump’s fashion line subjected to verbal abuse and ‘poverty pay’
Ivanka Trump has come under fire again after workers at a factory making clothes for her brand in Indonesia described an environment of verbal abuse and poverty wages . More than a dozen workers at the factory in Subang told the Guardian that they regularly work unpaid overtime and are paid one of the lowest minimum wages in Asia, despite production targets that are impossible to meet.
28/29 EU launches antitrust investigation into Nike, Universal Studios and Hello Kitty owner
The EU has launched antitrust investigations into Nike, Universal Studios and the owner of the Hello Kitty brand, over their licensing and distribution practices within the single market . In a statement, the European commission said that it was looking into whether the three companies were illegally preventing retailers from selling certain goods licensed by them across borders and online, thereby breaking competition rules.
29/29 Morrisons is selling 16oz ‘Daddy of all burgers’ for Father’s Day
The daddy of all burgers has arrived, just in time for Father’s Day . Morrisons launched the huge, one pound, 18cm monster, which should satisfy even the hungriest of dads, on Wednesday . Each one is made by butchers in-store using 100 per cent British beef seasoned with paprika, sage and parsley . Morrisons claims it is the biggest beef burger money can buy in a UK supermarket, and it costs just 3 .
Shoppers will have to be quick however, as the oversized patties are only available until Sunday.
The British Museum has been evacuated amid a “security concern” after a suspicious vehicle was spotted outside the London attraction. Families enjoying a day out at the start of the school holidays were reportedly thrown into panic when they were suddenly asked to leave. The popular attraction said on Twitter: The Museum is evacuated temporarily due to a security concern nearby . We apologise and will update when we can.
Several people took to social media to describe the disruption, with one person tweeting: I ve just been in a British Museum evacuation and it was total chaos.”
Russell Square closed and controlled explosion has taken place . Trying to get to hotel for wedding reception, another person tweeted. One said: Suspicious package in Russell Square . Roads and park cordoned off .
Our offices evacuated. The museum has now reopened and confirmed the closure was down to a security scare. The Metropolitian Police said the operation has now been stood down and that nothing was deemed suspicious.
It has been reported that the cyber security office in the State Department may be closed as its top diplomat quits. Christopher Painter, the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, is leaving his post at the end of the month after well over two decades of leadership on the issue, per Politico. The news outlet also reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may shut down Mr Painter s office, which is responsible for negotiating joint agreements with other countries on issues like protecting critical infrastructure and developing cyber norms.
Mr Tillerson may also merge the cyber security office with an office in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Mieke Eoyang, Vice President for the National Security Program at DC-based think tank Third Way, told The Independent the closure is problematic, at best. The news comes on the heels of a meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Mr Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and translators were the only people present at the meeting. The former ExxonMobil CEO addressed the media after the bilateral and said the Mr Trump did ask Mr Putin if Russia hacked the US election, a fact that has been corroborated by several US intelligence agencies. Mr Putin said his denial was accepted by the US president, a narrative that did not match Mr Tillerson s and has since not been resolved.
There was also a discussion – according to Mr Tillerson’s account – that there would be a joint US-Russia effort tasked with ensuring cyber security . It was ridiculed by Mr Trump’s critics and he later backtracked on his statement. Mr Trump’s campaign team is also under investigation by the FBI, Congress, and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller for alleged ties to Russian officials prior to Mr Trump taking office. The possible closure points to a real lack of interest in what other countries are going through, Ms Eoyang said.
The State Department should be the natural point of contact for diplomats wanting to discuss cybersecurity issues, Ms Eoyang explained, adding that no country will want to talk the National Security Agency (NSA). The may not want to deal with the Trump administration-proposed US Cyber Command either, to be carved from the NSA. The nature of these US government offices is not inherently about diplomacy like the State Department s office.
The Government Accountability Office is still reviewing the proposed split and Representative Adam Smith, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, told Politico that we must avoid leaving either organisation with diminished capabilities or creating institutional gaps that could endanger national security . Sen . Lindsey Graham: Trump is empowering Putin by ignoring the cyber attacks
Jason Healey, a senior cyber researcher at Columbia University told Politico that if the US were to surrender that leadership on cyber security…it would mean the future internet will have more Russian and Chinese characteristics. Michael Sulmeyer, director of the Harvard Belfer Center s Cyber Security Project and former director of Cyber Policy Plans and Operations at the Defence Department, told The Independent that the closing this office would be a step backwards for U.S .
leadership in the world on this issue. Another former US cybersecurity official told The Independent that because cyber security is an increasingly important national security issue in light of Russia, the Untied States creates risk for itself when it short-changes the diplomatic element . Ms Eoyang points out as well that what Russia did by breaking into a campaign s headquarters as they did in hacking the Democratic National Committee is criminal and Mr Tillerson may shut down the office under his purview responsible for dealing with that problem.
Part of the problem is that Mr Painter was, according to Mr Sulmeyer, the voice of American diplomacy on such a wide-range of technology and cyber security issues . Mr Painter had investigated and prosecuted cyber crime cases in Los Angeles as a US Attorney, in the Department of Justice, FBI, and National Security Council. He is not a political appointee, but a career civil servant, which the former US cyber security official felt limits the Mr Painter s power in the position.
However, Mr Sulmeyer said Mr Painter s breadth and depth of experience made it easy for him to work across the US government and understand the concerns of other countries from a more holistic view.
The risks are that it will take the State Department a long time to select a permanent successor if they ever do, and that the learning curve on these issues is steep, said Mr Sulmeyer. Whoever is appointed – because someone has to represent the US in international fora…better be a quick study and good at working towards constructive outcomes . A pit-bull mentality is not ideal for this kind of job . But that person must be on-guard for efforts to undermine US interests . It would not be surprising if the position does go unfilled given the many positions within the State Department that Mr Tillerson has yet to fill.
At the highest level, the Trump administration only has six Senate-confirmed Ambassadors around the world: the United Nations, Israel, Senegal/Guinea-Bissau, Congo-Brazzaville, China, and New Zealand/Samoa.
Coalitions require maintenance, and senior leadership is a part of that .
But if Mr Tillerson decides to fill the role…they will find a very capable staff of career officials advising them, said one former US official.