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World - Britain swings austerity axe but drops tax reform

Britain took the axe to spending Wednesday, fleshing out plans to slash welfare and eliminate the deficit, but dropped a controversial plan to cut tax credits for the poorest. Finance minister George Osborne spelled out his proposals for £12 billion (17 billion euros, $18 billion) of cuts to welfare spending and £20 billion of reductions to public expenditure, while raising £5.0 billion via a crackdown on tax avoidance. In recent months, Osborne had faced stiff opposition from even within his own Conservative Party over cuts to welfare and other social spending that some see as too swingeing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015  15:03


World - Britain fines Barclays £72m over `elephant` deal

Britain`s financial regulator on Thursday fined Barclays bank £72 million ($109 million, 102 million euros) for failing to carry out proper checks on a vast so-called `elephant` deal for ultra-wealthy clients. The Financial Conduct Authority said Barclays rushed through a huge £1.88-billion transaction in order to secure fees from a number of very rich customers. `The clients involved were politically exposed persons and should therefore have been subject to enhanced levels of due diligence and monitoring by Barclays,` the FCA added in a statement.

Thursday, November 26, 2015  17:55


World - UK swings austerity axe but spares key welfare scheme, police

Unveiling a budget update, finance minister George Osborne said the government, which is borrowing £73.5 billion (105 billion euros, $110 billion) this year, is on track to balance its books by 2019-20. This will be achieved through the most significant belt-tightening in a generation which includes reducing welfare by £12 billion and the budgets of some government departments by up to 37 percent. Opponents of the move, including many within his own centre-right Conservative party as well as the main opposition Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn, said it would have left over three million families worse off.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015  16:34


World - Fake ambulances smuggled £1.6bn of drugs into UK, court finds

A British court on Friday convicted a Dutchman of conspiring to smuggle drugs with a street value of £1.6 billion (2.3 billion euros, $2.4 billion) in a fleet of fake ambulances into Britain. The gang used bogus paramedic uniforms to drive ambulances packed with drugs across the Channel, with at least 45 trips identified over a 14-month period, the court heard. Prosecutor Robert Davies said the police tipped off Dutch authorities, who found `a fleet` of similarly adapted ambulances at two yards in the Netherlands.

Friday, November 27, 2015  21:44


World - `Romance fraud` warning from UK police after £1.6m scam

London`s Metropolitan Police on Friday warned singletons to beware of online dating scams after two men were convicted of duping a woman out of £1.6 million (2.3 million euros, $2.4 million). The woman met, via a dating site, a man who claimed to be a well-off engineer. Detective Chief Inspector Gary Miles of Falcon, a specialist police cyber crime and fraud unit, said victims of such scams were being `ruthlessly manipulated` by fake lovers.

Friday, November 27, 2015  17:10


World - F1 champion Lewis Hamilton hits back at critics with speed

Newly crowned three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton hit back at criticism of his jetset lifestyle on Friday by outpacing Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in opening free practice for Sunday‚ s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 30-year-old, attacked by his former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis for doing things that ‚ would not have been allowed‚ under his regime and told by Rosberg not to complain about the handling of their Mercedes cars, produced his riposte on the spectacular Yas Marina circuit. In brilliant sunshine, Hamilton clocked a best lap in one minute and 43.754 seconds, ahead of Rosberg‚ s best of 1:43.895 as the German began his bid to claim a sixth straight pole ahead of his rival and complete a hat-trick of victories.

Friday, November 27, 2015  13:33


World - Osborne swings austerity axe, spares key welfare scheme, police

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced a fresh round of deep cuts to public spending, but dropped a plan to reduce welfare payments for the poorest and spared the police from savings after the Paris attacks. Unveiling a budget update, Osborne said the government, which is borrowing £73.5 billion this year, is on track to balance its books by 2019-20. Opponents of the cuts, including many within his own Conservative party as well as the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn, said it would have left over three million families worse off.

Thursday, November 26, 2015  02:50


World - Jury retires in Cairns perjury trial

Jurors in the London perjury trial of former New Zealand cricket captain Chris Cairns retired to consider their verdicts on Tuesday and were told to return to court on Friday. Cairns, 45, faces a charge of perjury after successfully suing Indian Premier League (IPL) founder Lalit Modi for accusing him of match-fixing on Twitter in 2010. Cairns, a New Zealand great, won £90,000 ($135,700) in damages from Modi in the March 2012 trial, but he is alleged to have lied to the court when he said that he had `never, ever cheated at cricket`.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015  17:24


Business - Iran-Russia: Khamenei and Putin`s Courtship

Iran`s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rarely meets with world leaders, but this week he hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin, who made his first visit to Iran since 2007. Putin held talks with Khamenei and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.Moscow and Tehran are attempting to build a closer relationship. As part of the charm offensive,...

Monday, November 30, 2015  04:03


World - Iran condemns West`s `double standards` in letter to youth

Iran`s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Sunday condemned the West`s `double standards` in a letter to the youth of America and Europe following the Paris attacks that killed 130 people. `The military invasions of the Islamic world in recent years -- with countless victims -- are another example of the contradictory logic of the West,` Khamenei argued.

Sunday, November 29, 2015  20:13

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