Richard Branson : Take a look at a day in the life of the Billionaire


Want to see what a day in my life is like? View this video for a busy day in London with Richard Branson. Watch as he goes from filming adverts to doing to Mobot,  turning on Christmas lights, agreeing Virgin Trains’ franchise extension to premiering Breaking The Taboo.



UK’s Youngest Millionaire Who Started His Online Business Whilst Studying For His A-levels

Akshay Ruparelia was just 17 years-old when he started his online business, all whilst studying for his A-levels and acting as a carer for his parents, who are both deaf. Akshay joins Holly and Phillip to talk about his business which is currently estimated to be worth over £12 million!


Tony Robbins Top Ten Rules For Success

Evan Carmichael top ten rules for success/youtube

If you’re looking for ways to Find fulfillment, change your story, and own your business, this video is for you. Grab a snack and chew on today’s lessons from a man who went from having 7 fathers growing up and leaving home at 17 due to an abusive home to founding companies that earn $6 billion in annual sales and advises Presidents. He’s Tony Robbins and here’s  his Top 10 Rules for Success, volume 3.


Google signed patent cross-licensing agreement with Tencent



( via – – Fri, 19 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

Google has signed a tie-up with Tencent in a bid to enhance its presence in China.

The patent cross-licensing agreement will be “long-term” and covers a range of technologies, according to Google. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed but the company said it could open the door to closer collaboration in the future.

It marks a significant leap for Google into China, where most of its services are blocked by authorities.

Tencent has been on a streak of partnerships and acquisitions outside of China lately. In December, it agreed to swap a 10 per cent stake in its music business for an equivalent share in Spotify.

Earlier this month it was announced that it would be working with Lego to develop children’s online games. It also bought a stake in Snapchat back in November, with the aim of helping to enhance the app’s gaming abilities.

Google has also ramped up its activities in China, with an AI lab planned for Beijing and an investment in streaming service Chushou.

US tech companies are increasingly looking to Chinese counterparts for growth opportunities, but regulators have been known to block deals which would see Chinese companies take over US ones due to security fears. Authorities blocked the $1.2bn sale of MoneyGram to Alibaba’s payments arm last month, while Canyon Bridge was prevented from completing its purchase of Apple chip supplier Lattice Semiconductor Group.

By Alys Key



Carpetright in profit warning as shares lose almost half their value

( via– Fri, 19 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

The retailer’s shares lose almost half their value after it reported significantly weaker post-Xmas sales than expected.

Carpetright has become the latest UK retailer to issue a post-Christmas profit warning, its second in as many months, blaming a “sharp deterioration” in trade.

Shares in the specialist carpet and floor coverings retailer slumped 48% on opening – an hour after the company said it had adjusted its full year outlook because of a slump in demand during its sales season since Boxing Day.

Shares in competitors including DFS and Kingfisher, which owns B&Q, also fell – by 5% and 2% respectively as investors took fright.

Carpetright reported a like-for-like sales decline of 3.6% in the 11 weeks to 13 January – adding that transaction numbers were down “significantly” with core flooring sales down 7.1% since Christmas on the same basis.

Carpetright said it was now forecasting underlying pre-tax profits of between £2m-£6m for the year to 28 April.

That was significantly below market expectations of £13m to £15.6m.

The firm, whose fortunes are usually closely tied to the health of the housing market, made £14.1m in its previous financial year.

Carpetright issued its statement following a festive season that has seen mixed fortunes for many big names

Debenhams and Mothercare have also issued profit warnings.

Analysts had predicted trading would be tough – despite discounting – given the squeeze on household budgets from Brexit-linked inflation outpacing wage growth.

Carpetright signalled that its price reductions after Christmas had failed to lure shoppers into its 416 UK stores.

:: Contrasting fortunes for retailers over Christmas

Chief executive Wilf Walsh said: “Despite a positive start to our third quarter, we have seen a significant deterioration in UK trading during the important post-Christmas trading period.

“While average transaction values were up year on year, the number of customer transactions since Christmas was sharply down, which we believe is indicative of reduced consumer confidence.”

He added; “The severity of the decline in footfall over this key trading period and our more cautious view of the outlook for the balance of the year leads to a significant reduction in our full year expectations.

“Against this background of a further deterioration in market conditions, we remain committed to driving through
the improvements that are essential to the long term repositioning of the business.”

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, described the performance as a “shocker”.

“Again it’s the same old story as with other brands that have failed to adapt to changing consumer trends – lower footfall has left transaction numbers down significantly from last year.

“We must also consider weaker consumer sentiment for big ticket items as a factor, as well tougher competition from a more diverse marketplace,” he said.

By James Sillars



PFI deals to cost taxpayers billions claims watchdog

( via – – Thur, 18 Jan 2018) London, Uk —

Financing projects like schools and hospitals privately costs taxpayers billions of pounds more than public sector alternatives, parliament’s spending watchdog says.

A report suggests a group of schools cost 40% more to build and a hospital 70% more to construct than if they were financed by government borrowing.

That is according to a report from the National Audit Office (NOA).

The Treasury said PFI contracts ensured risk was borne by the private sector.

The NAO found 716 public projects were active under PFI and its successor PF2, with annual costs amounting to £10.3bn in 2016/17.

PFI projects will cost the taxpayer a further £199bn by the 2040s, it said.

The government said both PFI and PF2 improved public services.

The report was written before the collapse of Carillion, which held numerous public contracts, including those under PFI, from building schools to maintaining prisons and highways.

PFI contracts were first introduced under John Major’s Conservative government.

Under such deals private consortiums build facilities like schools, hospitals and roads, in return for regular payments over as many as 30 years.

Their use proliferated under Tony Blair’s Labour government, but PFIs fell out of favour after the 2008 financial crisis, as the cost of private finance increased and as questions were raised over the costs of using this model.

Since then the Departments for Health and Education have used the new PF2s which the Treasury argues is more transparent and “better value for money”.

“Taxpayer money is protected… as the risks of construction and long-term maintenance of a project are transferred to the private sector,” a Treasury spokesperson said.

However, the NAO said there had never been a “robust evaluation” of the benefits.

It said the expected spend on one group of schools financed by PF2 were around 40% higher than the costs of a similar project financed by government borrowing.

It also said Treasury Committee analysis from 2011 estimated the cost of a privately financed hospital was 70% higher than a comparative project in the public sector.

The watchdog identified “additional costs compared to publicly financed procurement” incurred using PFIs.

For example, it said the capital raised through PFI cost 2% to 3.75% more compared to state borrowing.

“Small changes to the cost of capital can have a significant impact on costs,” the report said.

“Paying off a debt of £100m over 30 years with interest of 2% costs £34m in interest. At 4% this more than doubles to £73m.”

In the past PFI deals have been accused of leading to huge cost overruns and indebting NHS trusts.

The union UNISON called the report “a scathing indictment of all that is wrong with PFI”.

Meg Hillier MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said the NAO had found “little evidence” that PFI’s benefits offset its costs.

“Many local bodies are now shackled to inflexible PFI contracts that are exorbitantly expensive to change,” she said.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged the government to end the “costly racket” of private sector firms running public services.

The government said PFI and PF2 had funded vital infrastructure projects like roads, schools and hospitals and had helped the economy.


Costa Coffee sales dip as owner Whitbread blames declining high street footfall


( via – – Thu, 18 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

Leisure giant Whitbread has been hit by falling footfall on the high street, reporting a decline in like-for-like sales at its Costa coffee chain the day after an activist fund called for a break-up of the company.

Total revenues at the company, which also owns Premier Inn and restaurant chains including Beefeater, grew 5.6pc in the 13 weeks to November 30 after it opened new hotels and coffee shops.

But sales at UK locations open more than one year were up just 0.3pc, and down 0.1pc at Costa.

Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said: “Our Costa high street stores in the UK are highly profitable and generate strong returns.

“However, the well-publicised weak retail market footfall is negatively impacting our high street stores’ like-for-like performance and we expect this to continue for some time.”

UK high street footfall fell 3.5pc in December, according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard earlier this week.

The poor performance follows reports last night that activist fund Sachem Head, which has built up a 3.4pc stake in Whitbread, had called for the company to spin off Costa.

A split has long been suggested by investors and analysts as a way to boost the respective value of both parts of the business.

Whitbread’s shares were up 2pc to £39.31 in early trade.

By Jack Torrance


Heathrow in bid to cut costs plan to unveil a shorter cheaper third runway


( via – – Wed, 17 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

Proposal sees 300 metres cut from runway in effort to help reduce costs to £15bn, but opponents say move changes forecasted economic benefits

Heathrow is to unveil proposals for a shorter, cheaper third runway in a public consultation to help push its expansion plans through.

The airport will propose cutting 300 metres from the length of the northwestern runway, a scheme approved by the government following the Airports Commission process, in an attempt to cut costs.

Although the government has backed Heathrow’s expansion, it has also said it must not mean higher charges for airlines, which would probably be passed on to passengers. British Airways, which operates about half the flights at Heathrow, had complained bitterly about the expected cost of the new runway. Heathrow now believes it can deliver the runway for £14.3bn, cutting £2.5bn from the original price, and keeping charges “close to” today’s levels.

Plans for a brand new terminal could also be jettisoned in favour of expanding around its two main existing terminals, with construction phased to cut costs.

The shorter runway will still require the M25 to be moved 150 metres west, with the airport now proposing that Britain’s busiest motorway be accommodated in a shallower tunnel under a slightly ramped runway.

The options, including whether the shorter runway would be located to the western or eastern end of where the full-length 3.5km runway (2.1 miles) would lie, will be presented to the public in 40 events over a 10-week consultation.

Heathrow hopes that its consultation – independent of government consultations in the planning process – will allow it to present its best case and pre-empt some objections ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote expected this year on the national policy statement on aviation, which gives the go-ahead for another runway. The airport has pledged higher compensation to residents, a six-and-a-half-hour ban on scheduled night flights, and to stay within air quality limits.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “We need feedback to help deliver this opportunity responsibly and to create a long-term legacy both at a local and national level. Heathrow is consulting to ensure that we deliver benefits for our passengers, businesses across the country but also, importantly, for those neighbours closest to us.”

Opponents of expansion expressed incredulity that Heathrow was proposing a shorter runway than in its original plan, while a source close to other schemes considered by the government suggested any significant changes to the project could face legal challenges.

John Stewart, chair of the anti-Heathrow expansion group Hacan, said: “The Airport Commission calculations of economic benefits were on the basis of the capacity of a full-length runway. A shorter runway could open a can of worms, and invite a judicial review from Heathrow Hub or even Gatwick.”

The consultation will also discuss the redesign of air space, which will affect flight paths over London and beyond. Although the reform is being driven independently of Heathrow, the likely impact would be to further concentrate air traffic over the same routes.

Stewart said Hacan would “engage positively – especially on the principle of flight path changes, spreading the burden more fairly”.

Should parliament back expansion, Heathrow will need to consult further on the details before submitting plans, with final approval not expected before 2021. A thrid runway is not expected to be operational before 2025 at the earliest.

By Gwyn Topham


Nestle to sell US chocolate business to Ferrero Group for $2.8bn

( via – – Wed, 17 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

Nestle is selling its US sweets and chocolate business to Ferrero Group for 2.7bn Swiss Francs ($2.8bn; £2bn).

The Swiss food giant said it was offloading brands such as Crunch, Nerds, Runts and Butterfinger to focus on other products.

Italy’s Ferrero, which makes Nutella spread, Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher, will become the US’s third biggest confectionery maker.

The deal is expected to go through by March this year.

Ferrero said the brands would give it “substantially greater scale” and “a broader offering of high-quality products” for US customers.

‘Australia’s Crunchie’ back in local hands

Healthy steps?

The US confectionary market is the largest in the world, worth about $8bn a year according to Ibis World.

But Nestle lags behind the likes of Mars, Hershey and Lindt, and said its candy business made up just 3% of its US sales.

The deal would allow it to “invest and innovate” in other areas where it saw future growth or where it was already a market leader, said Nestle’s chief executive Mark Schneider in a statement.

These include pet care, bottled water, coffee, frozen meals and infant nutrition, he added.

Some analysts see the decision to get rid of the business, which also includes children’s favourites like Laffy Taffy, Chewy Gobstopper and BabyRuth, as another step by Nestle to focus on healthier products.

Since Mr Schneider took over last year, the Swiss business has bought companies that make vegetarian meals, vitamins and luxury coffee.

However, Nestle has said it is still wholly committed to its international chocolate brands such as KitKat.

Last year it said it was opening its first factory in Japan for quarter of a century on the back of demand for ‘exotic’ versions of the multi-fingered sweet.


Tate & Lyle’s New Boss to be former Pepsico executive Nick Hampton

( via – – Tue, 16 Jan 2018) London, Uk –

Tate & Lyle’s chief financial officer Nick Hampton, a former Pepsico executive, is set to take over as boss of the UK ingredients giant when its current chief executive Javed Ahmed steps down in April.

The company, a member of the FTSE 250, is best known as a sugar producer, despite spinning off that division in 2010. It is now focused on producing other ingredients including sweeteners, starches and fibres and has been boosted in recent years by growing demand for sugar-free alternatives.

Gerry Murphy, the firm’s chairman, today thanked Mr Ahmed for his “exceptional leadership” of the business since 2009.

He said: “During his tenure, Tate & Lyle has been through a very significant strategic, operational and organisational transformation from a largely commodity business into the high-quality global food ingredients business it is today.”

Mr Hampton joined Tate & Lyle in 2014 after a 20-year career a Pepsico, which owns hundreds of food and drink brands including Walkers Crisps, Quaker Oats and Tropicana juice.

He said: “As global demand for healthier and tastier food continues to grow, this business has the opportunity to deliver meaningful benefits for our customers, employees, shareholders, and society at large, in the years ahead.”

Mr Murphy added: “Nick has been an outstanding chief financial officer with a strong track record of driving performance, building teams and capabilities, and focusing on key customers and markets. We are confident he has the experience, energy and vision to lead Tate & Lyle through the next phase of its development.”

Tate & Lyle’s shares were flat at 691p in morning trade.




Iceland supermarket to go plastic free in five years with paper and pulp alternatives to its brands



( via– Tue, 16 Jan, 2018) London, Uk – –

The supermarket has developed paper and pulp alternatives for 1,000 of its lines and plans to remove plastic from its own brands.

A British supermarket believes it will be the first retailer in the world to  make its own-brand products plastic-free within five years.

Iceland, the frozen food specialist, says it has worked with environmental charities and experts to develop paper and pulp alternatives that are fully recyclable, affecting more than 1,000 lines.

“We’ve created a monster,” managing director Richard Walker told Sky News.

“Plastic does not degrade, it lasts for half a millennium. Every minute there’s a truckload of plastic waste entering the ocean.

“It’s ubiquitous, it’s in everything, it’s in up to 50% of what the average supermarket sells. The time to act is now.

“Take our ready meals. They are in a board carton sleeve which is good, made of paper, but the problem is the black plastic tray.

“We’re going to replace that with a wooden board tray, and the final piece of the jigsaw is the plastic film over the top: we’re looking at cellulose-based technologies which are made from paper pulp.”

Some within the plastics industry think it’s a step too far and are questioning how “green” the move really is.

“It’s a really surprising announcement”, Barry Turner from the British Plastics Federation said. “The reason a lot of supermarkets embraced plastics packaging is because it’s resource efficient.

He claimed: “If they move away from plastics in the way that they’ve declared, it will mean that the weight of the packaging they use will increase four times, the carbon emissions will increase by around three times, the amount of energy to make that packaging will increase two-fold.

“So, the net result is that the environmental footprint of the packaging that they’re including, will increase.”

According to Plastics Oceans Foundation an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, putting all forms of marine life at risk.

Campaigns like Sky Ocean Rescue are changing the way consumers are thinking about plastic.

Iceland said a survey of 5,000 shoppers found that 91% would be more likely to encourage friends and family to shop there if they pursued a plastic-free future.

The chain isn’t the biggest player within its industry – its market share is just 2%. But, it’s hoping customers buy into it, like they do at zero-waste food shop Hetu in Battersea, albeit on a much smaller scale.

“My business plan is to be out of business in five years,” said Laura Boyes who set up the store six weeks ago.

“I want a big organisation to do a shop like this, fully plastic-free, and do it on a large scale where you can pass savings on to the customers and know the supply chains, and do it from a wholesale point of view.”

While Iceland welcomes the Prime Minister’s call for “plastic-free aisles”, it points out that it has been working on this for a year, and it’s convinced it’s the way forward.

“By doing this we’re showing it can be done, it is possible,” added Mr Walker.

“I’m genuinely calling on all supermarkets to join us in this fight. It’s a time for collaboration. We want everyone to come up with similar pledges and share technologies to make it a reality.”

By Lisa Dowd



London home prices fall as the rest of the UK’s housing market picks up

( via — Mon, 15 Jan 2018) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – The prices that London home-sellers are seeking for their properties fell by the most since the financial crisis this month, at a time when prices in most of the rest of Britain are rising, industry figures showed on Monday

London’s once red-hot housing market has slowed for the past year due to a double hit from higher purchase taxes on expensive homes and the June 2016 Brexit vote, which hurt demand from foreign buyers and raised fears of big job losses in the capital’s financial industry.

Rightmove, Britain’s biggest property website, said the average asking price for a home in London this month was 600,926 pounds ($822,728), 3.5 percent lower than a year before and the biggest drop since June 2009.

Most of the rest of Britain saw year-on-year increases in asking prices of 4 percent or more, and the average asking price in Britain was just under 300,000 pounds.

“Early indicators of activity in this year’s housing market show that demand remains robust,” Rightmove said.

There have been other signs of a slowing in London’s housing market. Mortgage lender Nationwide said earlier this month that prices in the capital fell by 0.5 percent in 2017, their first full-year fall since 2009.

However, home ownership remains out of reach for many would-be buyers in London. Initial mortgage repayments for a typical first home in the city represent more than 60 percent of average take-home pay, double the proportion elsewhere in Britain. And a 10 percent deposit can easily require more than a year’s salary in savings – or help from richer family members.

Rightmove said finance minister Philip Hammond’s decision in November to scrap purchase taxes for most first-time buyers, along with a shortage of homes to buy, helped to offset the drag from slow wage growth and an uncertain political outlook.

Unlike some other indicators, Rightmove’s data showed prices fell most in inner London suburbs – where they were 7 percent lower than a year ago – rather than the prime central London areas favoured by many super-rich international buyers.

Prices were flat in central London and outer suburbs.

Separate data from property group LSL Property Services gave a fairly similar picture for December, though national price growth was more subdued than in Rightmove’s figures. LSL showed price falls in London were steepest in central boroughs.

 LSL said the gap between price trends in London and the rest of Britain was the widest in three years.

“London is largely out of step with the rest of England and Wales, where the market remains broadly positive,” LSL said.

Rents showed the opposite pattern. Estate agents Countrywide said London recorded the biggest rise in rents for new tenants in England, up 3.2 percent on the year in December and only just pipped by increases in Scotland. Outside London, rents increased by an average of 2.0 percent.

By David Milliken



Carillion goes into liquidation threatening thousands of jobs

( via – – Mon, 15 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

Construction giant Carillion is to go into liquidation, threatening thousands of jobs.

The move came after talks between the firm, its lenders and the government failed to reach a deal to save the UK’s second biggest construction company.

Carillion ran into trouble after losing money on big contracts and running up huge debts.

Its failure means the government will have to provide funding to maintain the public services run by Carillion.

“All employees should keep coming to work, you will continue to get paid. Staff that are engaged on public sector contracts still have important work to do,” said government minister David Lidington.

Carillion is involved in major projects such as the HS2 high-speed rail line, as well as managing schools and prisons.

Carillion chairman Philip Green said it was a “very sad day” for the company’s workers, suppliers and customers.

The company has 43,000 staff worldwide – 20,000 in the UK. It is not clear yet how those staff will be affected.

Carillion also employs thousands of smaller firms, who will be keen to know how they are affected by its collapse.

Some of Carillion’s contracts will be taken on by other firms and some could be taken back into the public sector.

Damned if they did, damned if they didn’t?

The government refused to insure Carillion’s debts, so the banks pulled the plug. If it had offered guarantees to big banks on behalf of a private company it might have been accused of nationalising losses while privatising profits.

The whole point of having private companies do public work is that they shoulder some of the risk. The truth is the government has been helping out Carillion for a while. Awarding it contracts when it knew it was in trouble raised eyebrows last year.

The government constructed the HS2 contracts so that Carillion’s joint venture partners would take on the work if the company went bust – meanwhile it hoped the new contracts would be enough to make Carillion’s lenders feel reassured.

Industry sources tell me that if the company hadn’t been awarded new government work it would have been curtains for Carillion months ago.

Pension impact

Thousands of current and former staff have money in Carillion pension funds, which have deficit of almost £600m.

Those funds will now be managed by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The PPF said it was aware news of the liquidation would “raise serious concerns for all people involved”.

“We want to reassure members of Carillion’s defined benefit pension schemes that their benefits are protected by the PPF.”

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said Labour wanted a full investigation into the government’s dealings with Carillion: “This company issued three profit warnings in the last six months, yet despite those profit warnings the government continued to grant contracts to this company.”

She added that she did not want the government to take on the contracts that were loss-making, while selling the profitable ones to other private companies.

Carillion’s government projects

  • HS2 Building part of the high-speed rail line between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester
  • MoD homes Maintains 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence
  • Schools Manages nearly 900 buildings nationwide
  • Network Rail Second largest supplier of maintenance services
  • Prisons Holds £200m in prison contracts
  • Contingency plans for the failure of Carillion are in operation:
    • Oxfordshire County Council has taken over services provided by Carillion including some school meals and cleaning. It said the fire service was on standby to deliver school meals if necessary.


Carillion has a big international business, including a huge construction project in Qatar related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

It is also a big supplier of construction services to the Canadian government.

Network Rail says rail services will run as normal because Carillion’s work does not involve day-to-day running.

‘Public service’

Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative chairman of the House of Commons Public Administration Committee, said Carillion’s collapse “really shakes public confidence in the ability of the private sector to deliver public services and infrastructure”.

He said there needed to be a change of “mindset” at companies that do a lot of work for the taxpayer.

“You’ve got to treat yourself much more as a branch of the public service, not as a private company just there to enrich the shareholders and the directors,” he said.

“Ironically, Whitehall tends to do contracts with companies that it always does contracts with, because that’s the safe thing to do – that’s the perception. A great many small and medium-sized companies feel excluded.”

Mick Cash, the general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, said: “This is disastrous news for the workforce and disastrous news for transport and public services in Britain.

“RMT will be demanding urgent meetings with Network Rail and the train companies today with the objective of protecting our members jobs and pensions.”

Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB union, said: “What’s happening with Carillion yet again shows the perils of allowing privatisation to run rampant in our schools, our hospitals and our prisons.”




CES 2018: internet-connected Wine Bottle Opener


Coravin has unveiled an internet-connected version of the cork-sealing gadget it makes to preserve bottled wine. By linking the Model Eleven to an app, the US firm says it has been able to introduce several new features. These include the ability to match vintages with classic rock albums. The BBC’s Chris Foxx was given a demo at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.



Orlando trailer park millionaires


Trailer park millionaires: how to get rich on housing for the poor

Some of the richest people in the US, made millions from trailer parks seeing their success, ordinary people from across the country are now trying to follow in their footsteps and become trailer park millionaires. The Guardian went to Orlando to learn the tricks of the trade from Frank Rolfe, the self-appointed dean of Mobile Home University.



Britain’s steel industry brace for Donald Trump’s import decision


( via – – Fri, 12 Jan, 2018) London, Uk – –

Britain’s steel industry is bracing to discover if it will be blocked from exporting to the US as President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy gains momentum.

The US Department of Commerce on Thursday presented Mr Trump with a report on steel imports after he triggered an investigation into foreign steel’s impact on American industry. The President has 90 days after the submission to decide on any potential action based on the findings of the investigation, the US Government department said.

The President has pledged to “fight for American workers and American-made steel”, and last year ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to begin a probe into the matter.

Known as a “Section 232” investigation, the study is a prelude to trade sanctions, such as a block on imports or huge levies. It examines whether imports could be putting US national security at risk because they are driving domestic producers out of business, making the country reliant on foreign suppliers who are often state-subsidised, allow them to “dump” products abroad.

Once the report is issued, the president has 90 days to decide if he agrees with it and then 15 days to act upon its findings, with measures such as trade bans, quotas or tariffs.

However, Britain’s steel makers fear they could be cut out of a crucial export market if the investigation leads to a wide-ranging controls.

America is a crucial market for Britain’s steel industry, with UK companies exporting about 250,000 tonnes there annually – about 7pc of total exports – and worth about £330m a year.

Gareth Stace, director of  trade body UK Steel, said: “The publication of these recommendations will be a critical event for the UK steel industry. Any that come down strongly on steel products across the board would have a particularly harsh impact.”

He said British steelmakers – who were driven to their knees two years ago by a flood of subsidised steel imports from China – “shared the US government’s concern” about dumping.

Mr Stace said UK steelmakers are “hoping for a balanced and measured response” which only affects subsidised companies.

“Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut is not the answer here,” he added.



Facebook changing news feed in favour of “more meaningful social interactions”

( via– Fri, 12 Jan, 2018) London, Uk – –

Mark Zuckerberg says posts from businesses and media are crowding out “personal moments” that help us “connect” with each other.

Facebook is changing the way its news feed works to encourage “more meaningful social interactions” and reduce the amount of content from “businesses, brands and media”.

In a post on the social media site, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said branded content was “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”.

The 33-year-old added that “video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years” meaning there was “more public content than posts from your friends and family”.

That has shifted the balance “away from the most important thing Facebook can do – help us connect with each other”.

Mr Zuckerberg said the company had examined academic research on social media. He said it showed that when sites such as Facebook were used to connect with “people we care about”, they can improve well-being.

“We can feel more connected and less lonely,” he said, “and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health.”

In contrast, “passively reading articles or watching videos – even if they’re entertaining or informative – may not be as good”.

Branded content will not only be reduced – its content will be “held to the same standard” as posts from friends and family.

“It should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” Mr Zuckerberg said.

There have been serious concerns about the effect social media can have on people’s mental health, particularly children and teenagers.

Last week, the Children’s Commissioner for England called for compulsory digital literacy to be taught in primary schools to help children cope with the pressure of getting likes, comments and views.

Researchers say children become increasingly anxious about their online image and “keeping up appearances” as they get older.

Mr Zuckerberg said the shift in focus was likely to reduce “the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement”, at least initially.

But he also expects that time to be more “valuable”, saying he believes the changes to be “good for our community and our business over the long term”.

A Facebook vice president, John Hegeman, said advertising on the site would be unaffected.

Facebook is the largest social media network in the world, with more than two billion monthly users.

By Andy Hayes