TikTok threatens legal action against Trump executive order

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri 7th Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

TikTok is threatening legal action against the US after Donald Trump ordered firms to stop doing business with the Chinese app within 45 days.

The company said it was “shocked” by an executive order from the US President outlining the ban.

TikTok said it would “pursue all remedies available” to “ensure the rule of law is not discarded”.

Mr Trump issued a similar order against China's WeChat in a major escalation in Washington's stand-off with Beijing.

WeChat's owner, Tencent, said: “We are reviewing the executive order to get a full understanding.”

As well as WeChat, Tencent is also a leading gaming company and its investments include a 40% stake in Epic Games – the company behind the hugely popular Fortnite video game.

The president has already threatened to ban TikTok in the US, citing national security concerns, and the company is now in talks to sell its American business to Microsoft. They have until 15 September to reach a deal – a deadline set by Mr Trump.

The Trump administration claims that the Chinese government has access to user information gathered by TikTok, which the company has denied.

TikTok, which is owned by China's ByteDance, said it had attempted to engage with the US government for nearly a year “in good faith”.

However, it said: “What we encountered instead was that the administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

The executive orders against the short-video sharing platform and the messaging service WeChat are the latest measure in an increasingly broad Trump administration campaign against China.

On Thursday, Washington announced recommendations that Chinese firms listed on US stock markets should be delisted unless they provided regulators with access to their audited accounts.

What did Donald Trump say?

In both executive orders, Mr Trump says that the spread in the US of mobile apps developed and owned by Chinese firms “threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.

The US government says TikTok and WeChat “capture vast swaths of information from its users”.

“This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information.”

The executive order also claims both apps gather data on Chinese nationals visiting the US, allowing Beijing “to keep tabs” on them.

Mr Trump's executive order also says TikTok's data collection could allow China to track US government employees and gather personal information for blackmail, or to carry out corporate espionage.

He notes that reports indicate TikTok censors content deemed politically sensitive, such as protests in Hong Kong and China's treatment of the Uighurs, a Muslim minority. 

The orders have been issued under legal authority from the National Emergencies Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

What does TikTok say?

In its most robust response so far to the US government, TikTok says the executive order that has been issued is based on “unnamed reports with no citations”.

“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request,” it said.

“We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.”

Mr Trump said this week he would support the sale to Microsoft as long as the US government received a “substantial portion” of the sale price.

TikTok said the new executive order “risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law”, adding it sets “a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets”.

“We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the administration, then by the US courts,” it said.

WeChat ban puts US-China personal ties in peril

Zhaoyin Feng, BBC News Chinese, Washington DC

The TikTok ban is hardly a surprise, as the app has faced scrutiny in the US for months. But the almost identical ban on WeChat is more of a bombshell.

Immediately after President Trump's executive order was announced, I received a flood of messages on my WeChat. Friends in America and their loved ones in China were in an absolute panic.

They are thousands of miles apart but asking the same question: How are we supposed to keep in touch after WeChat is banned in the US?

It's nearly impossible to avoid WeChat for those who have any connections to China.

The billion-user app is like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, PayPal, Uber, and even Tinder, all in one ecosystem.

America's move to block WeChat, a prominent example of China's tech innovation, will be seen as an attack on its culture, its people and the state. It'll enhance the popular view in China that Washington is unreasonably suppressing its biggest competitor in technology.

If the ban is fully enforced, it'd be a disaster for anyone who has families, friends or a business in China.

While tit-for-tat has become the new normal in US-China relations, this move will cut off virtually all people-to-people communication between the world's two most influential countries.

What is the background?

Mr Trump has been waging a trade war against China since taking office.

The US government took action last year against two Chinese communications companies, Huawei and ZTE, including locking them out of government contracts.

Most recently, he has blamed the country for the global coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled the US economy.

Meanwhile, many of the biggest US platforms – Google, Twitter and Facebook – are banned inside China.

TikTok – which has up to 80 million active monthly users in the US – has exploded in popularity in recent years, mostly with people under 20.

The app is reported to have around 800 million active monthly users, with its biggest markets having grown in the US and India.

India has, however, already blocked TikTok, as well as other Chinese apps.

Australia, which has already banned Huawei and ZTE, is also considering banning TikTok.

WeChat is very popular among those users who have connections to China, where major social networking platforms – such as WhatsApp and Facebook – are blocked.

It is also viewed as being a key instrument in China's internal surveillance apparatus – requiring local users who have been accused of spreading malicious rumours to register a facial scan and voice print.

A seminar held earlier this year by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank discussed how groups within the app would be used to recommend holiday destinations, restaurants and the like on a day-to-day basis, but then switch to spreading political messages in line with Beijing's thinking at critical times.

EasyJet expands its flight schedule as demand takes-off despite COVID-19 uncertainty

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 4th Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

The budget airline expands its schedule for the rest of holiday season as a result of bookings performing better than predicted.

Greater than expected demand has led easyJet to increase the number of flights it is offering over the summer, despite continuing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget airline expanded its schedule to 40% of normal capacity between July and September rather than the 30% previously expected.

The carrier said it has seen strong demand from UK holidaymakers flying to GreeceTurkey and Croatia.

In response to the upbeat move, the company's shares, which have lost more than 60% of their value since the start of the year, leapt 8%.

While the government's decision to remove Spain from its quarantine exemption list in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases had reduced the number of new bookings being made, most customers with existing plans were going ahead with them, according to the airline's boss.

Criticising the UK's approach towards so-called travel corridors, chief executive Johan Lundgren argued the policy was “not specific enough”.

He called for it to be based on regions rather than countries, pointing out parts of Spain had far lower rates of infection than some areas of the UK.

Figures released by the airline show in the three months to the end of June, easyJet made just £7m in revenue as a result of its fleet, like other carriers, being grounded due to the coronavirus.

In the two weeks from the middle of June when it started flying again, it carried 117,000 passengers in the 132,000 seats available.Why do UK and Spain disagree over quarantine?

Mr Lundgren said: “I am really encouraged that we have seen higher than expected levels of demand with load factor of 84% in July with destinations like Faro and Nice remaining popular with customers.

“Our bookings for the remainder of the summer are performing better than expected and as a result, we have decided to expand our schedule over the fourth quarter to fly circa 40% of capacity.

“This increased flying will allow us to connect even more customers to family or friends and to take the breaks they have worked hard for.”

He also said the airline had urged the government to look at deciding quarantine-exempt travel corridors on “a regional basis”.

Mr Lundgren said: “You see parts of Spain – the Balearics and the Canary Islands – who have significantly lower rates of infections than other parts of Spain and also in the UK.”

Jenn Hyman The Women Who Build A Billion-Dollar Fashion Technology Business Empire

Source: Forbes

“I'm here to assure you that you can have it all,” says Jenn Hyman, co-founder and CEO of the disruptive fashion technology startup Rent the Runway. Hyman remains one of the few female founders to helm a billion-dollar empire, and the first to attain elusive unicorn status while also nine months pregnant. “You can have the life that you've always dreamed of having. And I think that it's crazy that I used to think that that was impossible.” In a landscape where outdated stereotypes are just one of the many challenges female leaders face as they rise the ranks, Hyman is busting the myth that high-achieving women must choose between a fulfilling career and achieving life ambitions beyond their professional pursuits. Since co-founding Rent the Runway in 2009 after attending Harvard Business School, Hyman has gone on to raise over $500 million in funding, growing the business to over 11 million members and revolutionizing the $2.4 trillion fashion industry along the way. Change has extended far beyond her professional life too, and Hyman stresses the importance of this in her evolution and success as a leader. “My whole life has changed. I'm married, I have kids, I have a much more balanced life than I had in the early days of Rent the Runway,” she says. “But that doesn't mean that I work fewer hours now; I still work with the same level of intensity. But I think that it's extremely important to have other things in your life that you are as obsessed with or more obsessed with than work.”

10 BEST BUSINESSES You Can Start ONLINE in 2020

Source: Alux

This Alux video well try to answer the following questions: What kind of online business is most profitable? What is the best business to start in 2020? What are the most successful small businesses? What is the best online business to start in 2019? What are the top 10 online businesses? How can I earn fast money? What businesses are in demand? How do I decide what business to start? Which type of business is best? What's the easiest business to start? What's the easiest type of business to start? Which industry is most profitable? What is the best online business to start in 2020? Is 2020 a good time to start a business? Which business is best for students? How can I make money in 2020? How can I earn money in home? How can I make a lot of money online? How can I make $100 a day? How can I make $100 a day online without investment? How can I turn 100 dollars into 1000 a day? What kind of business can I start from home? What business will be successful in future? Which home based business is the best? Is online selling profitable? What are the top 5 most profitable businesses? How can I start my own online store? What kind of business can I do online? What are the top online businesses? How can a 2020 beginner make money online? What is the best startup business for 2019? What is the cheapest most profitable business to start? What are the worst businesses to start? What are the most successful big businesses? What is the best business for ladies? What can I sell online?

Waking Up In The Most Expensive Hotel Room In Bel-Air

Source: CNBC

See what it’s like to wake up in the most expensive hotel room at the super exclusive Hotel Bel-Air. The luxury hotel has a giant presidential suite that’s probably one of the most lavish in all of Los Angeles. The mega-suite includes a secret paparazzi-proof entrance, a giant private pool, grand piano, outdoor hot tub, and if you want the full VIP experience: Chef Wolf Gang Puck can serve you dinner for ten in your suite’s private dining room. After showing you what it’s like to wake up in the super expensive VIP suite we’ll also give you a look inside the hotel’s LEAST expensive room and reveal three things you can do here that are way less expensive and you can do them even if you’re NOT a guest.

The Rise And Fall Of The Mall

Source: BI

Starting with the opening of the Southland Mall in 1956 malls have been a vaulted piece of Americana for decades. Thousands were built across the country and for a while it seemed they would dominate the American landscape forever, but in recent years they’ve rapidly lost their value. So how did malls go from being a mainstay in American society to a quickly vanishing memory?

Why RV Sales Are Booming

Source: CNBC

In the years that followed the financial crisis, sales of RVs began booming. Once considered a pretty dowdy way to travel, RVs have benefited from slick industry ad campaigns, low gas prices, and a renewed interest among Americans of all ages. Data indicate first-time buyers are pouring into RV dealerships and shows, looking for their own happy home on the road. But long-timers say new buyers need to do their research before buying, and understand what the RV life is really about.

Portugal still on quarantine list for holidaymakers

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 24th July 2020) London, Uk – –

Portugal remains off the list of countries that the government has exempted from quarantine restrictions.

In changes that apply to England, travellers from Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines won't have to isolate.

It takes the list of countries that do not face travel restrictions into England to 80 nations.

The government also said it will update guidance weekly, meaning rules could change while people are away.

It said people should regularly check the advice. Previously, updates were provided every three weeks.

The guidance comes as infection rates begin to change across Europe.

On Friday, Norway announced that it was imposing a new 10-day quarantine on all travellers arriving from Spain after a spike in cases there at popular holiday resorts.

The latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed coronavirus infections in Spain had risen to 30.9 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Portugal's failure to make the exemption list will come as a huge blow.

Tourism is a major industry in the country and is popular with British holidaymakers, with almost three million UK visitors a year.

Aviation data analysts Cirium said there were 2,333 flights due to leave the UK for Portugal before the end of August.

‘Huge uncertainty'

Paul Charles, chief executive of the PC Agency, said it was a badly timed move by the government.

“The scale of those due to go there before end of August is enormous. The decision today plants huge uncertainty in the minds of those who are booked who will be looking for refunds and changes and most won't have a holiday. It's going to cause uproar for operators and industry.”

He added: “They are not prepared to open Portugal when situation is declining, but cases in Spain are soaring, with rapid rises in their case numbers.”

Avon reports the number of people signing up to be sales representatives had more than doubled

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 20th July2020) London, Uk – –

Number of new reps who sell products to people in their homes has more than doubled

Avon looks set to be calling at many more UK homes after the cosmetics company revealed that the number of people signing up to be sales representatives had more than doubled in the lockdown.

The company, which boasts 5 million “reps” globally, said it had seen a 114% “surge” in the number of new representatives joining its UK businesssince lockdown began.

Founded in 1886, Avon has been struggling to keep pace with changing consumer tastes and habits, and has faced increased competition from new brands backed by online influencers. But the company said the pandemic had prompted many people to look for new ways of earning cash, and that, amid a looming jobs crisis, growing numbers were on the hunt for opportunities to supplement their income.Advertisement

It said the spike in sign-ups came amid predictions that the economic impacts of Covid-19 would be “disproportionately felt by women”.

The company has also changed its commission structure, so that reps can now earn 20% on their sales of £1 and over. Previously sales had to reach £90 before reps qualified for commission.

Sian Erith, who lives in Norfolk,kickstarted her Avon business during lockdown as restrictions forced her to take a break from a career in hairdressing. Using social media to generate online sales at a time when personal selling was not possible, Sian said she earned £600 in her first three weeks.

Avon was founded in 1886 by David McConnell, a travelling book salesman who found that female customers – who often answered the door because their husbands were at work – were more interested in the free perfume samples he offered as an additional perk. McConnell recruited women to act as sales agents for the products he mixed from an office in New York.

Avon’s UK business launched in 1959, and the first “Ding dong, Avon calling” TV adverts aired in 1964, and it soon became a British catchphrase.

The rise of social media has fuelled rapid change in the beauty market, helping to launch brands backed by online influencers, such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, which are now challenging the big, established names.

However, the company – now owned by the Brazilian beauty group Natura, also the owner of The Body Shop – remains one of the biggest names in the world of “direct selling” – which does not use shops – and claims to have a huge reach in the UK. It claims to be one of the top three beauty brands in the country “with six million women seeing an Avon brochure every three weeks”.

Angela Cretu, Avon’s chief executive, said: “As the recession tightens its grasp on communities in the wake of Covid-19, people are looking for new ways to earn.” She added that the company was preparing for “a tidal wave” of new sign-ups.

Cretu also said that many of the reps played a crucial role within their communities, as they often provided support to vulnerable individuals by picking up prescriptions and helping with shopping.

The 114% increase relates to those signing up between 23 March and 7 June this year compared with the same period in 2019.

By Rupert Jones

Black cowboys saddle up

Source:CBS

After the Civil War, black cowboys played a key role in settling the West, and their heritage is honored by African American cowboys and rodeo riders today. “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Michelle Miller talked with members of the Compton Cowboys, a Los Angeles group of riders who take to the streets of South Central on horseback; and with participants in the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, named for the famed African American Wild West Show star.

British Airways to retire entire 747 fleet after suffering sharp travel downturn

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 17th July 2020) London, Uk – –

British Airways has said it will retire all of its Boeing 747s as it suffers from the sharp travel downturn.

The UK airline is the world's largest operator of the jumbo jets, with 31 in the fleet.

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect,” a BA spokesman told the BBC.

Airlines across the world have been hit hard by coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

“It is unlikely our magnificent ‘queen of the skies' will ever operate commercial services for British Airways again due to the downturn in travel caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic,” the spokesman added.

BA, which is owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), said the planes will all be retired with immediate effect. The 747s represent about 10% of BA's total fleet.

It had planned on retiring the planes in 2024 but has brought forward the date due to the downturn.

According to travel data firm Cirium there are about 500 747s still in service, of which 30 are actively flying passengers. More than 300 fly cargo and the remainder are in storage.

A luxury BA could no longer afford

Analysis by Theo Leggett

The Boeing 747 is beautiful, distinctive and has half a century of proud service behind it. But – as a passenger plane at least – it is also quite simply outdated.

A four-engine aircraft, it is far less efficient than modern twin-engine models, such as the Airbus A350, the 787 Dreamliner, or even the older Boeing 777 – all of which are cheaper to run.

Before the Covid-19 crisis, the writing was on the wall. Airlines such as Air France, Delta and United had already retired their fleets.

BA had planned to use them for another few years. But the crisis in the industry means a future in which there will be fewer passengers, fewer planes – and keeping costs down will be crucial.

So now the airline has decided the queen of the skies is a luxury it can no longer afford.

British Airways' predecessor BOAC first started flying 747s in the early 1970s. BA is currently flying the 747-400 version of the long-range aircraft.

It is currently the world's biggest operator of 747-400s and first took delivery of them in July 1989. Originally, the upper deck contained a lounge which was known as the “club in the sky”.

The British carrier added it would operate more flights on modern, more fuel-efficient planes such as its new Airbus A350s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

It expects them to help it achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Boeing's 747 helped democratise global air travel in the 1970s, and marked its 50-year flying anniversary in February 2019.

US-based Boeing signalled the end of the plane's production a year ago.

A wave of restructuring triggered by the virus outbreak is hitting airlines across the world, along with plane-makers and their suppliers. Thousands of job losses and furloughs have been announced in recent weeks.

Hundreds of BA ground staff face redundancy as the airline slashes costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing's ‘queen of the skies'

  • The first Boeing 747 flight took place in February 1969
  • It was the first aeroplane dubbed a “jumbo jet”
  • BOAC, British Airways' predecessor, operated its first 747 flight, flying from London to New York, in 1971
  • At its height, BA had a fleet of 57 747-400s, second only to Japan Airlines (more than 100)
  • The wings of a 747-400 span 213ft and are big enough to accommodate 50 parked cars

What happens to retired planes?

Specialist companies assess whether aircraft should be salvaged or scrapped. Often they are dismantled and their parts sold on for scrap or recycled. Most of the value is in the engines.

Many are also stripped out as they have valuable interiors. In some cases, private individuals and entrepreneurs buy old airliners to convert them into hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.

Those that are scrapped can end up in giant aircraft graveyards in the desert where they are left to rust.

Apple does not need to pay €13bn Irish tax bill, EU court rules

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 15th July 2020) London, Uk – –

European commission failed to prove Apple had benefited from arrangement, court finds.

The European commission has been dealt a major blow in its battle to stop EU member states granting sweetheart tax deals to multinational corporations after the bloc’s general court ruled that Apple did not need to pay €13bn (£11.7bn) in back taxes to the Irish government.

The Luxembourg-based court found the EU’s executive body had failed to prove that the iPhone maker benefited from an allegedly illegal arrangement with the Irish authorities, in a decision with wide repercussions for the bloc’s plans to clamp down on tax avoidance.

The commission has active cases against Ikea and Nike over alleged sweetheart deals granted by the Dutch government. Brussels also launched an investigation in March into the tax treatment granted by Luxembourg to the Finnish food packaging company Huhtamäki.

The Irish government, which has been seeking to protect its low-tax regime, welcomed the EU court’s ruling.

It said: “Ireland has always been clear that there was no special treatment provided. Ireland appealed the commission decision on the basis that Ireland granted no state aid and the decision today from the court supports that view.”

Four years ago the commission ordered Apple to pay for gross underpayment of tax on profits across the European bloc over an 11-year period between 2003 and 2014.

It said the multinational, whose headquarters are in Cupertino, California, had been able to use two shell companies incorporated in Ireland, with the agreement of the local tax authorities, to report Europe-wide profits at effective rates well under 1% – and as low as 0.005% in 2014.

But the Luxembourg-based general court said on Wednesday: “The commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage.”

It said the commission was wrong to declare that Apple “had been granted a selective economic advantage and, by extension, state aid”.

Tove Maria Ryding, a tax justice coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development, said the decision highlighted the inadequacy of the EU’s tools in fighting corporate tax avoidance.

She said: “Today’s court decision illustrates how difficult it is to use EU state aid rules to collect tax.

“If we had a proper corporate tax system, we wouldn’t need long court cases to find out whether it is legal for multinational corporations to pay less than 1% in taxes.

“This case has been going on for more than six years and if today’s ruling is appealed it’s obviously going to continue even longer. It shouldn’t take over half a decade to decide what a multinational corporation should pay in tax. This case illustrates that our corporate tax system is a mess and not fit for purpose.”

Welcoming the ruling, a spokesman for Apple said: “This case was not about how much tax we pay, but where we are required to pay it. We’re proud to be the largest taxpayer in the world as we know the important role tax payments play in society.

“Apple has paid more than $100bn [£79bn] in corporate income taxes around the world in the last decade and tens of billions more in other taxes. Changes in how a multinational company’s income tax payments are split between different countries require a global solution, and Apple encourages this work to continue.

“We are also proud to be a powerful engine of economic growth in Europe. Last year we spent over €13bn with 4,500 suppliers of all sizes. Our innovation and investment supports more than 1.8m jobs across the EU.”

The ruling is just the latest blow to Margrethe Vestager, who has pioneered crackdowns on tax avoidance by US firms during her time as the EU’s competition commissioner.

The general court overturned the commission’s demand for Starbucks to pay up to €30m in back taxes to the Dutch authorities. In a separate case, the court threw out a commission decision against a Belgian tax scheme for 39 multinationals.

Ireland loses its right to €13bn in back taxes at a time of economic recession but says the decision offers greater long-term opportunities.

Multinationals such as Facebook and Google account for one in 10 jobs in Ireland, with 13,867 net roles being added in 2019, just short of the record 14,000 job gains from such firms in 2018.

The commission has the right to appeal on the points of law of the court’s ruling but a spokesman declined to comment.

By Daniel Boffey

15 Best Luxury ACCESSORIES to Own and Why

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: Which are the best luxury accessories to own? Which brands have the best accessories? What fashion accessories should I get? What's a good fashion style? What makes a brand luxury? What are the top 10 designer brands? Is Tommy Hilfiger a luxury brand? What brands are better than Gucci? What should every woman own? What should I own by 30? What every classy woman should have? What a girl should have in her bag? What every 40 year old woman should own? What every girl needs from Amazon? What is the cheapest luxury brand? Is Zara a luxury brand? Is Fendi better than Gucci? Is Calvin Klein a luxury brand? What's the most expensive brand? What should every man carry? What every 40 year old man should have? What every home needs? What's the most expensive luxury brand? Is Kate Spade a luxury brand? What brands do the rich wear? Which is more expensive Gucci or Louis Vuitton? What's the most expensive brand in the world? What's the most expensive brand? Is Proenza Schouler a luxury brand? What is true luxury? Is Tommy Hilfiger high quality? Why is Tommy Hilfiger so expensive? Is coach a high end brand? Where are luxury brands made? What are the top luxury brands? What is the new luxury? What is the most popular fashion accessory? What are the top trends for 2020? What accessories are trending 2019? Are headbands in style for 2020? What shoes will be popular in 2020? Are scarves out of style 2020? What are the new colors for 2020? Are skinny jeans still in style 2020? What is the color for spring 2020? What crafts are trending for 2020? What fashion trends are out for 2020? What is the hottest trend right now? Are leggings Still in Style 2020? What should you not wear after 50? Is Boho Still in Style 2020?

Hospitality chain The Restaurant Group expect one in 10 of their outlets will not reopen this year

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri , 10th July 2020) London, Uk – –

Owner of chains including Frankie & Benny’s hopes to open most by end of September

The hospitality chain the Restaurant Group (TRG) has said that one in 10 of its restaurants and pubs will not reopen this year, with the sector struggling to recover after the coronavirus lockdown.

The owner of chains including Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s, and Garfunkel’s has reduced its overall business to about 400 locations, down from more than 600 at the start of 2020.

The group said it had secured additional funds and would prolong executive pay cuts to weather the crisis. TRG said it had taken £50m from the government’s coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme, allowing it to extend its credit facilities. Directors will take a 33% pay rise this month from their reduced lockdown levels, but still receive 20% below their normal basic salary while some of TRG’s 15,000 staff remain furloughed.

It said one in four restaurants would reopen by the end of the month, after the UK government revised its lockdown rules to open up dining from last weekend. About 60% would be open by the end of August, with most of the remainder reopened by the end of September, TRG said.

However, it said the last 10% were not expected to reopen in 2020 at all because of “considerably weak” footfall – particularly in its airport locations.

The pandemic has hastened plans by TRG to reduce its restaurant portfolio, with the casual dining sector already feeling the chill winds across empty tables in recent years. While Wagamama, which TRG bought in 2018 for £559m and has been operating for delivery during the lockdown, appears to be relatively secure, other brands in the group have been harder hit.

In March, as virtually all restaurants were closed because of the Covid-19 outbreak, TRG issued a profit warning and said that 61 – more than three in four – branches of its Tex-Mex Chiquito restaurants would stay closed, along with its 11 Food & Fuel pubs in London, with the loss of 1,500 jobs.

Last month it announced 3,000 more jobs would go with another 120 permanent restaurant closures, primarily hitting its Frankie & Benny’s Italian-American outlets.

TRG had signalled last September it would be trimming its leisure division by closing some Frankie & Benny’s, Garfunkel’s and Chiquito branches over a six-year period. However, it told managers this year that the branches were no longer viable, once coronavirus had joined the headwinds of rising costs and changing consumer habits fuelled by companies such as Deliveroo.Advertisement

Last week TRG’s rival Casual Dining Group, which owns Café Rouge and Las Iguanas, went into administration, closing 91 restaurants and making 1,900 staff redundant.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, this week launched a meal-deal voucher scheme to whet public appetite to return to restaurants, with up to £10 per head off for diners from Monday to Wednesday during August.

By Gwyn Topham

Mirror and Express publisher Reach to cut 550 jobs in an overhaul designed to cut costs by £35m

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue 7th July, 2020) London, Uk – –

The group said more readers are turning to digital but a downturn in advertising means revenues are not keeping pace.

Newspaper publisher Reach is to axe 550 jobs, or 12% of its workforce, in an overhaul designed to cut costs by £35m a year.

The group includes the Mirror, Express and Daily Star titles, as well as Scotland's Daily Record and regional dailies such as the Liverpool Echo and the Manchester Evening News.

Reach's announcement came as it reported a 27.5% plunge in quarterly revenue and said it was facing “structural change” in the sector accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Online readership has grown but reduced demand for advertising means this has not been matched by growth in revenues.

Reach said the shake-up would create a “more centralised structure bringing together national and regional teams across print and digital”.

It said the changes would “significantly increase efficiency and remove duplication while maintaining the strong editorial identity of our news brands”.

The cuts will also affect commercial and finance operations, which will see a switch to “fewer locations and a simpler management structure”.

Chief executive Jim Mullen said: “Structural change in the media sector has accelerated during the pandemic and this has resulted in increased adoption of our digital products.

“However, due to reduced advertising demand, we have not seen commensurate increases in digital revenue.

“To meet these challenges and to accelerate our customer value strategy, we have completed plans to transform the business and are ready to begin the process of implementation.

“Regrettably, these plans involve a reduction in our workforce and we will ensure all impacted colleagues are treated with fairness and respect throughout the forthcoming consultation process.”

Reach said revenue for the second quarter to 28 June was down 27.5% on the same period last year.

The group saw a 29.5% decline for print and a 14.8% fall for digital.

“Circulation remains significantly below pre-COVID-19 levels with local advertising continuing to be challenging,” it added.

Reach said there had been “modest but encouraging improvements in circulation and national digital revenue” in June as lockdown restrictions have eased.

It said its shake-up meant that temporary pay cuts imposed in the face of the pandemic would be ended though senior managers including the chief executive will still be subject to a 20% reduction, and annual bonuses remained suspended.

Shares fell 14% on the day.

The cuts are the latest to be announced across the economy as the pandemic bites.

Thousands of jobs have been affected as companies from Pret A Manger to Airbus see the pandemic take a heavy toll on business activity.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: “Today's announcement is a shock and body-blow for our members in Reach who have, in the words of the chief executive today, shown ‘heroic' efforts to sustain the company through the massive problems arising from a pandemic lockdown over the last three months.

“It will be poor reward for hard-working journalists who have shown great flexibility and adaptability to uproot from their offices to switch to working from home, with all the stress and difficulties that have arisen, to then find there is no job for them in a redundancy process that they have now been pitched into.”

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

Three of Europe’s biggest airlines end legal challenge to UK’s quarantine policy

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 3rd July 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Three of Europe’s biggest airlines said on Friday they would end a legal challenge against the British government after it scrapped its quarantine rule for travellers coming from some of the most popular tourist destinations.

The government said the policy would be ended for English holidaymakers to countries such as France, Spain and Italy, although it would be maintained for the United States.

The policy announcement coincided with a planned court hearing for a legal challenge to the measures by British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair.

The airlines heavily criticised the government’s introduction of a blanket rule that all travellers arriving from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days on June 8, saying it jeopardised the industry’s recovery from the crisis.

However, they agreed to end the legal challenge after the government said it would publish a list of countries to which the rules would not apply.

“The blanket quarantine introduced by the UK Government on everyone entering into England was irrational and has seriously damaged the economy and the travel industry,” the airlines said in a statement.

“Today’s publication of a list of countries is a first step. We look forward to the publication of the rationale behind the decision-making and the continued lifting of the quarantine from safe countries.”

Tom Hickman, representing the airlines, had earlier argued that the restrictions on travellers were stricter than those imposed at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, and that the rate of infection in different countries should be taken into account.

The government said the policy was a crucial step to avoid a second wave of COVID-19, and their lawyers said that the measures had been justified and proportionate.

By Alistair Smout

This Spectacular 700-square-foot FLOATING HOME is Self-Built and Fully Off-Grid

Source: Exploring Alternatives

This stunning 700-square-foot, self-built float home is fully off-grid with solar power, a pellet stove, a composting toilet, and an evaporation grey water system that ensures nothing is dumped overboard! It has an open concept kitchen, living and dining space, a master bedroom and bathroom on the main floor, two bedrooms on the second floor, and the wraparound deck up top gives 360 degree views.

Mercedes-Benz cars struck a deal with Nvidia to produce cars from 2024 with a chip and software platform

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 23rd June 2020) London, UK —

(Reuters) – Semiconductor maker Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) said on Tuesday it struck a deal with Germany’s Daimler Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE) to provide cars produced from 2024 with a chip and software platform that can eventually be used for autonomous driving functions.

“We intend to join forces to create a software-defined vehicle and deploy this across the entire next generation’s fleet,” Nvidia Senior Director of Automotive Danny Shapiro told reporters.

Shapiro declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal. The deal covers chips and software for the vehicle system.

The new partnership followed Daimler’s move last week to pause a development alliance with rival German luxury carmaker BMW in the area of automated driving.

Shapiro said the high-end Nvidia Drive AGX Orin Platform – an autonomous vehicle processor – would be standard in every Mercedes-Benz vehicle. With that in place, consumers will be able to update the car’s software the way smartphones are updated today.

Asked how the Mercedes-Benz partnership will affect Nvidia’s decade-long collaboration with Audi AG (NSUG.DE), Shapiro said neither arrangement was exclusive. With Mercedes-Benz there is “a huge dedication, huge energy, huge investment from both companies to bring this to market,” he said.

Mercedes-Benz sold 2.39 million cars worldwide in 2019. The two companies have been working together on autonomous driving and artificial intelligence car technology for over five years.

Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee

15 Reasons Why POOR People Hate the RICH

Source: Alux

This Alux video well try to answer the following questions: What are some dumb reasons why the poor hate the rich? Why do poor people hate the rich? Why do poor people hate rich people? Why do some poor people hate the rich? Why do people, especially the poor, hate the rich? Why can't people accept that there will always be poor and rich people in any society? What do poor people think about rich people? What are some valid reasons to hate the rich? Why are people hating billionaires? Why do normal people hate billionaires? Are rich people just hoarding resources? Are billionaires hoarding resources? Are rich people corrupt? Why do rich people have nice things? Why do poor people envy rich people? What do rich people think of poor people? Why do we hate billionaires? Why do we envy successful people? Do the rich keep poor people poor? Are rich people greedy?