Capita shares jump as it unveils plans to raise £701m from shareholders to restructure

Rising costs and contract problems have hit the company hard over the past year
Outsourcing group Capita’s shares rose at the open despite the firm reporting widening losses as it unveiled plans to raise £701m to fund a restructure.
The company, which carries out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the government and also runs the London congestion charge scheme, posted a 4 per cent drop in revenue to £4.12bn from £4.27bn in 2016.
The pre-tax loss widened to £513m from a loss of £90m the year before, and the operating loss also widened to £420m, from £16m. The firm slashed its dividend by 65 per cent to 11.1p, compared with 31.7p in 2016.
Read more Here's what Capita does and what you need to know about the firm The group put its widening losses down to contract difficulties and increased costs, and said it “does not expect to be able to offset these challenges through the benefit of cost actions and new business wins”.
Instead, the group will restructure to “bec..

By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe

By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe Photo Undocumented immigrants arrested last year by Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces. The European Union has made the country a nerve center for an effort to counter human smuggling, but many migration advocates say the moral cost is high. Credit Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters ABU JAMAL, Sudan — At Sudan’s eastern border, Lt. Samih Omar led two patrol cars slowly over the rutted desert, past a cow’s carcass, before halting on the unmarked 2,000-mile route that thousands of East Africans follow each year in trying to reach the Mediterranean, and then onward to Europe.
His patrols along this border with Eritrea are helping Sudan crack down on one of the busiest passages on the European migration trail. Yet Lieutenant Omar is no simple border agent. He works for Sudan’s feared secret police, whose leaders are accused of war crimes — and, more recently, whose officers have been accused of torturing migrants.
Indirectly, he is al..

State and Local Jobs Under Siege as a Middle-Class Gateway

State and Local Jobs Under Siege as a Middle-Class Gateway
OKLAHOMA CITY — The anxiety and seething anger that followed the disappearance of middle-income jobs in factory towns has helped reshape the American political map and topple longstanding policies on tariffs and immigration.
But globalization and automation aren’t the only forces responsible for the loss of those reliable paychecks. So is the steady erosion of the public sector.
For generations of Americans, working for a state or local government — as a teacher, firefighter, bus driver or nurse — provided a comfortable nook in the middle class. No less than automobile assembly lines and steel plants, the public sector ensured that even workers without a college education could afford a home, a minivan, movie nights and a family vacation.
In recent years, though, the ranks of state and local employees have languished even as the populations they serve have grown. They now account for the smallest share of the American civilian..

A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain

A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain Photo Gary Gensler, a senior lecturer at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, at the M.I.T. Media Lab. Mr. Gensler, once one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, will teach a class on the blockchain in the fall. Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO — Gary Gensler was one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, the finance chief for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and, before both of those jobs, a partner at Goldman Sachs.
Now, like many other big names from business and government, he is plunging into the world of the blockchain, the data-tracking technology introduced by Bitcoin.
Mr. Gensler, 60, has recently gone to work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he will write and teach about the potential he sees for blockchains to change the financial world.
He will also use his position to warn about how many of the current projects..

Amazon’s Critics Get New Life With Trump’s Attacks on the Company

Amazon’s Critics Get New Life With Trump’s Attacks on the Company Photo President Trump’s attacks on the Amazon and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, have opened the door for the company’s critics. Credit Jason Redmond/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images One of Amazon’s antagonists seized the moment last month with an unusual newspaper advertisement addressed to President Trump. The ad, from a nonprofit that advocates less government, attacked a Defense Department technology contract that Amazon intends to bid on, calling it a lucrative handout for the company.
A top think tank critic of Amazon’s market power also credited Mr. Trump on Twitter this month for blasting the internet retailer’s relationship with the United States Postal Service. And the head of a leading labor union said more Americans in both parties should speak out, as Mr. Trump has, about Amazon’s harmful effect on jobs.
As Mr. Trump has become Amazon’s basher in chief with his frequent Twitter attacks on the company an..

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud

Big banks are making it easy to zap money to your friends. Maybe too easy.
Zelle, a service that allows bank customers to instantly send money to their acquaintances, is booming. Thousands of new users sign up every day. Some $75 billion zoomed through Zelle’s network last year. That’s more than twice the amount of money that customers transferred with Venmo, a rival money-transfer app.
But the same features that make Zelle so useful for customers, its speed and ubiquity, have made it irresistible to thieves. Hackers and con artists have used the system to steal from victims — some of whom had never used Zelle or even heard of it until someone used it to clean out their bank accounts.
Interviews with more than two dozen customers who had their money stolen through Zelle illustrate the weaknesses that criminals are using in targeting the network. While all financial systems are susceptible to fraud, aspects of Zelle’s design..