British passport contract decision postponed after De La Rue appeal

The deadline to award a contract to make blue British passports after Brexit has been extended by two weeks following a request by bidder De La Rue, the prime minister’s spokesperson has said.
The move comes after anger at the announcement British passports would be produced by Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto when De La Rue’s contract ends in July.
The British firm said Gemalto was chosen only because it undercut the competition, but the UK company also admitted that it was not the cheapest choice in the tendering process.
Read more De La Rue will appeal decision to give blue passport contract De La Rue said on Tuesday that it would appeal the decision.
A spokesperson for the company said: “We confirm that we are taking the first steps towards initiating appeal proceedings against the provisional decision to award the British passport contract to a part state-owned Franco-Dutch company. Based on our knowledge of the market, it’s our view that ours was the highest quality and technical..

Sky: Now Fox offers 'legal separation' of Sky News as Murdochs battle for deal

News channel's future must be secred even with Disney waiting in the wings
Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is back with some fresh proposals in an attempt to find a way through the regulatory logjam that has stymied its long held ambition to acquire the part of broadcaster Sky that it doesn’t own.
Touted as further strengthening the editorial independence of Sky News, the loss making channel that represents a tiny part of the overall business but has left the deal stuck in the mud, they were accepted by Sky this morning. The plan would be for its news channel to be set up as a legally separate entity within the group with a five to seven strong board of directors, chaired by an “independent expert” with experience of journalism. Three Sky independent directors would also serve.
Clever, because the set up looks quite similar to the deal communications watchdog OfCom agreed that allowed BT to keep hold of its broadband infrastructure arm OpenReach in the face of demands ..

Elon Musk 'sleeping' in Tesla factory in attempt to fix Model 3 delays

The CEO is still trying to prove that Tesla has what it takes to be a true mass-production company
Tesla’s Model 3 production “hell” continues.
Elon Musk, in a testy Twitter exchange, said he is “back to sleeping at the factory” while trying to fix production delays with the Model 3 electric car. It’s a move reminiscent of Tesla’s last vehicle launch—the Model X—when Mr Musk famously kept a sleeping bag near the production line so he could immediately address any hiccups.
“Car biz is hell,” Mr Musk said.
Read more Sweden steps up hunt for cobalt as electric cars boost demand The posts on Twitter came as investors await Tesla’s first-quarter production numbers, which are expected to fall short of the company’s forecasts. The exchange, with a reporter at The Information, a tech and business news site, followed a story by the outlet that Mr Musk had taken over Model 3 production from Tesla’s head of engineering, Doug Field.
About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineerin..

Uber deal will have 'zero issues' despite watchdog reservations, says Grab CEO

Anti-competition watchdogs in Malaysia and the Philippines are keeping a close eye on the deal that will see Grab sweep up Uber in South East Asia
Grab chief executive Anthony Tan is confident that the ride-hailing firm’s deal with Uber will be completed with “zero issues”.
Mr Tan said on Tuesday that he believes regulators will not oppose Grab's plan to buy Uber’s ride-hailing and food delivery business in South East Asia, despite Malaysian authorities warning that they would monitor Grab for potential “anti-competitive” behaviour in the region.
The Philippines competition watchdog has also voiced its reservations, calling the tie-up a “virtual duopoly”.
Read more Why we might need new cities after the Uber self-driving car death Speaking to the BBC, Mr Tan said: “The number one thing that any regulator is concerned about is how do we make sure that we as, a leader do not set a bad example, do not take advantage.
“So we are out there, we are very visible, to say 'Loo..

UK cyclist killed in Menorca road accident named as IQE executive Phillip Rasmussen

A man has been arrested in connection with the crash
Technology company IQE has confirmed its finance chief, Phillip Rasmussen, was killed in an accident while on holiday over the weekend.
Mr Rasmussen, 47, was hit by a car while cycling in Menorca, Spain.
A 25-year-old American man has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving, after failing a roadside breath test.
“The news of Phil’s death has shocked and distressed all of us at IQE. The tragedy, of course, will be most deeply felt by Phil’s family, who we send our heartfelt condolences to at this terrible time.
“It is also a tragedy for so many of us who considered Phil a friend as much as a colleague,” said IQE’s president and chief executive, Drew Nelson.
“Phil was a great colleague and an accomplished CFO. He made the role his own, contributing so much over his ten years with us to IQE’s current strength; to the detailed and principled way we do things; to the potential we see before us as a firm.
“It has been my gre..

UK manufacturing activity softens in early 2018, says new survey

The Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 55.1 in the month with the average reading for the first quarter of 2018 was the lowest in a year
Britain’s manufacturers saw activity soften in early 2018 according to the latest survey snapshot of the sector.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 55.1 in the month, above the 50 point that separates contraction from expansion and up slightly from the 55 reading registered in February.
However, the average reading for the first quarter of 2018 was the lowest in a year.
“The latest PMI survey provided further evidence that UK manufacturing has entered a softer growth phase so far this year,” said Rob Dobson of IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that manufacturing, which accounts for around 10 per cent of UK GDP, expanded by 1.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2017 and by 2.5 per cent over the year as a whole.
Exports were helped by the weakness of pound and also strong demand from the r..

De La Rue will appeal decision to give blue British passport contract to Franco-Dutch firm

Decision to award passport contract to a non-British firm provoked outcry last month
De La Rue has confirmed it will appeal the decision to award the contract for the blue British passports to a Franco-Dutch firm after Brexit.
The group’s current contract, worth £400m, comes to an end in July, and from that point on, British passports are set to be produced by Gemalto.
De La Rue said Gemalto was chosen only because it undercut the competition, but the UK company also admitted that it was not the cheapest choice in the tendering process.
Read more What the blue passport row tells us about our economy after Brexit However, a De La Rue spokesperson said: “Based on our knowledge of the market, it’s our view that ours was the highest quality and technically most secure bid.”
The group’s appeal follows a campaign by the Daily Mail, including a petition which gathered more than 227,000 signatures, to overturn the government’s decision to award Gemalto the contract.
The announcemen..

Singapore fines Airbnb hosts for unauthorised letting in first case under new rules

Under the state's new rules, private homes can only be rented to a minimum of three consecutive months
A Singapore court fined two Airbnb hosts a total of S$60,000 (£32,540) each on Tuesday for unauthorised short-term letting in the first such case under the city-state’s rules on short-term property rentals introduced last year.
The two men had pleaded guilty to letting four flats in a condominium for less than six months without permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
They faced a fine of up to S$200,000 per offence under Singapore law.
Read more Joanna Dai, the ex-banker taking on the world of women’s fashion Prosecutors sought fines of S$20,000 per charge for a total of S$80,000 for each of the two defendants. Defence lawyers sought fines of S$5,000 per charge.
Judge Kenneth Choo on Tuesday fined the two hosts S$15,000 per charge each. He said the fines would serve as a signal to deter others from pursuing such business to make a quick profit.
Private ..