EU plans to give consumer more rights against big companies

Consumers will be allowed to take collective legal action when wronged
EU consumers will get more powers to challenge big companies in the courts, and a right to clearer information about who they are buying from, under proposals unveiled by the European Commission on Wednesday.
The new package of measures comes on the heels of the Dieselgate scandal, that saw consumers sold cars that emitted up to 40 times more toxic fumes in real-world driving than claimed.
Under the proposals, consumer groups would gain powers to sue large corporations for collective redress on the behalf of those affected by such unfair commercial practices.
Read more Sticking to EU law 'vastly' better than making our own, say businesses Penalties for firms that break the law would also be increased, with a maximum fine of at least 4 per cent of the trader's annual turnover in any given member state – and national governments allowed to go higher if they want.
British consumers could miss o..

Melrose bosses take home annual pay of £42m each ahead of GKN takeover

Company says the incentive arrangement is 'highly effective and essential”
Top bosses at turnaround specialist Melrose have raked in pay packets worth nearly £42m ahead of the company's pending takeover of British engineering giant GKN.
Melrose’s annual report showed four executives benefited from the payout of a five-year long-term incentive plan (LTIP), which meant the top brass were handed an extra £41.7m each on top of their salaries for 2017.
Executive chairman Christopher Miller, executive vice chairman David Roper, chief executive Simon Peckham, and group finance director Geoffrey Martin all claimed the awards.
Read more Melrose takeover offer approved in GKN shareholder vote Melrose said the LTIP payment – which was approved back in 2012 – was linked to the creation of £3.6bn in value for shareholders between 2012 and 2017, representing an average annual return of 22 per cent.
The company's remuneration committee added that the performance “validates” the..

John Boehner: Ex-Republican speaker joins marijuana firm despite previously being 'unalterably opposed' to legalisation

'My thinking on cannabis has evolved'
A former senior Republican politician, who for many years was “unalterably opposed” to the legalisation of cannabis, is to join the advisory board of a marijuana company.
John Boehner, who served as Speaker of the House until 2015, announced he will be joining a cannabis company that has operations across 11 states, because his “thinking on cannabis has evolved”.
“I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities,” he said.
I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved. I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities. @AcreageCannabis
— John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) April 11, 2018 Mr Boehner, 68, was appointed to the board of Acreage Holdings, a business that aims to “make cannab..

Tech We’re Using: How to Stay on Top of Breaking News

How to Stay on Top of Breaking News How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Jonah Bromwich, a breaking news reporter for The Times in New York, discussed the tech he’s using.
You cover breaking and trending news with an extremely quick turnaround. What are some of the tech tools you rely on to stay on top of the news and file stories quickly and accurately?
It’s true! I use a couple of surfacing tools, most prominently Dataminr. Basically what it does is provide us with a continuously updating feed of tweets that have breaking news in them.
Photo Mr. Bromwich listens to a lot of music. When he wants it louder, a Bose SoundTouch system is his go-to option. Credit Mark Abramson for The New York Times For example, we could become aware of a story that we want to monitor (and possibly cover) when a tweet from a local Houston reporter says something like, “Gunshots fired in Harris County Institute of the Forensic Sciences.” And then secon..

UK the fly in recruiter Page's ointment as nervous Brits stay put

Company is flying everywhere else as global economy throws off good, well paying jobs
Recruiter PageGroup probably wishes it could turn the page on Brexit (it wouldn’t be alone).
The worst decision in British political history has a habit of spoiling the party when it reports results.
The company recruits professionals, white collar types who earn decent money. We’re talking between £50,000 and £150,000 annually.
Read more Airbus warns hard Brexit will cause business to 'grind to a halt’ Under boss Steve Ingham, it has become a global business, and its performance ranges from good to very good everywhere it operates as a booming global economy throws off lots of good, high paying jobs.
When adjusting for currency movements, profits over the first three months of the year were up 20 per cent in the Americas, 18 per cent in Europe, the Middle East & Africa, 13.8 per cent in the Asia Pacific region.
You can probably guess what’s coming: the glaring exception was the UK..

British Gas price hike a 'slap in the face' to customers, says MP

Ministers say 'unjustified' decision is 'disappointing' but Labour says government should have done more to prevent it
MPs have criticised British Gas’s decision to raise bills for millions of customers just months before the introduction of a cap on energy prices.
The energy giant said prices will rise by an average of 5.5 per cent, meaning the cost of the standard tariff will increase to £1,161. An estimated 4.1 million customers will see their bills increase by an average of £60 per year.
The price hike was criticised by MPs across the political spectrum. The Government said it was “disappointed” with the “unjustified” decision, while Labour accused ministers of failing to introduce their energy price cap quickly enough.
Centrica, which owns British Gas, blamed the increase on rising wholesale energy prices and said government policies were also responsible.
Read more British Gas announces 5.5% price hike, affecting 4.1m UK households Claire Perry, the mi..

IMF's Christine Lagarde warns trade protectionism will only hurt the world's poorest

Christine Lagarde fears growing tension between the US and China will result in WTO rules being 'torn apart'
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has warned countries that they must avoid trade protectionism to ensure global prosperity.
Speaking in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Ms Lagarde said she fears growing tension between the US and China over tariffs will lead to World Trade Organisition (WTO) rules being “torn apart”, which she called an “inexcusable, collective policy failure”.
“History shows that import restrictions hurt everyone, especially poorer consumers,” said Ms Lagarde.
Read more Airbus warns hard Brexit will cause business to 'grind to a halt’ “Not only do they lead to more expensive products and more limited choices, but they also prevent trade from playing its essential role in boosting productivity and spreading new technologies.”
Alluding to Donald Trump and Xi Jinping’s war of words on tariffs, the IMF chief called for an end to protectionist t..

Legal marijuana could soon be a bigger market than fizzy drinks

Expanding access to cannabis is also expected to hit alcohol sales
Cannabis could soon become a bigger industry than fizzy drinks and it has already started putting pressure on alcohol sales.
If marijuana is made legal nationwide in the US by 2030, the legal weed industry could generate $75bn (£53bn) in sales by that year, according to a new note from the investment bank Cowen.
Cowen’s cannabis sector analyst, Vivien Azer, revised her previous estimate up by $25bn (£17.6bn). Legal marijuana sales are already around $50bn, Ms Azer said in the note.
Read more Legalising cannabis could help solve US opioid crisis, studies suggest Rise in cannabis strength may not affect schizophrenia, study suggests Israel moves towards decriminalising marijuana use UK world’s largest producer of legal Cannabis, finds UN body Government refuses medical cannabis to six-year-old epileptic boy Fizzy drink consumption, on the other hand, is declining. Per capita consumption fell to a 31-year low in th..