Uber ride-sharing ban in France backed by EU's top court

'Member States may prohibit and punish, as a matter of criminal law, the illegal exercise of transport activities,' without referring decisions to Brussels, rules European Court of Justice
The European Union's top court has dealt another blow to Uber after ruling that member states can ban ride-sharing services without having to notify Brussels first.
The ruling came after France banned the UberPop service, which allowed drivers without a taxi licence to pick up passengers.
French authorities passed the law in 2014, after finding that the service would provide unfair competition to licensed cab drivers.
Read more Uber agrees settlement with family of self-driving car victim A court in Lille later asked the European Court of Justice whether the European Commission should have been notified before the law was passed.
The court said in a statement on Tuesday that “Member States may prohibit and punish, as a matter of criminal law, the illegal exercise of transport a..

Ultimo lingerie brand to cease trading in the UK due to 'extremely challenging' market

The brand launched in 1999 but was sold in 2014
Ultimo, the lingerie brand launched by Baroness Michelle Mone, is to cease trading in the UK due to the current challenging retail market.
Staff at Ultimo headquarters in East Kilbride, Scotland, retail partners, suppliers and other key stakeholders were informed of the decision today, and all 11 staff have now begun a formal redundancy consultation period.
Read more How baroness Mone of Mayfair balances business, politics and lingerie A spokesperson for the company said: “The last few years have been extremely challenging for Ultimo, driven by increasing competition in the market and more cautious consumer spending due to the uncertainty surrounding the UK economy over the last 18 months.
“Having reviewed the business’ performance over the last three years as well as future prospects and considering the retail environment within which the business is operating; the board has, with regret, decided to cease operations of the Ultimo ..

Russia's wealthiest oligarchs lose $16bn in the day after US imposes sanctions

Siberian nickel miner Vladimir Potanin saw $2.25bn wiped off his fortune
It was a painful day to be a Russian billionaire. The combined net worth of the country’s wealthiest people fell by $16bn (£11.3bn) on Monday — erasing all of their year-to-year gains — following last week’s US-imposed sanctions.
All but one of the 27 Russian tycoons listed on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index lost money, led by Siberian nickel miner Vladimir Potanin, whose fortune declined $2.25bn.
Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov saw his wealth tumble $1.37bn, while Viktor Vekselberg of Renova Group lost $1.28bn.
Read more Russia stock market crashes after US imposes sanctions on oligarchs ​Vekselberg is one of seven Russian tycoons sanctioned last week by the Trump administration in retaliation for Moscow meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. He took steps on Monday to limit the exposure of his Swiss holdings to the sanctions.
Oleg Deripaska, who was also among those sanctioned, lost $905m..

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria pushed natural catastrophe insurance costs to record high last year, study shows

Insured losses from catastrophes hit the highest level on record last year, rising to $144bn (£102bn), up from $56m in 2016, new research shows.
According to insurance giant Swiss Re’s latest Sigma report, insurance covered less than half of the total economic loss from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters, which hit $337m in 2017, almost double the $180bn loss recorded in 2016.
Read more How Texas is ‘building back better’ from Hurricane Harvey Of that total, $330bn came from natural catastrophe-related losses, mainly hurricanes and other weather events, while $7bn arose from man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks, major fires and explosions and maritime disasters.
More than half of the total insured losses last year were due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria (HIM), which caused chaos in the US and Caribbean in the second half of 2017, which racked up estimated costs of $92bn. Hurricane Maria is now ranked as the third most costly event in terms of insurance lo..

British Gas customers should treat its latest price rise with the contempt it deserves

The energy provider's excuses are as leaky as a Thames Water pipe
You’d think British Gas would have worked out that kicking its customers in the teeth while blaming everyone but itself isn’t working out too well as a business strategy.
But apparently not. The UK’s largest energy supplier – a status that the company is doing its damnedest to rid itself of – has decided to hike prices by an average of 5.5 per cent for the four million or so customers on its standard variable tariff.
The rise apples to both gas and electricity, with the average dual fuel bill set to come in at £1,161 after its imposition. It follows the 12.5 per cent increase in electricity prices imposed last September.
Read more British Gas announces 5.5% price hike, affecting 4.1m UK households British Gas owner Centrica to cut 4,000 jobs British Gas owner Centrica loses 823,000 customers since June You may, by now, be familiar with the standard unvarying excuse that the company trots out in an attempt to..

As President, ‘Lula’ of Brazil Opened the Prison. Now He’s an Inmate.

As President, ‘Lula’ of Brazil Opened the Prison. Now He’s an Inmate. Photo Riot police blocked the entrance to the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, Brazil, on Sunday, as supporters of the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva protested his imprisonment. Credit Rodolfo Buhrer/Reuters CURITIBA, Brazil — On his first morning as a prisoner, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had a breakfast of bread, butter and coffee.
Later on Sunday, he watched a final soccer championship match between Corinthians, which he roots for, and its archrival, Palmeiras. His team won on penalties.
Mr. da Silva, 72, is no ordinary prisoner: Outside the building where he is confined is a plaque with his name on it, commemorating the opening of the building in 2007, during his presidency of Brazil.
The country, the largest and most populous nation in Latin America, has begun to absorb the reality of the downfall of Mr. da Silva, who surrendered to the police on Saturday night, two days after the country’s top..