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EU mulls trade action against Bangladesh over factory collapse
The European Union is considering trade action against Bangladesh, which has preferential access to EU markets for its garments, in order to pressure Dhaka to improve safety standards after a building collapse killed hundreds of factory workers.
The aid smokescreen
In a Cabinet oppressed by the Treasury’s ceaseless demand for cuts, one minister is blissfully immune from such pressures. Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, has just seen her department’s annual budget jump by 31.9 per cent – almost certainly the biggest percentage increase in a single year ever enjoyed by any British ministry in peacetime history. While the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence twist and turn to avoid the Treasury axe, Miss Greening’s officials are working out how to spend an extra £2.5 billion.
Nudging government in the right direction
Stand Since 2009, the Behavioural Insights Team has been playing with our minds. From job-seeking to anti-smoking, the so-called “Nudge Unit” has been employed by the Government to find novel ways of encouraging us to make the “right” decisions. For example, last year it advised the DVLA to send out letters to non-payers in plainer English with a banner suggesting, “pay your tax or lose your car”. The number of people paying their tax on time doubled. When the letter was later personalised with a photo of the vehicle in question, the figure tripled.
Bank tears up hair shirt agenda as figures show a case for optimism
On Tuesday, Paul Tucker, the Bank’s deputy governor, tore up the “hair shirt agenda” that Boris Johnson has accused it of pushing and told the nation: “There’s certainly reason for hope”.
Twin slowdown in China and US feeds global fear
Fears the global economic recovery is losing momentum have intensified after manufacturing in the US and China slowed last month.
Funding for Lending Scheme is no 'silver bullet', says Bank of England
Bank of England policymakers have played down hopes that the Funding for Lending cheap credit scheme will kickstart growth by warning it was not a “silver bullet” for the recovery.
Double-dip may be erased, but no recovery until 2015, says NIESR
The UK’s “double-dip” recession could well be revised away by economists - but we will not enjoy a proper recovery until 2015, a leading forecaster warned, calling for a £30bn boost to spending.
UK construction sector shows signs of stabilising in April
Hopes for a rebound in UK construction output were given a boost on Thursday, as a closely-watched economic indicator showed that the sector almost returned to growth in April.
Bankruptcy at lowest level since start of financial crisis
The rate of personal insolvency, where individuals are declared bankrupt or taking other legal measures to deal with their debts, has fallen to its lowest level since the start of the financial crisis.
ECB cuts interest rate to record low of 0.5pc
The ECB's decision to cut its main interest rate to 0.5pc from 0.75pc was widely expected by economists, and came amid signs that the eurozone crisis is still hurting the real economy. It also marks the first rate cut since last July.
Reclusive Hollywood actress Deanna Durbin dies
May 1 — Deanna Durbin, a singing child movie star of the 1930s who became one of the world's highest paid actresses before turning her back on stardom, has died at the age of 91.
TV violence persists despite real-life tragedies, says report
NEW YORK — Violence, gore and gunplay were staples on prime-time television even in the most sensitive period directly following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
PepsiCo pulls Mountain Dew ad after criticism
NEW YORK — PepsiCo is once again learning the risks of celebrity partnerships after an ad for Mountain Dew was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women.
Here's why 'tiger moms' are so controlling
We've all heard the phrase "tiger mom" used to describe a strict, demanding, authoritative parent, and now new research gives insight into the motivation behind this parenting style.
Nick Drake songs get a fresh airing four decades after his death
LONDON — Nearly four decades after his death, British singer-songwriter Nick Drake has never been as popular.
Rapper PSY's story now immortalized in a comic book
The story of South Korean rap sensation PSY's ascent to global stardom with his megahit "Gangnam Style" has now been immortalized in full color and with appropriate dramatic flourishes in a comic book.
'Hannibal' pulled from airwaves by Salt Lake City TV station
SALT LAKE CITY – A Mormon church-owned NBC affiliate in Utah has pulled the network’s "Hannibal" TV series because of its graphic violence.
LG to release smartphone with flexible screen
LG aims to introduce a smartphone with a flexible OLED screen by year’s end, according to The Verge, which said the news was announced via LG’s financial results call with investors. The news prompted buzz by such sites as Gizmodo, Slash Gear, and, the latter noting that LG and Samsung have teased consumers for years about flexible displays on handsets, yet “released nothing commercially.”
CERN to recreate world’s first Web page as Web turns 20 years old
The research organization that introduced the world to the Web 20 years ago is marking the milestone by launching a project to re-create the first Web page.
Russia charging NASA $424M more to send astronauts to space
NASA is paying $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space, and the agency's leader is blaming Congress for the extra expense.
2-year-old girl gets new life with windpipe made from stem cells
CHICAGO — A 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment.
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