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Mirror in talks to buy Express owner
The owner of the Daily Mirror has said it is in talks to buy the owner of the Daily Express and Daily Star.
Trinity Mirror said it was in talks to buy all of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell, which also produces the celebrity magazine OK!. It had previously been in talks to take a minority stake in the company. As well as the Mirror titles, Trinity Mirror also publishes the Daily Record, the Sunday People and more than a hundred regional newspapers.
Brexit hampered by Conservative division, says ex-minister
The Conservative party’s split on Brexit continues to affect the process, former Treasury minister Lord Jim O’Neill has told the BBC. Lord O’Neill, who left government a year ago, said much of the “rationale for Brexit” had been to deal with that division. He also said the UK’s negotiators needed to be “more realistic” in their talks with the European Union. The government said it was “working together to deliver Brexit”. The UK was looking to achieve a new deep and special partnership with the European Union, a government spokesperson said.
PR firm Bell Pottinger ‘nearing collapse’
Bell Pottinger’s Asian unit has said it will separate from its British parent, amid reports the public relations firm is nearing collapse. Bell Pottinger’s UK business is expected to go into administration as early as next week, the firm said. The Asian business will begin trading under a new name “in the coming days”. The PR firm was expelled from the industry trade body after being accused of stirring up racial hatred in South Africa.
Beijing bans new bikes as sharing schemes cause chaos
Beijing has become the latest city in China to ban new shared bikes as the country battles against two-wheel traffic chaos and safety concerns in urban areas. New deliveries of bikes to the city’s 15 sharing schemes will be suspended, a government statement on Thursday said. Riders can already access nearly 2.4 million shared cycles in Beijing. It joins other Chinese cities in trying to curb public hazards by banning new bikes to the popular schemes. In the statement, the Municipal Transportation Commission also said it would begin efforts to clean up parking. Bikes in big cities are often abandoned, thrown haphazardly on streets and curbs.
Earthquake of magnitude 8.1 strikes off Mexico’s Pacific coast
A strong earthquake of magnitude 8.1 has struck off southern Mexico, killing at least five people. The epicentre was in the Pacific, about 87km (54 miles) south-west of the town of Pijijiapan and at a depth of 70km, the US Geological Survey said. A tsunami warning has been issued for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras. The quake was felt in Mexico City, with buildings swaying and people running into the street. The tremors there, about 1,000km from the epicentre, were reported to have lasted up to a minute.
UK insurers win multibillion victory over compensation rates
UK insurers have won a multibillion pound victory by persuading the government to change the system used to work out compensation payments to accident victims. The changes to the so-called Ogden rate, announced by the government on Thursday, will affect payments worth billions of pounds. They are likely to cut the amount that victims will receive in compensation payments, but could also result in lower insurance premiums for drivers.
“We’re pleased,” said Amanda Blanc, chief executive of Axa UK. “The process to get here has been painful, but the outcome is positive.” “We’ve got a solution that we think will compensate people fairly,” she added. The reforms partially reverse a change made earlier this year that sharply pushed up costs for insurers and the NHS, which also pays out compensation in cases of medical error.
BMW speeds up in race for electric cars
BMW will build 25 new electric models by 2025, the German motor giant has pledged. In the latest raising of the bar among traditional motor manufacturers racing to bring battery-powered cars to market, BMW will also launch the long-awaited third model in its much-vaunted i series at the Frankfurt motor show next week. The vehicle, which will probably be badged the i5, will be a four-door family car with dimensions similar to BMW’s best-selling conventionally engined 3 Series.
Tories accused over failure to deliver on pledge to pay for 50,000 apprentices from Libor fund
Millions of pounds of fines levied on banks that the Conservatives promised would be used to fund apprenticeships have not created extra opportunities, auditors have suggested. The National Audit Office accused the Department for Education of failing to demonstrate that it had used £200 million from the Libor fund to set up 50,000 new apprenticeships on top of those already announced. The department did not directly address the accusation but said thousands of apprenticeships had been created.
Insurers win cut in payouts for victims of worst accidents
The insurance industry has won a substantial victory over the way compensation is calculated for the victims of serious accidents after the government watered down previous plans to make the payouts bigger, sending shares in insurers higher. Plans by the Ministry of Justice to change the Ogden rate caused an outcry this year, with insurers complaining that the reforms would add millions to their bills. Premiums for high-risk customers, such as young drivers, have already been increased by about £250 over the past few months in response.
Irish police invented almost 1.5m breathalyser tests on motorists
Irish police grossly exaggerated the number breath tests it carried out on motorists, an internal report has found.
The report found that 3,498,400 tests were recorded on the police computer system dating back to 2009, but only 2,040,179 were carried out. Across the country as a whole almost 1.5m fake tests were recorded, and in County Tipperary nearly four times more breath tests recorded than actually carried out. The report suggests some officers may face disciplinary action, but that the internal inquiry team did not discover any behaviour that would merit criminal investigation.