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Monday News StoriesBack

Nissan UK-built Qashqais accused of emission cheat by South Korea


Nissan has admitted the Qashqai models allegedly fitted with so-called emissions defeat devices were built at its Sunderland plant in the UK. Nissan has been tested by the European Union for emissions standards, but it concluded that Nissan vehicles used no illegal devices. The company said the South Korean authorities’ findings differed from those of the EU.

South Korea’s government said earlier it plans to fine the Japanese company 330 million won (£195,000; $279,920) for manipulating emissions tests. It plans a recall and to sue the head of Nissan’s South Korean operations.

EU Vote: 300 Business Leaders Back Brexit

More than 300 business leaders have called for the UK to vote to leave the EU, saying red tape “stifles” the country’s businesses and Brexit would create more jobs.

Signatories to letter, published in The Daily Telegraph, include Superdrug founder Peter Goldstein, former Sony Europe vice president Steve Dowdle, the former chairman of British American Tobacco Sir Patrick Sheehy and Goldman Sachs managing director David Sismey.


The Financial Times

Norway oil fund to sue VW over losses from emissions scandal

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund is planning to sue Volkswagen in a rare legal action from Norway’s $850bn oil fund that underscores investor anger over the emissions scandal at the German carmaker.

The oil fund, the carmaker’s fourth-largest shareholder, told the Financial Times that it would take legal action against VW in German courts by seeking to join one of the class-action suits being prepared there.

Pothole app links people directly with contractors

A new technology called Changify will allow anyone to take a photo and post a message straight to the private-sector contractor responsible, bypassing the local authority’s complaints service. Created by a start-up called Design4SocialChange, the app is one of a host of new digital services that are beginning to transform the way infrastructure is managed worldwide.

“We are getting people to solve urban challenges by sharing their data to help prioritise what needs to be improved in the city infrastructure in real time,” says Ms Prakash designer of the app.

Cutbacks hit oil groups’ ability to invest

Most of the world’s largest oil companies have cut research spending sharply since 2013 as they strived to save money in the face of the slump in crude prices.

BP made the biggest cuts, reporting a 41 per cent drop in its research and development spending for 2013-15. The other large western oil groups have mostly made cuts of 15-20 per cent, company reports show, with the exceptions of ExxonMobil of the US and Eni of Italy, which have cut by just 3 and 2 per cent respectively.


The Daily Telegraph

Home energy storage is the driving force of the future, claims Tesla trailblazer

The concept behind these batteries in homes – which working together as working are known as a “distributed grid”- is that they will store up cheap electricity generated when demand is lower, then discharge it at peak times when energy from the traditional network supplied mainly by large power stations is expensive.

These batteries also known as “behind the meter” storage, would reduce households’ electricity costs by optimizing the time they receive power, but they could also cut further bills by selling excess power back to the network at times of high-demand.

Living Wage rise hits convenience store owners as footfall declines

The living wage will force a third of Britain’s local shopkeepers to cut jobs or raise prices, a new research claims today. The darker outlook for convenience store is a blow to retailers in general.

The worries come as high streets suffered another slump in activity last month.  Shopper footfall fell by 2.4pc in April, according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard.

Older pensioners suffer in silence as they get poorer

A study by Independent Age, a charity for the elderly, found the average income of over-75s is now £59 a week less than that of young pensioners – a gap £8 larger than 10 years ago. The report says also that an estimated 950,000 (20 per cent) of older pensioners live in property. Pensioners are classed as poor if they have an income of less than £182 a week.


The Times

Growing fears over Brexit hit CBI forecasts

The CBI has cut its growth forecasts as uncertainty grows about the European Union referendum and as Commonwealth countries line up to advise against Brexit.

After the Bank of England’s downgrade last week, the employers’ organisation is predicting GDP growth of 2 per cent in both 2016 and 2017, down from its forecasts of 2.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively, in February. It is gloomier about prospects next year than the Bank, which predicts 2.3 per cent growth.

The number of shoppers fell by 2.4 per cent in April, according to CBNI, which expects also a first quarter-point rise in interest rates, to 0.75 per cent, to come in the second quarter of 2017.


The Guardian

UK’s transport future: drones and a spaceport

The Department for Transport has said such cutting-edge technologies are crucial to the country’s economy and that its proposals will help deliver jobs. Legislation will be introduced to enable driverless cars, already trialled in the UK. The government has said that the spaceport will be constructed by the end of the current parliament.

The self-driving car market is currently growing at 16% a year and could be worth up to £900bn worldwide by 2025, while the port is part of the government’s plan to raise revenues in the space sector from £12bn to £40bn by 2030, which would mean capturing about 10% of the sector worldwide.

Driverless cars, drones and a proposed first commercial spaceport for the UK will feature in the Queen’s speech.

Shell sets up division for investment in renewable power

Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, has established a separate division, New Energies, to invest in renewable and low-carbon power.

The move emerged days after experts at Chatham House warned international oil companies they must transform their business or face a “brutal” end within 10 years.

Shell’s new division brings together its existing hydrogen, biofuels and electrical activities but will also be used as a base for a new drive into wind power, according to an internal announcement to company staff.


The Daily Mirror

Thousands set to strike

Rail staff, postal managers and civil servants are set to strike this week. On Wednesday, the RMT union stages a 24-hour walkout at Southern Rail over conductors and driver-only trains, while on Thursday, civil servants strike over plans to close the Sheffield office of the Business Department and move to London.

Posted by Lois Hardy on 16/05/2016