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Cigarette research backs benefits of plain packaging ahead of MPs’ vote – Removing branding from cigarette packets will succeed in deterring smokers, according to research published in a scientific journal that contradicts claims by the tobacco industry that the policy is effective. The report comes as MPs prepare for a vote in March on switching to plain packaging in England, which could make the country only the second in the world after Australia to introduce the measure.
Rolls-Royce pledges to co-operate with Brazil in Petrobras bribe probe – Rolls-Royce has said it will co-operate with Brazilian authorities if they press ahead with an investigation into allegations that it paid bribes to win a contract from Petrobras, the state-owned oil company at the heart of a spiralling corruption scandal. Yesterday, the British engineering company said it had not yet been contacted by Brazilian investigators but added: “We will take all necessary action to ensure compliance, including co-operating with authorities in any country.”
Manufacturers warned over security – A UK government adviser has warned that car manufacturers are paying insufficient attention to keeping vehicle technology secure after it emerged that BMW took five months to fix a basic software glitch affecting millions of Mini and Rolls-Royce models. The German ADAC motoring association told BMW in July last year that it had discovered a flaw in the Bavarian carmaker’s ConnectedDrive software, which allows the car to wirelessly transmit and receive data and also enables an app that can unlock the car using the driver’s smartphone.
Sony uses sensory perception for bigger role in cars – A niche product that most consumers will never notice has helped propel Sony’s share price to a near five-year high image sensors. The group has long ceded its leadership in portable music players and television to Apple and Samsung, but image sensors – the eyes of a smartphone camera – are one of the areas where Sony remains the leader.
Kuwait expects oil price rise as global surpluses dwindle – One of Saudi Arabia’s closest allies is forecasting that the rally in oil prices will continue this year as the global glut starts to ease. The prediction from Kuwait’s oil minister helped to push Brent crude prices up by more than $1 a barrel to $62.57, a high for the year.
Miliband places apprenticeships at centre of business policy – Ed Miliband pledged yesterday that Labour would create an extra 80,000 high quality apprenticeships a year in England as he spelled out the party’s bu9siness policy. Labour proposed an apprenticeship guarantee under which every school leaver who got the grades would be able to begin a high-quality apprenticeship. The offer is part of a wider productivity plan, which would also require large firms hiring skilled workers from outside the EU to create 1000,000 apprenticeships over the next parliament, a move that would inevitably increase the cost of employing foreign workers.
Sturgeon urges tax cuts to aid North Sea oil – Calls for urgent tax changes that could spark a resurgence in the North Sea oil industry can no longer be ignored, Scotland’s first minister has said. Nicola Sturgeon said it was clear that an urgent fiscal stimulus was needed to increase exploration work. There have already been hints that measure to help the North Sea could be included in George Osborne’s budge next month. But politicians at Holyrood are continuing to press the case for action to help an industry that is crucial to the Scottish economy.
Lego powers ahead of car maker Ferrari as top brand – Lego has overtaken Ferrari to become the world’s most powerful brand but Apple retained its title as the most valuable marque, according to a sty. The Danish toy company topped Brand-Finance’s strength list, which measures a brand’s ability to affect performance by looking at marketing investment and the good will the brand has bullet up with customers and staff.