businessSee all
A picture

Cultivated food: from lab grown burgers to medicinal berries

Dogs and cats in the UK are expected to become the first in Europe to be given cultivated meat, a product grown from chicken cells in the laboratory. The pet food promises to alleviate some of the ethical and environmental dilemmas faced by animal lovers. An array of lab-grown dishes, from “cell coffee” to lab-grown oyster meat, could be coming to human plates in the near future.Since the world’s first lab-grown burger, with a price tag of £215,000, was unveiled a decade ago there has been a rush of venture capital investment into cultivated meat startups and McKinsey has predicted a global valuation for the industry of $25bn (£19.3bn) by 2030

July202024
A picture

UK billionaire’s Israeli TV channel accused of axing show for Netanyahu

Len Blavatnik, the second-richest man in Britain, is facing a series of protests in the UK after his Israeli television channel was accused of cancelling programmes to please Benjamin Netanyahu.Aviel Lewis, a London-based Israeli who is part of the anti-Netanyahu WeDemocracy group, said Blavatnik was known in the UK “as a patron of progressive culture and arts” and the British public was not aware that he was also involved in “something that is clearly taking Israeli media years back and corrupting it”.Lewis is part of a group of Israeli citizens opposed to the Netanyahu government who are planning to hold protests on Sunday at the Tate Modern’s Blavatnik wing and the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of government.Other cultural institutions featuring the Blavatnik name could later be targeted, with the protesters arguing that the billionaire’s media company is undermining freedom of the press in Israel.Lewis said the oligarch should realise the potential risk to his reputation in the UK: “We want to make Mr Blavatnik feel uncomfortable

July202024
A picture

Yorkshire Water bosses get hefty bonuses after company failed customers

Two bosses of Yorkshire Water have been handed a combined £616,000 in bonuses for a year in which thousands of its customers “struggled to go about their daily lives” for weeks due to a burst water pipe.The payouts, part of a bonus system that could be banned in future under proposals outlined by the Labour government in this week’s king’s speech, were detailed in the company’s annual report.The awards cover a period that also includes nine months of 2023, a year in which Yorkshire Water was named the second-worst water company in England for sewage spills.The company’s chief executive, Nicola Shaw, was paid salary and benefits worth £657,000 for the year to the end of March 2024, topped up by a £371,000 bonus. Shaw, who was appointed in 2022, forfeited her bonus the previous financial year amid public outrage over sewage spills

July192024
A picture

Harland & Wolff rescue talks intensify as government rules out loan guarantee

The government has confirmed that it will not provide a £200m loan guarantee to Harland & Wolff, the owner of the stricken Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic, sparking intensified rescue talks between the company and its Wall Street lender.The shipbuilder had hoped to secure a guarantee of up to 80% to help it avoid collapsing into administration for the second time in five years.However, it said on Friday that the Department for Business and Trade had confirmed it would not provide an export development guarantee, triggering “expedited” discussions with US-based creditor Riverstone Credit Management.Rothschild & Co has been engaged to explore “strategic options” for the company, which one source said could also involve it being broken up and sold.In the meantime, H&W hopes to secure short-term funding from Riverstone, believed to be worth about £20m, in the next few days

July192024
A picture

‘Ugly’ phone boxes that blight UK streets should be removed, says thinktank

The new Labour government should remove “ugly” modern phone kiosks that are blighting high streets and attracting litter and graffiti, a leading thinktank has said.A report by Create Streets, founded by the government adviser Nicholas Boys Smith, says there is little need for phone boxes any more and that they do not feature much on the streets of Paris or New York.Unlike the classic red phone box, these kiosks are created and sponsored by phone companies and usually made of clear glass.The report outlines battles between local councils and the big communications corporations, which mean it can cost councils tens of thousands of pounds to get even a single phone box removed. The authors say legislative changes could be needed to give local government enhanced powers to ensure kiosk removal is more straightforward and less costly

July192024
A picture

Labour says higher-than-forecast UK borrowing shows economic challenge ahead

Labour has said it has received the worst economic inheritance since the second world war after official figures showed the government borrowed more than expected in June.Underscoring the challenges facing the chancellor, Rachel Reeves, the Office for National Statistics reported that UK borrowing – the difference between public sector spending and income – was £14.5bn last month.Although borrowing in the first three months of 2024-25 was £1.1bn lower than the same period a year earlier, at £49

July192024
trendingSee all
A picture

Rachel Reeves pledges ‘big bang’ for private pension funds

Labour has promised to bring forward wide-ranging reforms of the £2tn private pensions industry in a review that aims “to boost investment, increase pension pots and tackle waste in the pensions system”.A taskforce of industry executives and ministers from the Treasury and department of work and pensions will propose ways to cut costs and improve investment options, allowing retirement scheme managers to boost pension pots by up to £11,000.The taskforce will also consider making it easier for pension funds to broaden their investment strategies to include a larger slice of UK businesses. The move follows the announcement of a pensions bill in the king’s speech this month, which critics said failed to signal an ambitious overhaul of the industry.Rachel Reeves said the review is part of “a big bang of reforms” that includes a £7bn national wealth fund and planning reforms to unlock the UK’s potential growth

July212024
A picture

A question for Labour: do you have any real change? | William Keegan

The election campaign mantra of “change, change, change” reminded me of those people down on their luck who approach you in the street and ask “got any change, guv?”Until this month’s welcome result in the polling booths, the Labour party had certainly been down on its luck. From the moment in 2010 when the new chancellor, George Osborne, capitalised on departing Labour chief secretary Liam Byrne’s joke that “there’s no money left”, Labour was fighting an uphill battle.It was a joke. There was a tradition in the Treasury that such greetings were left for the succeeding government, but that it was “not cricket” for political capital to be made out of them. Not, that is, until the advent of Chancellor Osborne and the coalition chief secretary David Laws, who had found his predecessor’s joke in his in-tray

July212024
A picture

We unleashed Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms on blank accounts. They served up sexism and misogyny

Result of Guardian Australia experiment aligns with research showing social media automatically delivers troubling content to young men, largely without oversightHow do the algorithms of Facebook and Instagram affect what you see in your news feed? To find out, Guardian Australia unleashed them on a completely blank smartphone linked to a new, unused email address.Three months later, without any input, they were riddled with sexist and misogynistic content.The John Doe profiles were set up in April as generic 24-year-old males. Facebook was able to gather some other information, such as the phone’s type and its location in Melbourne, but we opted out of ad tracking so it could not tell what we were doing outside of the app.Facebook had little to rely upon in the absence of any likes, comments or accounts added as friends

July202024
A picture

NHS England warns of disruption next week as global IT outage wreaks havoc

The aftershocks of the Microsoft IT outage continued to ripple across the UK on Saturday as holidaymakers and patients suffered the brunt of the computer systems failure.Customers experienced flight cancellations, faulty train ticket machines and failures in GPs’ prescription and appointment systems after a flawed security update from CrowdStrike, a US cybersecurity firm, crashed 8.5 million devices across the world running the Windows operating system.By Saturday afternoon, travel companies and the NHS offered tentative signs that the problems were being fixed. Louise Haigh, the transport secretary, said that UK airports and train operators “have their IT systems back up and working as normal” and there would be “some delays and a small number of cancelled flights”

July202024
A picture

Shoaib Bashir’s haul justifies England’s faith in young bowlers once again

Shoaib Bashir’s preparation for this match was not exactly ideal. The early summer brought three games for Somerset in the County Championship in which he took a total of four wickets, but with the vastly more experienced Jack Leach at the club he was then left out of the squad and farmed out on loan. He still kept his place in the England side, having made his debut in India over the winter, but in the opening Test of the summer he neither bowled a ball nor scored a run.England were expected to beat West Indies at Trent Bridge, and many will give them little credit for doing so. Though it has thrown up some extraordinary statistics – England had never in their history scored 400 runs in both innings of a Test – it has been in many ways a pretty ordinary game

July212024
A picture

‘I had to choke back the tears’: Justin Rose after missing out on Open glory

Justin Rose admitted he held back tears after Xander Schauffele beat the Englishman to the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon. Schauffele’s Sunday 65 meant he saw off Rose and Billy Horschel by two shots to lift the Claret Jug.A Rose victory would have been the most popular of all. The 2013 US Open champion progressed through final qualifying in Somerset just to make the Troon field. The 43-year-old praised Schauffele for his outstanding display but admitted the extent to which falling short resonated

July212024