10 things we learned this week: From Tesco's share price and Facebook's tax bill to cures for Ebola and the EU budget

 
Catherine Neilan
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Tesco: The decline and fall of a retail empire (just one of our top 10 stories from the week).
What a week. From troubles at Tesco (not least its share price) to Facebook's UK tax bill, we've had a busy front on company news.
And when it came to international goings-on, the EU really kept us on our toes, while Ebola continued to dominate the news. Here we digest the top 10 stories over the past seven days...
1. The EU wants more from the UK.
£1.7bn more to be precise. The demand could not come at a worse time for David Cameron, who is already facing a challenge in fending off the Eurosceptics. He called an emergency meeting to voice his objection at the announcement. Then he said we “wouldn't be paying it”. We look forward to hearing what happens if we don't.
2. Listening to James Blunt and Coldplay will make your in-flight meal taste better.
At least that is what British Airways is banking on with its new “Sound Bite” initiative, pairing music with food as part of its ongoing efforts to improve the taste of your dinner at 35,000 feet. Scottish music will enhance your smoked salmon, apparently, while a roast dinner can be set off particularly well with Debussy's Clair de Lune.
3. UK immigration isn't as bad as some people think.
Levels are high, but only slightly above average, and far less than 10 other countries in the EU. Once you take into account net migration, the score is relatively low. Here are five charts that show why the current status quo is good for the economy, and why immigrants really aren't stealing British jobs.
4. Ebola keeps spreading – but so does the race to develop cures.
Three companies – GlaxoSmithKline, NewLink and Johnson & Johnson – are trying to get their vaccine developed as soon as possible and it is thought a serem could be used to treat patients in Liberia within weeks. Hopefully that will reassure people in New York, where a doctor tested positive for the disease.
5. We learned lots of things about Tesco this week.
6. Facebook paid less UK corporate tax than the cost of a London travelcard
The social media giant's tax bill for 2013 came in at £3,169 thanks to the use of the loophole known as the “Double Irish”. As well as the travelcard (zones one-to-nine) that figure was also less than a night in the third-best suite at London's Mandarin Oriental hotel and a return business class flight to New York. Oh, and it's half the average Londoner's income tax bill. Don't believe us? See how the costs compare.
7. Amazon registered its biggest one-day decline in at least a decade.
The etail behemoth had posted disappointing third quarter results and revealed a $170m write-down, primarily as a result of its struggling Fire Phone. Billed as the “iPhone killer”, its customers seem to view it as a particularly ineffective executioner, receiving just a two-star rating on...er... Amazon.com.
8. City workers face “Cinderalla curfews”
9. Pay rises will finally beat inflation next year
10. The UK is probably going to miss its budget deficit target for next year.
The deficit actually rose year-on-year to £7.65bn. The government had pledged to eliminate it completely by 2015. That's not looking likely now...

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