POLICE TARGET “HACKTIVISTS”
An online “hacktivist” group that brought down the websites of perceived opponents of WikiLeaks has itself become the target of an international police crackdown. The London Metropolitan Police arrested five men in connection with a recent spate of attacks by Anonymous, behind last month’s revenge assault on the websites of a number of organisations that had severed links with WikiLeaks.
CATERPILLAR FORECASTS RECORD PROFITS
Caterpillar, the world’s largest earthmoving equipment maker by revenues, expects to make record profits this year as rising commodity prices fuel a surge in demand for mining equipment in emerging markets and the construction industry in developed economies replaces ageing equipment.
GOOGLE ABANDONS PROPERTY SEARCH
Google has abandoned its brief foray into property searches, marking a victory for specialist portals such as Realtor.com in the US and the UK’s Rightmove. In 2009, the world’s largest search engine by user numbers added a feature to its Maps service that allowed users in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Japan, to find property for sale or rent.
PRADA SET FOR HONG KONG IPO
Prada, the Italian fashion group, is set to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange as early as May as it seeks to tap voracious Asian demand for luxury goods. The decision by the group, which is majority owned by designer Miuccia Prada, her family and her chief executive husband Patrizio Bertelli, is a first for the European luxury goods and fashion industry. It underlines Hong Kong’s rising status as a destination for international listings.
COUNCILS LEFT IN THE DARK OVER BIG SOCIETY’S GRAND VISION
Many political commentators were surprised by the vigour with which ministers continued their Big Society narrative after the election — wrongly treating it as a leitmotif that would dissipate as the realities of running complex public services took over. But the Localism Bill and the health and education reforms have put some policy flesh on the bones of the vision for devolved responsibility and the Big Society.
REAL PEOPLE MUST MAKE BIG DECISIONS
This week’s report from the Centre for Social Justice brings to the fore a worry that has long been on the minds of those working in and with the public sector: are cuts being made following thorough research or are they, as the report suggests, based on hunches?
The Daily Telegraph
JOHNSON URGES TAX CUT
Mayor of London Boris Johnson urges the Chancellor to state “a clear direction of travel” that will include how taxes will be reduced over the course of this parliament. Mr Johnson admits that he is shocked by the high levels of income tax that workers currently have to pay and says that he never thought he would see the day when other large European countries had lower personal tax rates than Britain.
TESCO COULD MOVE INTO INDIA
India is poised to lift foreign direct investment (FDI) restrictions for foreign supermarket giants such as Tesco and Walmart, its corporate affairs minister has indicated. Jyotiraditya Scindia said he was concerned about a 35per cent decline in foreign direct investment in 2010 and that he believed lifting restrictions could reverse the fall.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
FINLAND REJECTS UPPING STABILITY FUND
Finland won't accept any increase in the overall size of the European Financial Stabilization Facility, Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi said Thursday. Kiviniemi said: “I’m not ready to open a discussion on eurobonds or increasing the size of the EFSF.” The “eurobonds” rejected by the prime minister refer to bonds that would be issued jointly by the members of the euro zone, an idea that has been rejected by the European Central Bank as well as the Eurozone’s richer countries.
CITIGROUP SEEKS BUYER FOR EMI
Citigroup, which is expected to seize control of EMI Group from financier Guy Hands in coming months, has already made contact with parties that could quickly snap up the historic music company — and Hands himself is even among them.