Barclays’ tax deals face US scrutiny
Barclays’ controversial tax planning business will come under fresh scrutiny in a US court this week over whether a transaction designed by the bank cost the US government more than $1bn in lost tax receipts. The US Internal Revenue Service claims that complex, cross-border deals Barclays structured for several mid-tier banks in the last decade were an abusive tax shelter that exploited loopholes between US and UK tax laws. The IRS will square off with Bank of New York Mellon in US Tax Court in New York today in the first of several lawsuits over the deals to come to trial.

US probes Cobalt’s links in Angola
Three of the most powerful officials in Angola have held concealed interests in an oil venture with Cobalt International Energy, the Goldman Sachs-backed explorer whose operations in one of the world’s most promising energy frontiers are under investigation by US authorities, the Financial Times has learned. The recently departed head of the national oil company and an influential general confirmed to the FT last week that they and another general have held shares in Nazaki Oil and Gáz, the local partner in a Cobalt-led deepwater venture.


Excuses echo from glass ceiling
More than a hundred of Britain’s leading public companies have no women on their boards, research has revealed. The news that more than 40 per cent of the FTSE 250 have no female boardroom representation was condemned as “shocking” by campaigners.

Questions over Heywood’s death
William Hague was under pressure last night to explain the response of the FCO to the death of a British businessman in China after it emerged that junior minister Jeremy Browne was visiting the country at the time.

The Daily Telegraph

British Peer suspended for offering £10m bounty on Obama and Bush
Controversial British peer Lord Nazir Ahmed has been suspended from the Labour Party amid reports that he offered a £10m bounty for the capture of President Barack Obama and his predecessor President George W Bush.

Royal Mail: We'll beat stamp hoarders
Royal Mail has vowed to maximise profits from the sharp increase in stamp prices coming into force next month by clamping down on hoarders.


Top Euro banker calls for boost to IMF
Top European Central Bank official Jörg Asmussen called on the rest of the world to pledge more money to the International Monetary Fund's anticrisis war chest—a view expected to put Europe at odds with other regions at talks in Washington later this week. Europe “has done its part” to help protect the global economy against financial turbulence, Mr. Asmussen said in an interview, pointing to European leaders’ pledges to boost the euro zone's bailout resources to around $1 trillion and to contribute an extra $200bn to the IMF.