<strong>FINANCIAL TIMES<br /><br />UK ATTORNEY GENERAL VOWS FRAUD CRACKDOWN</strong><br />Britain aims to become the most hostile country in the world to fraudsters, the government&rsquo;s top law officer has pledged, in an eye-catching riposte to growing criticism about the lack of big financial crime cases being mounted. Baroness Scotland, attorney-general, said domestic investigation agencies would soon be giving their assertive US counterparts a &ldquo;real run for their money&rdquo;. <br /><br /><strong>TWO-YEAR WAIT TO MOVE MOBILE NUMBERS</strong><br />Consumers will have to wait at least two years before they can move their mobile phone numbers between service providers almost instantaneously.<br />Ofcom yesterday sought to revive its stalled efforts to cut the length of time it takes for mobile users to transfer their phone numbers.<br /><br /><strong>METRO WARNS OF FURTHER RETAIL WOE</strong><br />Metro, the German retailer, yesterday dashed hopes for a rebound in Europe&rsquo;s largest economy when it posted a second-quarter profit drop and said an upswing in consumer spending remained out of sight. Eckhard Cordes, Metro&rsquo;s chief executive, said he expected retail sales to fall further in the second half.<br /><br /><strong>CLOROX GETS SALES BOOST FROM FLU OUTBREAK</strong><br />Clorox, maker of bleach and other cleaning products, yesterday joined a select group of US companies that have seen sales lifted by the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.<br /><br />Larry Peiros, chief operating officer, said sales volumes of bleach cleaners had risen by 10-15 per cent during the fourth quarter against a year ago due to swine flu fears, with strong growth in Latin America. The company saw a 3 per cent decline in sales volumes in North America against last year.<br /><br /><strong>THE TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>SCHUBERT AND NASSER IN RUNNING FOR BHP BILLITON</strong><br />BHP Billiton, the world&rsquo;s largest mining company, is hoping to achieve a dignified transition of power in the boardroom having narrowed its shortlist for a new chairman to just two. After the messy appointments of chairmen at BHP&rsquo;s closest rivals, Rio Tinto and Anglo American, investors are hoping for a calmer succession when Don Argus steps down from the board next year.<br /><br /><strong>PWC AIMS TO TREBLE ITS FEES FROM CONSULTING</strong><br />PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the UK&rsquo;s largest professional services firm, plans to treble its fees from management consulting to more than &pound;1.3bn within the next four years and hire 2,000 staff, including more than 100 partners. PwC is counting on aggressive growth.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph</strong><br /><br /><strong>ANDREW HALL SEEKING 'QUIET DIVORCE' FROM CITIGROUP</strong><br />Andrew Hall, the Wall Street oil trader allegedly owed a $100m (&pound;59m) bonus by Citigroup, has held talks to separate the trading business he leads from the troubled banking conglomerate. Mr Hall, who was born in the UK but is a naturalised American citizen, is reported to be pushing for a &ldquo;quiet divorce&rdquo; between Citigroup and its commodities trading business Phibro. <br /><br /><strong>'COMBAT BAN' FOR AFGHANISTAN HELICOPTERS</strong><br />Helicopters earmarked by the Ministry of Defence to help British troops in Afghanistan will not be able to fly on combat operations because they are not armour-plated. A failure to equip the six Merlin helicopters with proper protection will endanger the lives of passengers and crew.<br /><br /><strong>WALL STREET JOURNAL</strong><br /><br /><strong>PAYPAL USERS HIT BY GLOBAL SERVICE OUTAGE</strong><br />EBay&rsquo;s PayPal unit experienced a world-wide system outage yesterday, leaving millions of customers of the online payments service temporarily unable to complete transactions.<br /><br />The outage began around 1:30 p.m. EDT, and affected all PayPal customers for about an hour, said spokesman Anuj Nayar. By about 6:30 p.m. EDT, service had been restored to all customers, the company said.<br /><br /><strong>CHESAPEAKE REPORTS A PROFIT</strong><br />Chesapeake Energy swung to a second-quarter profit as hedging played in the company&rsquo;s favor. The natural-gas producer reported a profit of $243m (&pound;168m), or 39 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.59bn, or $3.16 a share, a year earlier. The latest results included a $597m hedging gain.