<strong>FINANCIAL TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>Ericsson joins fight for Nortel wireless unit</strong><br />Ericsson has joined the battle for control of Nortel Network’s core wireless division in a move that pits it against Nokia Siemens, one of its biggest European rivals, and MatlinPatterson, a US private equity fund. The flurry of interest, ahead of today’s planned auction of the assets, reflects the strong strategic appeal of the Nortel business, which provides equipment for wireless networks across America and develops technology for the next generation of wireless services.<br /><br /><strong>Councils seek to end wages deadlock</strong><br />Councils have made a “final” pay offer of just 1 per cent to 1.6m local government workers in the latest sign of a pay squeeze on public sector staff.<br />The offer comes after months of deadlocked talks between the Unison, Unite and GMB unions and the Local Government Association.<br /><br /><strong>Fortress plans a buying spree</strong><br />Daniel Mudd, appointed this week chief executive of Fortress Investment Group, plans to spearhead an acquisition strategy that could see the hedge fund buy other financial companies including banks, insurers, traditional money management groups and other hedge funds. Mudd, former chief executive of Fannie Mae, joins Fortress as the hedge fund industry looks for signs that outflows, are beginning to slow.<br /><br /><strong>Activist investors eye smaller prey</strong><br />Activist investors may have waged more battles this year than ever before, but the size of the companies they are taking on is vastly smaller, according to new research. So far this year, there has been a 27 per cent increase in proxy battles, according to RiskMetrics.<br /><br /><strong>THE TIMES</strong><br /><br /><strong>Magna plans to sack 20 per cent of Vauxhall workforce</strong><br />The Canadian bidder for Vauxhall is planning to dismiss about a fifth of the carmaker’s workforce if it wins control of the group, leaked documents revealed yesterday. In bid proposal documents shown to the German Government and the head of GM Europe on 17 July, Magna International said that it planned to sack 830 workers at the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, and another 354 at Luton.<br /><br /><strong>Pent-up Chinese put billions into new shares</strong><br />Chinese retail investors have hurled themselves into a 1,800bn yuan (£160bn) stampede for the shares of China State Construction Engineering (CSCE) — the world’s biggest initial public offering since March 2008.<br /><br /><strong>The Daily Telegraph</strong><br /><br /><strong>Hopes for 3,000 Corus jobs fade as consortium walks</strong><br />Hopes of saving 3,000 jobs at Teesside’s last remaining steel plant appeared to be dashed last night after a consortium of four international companies abandoned truce talks with the plant’s owner, Corus, and pressed ahead with plans to ditch an allegedly legally-binding contract.<br /><br /><strong>Rise in unfair dismissal claims during recession</strong><br />The recession has increased tension in the workplace and triggered a sharp rise in unfair dismissal claims Acas said yesterday. The Government’s conciliation agency acknowledged that the severity of the recession and knock-on effects were creating an “unstable employment landscape.” More than 78,000 cases were referred to Acas for conciliation in the year to end March.<br /><br /><strong>WALL STREET JOURNAL</strong><br /><br /><strong>American Express Earnings Skid</strong><br />American Express second-quarter earnings fell 48 per cent amid its preferred-stock repurchase as the credit-card issuer set aside less money for bad accounts amid falling customer balances. Shares fell 4.6 per cent after-hours to $28.05 as revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations. The stock had tripled since hitting its lowest level in more than a decade in March.<br /><br /><strong>Defence Firms Call Business Solid</strong><br />Northrop Grumman and Raytheon said their business was robust despite the Pentagon’s effort to shake up defence spending by cutting back on some high-profile weapons programs. Executives said that though the US Congress is still working through the 2010 Defence Department budget, they have been able to escape largely unscathed and will make up for any hits to their order books.