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David Cameron showed a ‘significant lack of judgment’ by lobbying, MPs will say 

David Cameron showed a ‘significant lack of judgment’ by lobbying ministers on behalf of Greensill Capital, MPs will say

  • David Cameron showed ‘significant lack of judgment’ in lobbying for Greensill
  • Criticised after messages to ministers and top civil servants on their behalf
  • Comapny wanted access to billions of pounds through Covid support schemes

David Cameron showed a ‘significant lack of judgment’ in his lucrative lobbying work for a controversial finance firm, MPs will say today.

The former prime minister is criticised in a major report after sending dozens of text messages to ministers and top civil servants on behalf of Greensill Capital.

The Treasury committee found he should have ‘taken a more restrained approach’, having made contact 56 times in four months, particularly as ‘signals’ showed the now-collapsed firm was in trouble.

The company, for which the ex-Tory leader was reportedly paid more than £730,000 a year as a senior adviser, wanted access to billions of pounds through Covid support schemes.

David Cameron (pictured) showed a 'significant lack of judgment' in lucrative lobbying work for Greensill Capital, MPs will say today

David Cameron (pictured) showed a ‘significant lack of judgment’ in lucrative lobbying work for Greensill Capital, MPs will say today

But Greensill’s claim that it would support small businesses was ‘more of a sales pitch than reality’, the MPs found.

The Treasury is also criticised for not telling Mr Cameron to use ‘more formal methods of communication’ and for failing to consider whether his contact with the department ‘posed any reputational risks’.

Tory MP Mel Stride, chairman of the committee, said last night: ‘Our report sets out important lessons for the Treasury and our financial system resulting from both Greensill Capital’s collapse and David Cameron’s lobbying. The Treasury should have encouraged David Cameron into more formal lines of communication as soon as it had identified his personal financial incentives.

‘However, the Treasury took the right decision to reject the objectives of his lobbying, and the committee found that Treasury ministers and officials behaved with complete and absolute integrity.’

It is the first parliamentary report into the lobbying scandal, which erupted earlier this year. The MPs note in their report today that the ‘economic benefits from Mr Cameron’s relationship with Greensill were clearly very significant’ and point out his use of the firm’s private jets, including for personal trips.

The former prime minister is criticised in a major report after sending dozens of text messages to ministers and top civil servants on behalf of Greensill Capital

The former prime minister is criticised in a major report after sending dozens of text messages to ministers and top civil servants on behalf of Greensill Capital

His ‘obvious personal links’ with those he was lobbying are clear from his ‘Love Dc’ sign-off when writing to the Treasury’s top civil servant Sir Tom Scholar, and his habit of sending texts and WhatsApp messages to their private mobile phones.

The report concludes: ‘Mr Cameron’s use of less formal means to lobby Government showed a significant lack of judgment, especially given that his ability to use an informal approach was aided by his previous position of prime minister.’

It notes that he ‘did not break the rules governing lobbying by former ministers’ – which apply only in the first two years after leaving office – but adds that this shows ‘there is a strong case for strengthening them’.

Last night, Mr Cameron said: ‘While I am pleased that the report confirms I broke no rules, I very much take on board its wider points. I always acted in good faith, and had no idea until the end of last year that Greensill Capital was in danger of failure. However, I have been clear all along that there are lessons to be learnt.’ 

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This post originally posted here United Kingdom News

Argos receives ‘significant’ PS5 shipment ahead of restock ‘next week’

Argos aren’t the only UK retailer that is expected to be taking orders for the PS5 once again soon.

This week we’ve already seen Amazon UK and John Lewis open orders for the PS5 once again, with Very, Smyths Toys and ASDA also predicted to be taking orders again in the coming days.

While today it has also emerged that GAME are gearing up for its next PS5 restock.

The retailer has today updated its website to add new PS5 pre-order purchase options which have a release date of July 30.

According to @PS5UKStockAlert, GAME could have around 8,000 PS5 consoles up for sale in its next restock.

And the PS5 stock tracker account is predicting orders will open up once again at GAME on Wednesday July 21.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express

‘GB can win a significant number of medals at Tokyo 2020’

Mark England has stopped short of delivering an exact medal target amid a tumultuous build-up to the Tokyo Games where athletes have seen their training and competition schedules affected; the Olympics start on July 23 and run until August 8

Last Updated: 15/07/21 9:18am

Chef de mission Mark England tells Sky Sports News he is confident Team GB will be 'very competitive' in the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics



Sky Sports








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Chef de mission Mark England tells Sky Sports News he is confident Team GB will be ‘very competitive’ in the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics

Chef de mission Mark England tells Sky Sports News he is confident Team GB will be ‘very competitive’ in the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics

Team GB’s Chef de Mission Mark England believes Great Britain can compete for medals in a “significant number” of events at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Since 2004 in Athens when Britain picked up 30 medals and finished 10th in the overall rankings, the total haul has increased vastly every four years, firstly to 51 medals in Beijing in 2008, then to 65 at London 2012, and British athletes made the podium 67 times at Rio 2016.

UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday has set a target of between 45 and 70 medals this summer, a broad range given the lack of available data caused by a lockdown sporting calendar.

Preparations for athletes have been dominated by curtailed training and event schedules because of the pandemic, as well as the fact the Games have been pushed back a year.

Because of these factors, England is reluctant to place an exact figure on the number of medals GB will be aiming to win between July 23 and August 8.

Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England discusses the Covid-19 protocols in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Games this summer

Sky Sports 1:14
Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England discusses the Covid-19 protocols in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Games this summer

Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England discusses the Covid-19 protocols in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Games this summer

He told Sky Sports News: “I think when you look at the programme, there’s over 300 medal events and you go through that in a fair bit of detail.

“You determine how many of those GB is medal competitive in. I wouldn’t necessarily put a number on it, but I think we are medal competitive in a significant number of sports.

“It’s our collective responsibility to make sure we get the infrastructure in place in the country to trigger and turn that medal competitiveness into actual medals.

“Seeing the environment as I have seen it now having been here for just over a week, looking at the support we’ve got from the local community, how we’re operating in terms of our Covid mitigation, our health and safety and all the rest of it, I think this team will be very, very competitive.”

The build-up to this summer's Games has been severely affected by coronavirus

The build-up to this summer’s Games has been severely affected by coronavirus

Britain are bringing a 376-strong squad to Tokyo where strict coronavirus protocols are in place amid the city’s state of emergency which has been imposed ahead of the Games because of a rise in infections. Events in the Japanese capital will also be held behind closed doors.

Team GB’s Chef de Mission says athletes are coping well with the adjustments and extensive rules so far despite what has been a tumultuous build-up to the postponed Olympics.

He added: “It’s been really good. When we arrived we weren’t quite sure how we would be met by the local population, there’s some nervousness from them regarding the Delta variant back in the UK.

“But everyone here has been so fantastic in supporting us.

“Our protocols are strict, when we’re indoors and in close contact it’s 100 per cent wearing a mask and our protocols are very, very tight across the whole team but it’s gone really really well.

“We have over 400 people in the country now, over 150 athletes and that will build and build over the next few days and thanks to the local population we’re in a great position going into the Games.”

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

Bitcoin warning as experts identify ‘significant limitation’ to cryptocurrency rebound

The leading digital coin has endured a rough couple of months since it struck an all-time high in April of more than $ 63,000 (£45,320). Today it is trading at $ 32,575 (£23,560), which is down almost two percent from yesterday. The ongoing Bitcoin downside “correction” is similar to previous price activity, which has led some to tip the coin to soon rebound.

But a leaked report by Wall Street giant JPMorgan has warned that El Salvador’s controversial plan to adopt Bitcoin as legal currency could sidetrack those efforts.

They point to the token’s low trading volume outside of major exchanges and its extreme price volatility as possibly “a significant limitation on its potential as a medium of exchange”.

They added: “Daily payment activity in El Salvador would represent [around] four percent of recent on-chain transaction volume and more than one percent of the total value of tokens which have been transferred between wallets in the past year.

“A significant and rising fraction [of Bitcoin is] held by wallets with light turnover.”

The report pointed to Bitcoin trading volumes that commonly exceed $ 50billion per day but mostly happen on major crypto exchanges.

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele believes the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in September will boost financial inclusion among the country’s unbanked.

But JPMorgan researchers believe Bitcoin’s “high volatility” will be a major challenge alongside the country’s official dollarisation.

An estimated 2.3 million UK adults now hold cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin – despite warnings of the risks involved – according to the City watchdog.

READ MORE: Dogecoin rebound predicted after Musk’s tweet as analyst tips crypto to surge past $ 1

The figure from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) represents a rise of 400,000 since last year and shows an enthusiasm for the assets.

It comes as after the Metropolitan Police seized a record £180million of cryptocurrency in London.

The Met’s economic crime command made the bust after following up intelligence received about the transfer of criminal assets. The investigation is continuing.

The FCA has previously warned investors of the risks that come with investing in cryptocurrency.

They said: “If consumers invest, they should be prepared to lose all their money

“Some investments advertising high returns from crypto assets may not be subject to regulation beyond anti-money laundering.

“Significant price volatility, combined with the difficulties valuing [Bitcoin] reliably, place consumers at a high risk of losses.” 

Express.co.uk does not give financial advice. The journalists who worked on this article do not own Bitcoin.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Postecoglou expects ‘significant change’ at Celtic

Ange Postecoglou has revealed he expects there to be “significant change” to his Celtic squad before the season starts, as he targets players that fit his style of football.

The 55-year-old, who was named as the club’s permanent successor to Neil Lennon last month, was speaking after Celtic’s 3-1 friendly victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Work is ongoing to identify and secure targets, but the former Australia national team coach remained tight-lipped on the the overhaul ahead of him.



Stephen Welsh during a Celtic training session








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Stephen Welsh says the Celtic players have been impressed by Postecoglou’s methods as he introduces a more attacking style of football

“I think there will be significant change, only because there has been a pretty big turnover in players from last year,” Postecoglou told Sky Sports News.

“A lot [of players] have left and we need to bring in some, and whenever that happens I think that is significant change.

“Also we will probably play a little bit differently to what they have played in the past, so whether it is a rebuild or just a shift in direction it will be significant change for sure.

“I’m not talking to anyone, we have got multiple targets and there’s a lot of names being thrown around.

“From my perspective, it’s more about making sure that we do bring in some players who can play the football that I want over the next period and the club are working awfully hard to make that happen.”

SNS - GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 12: kristoffer Ajer makes it 3-0 to Celtic during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St Johnstone at Celtic Park on May 12, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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The future of Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer remains uncertain

Club captain Scott Brown is among those to have left and the future of defender Kristoffer Ajer, who Postecoglou described as a “first-class professional and a fantastic player”, remains unresolved.

The 23-year-old has entered the final year of his contract and has been linked with moves to Norwich and Newcastle, while AC Milan were previously admirers.

“I am not really sure, I am not in control of that,” Postecoglou said.

“All I can do is the ones that are here right now and training with us, I treat them as part of the family, and then if some leave then they do.”

The friendly against Sheffield Wednesday was played behind closed doors at the Hoops’ training camp in Newport, with Postecoglou fielding two teams of mostly youngsters in total over the three periods of 30 minutes.

Former Rangers attacker Josh Windass opened the scoring for The Owls after only three minutes but Albian Ajeti levelled with a drive from 16 yards in the 33rd minute.

Owen Moffat, 19, drove in a second in the 77th minute from the edge of the box and French striker Odsonne Edouard added a third with an angled-drive in the final minute.

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Significant WhatsApp change arrives tomorrow and there are costs for not accepting it

WhatsApp says those who refuse to sign on the dotted line won’t be able to access their chat list. Calls and messages will work for a time but after a few weeks fans won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to the phone. There’s no word on an exact timeline of when the functionality will start to drop but it appears users will have around a month to agree.

When WhatsApp first announced its updated terms towards the end of last year, many loyal users were concerned that it signalled more data-sharing between the chat app and its parent company Facebook.

However, WhatsApp is keen to point out that this is not the case. In the new message, the company says, “We can’t read or listen to your personal conversations, as they are end-to-end encrypted. This will never change.

“We’re making it easier to chat with businesses to ask questions and get quick answers. Chatting with businesses is optional.”

“So if that’s the case what is the big deal about the new terms and conditions? The upcoming changes do not enable Facebook to access any more data from your personal chats.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Liverpool announce significant pre-tax losses as Covid hits Reds finances hard

Author: [email protected] (Darren Wells)
This post originally appeared on Mirror – Football

Liverpool have announced pre-tax losses of £46million for the financial year ending on May 31, 2020.

The Reds also revealed their overall revenue for the period stood at £490m – down £43m on the previous year.

Understandably the club’s matchday revenue took a hit of £13m due to having four home matches take place without the presence of fans, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Media revenue also fell by £59m with a club statement attributing the drop to the Premier League season finishing later than had been expected in July, which fell outside of the financial year.

One positive was a boost in commercial income to the tune of £29m, taking their total amount for that sector to £217m.

Liverpool's owners have announced a pre-tax loss of £46million for the previous financial year
Liverpool’s owners have announced a pre-tax loss of £46million for the previous financial year

Liverpool also retained long-term partnerships with the likes of Nivea and Carlsberg, while forging eight new ones, including with Cadbury and Iugis.

Andy Hughes, LFC’s managing director, told the club’s official website : “This financial reporting period was up to May 2020, so approaching a year ago now. It does, however, begin to demonstrate the initial financial impact of the pandemic and the significant reductions in key revenue streams.

“We were in a solid financial position prior to the pandemic and since this reporting period we have continued to manage our costs effectively and navigate our way through such an unprecedented period.”

Hughes praised the club’s work in helping the local community during the pandemic, as well as recently offering the use of Anfield as a “mass testing centre and now a vaccination hub”.

He added: “We can now look ahead to the conclusion of this season and hopefully a more normal start to next season. It’s no secret that supporters have been greatly missed at Anfield over the past year and we look forward to having them back.”

The announcement comes just a week after Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) confirmed plans to join a breakaway European Super League, before performing a U-turn just 48 hours later following a backlash from fans.

It is reported the move would have pocketed the club a share of £3.5billion split between the 15 founding members of the division.

Despite a difficult season in terms of on-field performance, Liverpool continue to make great strides away from the pitch.

Their social media following has grown by 22m new followers – a gain of 32% – and they have an impressive presence on YouTube.

In addition, the club have expanded the retail arm of the business, adding new stores in parts of Asia, while their Premier League-winning home kit achieved record sales.

Since then they have swapped kit manufacturers New Balance for sportswear giants Nike in a move which the owners feel will prove more lucrative in the long run.

FSG also announced a deal last month with investment firm RedBird Capital who have acquired a 10% stake in their business in exchange for $ 735m – a development which sees NBA basketball star Lebron James increase his own share in the company and become part of the ownership group.

It is hoped the deal will help ease the financial pressures resulting from the coronavirus and also provide funds for the club to press forward with their proposed upgrade of the Anfield Road stand, as well as to invest in transfers this summer.

Liverpool kept their spending to a minimum in the last transfer window despite recruiting three new players; structuring deals for Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara so there was a minimal initial outlay, while offsetting the cost of signing Kostas Tsimikas with the sale of Dejan Lovren.

In-Depth: 2021 already a significant year for hail damage

Author Wes Wilson
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

2021 already a significant year for hail damage

AUSTIN (KXAN) — March and April have already yielded significant hail storms this year, which insurance companies have called “catastrophic.” Insurance companies say they consider a hailstorm catastrophic if they get more than 500 claims.

By that definition, at least two hailstorms in Central Texas this year have already been catastrophic, and more hail is expected Friday afternoon. A third hailstorm also took place in Llano with very large hail stones.

March 25 brings golf ball-sized hail on terrible day for hail historically

Back in March, the Austin area was hit with a hail storm that resulted in damage to thousands of cars with tens of millions of dollars worth of damage.

A fast-moving storm brought plenty of quarter-, nickel-, and dime-sized hail, and there were reports of golf ball-sized hail, as well.

A 65 mph updraft wind speed is needed to form golf ball-sized hail.

March 25 is a significant day historically for hail storms. Even before this year’s storm, three of the costliest, most damaging hail storms in the city’s history took place on March 25 — in 1993, 2005 and 2009. Adding in 2021, and that’s four of the city’s worst storms all on the same day.

April 12 hailstorm pounds Llano

Two-inch hail stones fell in Llano County on April 12. Some of the hail was as big as pool balls at two inches in diameter.

People reported damage to their homes and cars with broken windows. A look at the hail stones hitting the swimming pool below give a good look at just how hard the hail stones were falling.

Mason Lambert sent us a photo later of his hail-damaged truck with huge dents on the hood and roof plus a shattered windshield.

April 15 hailstorm punches holes in cars across Travis, Williamson counties

Arguably the worst hailstorm so far of 2021 occurred a few days after Llano got hit. On April 15, Leander, north Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, and Georgetown all saw significant damage.

Tim McCoy sent us video of giant hailstones pounding his Leander swimming pool.

Many other viewers also sent us photo of the size of the hail and a look at their damaged cars. Karen Robinson sent us a picture of her car which had at least 14 holes in the back windshield where hail punched through the glass.

  • Karen Robinson, Hesters Crossing
  • Car damage hail, April 15, 2021
  • Hail covering a deck in Elgin, Texas on April 15, 2021 (Courtesy: Tomea Walker)
  • Golf ball-sized hail in Leander April 15, 2021 (Courtesy Mrandon Morey)
  • Hail in Leander April 15, 2021 - Mike Dickey
  • Hail in Round Rock April 15, 2021 - Williams Perez
  • Hail in Round Rock April 15, 2021 - Melissa Adcock
  • Hail in Round Rock April 15, 2021 - Susan Mayes
  • Hail in Round Rock - Joanne Douglas
  • Hail between Bertram and Liberty Hill April 15, 2021 (Courtesy Paul Hickman)
  • Nearly tennis ball-sized hail in Round Rock (Courtesy Greg Gotham)
  • Hail between Holda and Doss in southern Mason County on April 15, 2021 (Courtesy: John Spencer)

Insurance claims mounting from storms with more hail expected

Auto body shops remain busy following all these hailstorms, and it remains difficult and expensive to find a rental car in the Austin area.

“It’s just been one phone call after the next,” Stephen Brast, owner of Stephen’s Paintless Dent Repair in Georgetown, told KXAN on April 16.

“A week to get it through the insurance company and then another week to fix it, typically,” Brast said. “The wait time is always going to get longer.”

At the time, State Farm spokesperson Chris Pilcic said it was a little too early to know the full impact of the hailstorms, but last year, the average homeowner hail claim in Texas was $ 11,700, and the average car hail claim was more than $ 4,400.