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Saturday, April 20, 2024


Pub major Stonegate warns of £2bn debt ‘material uncertainty’

The most prominent tavern chain in the United Kingdom has vowed to eliminate its £2.2 billion in debt. Stonegate, which operates the Be At One and Slug & Lettuce chains, warned of "material uncertainty" regarding the obligations in its annual report. The company has until 2025 to refinance its obligations, most of which were incurred in 2020 when it acquired competitor Ei Group.

Santander UK leaves lending standards body

The fifth-largest bank in the United Kingdom is withdrawing from the Lending Standards Board, citing the potential for consumer and staff confusion. Santander UK, the fifth-largest high-street bank in the United Kingdom, is terminating its membership in a prominent lending standards organisation due to the duplication of industry-required regulatory standards.

McDonald’s HQ to take over Israel branches post-boycott

The intervention of the American company follows a period of controversy surrounding its international sales during the conflict. After donating thousands of complimentary meals to Israeli troops, activists have urged consumers to avoid the chain. McDonald's headquarters will assume ownership of its Israeli locations following consumer boycotts in response to the conflict in Gaza, which negatively impacted global sales.

Bankers bowl cricket bosses over with Hundred sell-off pitch

The England and Wales Cricket Board is considering the advice of firms such as Raine and Rothschild regarding its intentions to sell interests in The Hundred's franchises. English cricket executives will advance the sport's ownership structure overhaul by another level next week by announcing plans to sell stakes in The Hundred's eight franchises.

Food prices, empty shelves due to post-Brexit border fees

Trade associations have warned of increased food costs and bare supermarket shelves because new post-Brexit border fees were introduced this month. Beginning on April 30, imports of plant and animal products, including salmon and cheese, that pass through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel and enter the United Kingdom will be subject to a maximum charge of £145.

Drug developer BenevolentAI faces founder-led board mutiny

After witnessing its shares fall by more than 90%, Ken Mulvany, who established BenevolentAI in 2013, desires to return as executive chairman and remove most of the current board. BenevolentAI, a pharmaceutical developer headquartered in the United Kingdom, is grappling with a boardroom revolt spearheaded by its founder after a decline in its shares since its initial public offering approximately two years ago.

China’s Country Garden halts Hong Kong share trading

A crisis-stricken Country Garden, a Chinese real estate developer, has halted trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after postponing the disclosure of its annual financial results. The company announced last week that it required additional time to gather data to restructure its debts. The company defaulted on its foreign obligations the previous year and faced a winding-up petition.

Climate shifts may hike chocolate costs due to cocoa issues

In recent months, intense dusty seasonal breezes from the Sahara have obstructed the sunlight required to develop cocoa bean pods in West Africa. Heavy precipitation from the prior year has also disseminated a decaying disease throughout cacao trees. Undoubtedly, chocolate specialists have observed that eggs cost more this Easter. As a result of the impact that shifting climate patterns have on cocoa supplies in West Africa, the price of chocolate may now rise.

Ramadan 2024: From where do you obtain your dates?

During the Muslim sacred month of Ramadan, as the sun sets, numerous adherents break their fasts with a sweet, dried fruit with an ancient history in the region. To attain a higher state of "taqwa," or awareness of God, able-bodied, devout Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations during daylight hours for the duration of these 29 to 30 days.

Bun and cheese: Jamaica’s hot cross bun counterpart

Restaurants and lunch counters in Jamaican communities worldwide decorate their glass pastry cases annually with buns infused with cinnamon and nutmeg, in anticipation of Easter. Concurrently, Caribbean markets stock their shelves with vibrantly coloured preserved cheese. While the onset of spring may be formally marked by the emergence of milder temperatures and blossoming plants, I consider the season to have truly begun – having been raised in a Caribbean household – when these two elements converge to create bun and cheese.

Farage attacks Travers Smith for debanking report

The law firm that investigated NatWest's closure of Nigel Farage's accounts, according to Farage, is "trying to hide the truth" as his legal team escalates the debunking dispute that began a year ago. As he fired another salvo in his debunking campaign, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage demanded that a major city law firm disclose the information it held about him, accusing it of "trying to hide the truth."

Chinese smartphone powerhouse Xiaomi challenges Tesla

Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, has begun accepting reservations for its first electric vehicle (EV). Lei Jun, chief executive officer of the technology behemoth, announced at the event that the base price of the SU7 would be 215,900 yuan ($29,872; £23,663), while the Max model would cost 299,900 yuan.

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Police threaten arrest of ‘openly Jewish’ man near pro-Palestine march

Last Saturday in London, the leader of the Campaign Against Antisemitism was prevented from crossing a road near a pro-Palestine demonstration. A supporter of antisemitism was threatened with arrest mere yards from a pro-Palestine march, with one Metropolitan Police officer characterising his presence as "antagonising."

G7 nations criticise Chinese funding for Russia’s weapons industry

The "strong concern" expressed by foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations regarding transferring weapon components and materials from Chinese enterprises to Russia in preparation for its military offensive in Ukraine has been documented. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken exhorted his counterparts on Friday at a meeting on the Italian island of Capri to increase pressure on China, which the United States accuses of assisting Russia's war effort by supplying critical components for weaponry.

Israel’s attack on Iran: Crisis demonstrates Iran-Israel miscommunication

The Israeli assault on Iran did not elicit the severe reaction that Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, had anticipated. They have been advocating for Israel to establish a clear boundary in the perilous sequence of occurrences that commenced on April 1 with the assassination of a senior Iranian general in Damascus by Israel. The conflict in Gaza has persisted for over six months after the Hamas assaults on Israel, and it has extended to the vicinity encompassing the Lebanon-Israel border and the Gulf.

Saga boosted by ocean and river cruise demand

New results indicate that Saga's cruise and travel divisions returned to profitability in 2018 due to a significant increase in demand. According to preliminary annual results, the group's ocean cruise division generated an underlying pre-tax profit of £35.5 million in the year ending in January, compared to a loss of £700,000 in the prior year. The organisation stated, "Bookings for ocean cruises continue to be exceptionally robust, and we have already secured a 78% load factor and £3,679 per diem for 2024/25."