UK backs global accounting rules, wants ‘prudence’ back
“We take our responsibilities very seriously which is why we will make a sizable donation to Mind.” Tesco also issued an apology, saying in a statement: “We’re really sorry for any offense this has caused and we are removing this product from sale.” Mental health charity Mind welcomed the withdrawal of the costumes, saying the retailers had shown themselves to be “extremely misguided” by offering them for sale. Slept in. Have @asda withdrawn their ‘mental patient fancy dress’ costume or are we going to organise a protest at HQ? #timetochange Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) September 26, 2013 Alastair Campbell “It is staggeringly offensive to the one in four of us affected by mental health problems and our families and friends, and troubling that some businesses are still so out of touch with the public mood,” spokeswoman Sue Baker said in a statement . However, Baker said the outcry the costumes provoked on the social media site Twitter was encouraging. “We hope this will urge Asda, Tesco and other retailers and manufacturers to review their processes and consider taste and decency on mental health grounds, to avoid fueling stigma and discrimination that are so damaging for large numbers of the population,” she said. Mind and the group Rethink Mental Illness run the Time to Change campaign to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. One of the campaign’s supporters is Alastair Campbell, who was former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s media chief and who has publicly spoken of his battle with depression . Campbell was among those who tweeted his displeasure at the “brutally stigmatizing outfits.” “@asda and @tesco should sign up for one of the @mindcharity @Rethink_ @TimetoChange mental health training courses,” he tweeted . Campbell alleged that Amazon still carried mental health patient costumes and called for people to tweet the company, asking it to withdraw them. But in response to an inquiry from CNN, an Amazon spokesperson said: “The item you refer to is not available on Amazon.co.uk.” Soccer player and broadcaster Stan Collymore who has also spoken out on depression, also took to Twitter to criticize the stereotype he said Asda and Tesco’s costumes had promoted.
UK tabloid suspends staff in row with Miliband
Combined with surveys of British manufacturing and construction earlier this week, the data imply the economy grew 1.2 percent in the July-September period, Markit said – a rate of expansion not seen since late 2007. Employment, which is watched closely by the Bank of England as the key indicator in its new policy of guidance on interest rates, grew in all three sectors. The pound rose to near a nine-month high against the dollar, and prices of low-risk British government bonds fell further after the release. “There is no mistake the economy is growing jolly fast,” said David Tinsley, an economist at BNP Paribas. A recovery in the housing market was one of the main drivers of growth in the service sector while consumer services continued to struggle, Markit noted. Data from mortgage lender Halifax showed earlier on Thursday that British house prices are rising at the fastest annual rate in more than three years, helped by a healing economy and government lending schemes. Halifax noted signs that housing supply was beginning to pick up as well, with more homeowners putting their properties up for sale and house building on the rise. ROSY OUTLOOK The outlook for the service sector is also bright. Around half of firms polled last month expected even brisker trade in a year’s time, with the confidence index rising to 71.8. Over the third quarter as a whole, the headline services index – measuring the change in activity, including income and chargeable hours worked, from the previous month – averaged its highest level since the second quarter of 1997. Service providers reported that a jump in new business in September placed strain on resources, with backlogs of work rising at the fastest pace in more than 13 years. Markit’s composite index, which brings together surveys of services, manufacturing and construction, averaged 60.2 over the third quarter – the best reading since records began in 1998. Economists are now pencilling in a rise of around 1 percent in Britain’s gross domestic product in the quarter, although some caution that growth may subside next year.
The teenager, who could not be named for legal reasons, is charged with planning terror attacks on the school and other local targets in Leicestershire in central England. Craig Whitlock and Anne Gearan The primary mission for the long-range Global Hawks will be to keep watch on North Korea. Afghanistan says security pact with U.S. is still on hold Kevin Sieff Both sides remain at an impasse over key issues that would allow U.S. troops to stay beyond 2014. Speaking at the boys trial, prosecutor Max Hill said the teenager kept a book called Spree Killers and had noted down the number of people killed at Columbine and by Anders Behring Brevik in Norway in 2011. Hill added that Facebook chat records showed the boy claimed he wanted to take some Muslims down and named a local mosque, a cinema, and government offices in the town of Loughborough as potential targets. The defendant, who has Aspergers Syndrome, was arrested in February after being found with a machete. Police searching his home later found weapons, including ammunition, partially-assembled gasoline bombs and other explosives. He denies terrorism offenses but has admitted possessing bomb parts. He denied he had anything other than a genuine interest in the Columbine massacre, Hill said. Testifying at a London court, a science teacher at the boys school said the defendant looked at guns online while he was at school and asked for advice about firearms and making explosives. He was encouraging me to look at the guns and make some sort of judgment about whether it was a good gun, said the teacher, who also could not be named to protect the identity of the teenager.
UK service sector Q3 growth strongest in 16 years
Two journalists have been suspended and a full investigation is now being carried out,” the Mail on Sunday’s editor Geordie Greig said. “I would further like to apologise to members of the family and friends attending the service for this deplorable intrusion. I have already spoken personally to Ed Miliband and expressed my regret that such a terrible lapse of judgment should have taken place.” The proprietor of the two right-leaning tabloids, Lord Jonathan Harmsworth, was personally writing to Miliband, added Greig, a former editor of the high-society magazine Tatler. The apology came just hours after Miliband had made a formal complaint to Harmsworth. “Sending a reporter to my late uncle’s memorial crosses a line of common decency,” Miliband wrote. “I believe it a symptom of the culture and practices of both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.” He said his family were “understandably appalled and shocked” and called for an internal investigation. Miliband’s mention of “culture and practices” harks back to the terms of a major inquiry into the British press launched in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid in 2011. He said he was not going to bother complaining to Britain’s “widely discredited” Press Complaints Commission (PCC), which is set to be replaced by a new regulatory body in the wake of the scandal. But the creation of the new watchdog has been delayed by a disagreement between the British press and lawmakers over the extent of state involvement. The head of the PCC, David Hunt, said it would “continue to follow this matter closely” and would “of course, take forward a complaint from the Miliband family, should we receive one”. Miliband has already complained to the Daily Mail over its article on Saturday about his father, which came after the Labour leader unveiled an increasingly left-leaning stance at his party conference last month. Critics of the newspaper pointed out that Ralph Miliband, who died in 1994, served in the British navy during World War II after fleeing Belgium as a Jewish refugee in 1940.
Prudence requires accountants to err on the side of caution when treating something not covered by a specific IASB rule and the investors said its omission from the foundation for the IASB’s rules, known as the conceptual framework, was inconsistent with some EU and British laws. They argued it could help banks mask any problems they were suffering, a particular concern given banks were given a clean bill of health just before taxpayers had to rescue them in the 2008 financial crisis. One of the critics, Tim Bush of shareholder pressure group Pirc, challenged the IASB rules in a 24-page letter in 2010 in his role as member of a UK Accounting Standards Board committee. Britain’s government is “entirely satisfied that the concerns expressed are misconceived”, consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson said in a statement on Thursday. Melanie McLaren, a director at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which regulates accounting in Britain, said the government statement, backed by a legal opinion for the FRC, ended the uncertainty over accounting practices. “We felt we needed to listen to the investors and give the matter due consideration. Having done that we needed to make sure we were quite firm to close that uncertainty down as we approach the financial year-end,” McLaren told Reuters. Bush said the debate over IASB rules could continue. He told Reuters it was difficult to see how the matter is conclusively settled if there is a situation where the latest legal opinion seemed to be disagreeing with an earlier opinion and also with other judges and a Law Lord. The IASB is reviewing its conceptual framework and the UK government and FRC maintain a reference to prudence should be reinserted. “It’s not as if there is no concept of exercising caution in the conceptual framework, but we feel it has been de-emphasised,” McLaren said. IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst has so far resisted such calls, saying prudence was there “in spirit”. A 2011 report from Britain’s upper legislative chamber, the House of Lords, said the IASB rules led to a “culture of box-ticking and ‘neutrality’ at the expense of prudence”, especially for auditing banks. “The government should reassert the vital role of prudence in audit in the UK, whatever the accounting standard,” it said.
Lorillard Acquires UK E-cigarette Brand
encouraged cigarette maker Lorillard, Inc. ( LO ) to expand its presence globally in the electronic cigarette industry. Lorillard signed an agreement on Oct 1 to acquire all the assets and operations of SKYCIG, a leading premium brand of electronic cigarettes in the UK. Per the deal, Lorillard will pay approximately 30 million pounds in cash at the time of completion of the deal. In addition, the deal includes a clause to pay an additional 30 million pounds in 2016 on the achievement of certain financial milestones. Post-acquisition, SKYCIG will become a separate operating subsidiary of Lorillard and the company will retain its current management team and business locations in the UK. Lorillard captured a leading position in the electronic cigarette industry in the U.S. after it acquired e-cigarette brand blu e-Cigs in Apr 2012. The SKYCIG acquisition will further boost Lorillards sales as the e-cigarette segment is evolving rapidly. It will also provide this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company an opportunity to expand in the wide UK electronic cigarette market. On the other hand, SKYCIG is expected to gain from Lorillard’s marketing, regulatory, research and development expertise, which will help the brand to further strengthen its foothold in the UK e-cigarette market. We note that smokers are shifting their preference to electronic cigarettes due to rising health concerns. Though sales of electronic cigarettes are on the rise, the maker of Newport and Maverick brands has been witnessing a decline in traditional cigarette volumes since the past many quarters. Cigarette volumes have been impacted by a slowdown in the tobacco industry, increasing health consciousness among consumers and significantly higher prices of cigarettes.