Press Round-Up Short (Premium)
Social media executives will face fines and the threat of criminal prosecution for failing to protect people who use their services under plans to regulate tech giants in Britain for the first time. The government is to publish next month its response to a consultation on policing social media companies such as Facebook and Google after Britain leaves the European Union. - The Times.
The next Labour leader has been urged by defeated and re-elected MPs to ditch Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. Seven former MPs who lost their seats in the party’s worst election result since 1935 said that it needed fundamental change and an unflinching look at the reasons for the defeat. - The Times.
Ryanair is to appeal against a ruling in the Dublin high court over its attempts to delay the defection of its former chief operating officer to Easyjet. Mr Justice Senan Allen ruled that Ryanair’s attempt to enforce a “covenant” to prevent Peter Bellew from joining a rival within a year amounted to restraint of employment. - The Times.
Activist investors are thought to be turning their attention to a potential break-up of Aviva after its chief executive refused to pursue a radical split of the business. Maurice Tulloch, 50, who became head of the FTSE 100 insurer in March, has pushed through a strategy to run its life and general insurance businesses separately, reversing his predecessor’s attempts to integrate the two and cross-sell products. However, the City had been hoping for a more dramatic break-up.
Renewed shutdowns of car plants around the previously expected Brexit date of 31 October contributed to a further decline in UK car manufacturing in November. Output slumped by 16. 5% compared with the same month a year earlier, with 107,753 units produced, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). - Guardian.
Britain’s largest trade union is seeking assurances over about 2,600 manufacturing jobs at Vauxhall after the carmaker’s parent company, PSA, announced a £38bn (€45bn) merger with Fiat Chrysler that will create the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker. Vauxhall’s workforce includes 1,100 staff at its Ellesmere Port plant in Wirral and around 1,500 people making the Vivaro van in Luton. PSA, which also owns Peugeot, and Fiat Chrysler confirmed there would be no plant closures as part of €3.
Persimmon, the housebuilder that paid its chief executive a £75m bonus in 2018, has been accused of shoddily building homes that left its customers exposed to an “intolerable risk” in the event of fire. An independent review of the company published on Tuesday found Persimmon had a “systemic nationwide failure” to install fire-stopping cavity barriers. Persimmon has been at the centre of political and public anger over the poor quality of its homes and the vast bonus paid to its former boss Jeff Fairburn.
Boeing is temporarily halting production of its grounded 737 Max after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said last week it would not approve the plane’s return to service before 2020. The decision came after the US planemaker’s board held a regular two-day meeting in Chicago, which started on Sunday. – Guardian.
The “phase one” US-China trade deal will nearly double US exports to China over the next two years and is “totally done” despite the need for translation and revisions to its text, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday. Lighthizer, speaking to CBS’s Face the Nation, said there would be some routine “scrubs” to the text but “this is totally done, absolutely”. Lighthizer said a date and location for senior US and Chinese officials to formally sign the agreement was still being determined.
The US and China have reportedly reached a limited deal that would pause escalating trade tensions and pave the way towards ending a bruising trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The two sides have reached an agreement “in principle” that would see the US roll back some of the tariffs on $360bn of Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese commitments to buy US agricultural products and other concessions, according to US media reports on Thursday.
US regulators allowed Boeing’s 737 Max to keep flying even after their own analysis found the plane could have averaged one fatal crash about every two or three years without intervention. According to a report dated a month after a Lion Air 737 Max crashed in October 2018, killing 189 people, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concluded the plane could become involved in more fatal crashes without design changes. – Guardian.
The decline of the British pub may be at an end, according to official figures showing that the number of pubs has increased for the first time this decade. The UK ended March 2019 with 39,135 pubs, 320 more than a year earlier, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). It is the first net increase since 2010. The rise marked a dramatic turnaround compared with the previous nine years, during which the UK pub network declined by an average of 732 each year, comparable data showed.
Employers in Britain have “hit the pause button” on job hiring, according to a survey of the labour market that shows demand for new workers has tumbled to a seven-year low. ManpowerGroup said years of strong jobs growth had ended in 2019 as Brexit uncertainty and a slowdown in global trade took their toll on business confidence. – Guardian.
The Eddie Stobart transport business, famed for its red and green lorries, is teetering on the brink of collapse with its future due to be decided at a key shareholder vote in London on Friday. The vote will pit William Stobart, the third son of the company’s founder, against his childhood friend and former brother-in-law, Andrew Tinkler. – Guardian.
Labour’s plan to renationalise large chunks of the economy risks years of disruption that could delay Britain’s transition to a low-carbon economy, a thinktank has said. The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that taking water, energy companies, the Royal Mail and railways under state control would be costly, complex and risky and said Labour might do better to tighten regulation instead. – Guardian.
Bosses at TSB will have their bonuses docked for failing to meet gender balance targets intended to raise the number of women in senior roles by 2020. It is the latest blow for the leadership team at the bank, which is cutting jobs and closing branches as it seeks to drive down costs and move on from its IT meltdown last year. – Guardian.
President Donald Trump and his lawyers will not participate in a congressional impeachment hearing this week, the White House has said, citing a lack of “fundamental fairness”. Trump’s aides responded defiantly on Sunday to the first of two crucial deadlines he faces in Congress this week as Democrats prepare to shift the focus of their impeachment inquiry from fact-finding to the consideration of possible charges of misconduct over his dealings with Ukraine.