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Stock market advice for China: when in a hole, stop digging

With ham-fisted interventions, Beijing has turned the stock market into a giant game of guessing how long its props will last. But it is unlikely to change tack

Even by recent Chinese standards, the latest stock market plunge was spectacular. Nearly 1,800 stocks – or more than 60% of shares on the main markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen – fell by the daily limit of 10%, thereby triggering a trading suspension. If such a limit had not been in operation, who knows where prices might have settled. An 8.5% overall fall in the Shanghai Composite might have been 18.5% or 28.5%. Almost any guess is credible.

Related: Beijing’s desperate attempts to control the stock market will end badly

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Construction sector recovery at risk from skills shortage, say building firms

Federation of Master Builders says its poll of small and medium-sized firms reveals struggle to hire bricklayers, carpenters and joiners

A shortage of bricklayers, carpenters and site managers threatens to derail the construction sector’s recovery, an industry group has warned after fresh evidence of recruitment struggles at building companies.

The Federation of Master Builders said its latest poll of small and medium-sized construction firms found employment picked up for the sixth quarter running and the growth was expected to continue over the coming three months, accompanied by rising pay for construction workers. But repeating concerns from other construction sector reports, around half of the 400 or so companies surveyed said they were struggling to recruit bricklayers.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Business live: Yanis Varoufakis defends secret plan B; Chinese stocks tumble – as it happened

Former finance minister hits back over leaked briefing to top financiers about his secret plan for a parallel banking system

7.44pm BST

And finally, here’s Helena Smith’s take on today’s developments:

Greece’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has been thrust back in the spotlight as he vigorously defended plans to launch a parallel payment system in the event of the country being ejected from the euro.

Saying it would have been “remiss” of him not to have a “plan B” if negotiations with the country’s creditors had collapsed, the outspoken politician admitted that a small team under his control had devised a parallel payment system. The secret scheme would have eased the way to the return of the nation’s former currency, the drachma.

Related: Greece crisis: Yanis Varoufakis admits ‘contingency plan’ for euro exit

7.43pm BST

The leader of Syriza’s far-left bloc, Panayotis Lafazanis, has given a defiant speech tonight:

SYRIZA’s Lafazanis speaking at Left Platform event in Athens, in front of banner declaring "’No’ was not defeated. We’re continuing" #Greece

Syriza dissenter Lafazanis: No vote in referendum will not be forgotten #Greece pic.twitter.com/4UIhLCpmel

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Greece crisis: Yanis Varoufakis admits 'contingency plan' for euro exit

Politicians react angrily to ‘dark narrative’ of former finance minister’s plans for parallel currency

Greece’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has been thrust back in the spotlight as he vigorously defended plans to launch a parallel payment system in the event of the country being ejected from the euro.

Saying it would have been “remiss” of him not to have a “plan B” if negotiations with the country’s creditors had collapsed, the outspoken politician admitted that a small team under his control had devised a parallel payment system. The secret scheme would have eased the way to the return of the nation’s former currency, the drachma.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Can Philadelphia barbershops help increase black voter turnout?

One startup hopes to recruit barbers – often local business owners with community ties – to battle misinformation and disillusionment about US elections

Duerward Beale goes to his local barbershop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two or three times a month. For Beale – known as “Woody” to his friends – the barbershop trip is not just a quick in-and-out appointment. Instead, the visit often spans hours, packed with conversation.

Working with local media partners and 50 barbers across Philadelphia, Beale is hoping to use the hours that black men spend in their local barbershops to increase black voter turnout.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

The long journey towards keeping Gu Energy packaging out of landfills

In a perfect world, all packages would be fully recyclable. In reality, it can be harder than expected to turn packaging into something valuable for reuse

We all know the maxim “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, but what happens when an item doesn’t fit into one of these categories? It becomes the “R” people don’t like to talk as much about: rubbish.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Chinese stock markets slide as investors panic (again)

Biggest fall since 2007 shows a lack of confidence in Beijing’s response to ongoing stock market chaos, analysts argue

Turmoil has returned to the Chinese stock market as shares suffered their worst fall in eight years, knocking commodity prices and fuelling jitters among investors in London.

Following three weeks of relative calm, the Shanghai Composite Index plummeted on Monday, ending down 8.5% at 3725.56 – its worst fall since February 2007. Meanwhile the Shenzhen index dropped nearly 7.6% to close at 12493.05 points. Analysts predict more misery ahead for investors in the world’s second largest economy.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Scottish government turning to more private money for public projects

Children’s hospital among affected projects after spending programme part-funded by private sector runs foul of new EU rules on measuring state spending

The Scottish government is turning to increased private-sector funding to pay for a multibillion pound spending programme after a Brussels ruling that has delayed major public projects in Scotland.

Those affected include a bypass around Aberdeen, a children’s hospital in Edinburgh and more than a dozen secondary schools. They are being reorganised to increase private sector control and private funding, in order to prevent a curb on Scottish government borrowing and keep the projects off Holyrood’s balance sheet.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Alton Towers rollercoaster crash prompts Merlin profit warning

Merlin Entertainments, which also runs Thorpe Park, Madame Tussauds and Legoland parks, said it would not meet City expectations for pre-tax profits of £275m this year

The company behind Alton Towers theme park, where 16 people were injured in a roller coaster crash last month, has warned its annual profits are expected to be £26m lower than anticipated because fewer families have been arriving at turnstiles since the start of the peak summer holiday period.

Merlin Entertainments, which also runs Thorpe Park, Madame Tussauds and Legoland parks, said it would not meet City expectations for pre-tax profits of £275m this year, anticipating instead broadly the same outcome as last year, when it made £249m.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS