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Eni discovers largest known gas field in Mediterranean

Italian energy group says Zohr field off Egyptian coast could hold as much as 30tn cubic feet of gas and that more may be found in future drilling

The Italian energy group Eni has discovered the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast and predicted that the find could help meet Egypt’s gas needs for decades.

Eni said in a statement that the Zohr field, which covers an area of about 60 square miles (100sq km), could hold as much as 30tn cubic feet of gas.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Mark Carney's blue-sky take on interest rates misses clouds on the horizon

The Bank of England governor believes the UK economy is well insulated from global shocks, but his forecasts could easily go awry

Forget the financial turmoil in China and around the world. When it comes to the UK, Mark Carney would have us believe he remains in charge.

The Bank of England governor gave a robust defence on Saturday of his position as the UK’s most influential policymaker. That means base interest rates are still going up, perhaps in February or thereabouts, and will be on course to touch 2% by 2018.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Four Seasons Health Care reviews finances amid debt fears

UK’s largest care home operator to consider all options as ‘national living wage’ is said to add to financial pressures

Fours Seasons Health Care, Britain’s biggest care home operator, has launched a financial review after second-quarter losses surged to £26m, raising fresh fears over the indebted group’s viability.

Owned by Terra Firma, the buyout firm controlled by Guernsey-based financier Guy Hands, Four Seasons is paying more than £50m a year in interest on debts of £500m. But its earnings before interest, tax and other charges were just £51.5m in the last 12 months, according to the latest accounts.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Thousands of North Sea oil jobs at risk as platform builder fails to win contract

Tyneside-based OGN fails to make shortlist for work on Chevron’s Captain field as work dries up due to low oil prices

Thousands of jobs are at risk after one of Britain’s leading offshore oil platform builders failed to make the shortlist for one of the last major contracts up for grabs in the North Sea.

The decision by the US oil group Chevron to exclude the Tyneside-based OGN from its list of prequalifying contractors has rekindled a simmering row between the government and Labour MPs representing the north-east.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Small business districts are thriving in New York City

Product saturation tends to drive prices down, so why are small retail districts still going strong all over the city?

“This is the center of the community,” says Sudesh Tarbinder amid the vibrant saris and tunics imported from India and Pakistan. She opened Nandini Fashion in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her husband Kumar less than two months ago. Located a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, the surrounding shops sell similar imported pieces, as well as hijabs, scarves and a dizzying array of wedding ensembles encrusted with intricate beadwork.

The density of stores in the area draws shoppers from New York City’s five boroughs and suburbs – even tourists. “And the competition is good,” Tarbinder adds. Her husband seems less enthusiastic. “There’s competition,” he says, barely taking his eyes off the iPad playing a classic Bollywood movie as he eats lunch. “But you have to do it.”

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Inquiry launched into abuse of tipping

Business secretary says it is ‘just not right’ that some restaurants are withholding service charges from staff

The business secretary, Sajid Javid, has launched an investigation into the abuse of tipping after it emerged that some of the UK’s best-known restaurant chains were withholding service charges from their staff.

A string of reports over the past month have accused restaurants including Pizza Express, Ask Italian and Cafe Rouge of keeping all or part of the service charges added to bills instead of passing them on to waiters.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Rattled investors brace for big week as Federal Reserve considers rate increase

After last week’s ‘Black Monday’ amid concerns over China, Wall Street is preparing for the release of economic reports that could drive the Fed’s plans

After a tumultuous week on the world’s stock markets, investors will be focused on Wall Street Monday ahead of another set of economic reports likely to steer the Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

Related: Fed vice-chairman hints at interest rate increase in speech on inflation

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

The innovators: a new U-bend to prevent the buildup of fatbergs in sewers

James Seers’s reworking of the plumbing under domestic sinks separates out solid waste and oil and has the potential to save water companies millions

It was two years ago when the residents of a block of flats in Kingston upon Thames complained of difficulty in flushing their toilets that the alarm was first raised. The problem turned out to be a 15-tonne mass of congealed grease and oil – a fatberg – that had blocked 95% of a 2.4-metre diameter brick pipe in the main sewer, threatening to turn the London borough into a cesspit.

As engineers cleared the blockage over the coming weeks, with ensuing road closures and leaking stench, James Seers found inspiration in an unlikely place. Constantly told by his father to avoid pouring fat down the sink, the student designer resolved to find a solution to prevent the buildup of fatbergs, which cost water companies about £15m a year to clear.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Central banks can’t save the markets from a crash. They shouldn’t even try

Alarming data from China was met with a soothing hint about monetary policy. But treasuries cannot keep pumping cheap credit into a series of asset bubbles

Like children clinging to their parents, stock market traders turned to their central banks last week as they sought protection from the frightening economic figures coming out of China. Surely, they asked, the central banks would ward off the approaching bogeymen, as they had so many times since the 2008 crash.

The US Federal Reserve came up with the goods. William Dudley, president of the bank’s New York branch, hinted that the interest rate rise many had expected next month was likely to be delayed.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Pirc’s Stagecoach campaign departs early

The transport operator has announced a 99.4% vote in favour of a pay award that the advisory group opposed. Never mind: there’ll be another one along shortly

Stagecoach, the bus and train operator, has responded in unusually frank terms to a call for shareholders to oppose its remuneration report at this week’s annual general meeting.

Pirc, the shareholder advisory group, advised its clients to vote against the report on Friday, arguing that the £1.5m pay for Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach’s chief executive, is excessive and out of line with financial performance.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS