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Why we should take Corbynomics seriously

A state-led investment programme offers a way to steer British economy away from private speculative activity to long-term sustainable growth investment

Fiscal austerity has become such a staple of conventional wisdom in the UK that anyone in public life who challenges it is written off as a dangerous leftist. Jeremy Corbyn, the current favourite to become the next leader of Britain’s Labour party, is the latest victim of this chorus of disparagement. Some of his positions are untenable, but his remarks on economic policy are not foolish and they deserve proper scrutiny.

Corbyn has proposed two alternatives to the UK’s current policy of austerity: a national investment bank, to be capitalised by cancelling private-sector tax relief and subsidies; and what he calls “people’s quantitative easing” – in a nutshell, an infrastructure programme that the government finances by borrowing money from the Bank of England.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

China has almost wiped out urban poverty. Now it must tackle inequality

Despite China’s world-beating success at eradicating poverty, economic disparity persists. How will the government ensure no one is left behind?

Whether it’s the currency devaluation or the stock market rout, the economic news coming out of China seems unremittingly negative – and that’s not to mention the horrific explosions in Tianjin.

But here’s some good news. Yet-to-be-released data shows that China has all but eradicated urban poverty. For a country with huge numbers of poor people streaming into its cities, many of whom living initially in conditions of abject misery, this is an extraordinary success. It has been achieved, in large part, because of a government subsidy paid to urban dwellers to bring incomes up to a minimum level of 4,476 yuan ($700 or £446).

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

What will it take for brands to deliver on the promise of greener chemicals?

That momentum behind green chemistry in the 1990s has never waned, but it’s never exactly exploded either. Is that about to change?

When Paul Anastas coined the term “green chemistry” back in 1991, he was a 28-year-old staff scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he was thought of as a little eccentric. By 1995, he had convinced then president Bill Clinton to launch the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge, and in 1998, he and scientist John Warner co-authored a textbook on the subject that still stands as the field’s dominant primer.

In it, the two laid out 12 principles for the new field they were founding, including “prevention”, the idea that chemicals should be designed to avoid waste as much as possible from the outset; “safer chemicals”, which instructed that chemicals should be designed to be both effective and non-toxic; and “safer solvents and auxiliaries”, which indicated that auxiliary substances like solvents and separation agents should be avoided wherever possible and innocuous when used.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Imperial Tobacco climbs on upbeat outlook

Company shrugs off flat revenues and says US acquisition made a good start

Despite reports that vaping could spell the end for cigarettes, and despite a fall in volumes, Imperial Tobacco is upbeat about the outlook.

The company, whose brands include Gauloises and John Player Special, reported flat revenues in the first nine months of the year while volumes fell 6%. Excluding Iraq, where the current security problems hit demand, revenues rose 1% and volumes were down 4%.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Ditch your assumptions about Uber and Airbnb: the 'gig economy' is no game-changer

With the current lack of data, we can’t be sure what impact the ‘gig economy’ is having on people’s lives but it is certainly not a new phenomenon

Big claims have been made that the future of work lies in self-employment, multiple job holding, short duration employment and temporary employees. The permanent employee job, we are told, is on its way out.

This is already generating a political backlash, with Hillary Clinton among those accusing companies of exploiting their workforce by “misclassifying them as contractors.”

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Calls for lithium battery review after Boeing Dreamliner fire at Heathrow

Air Accident Investigations Branch raises concerns that aircraft equipment powered by the batteries could be vulnerable in report on 2013 blaze

Investigators are calling for a safety review of all lithium battery-powered equipment on planes after a fire on board a parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Heathrow, which crew would have struggled to contain in flight, was traced to a tracking device carrying such batteries.

The blaze, on board the empty Ethiopian Airlines jet in July 2013, burned through the fuselage and filled the cabin with acrid smoke while the plane was parked at a remote stand on the runway.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Chinese stock markets close higher after volatile session

Markets continue their rollercoaster ride, with stocks first dipping then rising in last few hours of trading

Chinese stock markets have tumbled and soared in a turbulent session that highlighted investors’ lack of faith in a month-long government effort to stabilise them.

The Shanghai and Shenzhen markets fell 3% on Wednesday morning, taking their losses to more than 8% after a surprise stampede by investors on Tuesday. But state-backed buyers rushed in later, helping stocks finish the day more than 1% higher.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Asian shares plunge to two-year lows as China stocks continue to fall

Shanghai shares index drops 3.9%, denting hopes of Chinese stock markets stabilising following last week’s devaluation of yuan

Asian shares on Wednesday struggled at two-year lows after Chinese stocks extended their fall, stoking fears about the stability of China’s economy.

Related: Eight reasons why China’s currency crisis matters to us all

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Red Hill coalmine in central Queensland receives federal environment approval

No start date set for the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance underground mine north of Moranbah, which the company says will deliver 1,500 permanent jobs

A new coalmine in central Queensland has received federal environment approval, but no start date has been given for the underground operation.

Promoters say the Red Hill mine, north of Moranbah, will deliver 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent positions.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Job vacancies rise as Department of Employment predicts labour gloom

‘Labour market conditions are likely to remain relatively subdued, at least in the near term,’ warns department

The number of job vacancies rose slightly in July but labour market conditions were likely to remain subdued, the latest Department of Employment report has said.

Related: The economy’s not shrinking, so why does it feel like we’re in a recession? | Greg Jericho

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS