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UK house prices will end year 6% higher, say surveyors

Strongest price growth forecast in Northern Ireland and England’s north-east is predicted to see a 3% fall after house price rises reached 15-month high in August

House prices in the UK will end the year 6% higher than they started it, a group of surveyors has predicted.

The strong jobs market and low mortgage rates have supported demand from buyers, while the number of homes coming on to the market remains at its lowest level in at least three decades, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Shark survey points to higher numbers swimming off US east coast

Researchers catch and tag more than 2,800 sharks along the coast this spring pointing to steady population gains, but numbers come amid increase in attacks

US shark researchers caught and tagged 2,835 sharks along the east coast this spring, a record number which they say reflects a growing population thanks to federal protections.

It surpassed the 1,831 sharks captured and tagged in 2012 during the survey which is conducted every three years by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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Source: Guardian Environment

CVS reports a drop in cigarette sales after removing tobacco from stores

CVS data finds the company may have contributed to reduced tobacco consumption. Will other companies start tracking their social impact?

A year ago, pharmacy retailer CVS got plenty of attention for its decision to remove tobacco products from all of its stores. Now, the retailer is doing something that’s arguably just as noteworthy: measuring whether that choice has actually made a difference. According to data released last week by the company’s own CVS Health Research Institute, the decision to remove tobacco products has led to a decrease in cigarette sales. Sales of cigarettes are down by 1%, and nicotine patch purchases are up by 4% in the communities where CVS has at least 15% market share.

If the numbers prove accurate, they could indicate a measurable impact on local communities over a short period of time, with large implications for future efforts by CVS and other companies wanting to positively influence the communities in which they operate.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Morrisons needs to answer questions over convenience store sale | Nils Pratley

Supermarket chain has sold its M stores to Mike Greene’s Greybull Capital, but as a grown-up FTSE 100 company it should explain how the deal is funded

Morrisons was late to the convenience store game, then paid too much for shops in poor locations after Tesco and Sainsbury’s had spent a decade grabbing the prime pitches. That, roughly speaking, is how Morrisons’ 140 local M stores recorded an operating loss of £36m last year.

In the circumstances, you can understand why the new-broom chief executive, David Potts, has ordered an exit. Even so, the price looks poor – just £25m. Morrisons hasn’t even been able to wave a clean goodbye to the leases, which will revert should the business fail under its new owners.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Revenue & Customs 'winding down' inquiries into HSBC Swiss tax evaders

After reopening investigation into HSBC clients hiding money in Switzerland, HMRC admits it has still only prosecuted one tax cheat

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is winding down its inquiries into hundreds of British customers who used HSBC’s Swiss bank to evade tax, a senior official has admitted.

The tax authority reopened its investigation into British customers of HSBC Suisse in February, but has failed to add to the single prosecution of a tax cheat from the bank, the official told MPs on the public accounts committee on Wednesday.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Former Secret Millionaire leads takeover of Morrisons' convenience stores

Mike Greene is heading £25m takeover of 140 of supermarket’s M Local shops, backed by Greybull Capital – best-known for investing in Comet chain

A former bankrupt who later built a consultancy business and went on to appear on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire is to acquire Morrisons’ struggling portfolio of convenience stores, backed by a controversial buyout firm.

Mike Greene, who has spent 20 years on the board of the Association of Convenience Stores and founded the Association of Retail Newsagents, is leading the £25m takeover of 140 M Local branches.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Google-backed San Francisco nonprofit offers showers for the homeless

After winning Google’s 2014 Bay Area Impact Challenge, Lava Mae provides free bathrooms and showers in decommissioned buses to San Francisco’s homeless

As San Francisco’s tech bubble continues to grow, so too does the city’s homeless population. Half of the city’s homeless say they lost their housing due to tech workers driving up rental prices. Google, whose headquarters lie in neighboring Silicon Valley, has come under fire for exacerbating the issue.

Last year, Google pledged $2m to homeless groups in San Francisco that work on everything from supportive housing to education programs. Part of that included a grant to a new nonprofit called Lava Mae, which converts decommissioned city buses into portable bathrooms for the homeless.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Tackle climate change or face resource wars, Lord Ashdown warns

Refugee crisis is a ‘rehearsal’ for a vast humanitarian disaster that will soon unfold if we fail to act on global warming, former Lib Dem leader tells Climate News Network

The former leader of one of the UK’s main political parties says the world will undergo more resource wars and huge movements of desperate people unless it tackles climate change effectively.

Lord Ashdown, who was leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats for 11 years, describes the present flight of refugees from Syria and other conflict areas as a “rehearsal” for the vast humanitarian disaster he believes will soon unfold.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Asian and European stock markets rally on stimulus hopes – live updates

Japan’s Nikkei surges by 7.7%, its biggest gain since 2008 after China pledges new spending measure to support growth

5.04pm BST

Over in New York, hopes of Asian stimulus measures have crunched into fears of a US interest rate hike.

After that solid start, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 just dipped into negative territory.

Stocks go red.

Never before have there been so many job openings: http://t.co/aqF8dmBPK6 pic.twitter.com/Zg1t4E3qXs

Wall Street is however proving to be something of a drag on sentiment – the latest employment numbers have shown a record number of job openings state-side and this is once again throwing open the possibility of the Fed gambling on a rate hike next week.

If conviction builds further here then even talk of renewed stimulus measures from Beijing will do little to placate a market that’s worried about the wider global consequences of higher borrowing costs in the US, but for now it’s the base metals miners that are pulling through much of the upside.

4.47pm BST

The other main European markets ended the day higher too, although Germany’s rally rather fizzled out.

European Closing Prices: #FTSE 6229.01 +1.35% #DAX 10303.12 +0.31% #CAC 4664.59 +1.44% #MIB 22126.57 +0.84% #IBEX 10037.8 +1.74%

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS