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McDonald's sorry for banning French workers from feeding homeless people

Fast-food chain apologises for notice hung in McDonald’s near Marseille that threatened employees they could be fired for giving away their meals

McDonald’s has apologised for an incident in which workers in one of the US burger chain’s French franchises appeared to be threatened with the sack for feeding homeless people.

A photograph circulating on social media showed a notice pinned up at the McDonald’s in Hyeres near Marseille in southern France, reading:

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Glencore: world of big mining agog at huge fall

Financial challenges ahead for Ivan Glasenberg as share price at mining and commodity-trading company falls by two-thirds since it came to market

How do you make a £2bn fortune from commodities? Answer: start with a £6bn fortune.

Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of Glencore, won’t be laughing. Those numbers are the value of his shareholding in the mining and commodity-trading company at flotation in 2011 and now. Yes, Glencore’s share price really has fallen by two-thirds, from 530p to 180p, since it came to market with a fanfare. Among London’s big miners, only Anglo-American has done worse.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

High court orders traders to pay £7.5m for manipulating share prices

FCA says case of market abuse by three traders and two investment firms shows they will take robust action to ensure integrity of UK markets

Three Hungarian traders and two investment firms have been ordered to pay £7.5m after manipulating the share prices of 186 companies in London. The high court made the ruling in a case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority, which had obtained a temporary injuction in 2011 to stop them embarking on a process known as layering, or spoofing. Under this process, lots of orders are entered into a trading system to move share prices, with the aim of allowing the traders to profit from the change in price.

It is the first time that the FCA has asked the high court to impose a penalty and a permanent injunction to restrict market abuse.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Is chugging along enough after railway upgrades put on pause?

With election promises shelved, passengers are facing slow progress on many rail routes, particularly in the north. The state of Britain’s railways is under review

It all sounded different before the election. The chancellor, George Osborne, had promised a northern powerhouse, connecting the cities of the north into one booming economic entity, forged by fast transport connections. The electrification of the TransPennine rail route between Manchester and Leeds and the Midland mainline from Sheffield were two big transport goodies around the corner. And why stop there? Even the prime minister popped up to Leeds to propose HS3, a sequel to the HS2 high-speed rail line, with a vague but exciting promise of new cross-Pennine rail links.

Now, on the packed Friday evening train doing the slow traverse from Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds, scepticism is rife. It is standing room only, and little of that, and most commuters do not appear optimistic they will find a seat. A little more than a month has elapsed since the government announced that its manifesto pledges for vital rail upgrades would not, after all, be delivered. Passengers asked about the shelved electrification plans mainly shrug their shoulders, as if they never expected them to go ahead in the first place. One says bluntly: “George Osborne spoke a load of rubbish. I work in London so I know how fast the trains can be. You’ll never get fast trains up here.”

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Chinese economy shockwaves: the winners and losers

What impact has China’s currency devaluation had on popular brands, neighbouring countries and shoppers?

Burberry
The British luxury fashion group makes 40% of its sales to Chinese consumers, including those travelling abroad. Burberry shares have fallen about 8% in two days in anticipation that higher prices for Chinese customers will translate into lower sales.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

US stock markets follow global drop over Chinese economy concerns

Dow Jones reaches six-month low as investors worldwide worry that world’s second-largest economy may be in worst shape than had been believed

US stocks dropped sharply on Wednesday following a slide in markets across the world due to concerns about the health of the Chinese economy.

All the major US stock indices opened lower on Wednesday morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 244 points, or 1.39%, to 17,159 points – a six-month low. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 1.31% and the Nasdaq was off 1.42%.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Helping inclusive businesses measure performance and social impact

Business Call to Action’s Impact Measurement Services program provides members with survey design expertise so they can fully evaluate their impact

One afternoon under the grey skies of India’s monsoon season, Prashant, a collection officer with Mahindra Rural Housing Finance, sits with one of his customers at her home in a remote village in the state of Maharashtra. A few months ago, the customer took a housing loan from Mahindra to build a new home. As the lady invites Prashant into her house, he takes out his mobile phone and begins asking questions, as prompted on the screen, about the family’s income level, health and Mahindra’s services.

Mahindra is one of the members of Business Call to Action (BCtA) currently measuring the operational performance and social impact of its business through BCtA Impact Measurement Services (BIMS). This program is providing BCtA’s inclusive business members with survey design expertise to create customised questionnaires and a platform for real-time data collection using mobile phones. BCtA is now offering this service across south Asia, Africa, and Latin America with companies such as Empower Pragati, Nuru Energy, Drishtee, Echale a Tu Casa and Shubham Housing Development Finance in partnership with Arthify Inc and Echo Mobile.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

‘It's literally stealing’: passengers react to UK airport stores VAT row – video

Travellers speak out over the claims that some UK airport shops are not passing on savings made through VAT rebates. Retailers can avoid paying the 20% tax on items sold to customers travelling outside the EU by using information from boarding passes. However, Treasury minister David Gauke said some retailers were not reflecting these savings in their prices. Consumers say they are angry because many of the stores demand to see a boarding pass to validate the discount, but do not pass on the saving to the buyer

Read: customers threaten not to show boarding passes

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

TK Maxx withdraws ‘Je suis over it’ T-shirt from sale after complaint

Customer says slogan could be seen as referencing Charlie Hebdo massacre, though design is understood to predate it

The fashion retailer TK Maxx has launched an internal review after a customer complained that one of its T-shirts could be seen as mocking the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

The black T-shirt printed with the slogan “Je suis over it” was spotted by shopper Tom Young at a branch in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Figures do not prove EU migrants are taking new UK jobs or driving down pay

Latest statistics show EU nationals account for 55% of net jobs growth, but it is too simple to say this is to blame for rise in UK unemployment

Coming three months after a general election in which an avowed anti-migrant party won 3.8m votes, there was inevitably going to be a debate about employment figures showing that EU nationals accounted for about 55% of the net jobs growth in Britain over the past year.

The figures for the three months to June will add fuel to Ukip’s fire. They show the weakening labour market has hit UK-born workers hardest. The number of them employed fell by 170,000. By contrast, the employment of people born abroad but within the EU rose by 85,000, and other foreign workers by 30,000.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS