London 2012 Olympics: business embassy's £1bn goal - Daily Telegraph London 2012 Olympics: business embassy's £1bn goal - Daily Telegraph

Monday, July 16, 2012

London 2012 Olympics: business embassy's £1bn goal - Daily Telegraph

London 2012 Olympics: business embassy's £1bn goal - Daily Telegraph

More than 2,000 UK businesses and 1,000 international groups have registered to attend. As well as hosting summits, Lancaster House is being designed as a location where business leaders can negotiate deals, strike new partnerships, and promote their products. It is these discussions that Uden believes will generate £1bn of new trade and investment.

The 19th century property been largely stripped out and refurbished ready for the start of the Olympics. Specialist event group Innovision, who also worked on the Diamond Jubille, has been appointed by UKTI to transform Lancaster House.

"We have been working on this for months," says Sue Bateman, the creative director. "Every piece of furniture will be British."

Businesses and artists have donated their products and works to Lancaster House, meaning the refurbishment will not cost taxpayers. Items on show will include artwork by Damien Hirst in the state dining room, Jason Bruges Studio's 'Mirror Mirror' structure in the garden, and a McLaren Formula One car.

However, there is competition for the attention of the business world across London during the Olympics. Other countries have also booked landmark locations to promote themselves as destinations for investment. For example, Somerset House will become Casa Brazil, Russia will take over parts of Kensington Gardens, and Alexandra Palace will become Holland Heinejen House.

"We want to show them what London is about now," said Mr Uden. "We live in challenging times and it is important that the opportunities we have to bolster the economy are grabbed with both hands.

Shocking pictures show cruel treatment of monkeys forced to wear masks and ride tiny bicycles to earn money for their captors - Daily Mail

By Kerry Mcdermott


Cruel pictures have emerged of monkeys in red costumes and masks being forced by their owners to perform on the streets for money.

Images captured on the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia, show the creatures holding begging bowls, dressed in blue sports shorts and even clad in clown masks.

The heart-meltingly cute macaques have been forced to ride mini bicycles, sit on tiny stools and even play dead to entertain crowds.

The monkeys are part of a show called Topeng Monyet (Monkey's Mask), in the Indonesian capital.

A captive monkey dressed in a tiny t-shirt and pair of trousers holds a begging bowl on the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia

A captive monkey dressed in a tiny t-shirt and pair of trousers holds a begging bowl on the streets of Jakarta

A chain is visible around the neck of the cute macaque monkey in this picture, which shows the once wild creature being made to ride a bicycle to entertain passersby

A chain is visible around the neck of the cute macaque monkey in this picture, which shows the once wild creature being made to ride a bicycle to entertain passersby

The captive monkeys are dressed in bizarre face masks as part of the Topeng Monyet (Monkey Mask) show

Some locals in Jakarta believe the practices captured in these images are part of their traditional culture, but the Jakarta Animal Aid Network said the monkeys are being cruelly exploited for 'small change'

Some locals in Jakarta believe the practices captured in these images are part of their traditional culture, but the Jakarta Animal Aid Network said the monkeys are being cruelly exploited for 'small change'

Some locals insist this is part of their traditional culture, whereas others acknowledge the cruelty being inflicted on the captive macaques.

The website for the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (Jaan), a charity that feeds rescued performing monkeys, explains how these once-wild creatures end up suffering in this way.

'Poverty drives the handlers to exploit the monkeys in the hope of earning small change,' it says.

'From the forest they are captured and taken to 'monkey village', where the animals are trained to take part in street performances.

'The street performances usually involve the monkeys wearing masks, such as dolls' heads, and other attire to mimic humans.

'The monkeys have been trained to act out activities such as shopping, riding bicycles, or other simulations of human behaviour.

'But the cruelty to the monkeys is a cause that charities such as the Jakarta Animal Aid Network are increasingly taking up.'

Handlers train the monkeys to play dead for audiences on Jakarta's streets

Handlers train the monkeys to play dead for audiences on Jakarta's streets

Children pet one of the captive monkeys forced to perform as part of the Monkey's Mask show

Children pet one of the captive monkeys forced to perform as part of the Monkey's Mask show

The Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) charity is working to help put an end to the illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia

John Menzies to exit cargo business at 4 UK airports - The Guardian

STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-S'pore office costs are world's 16th highest-CBRE - Reuters UK

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Singapore's office rents remain competitive, coming in at number 16 globally versus Hong Kong's central business district which ranked as the world's most expensive office market, according to a survey by property consultancy CBRE. Singapore's ...

U.S. Stocks Fall as Economy Concern Offsets Energy Rally - Businessweek

U.S. stocks fell, dragging the Standard & Poor’ 500 Index lower for the seventh time in eight days, after the International Monetary Fund cut its global economic forecast and retail sales unexpectedly dropped.

General Electric Co. lost 1.1 percent, sending industrial shares to the biggest drop among 10 groups in the S&P 500, after Morgan Stanley reduced its recommendation on the stock. Equities pared losses as energy companies rose with the price of oil while Visa (V) (V) Inc. and MasterCard Inc., the world’s biggest payment networks, rose at least 1.9 percent after agreeing to a settlement of at least $6.05 billion in a price-fixing case.

The S&P 500 declined 0.1 percent to 1,355.38 at 2:49 p.m. in New York, trimming a drop of as much as 0.6 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 27.82 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,749.27 today.

“The retail sales gives you another indicator that uncertainty has showed up in the consumer side,” James Dunigan, who helps oversee $112 billion as chief investment officer in Philadelphia for PNC Wealth Management, said in a telephone interview. “We’re in a bit of the summer doldrums.”

The S&P 500 is down almost 5 percent from a four-year high in April as economic data trails forecasts and investors brace for what is projected to be the first decrease in quarterly earnings since 2009. The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index for the U.S., which measures how much data from the past three months is beating or missing the median estimates in Bloomberg surveys, is at minus 64, near the almost 11-month low of minus 64.9 reached last week.

Retail Sales

U.S. retail sales dropped 0.5 percent in June, following a 0.2 percent decrease in May, Commerce Department figures showed today. The decline was worse than the most-pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey in which the median projection called for 0.2 percent rise.

The IMF cut its 2013 global growth forecast as Europe’s debt crisis prolongs Spain’s recession and slows expansions in emerging markets. Growth worldwide will be 3.9 percent next year, less than the 4.1 percent estimate in April, the fund predicted in an update of its World Economic Outlook.

Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in July at a faster pace than anticipated, signaling factories will keep contributing to growth. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index rose to 7.4 from 2.3 in June. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 4.0. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the so-called Empire State Index that covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

Earnings Season

Earnings beat estimates at 21 of the 32 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported quarterly results so far, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Profits probably decreased 2.1 percent in the second quarter, the first drop in almost three years, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Energy stocks added 0.7 percent after earlier falling as much as 0.8 percent as the price of crude oil reversed earlier declines to rise 1.5 percent to $88.42 a barrel. Chevron, the second-largest U.S. energy company, climbed 1.1 percent to $107.19. Denbury Resources Inc., the oil and natural-gas producer, rallied 4.8 percent to $14.91 for the second-biggest gain in the S&P 500.

MasterCard (MA) (MA) advanced 1.9 percent to $437.81 and Visa rose 2.3 percent to $126.92 after they agreed to settle a price- fixing case brought by retailers over credit-card swipe fees.

Citigroup Inc. (C) (C), the third-biggest U.S. bank, advanced 1.1 percent to $26.94 after reporting second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates on revenue from advising on mergers and underwriting stocks and bonds.

Net income declined to $2.95 billion, or 95 cents a share, from $3.34 billion, or $1.09, a year earlier. Excluding accounting adjustments and a loss from the sale of a stake in a Turkish bank, earnings were $1 a share, compared with the average estimate of 89 cents in a Bloomberg survey of 18 analysts.

Gannett Co., the owner of 82 daily newspapers including USA Today, rallied 2.5 percent to $14.67. The company reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, bolstered by growing Internet revenue. Excluding some items, profit was 56 cents a share in the period, beating the 53-cent average estimate by analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) (CAT), the world’s largest maker of construction equipment, declined 0.7 percent to $81.46, while Boeing Co. (BA) (BA) fell 0.6 percent to $73.08 as industrial stocks had the biggest decline out of 10 groups in the S&P 500.

GE, the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power generation equipment and locomotives, declined 1.1 percent to $19.56. The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company was cut to equalweight from overweight by Morgan Stanley, citing the stock’s higher valuation relative to peers with or without GE Capital Corp.

Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) (ANR) declined 9.6 percent to $6.90 as Bank of Montreal cut its rating to underperform from outperform, citing potential financing issues. Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) (ACI), the fourth-largest U.S. producer of the fuel, sank 3.9 percent to $5.90 after BMO cut the stock to underperform from market perform.

To contact the reporter on this story: Inyoung Hwang in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at

Slive has unfinished business in SEC, staying put - YAHOO!

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive has unfinished business and he isn't leaving what has lately become college football's penthouse anytime soon.

With two new members, six straight football national titles and a four-team playoff to determine future champions. Slive tells The Associated Press he has agreed to run the powerhouse SEC for ''at least a couple more years,'' continuing his decade-long tenure.

His contract was set to expire July 31, five days after he turns 72.

Slive is negotiating new TV deals that figure once again to be the most lucrative in college athletics. The exact method of choosing the four-team playoff field each season must be hammered out, and the SEC is trying to assimilate Texas A&M and Missouri into the now-14-team league.

The commissioner discussed those issues - and his future - in an interview ahead of SEC media days, which run Tuesday through Thursday in suburban Birmingham.

''I have agreed with the league that I will stay at least a couple of more years, and then we'll sit down and decide what happens after that,'' said Slive, who makes just over $1 million a year. ''Don't forget it takes two. It's not just me making a unilateral decision. Both of us need to make that decision.''

Auburn's Jay Jacobs, chairman of the league's athletic directors, noted that the SEC produced 42 Academic All-Americans, nine national team champions and seven runners-up in 2011-12.

''There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Mike Slive is the best commissioner in the nation,'' Jacobs said. ''It's not an accident that the dominance of the SEC in recent years coincides with his tenure as commissioner. We all know the SEC has won six straight BCS national championships in football. His leadership transcends football and even all of athletics.''

The professorial Slive, who became a first-time grandfather this summer, has no shortage of projects before handing over the reins.

University presidents approved the switch to a four-team playoff model on June 26, similar to the one Slive proposed in 2008, three years into the SEC's current run of dominance. It might have taken an all-SEC West showdown of Alabama vs. LSU in January to rally sufficient support from other commissioners, athletic directors and presidents.

Slive said conference commissioners will gather in September to work on details like revenue distribution and a college basketball-style selection committee for the four semifinalists.

''We'll have to sit down and talk about what would be an appropriate number'' for the committee, said Slive, who chaired the Division I Men's Basketball Committee for the 2008-09 season. ''There have been different numbers floated around - 16, 20. We certainly want to have enough members of the committee so that when certain committee members have to recuse themselves, we still have a significant group of people considering all the data and evaluating the teams.

''I visualize it working not unlike the men's basketball committee that I was on and chaired for a year. You have both data and statistics and information, and then you couple that with what you see.''

The SEC might have had even more shots at a national title under the four-team system. The league had at least one team ranked among the Top 4 in the final BCS standings in 11 of the 14 years the system has been used.

Using that formula, at least, two teams would have made the cut in both 2006 (No. 2 Florida and No. 4 LSU) and 2008 (No. 2 Florida, No. 4 Alabama) as well as 2011. The first two times could have led to a rematch of the SEC championship game in the finale.

Slive demurs when asked if the change is yet another win for the SEC.

'I think it's a win for everybody,'' he said. ''It's a win for college football in that all of us were able to come together in a collegial way and find a way to marry our own parochial interests as advocates for our leagues with our responsibility for what's in the best interest of college football.''

Despite all that, the first order of business for the SEC is a likely return to the top of the heap in TV money. The league is renegotiating its pre-expansion 15-year, $2.25 billion TV deal with ESPN and a $55 million-a-year contract with CBS, both signed in 2008. The Pac-12 has a $3 billion TV deal.

Slive said ''there is no fixed timetable'' and he's not sure if new deals will be in place before the SEC's quest for national title No. 7 in a row begins.

''It's hard to know because we have meetings scheduled throughout this summer,'' Slive said. ''Whether or not those meetings come to a conclusion, I can't predict.''

SEC schools each got a $20.1 million share of the financial pie in 2011-12.

Texas A&M and Missouri both give the SEC a big presence into sizable new TV markets as part of a wave of conference realignment.

''We believe that the expansion has increased our value for the purpose of television,'' Slive said. ''It's one of the many benefits that we believe we will derive, particularly in the long-term, from this expansion.''

Now, the SEC's leadership also seems set for the near future. There could be at least two internal candidates for the top job when Slive leaves.

Mark Womack is executive associate commissioner while Greg Sankey was promoted in March to executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer. Sankey, formerly commissioner of the Southland Conference, is in charge of day-to-day operations.

''Mark Womack has been here a very long time and does a wonderful job for us,'' Slive said. ''He's our chief fiscal officer and the AD liaison, he deals with bowls.

''We wanted to make sure we had someone else at the same level that could be responsible for the day-to-day operations here. Greg is a very talented young man. He certainly is already doing an excellent job for us.''

'Money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks in modest range' - MSN India

New Delhi: Information received on Swiss bank accounts by the income tax (I- T) authorities so far has yielded big names but the amount of money stashed in most of these accounts has turned out to be in the relatively modest range of Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore. According to official sources, the money has been used mainly to finance foreign trips of the account holders and their families.

"Since the country's rules are very stringent and allow only a limited amount of foreign exchange to be taken out of the country, these individuals have deposited extra money in foreign accounts so that they can use it when they are on business trips or holidaying abroad," a senior official in the know of the matter told

Mail Today


"The amount of the money in these accounts is quite modest. Searches and raids by the income tax authorities unearth far more money and assets than has been found in these Swiss accounts," another official said.

Some "big names" figure on the list but officials refused to disclose the identity of the account holders as they are not authorised.

The government appears to be veering around to the view that while tax, interest and penalty should be imposed on the funds, there is no need to go as far as launching prosecution proceedings in the matter.

According to reliable sources, top officials of the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Enforcement Directorate had recently recommended to the government that those holding unaccounted money abroad should be allowed to bring back their funds with reduced penalties and granted immunity from prosecution. The amnesty scheme has been recommended exclusively for money kept abroad and does not include domestic accounts.

Romney campaign calls Obama remark to business owners 'insulting' - FOX News

Republicans fired back Monday after President Obama suggested business owners owe their success to government investment, with Mitt Romney's campaign calling the remark "insulting." 

The president made the comment Friday during a speech to supporters in Roanoke, Va. Arguing that business owners got help from others along the road to success and suggesting they should pay more in taxes in return, he said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." 

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told on Monday that the remarks "reflect just how unqualified he is to lead us to a real economic recovery." 

"They are also insulting to the hardworking entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and job creators who are the backbone of our economy," she said in an email.

The Obama campaign, though, accused the Romney campaign of launching a "false attack" to distract from questions over outsourcing tied to his former company Bain Capital. Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt defended the premise of Obama's comment. 

"As President Obama said, those who start businesses succeed because of their individual initiative -- their drive, hard work, and creativity," LaBolt said in a statement. "But there are critical actions we must take to support businesses and encourage new ones -- that means we need the best infrastructure, a good education system, and affordable, domestic sources of clean energy.  Those are investments we make not as individuals, but as Americans, and our nation as a whole benefits from them."

Kevin Hassett, an economist with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said Obama's comments are "so far from the current debate," but setting the stage for the administration's tax argument. 

"Obama is trying to create the intellectual space to take money away from people. He's trying to say, 'What you do on the playing field would never be possible without the help of the government,'" he said. 

Obama's comment Friday came just days after he urged Congress to extend tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration only to families earning less than $250,000 annually -- part of his argument that top earners have an obligation to pay more to trim the deficit. 

"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me because they want to give something back," the president said. "If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. 

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen," he said. "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet." 

Small business owner Debbi Somers, who runs Somers Furniture in Las Vegas, agreed with Obama that "there isn't any way that a small business owner can achieve their dream if they don't have the support of the government." 

However, Somers -- who backed Obama in 2008 and now supports Romney -- said the notion that businesses owe their success to government "isn't necessarily true." 

"We put in -- we work 80 hours, and we live it, we breathe it, we sleep it," she said.

Though Hassett described Obama's comments Friday as "far from the current debate," they were not foreign to Democratic talking points. Elizabeth Warren, an Obama ally running for Senate against Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, made similar remarks last year at a campaign stop. 

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own, nobody," she said at the time. "You built a factory out there -- good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate."

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