Bitcoin extends slide, falls below $7,000

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Digital currency bitcoin fell more than 15 percent on Monday to a nearly three-month low amid a slew of concerns ranging from a global regulatory clampdown to a ban on using credit cards to buy bitcoin by British and U.S. banks.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/Oi__ynY2-XY/bitcoin-extends-slide-falls-below-7000-idUSKBN1FP1EN

  


Has Stagecoach paid the price for East Coast mainline? Hardly

Along with Virgin Trains, the firm has got off very lightly. It’s even free to bid on new franchises

“Stagecoach got its numbers wrong, it over-bid and it is now paying the price,” says the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, announcing that the East Coast mainline could once again be taken into public hands.

Grayling’s first two statements are correct. Stagecoach plainly took leave of its senses in agreeing to pay £3.3bn to run the London-to-Edinburgh line for eight years. The company couldn’t even keep the financial wheels turning for three years and has now breached a financial covenant.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2018/feb/05/has-stagecoach-paid-the-price-for-east-coast-mainline-hardly

  


Broadcom unveils $121 billion 'best and final' offer for Qualcomm

(Reuters) – Broadcom Ltd made a $121 billion “best and final offer” on Monday to acquire Qualcomm Inc, ratcheting up pressure on its U.S. semiconductor peer to engage in talks on what would be the biggest ever technology acquisition.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/jbsQKWj05mk/broadcom-unveils-121-billion-best-and-final-offer-for-qualcomm-idUSKBN1FP1KX

  


Agree transition deal or both UK and EU will suffer, financial regulator warns

Andrew Bailey warns symmetric risks will hit financial stability without transition deal

The head of Britain’s financial watchdog has warned both sides in the Brexit talks that they will be risking mutually damaging instability unless they agree to a transition deal smoothing the UK’s departure within the next two months.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, said City regulators needed time to sort out issues including the validity of derivatives contracts, clearing financial trades and cross-border flows of data.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/05/agree-brexit-deal-or-both-uk-and-eu-suffer-says-financial-regulator

  


Every NHS trust tested for cyber security has failed, officials admit

Assessments after WannaCry attack reveal vulnerabilities across whole of health system

Every NHS trust assessed for cyber security vulnerabilities has failed to meet the standard required, civil servants have said for the first time.

In a Parliamentary hearing on the WannaCry attack which disrupted parts of the health service last year, department of health officials said all 200 trusts had failed, despite increases in security provision.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/05/every-nhs-trust-tested-for-cyber-security-has-failed-officials-admit

  


Carillion ignored warnings about pensions, documents reveal

MPs will question former directors of collapsed construction firm over its allocation of funds

Pensions advisers repeatedly warned that Carillion was prioritising shareholder dividends over the funding of its pension scheme years before the government contractor’s collapse, according to documents released by the work and pensions committee.

The committee, whose members will question former Carillion directors at a hearing on Tuesday, released new evidence hours after the number of confirmed job losses at Carillion hit 829, with uncertainty persisting over a further 17,500.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/05/carillion-ignored-warnings-about-pensions-documents-reveal

  


South Africa's ANC says to hold meeting of key decision-making body on Wednesday

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Monday it would convene a special meeting of its National Executive Committee, a key decision-making body which has the power to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/Pt_UQY-K0sw/south-africas-anc-says-to-hold-meeting-of-key-decision-making-body-on-wednesday-idUKKBN1FP2JR

  


Waitrose to close part of its loyalty scheme at end of February

Exclusive: ‘pick your own offers’ scheme was too confusing for customers, company says

Waitrose is to close part of its loyalty scheme at the end of February after customers complained they found it too confusing, the Guardian has learned.

Pick your own offers gave shoppers 20% off on 10 chosen products from a range of hundreds, which could be anything from expensive buys such as smoked salmon to frequently bought items such as loo roll. It was available to millions of holders of the myWaitrose card.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/05/waitrose-to-close-part-of-loyalty-scheme-at-end-of-february-pick-your-own-offers

  


Canada says two citizens safely leave Syria, gives few details

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Two Canadian citizens have safely left Syria, Ottawa said on Monday, though it declined to address a media report the pair had been seeking to arrange the return of two young children from neighbouring Lebanon.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/DRgetH5wKck/canada-says-two-citizens-safely-leave-syria-gives-few-details-idUKKBN1FP2JI

  


Maldives declares state of emergency as political crisis escalates

MALE/COLOMBO (Reuters) – Maldives President Abdulla Yameen on Monday declared a state of emergency for 15 days and security forces stormed the Supreme Court in signs that a crisis over a jailed former president is coming to a head.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/JYq1xSQSrcQ/maldives-declares-state-of-emergency-as-political-crisis-escalates-idUKKBN1FP2A5

  


East Coast could return to public sector, Chris Grayling admits

MPs told collapse of franchise means either government or Virgin could run line in short term

The East Coast rail franchise could be returned to the public sector after the government announced Virgin Trains had breached its £3.3bn contract.

The transport secretary told MPs that the London-to-Edinburgh line could be again be directly operated by the Department for Transport, less than three years after the route was re-privatised. However, Chris Grayling also held out the possibility that Virgin would continue to operate the service on fresh terms, despite missing its financial commitments on the current deal.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/05/east-coast-could-return-to-public-sector-chris-grayling-admits

  


How 'selfie kid' became star of Super Bowl after selfie with Justin Timberlake - video

The hands-down winner of Super Bowl halftime was the teen the internet immediately dubbed ‘selfie kid’, who somehow managed to steal some of the spotlight away from Justin Timberlake‘s high-energy performance by taking a series of snaps with the headliner. The young Super Bowl fan, Ryan McKenna, looked uncomfortable being in the spotlight, but danced with Timberlake during his performance. The internet quickly got busy creating all sorts of memes about the moment

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/feb/05/How%20’selfie%20kid’%20became%20star%20of%20Super%20Bowl%20after%20selfie%20with%20Justin%20Timberlake%20-%20video

  


Pressure grows on DPD and Theresa May after courier dies of diabetes

MPs and customers speak out after courier firm fined Don Lane for not finding cover while at doctor’s appointment

Downing Street’s adviser on modern work has described the death of a diabetic DPD delivery driver as “shocking”, as Marks & Spencer said it would be seeking answers from the parcel company over the driver’s treatment.

Matthew Taylor said the government must urgently address poor quality work in Britain after the Guardian revealed how Don Lane, a 53-year-old father of one, collapsed and died from diabetes after being fined £150 by the courier company for attending a hospital appointment to treat his More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/05/pressure-grows-on-dpd-and-theresa-may-after-courier-dies-of-diabetes

  


Minister avoids more Brexit confusion by not having a plan | John Crace

The slight spanner in the works was that we had been promised the plan by the end of last year

At last. A minister with a Brexit plan. Over the last few months the government seems to have come up with a different plan almost on a daily basis. Sometimes more frequently than that.

In the last week alone, some bits of Britain – no one was clear exactly which – were first going to stay in the customs union, then they were going to stay in a customs union and finally they were going to be in a customs arrangement that More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/05/minister-avoids-more-brexit-confusion-by-not-having-a-plan

  


Aurora to supply self-driving system to China's EV startup Byton

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. autonomous driving startup Aurora has added Chinese electric vehicle maker Byton to its growing list of clients for self-driving systems, Byton said on Monday, marking the latest partnership between automakers and tech companies.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/euKBz_jXIKc/aurora-to-supply-self-driving-system-to-chinas-ev-startup-byton-idUSKBN1FP2HF

  


Air strikes pound Syria's last rebel strongholds, gas chokes civilians

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Warplanes launched heavy attacks on the two last major rebel-held areas in Syria, killing at least 29 people in the Ghouta suburb near the capital and choking people with gas in Idlib in the northwest, rescue workers and a war monitor said on Monday.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/18eh2k3AB54/air-strikes-pound-syrias-last-rebel-strongholds-gas-chokes-civilians-idUKKBN1FP29J

  


ECB looking at risk to banks from digital currencies

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is working to identify any financial stability risk from digital currencies but banks so far seem to be showing little appetite to invest in Bitcoin, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Monday.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/6Xsa1YXpyeY/ecb-looking-at-risk-to-banks-from-digital-currencies-idUSKBN1FP2HB

  


Russian and regime jets bomb civilian areas in north-west Syria

Raids on Idlib province follow the downing of a Russian fighter plane by Syrian rebels

Russian and Syrian jets bombed towns and villages across north-west Syria on Monday, devastating civilian areas and forcing fresh waves of refugees to flee to open ground in the biggest aerial blitz on opposition-held areas since the fall of Aleppo more than a year ago.

Monitoring groups said as many as 150 airstrikes were recorded in Idlib province by Monday, with dozens more pounding up to 18 towns across the region by nightfall.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/05/russian-and-regime-jets-bomb-civilian-areas-in-north-west-syria-idlib

  


Brexit ultras v Tory realists: that’s the real battle | Rafael Behr

There is a mandate to leave the EU, but not for endless revolution on terms dictated by Jacob Rees-Mogg

Revolution is not an event. It is a process. So the zealous revolutionary is ever vigilant against backsliding and ideological deviation. For some, the battle never ends.

Brexiteers’ fear of counter-revolution is now stronger in the Conservative party than actual opposition to Brexit – and more disruptive. Only a tiny number of Tory MPs call the whole thing a folly to its face. The overwhelming majority accept the referendum result and expect EU membership to expire in March 2019.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/05/brexit-tory-realists-eu-jacob-rees-mogg

  


In blow to GOP, supreme court allows Pennsylvania redistricting to proceed

Justice Samuel Alito rejected a Republican plea to block an order from the state supreme court to devise new congressional districts

The supreme court on Monday allowed Pennsylvania congressional redistricting to proceed, denying a Republican plea and dealing another blow to GOP prospects in November’s midterm elections.

Related: Pennsylvania supreme court rejects GOP-drawn congressional districts

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/05/supreme-court-allows-pennsylvania-redistricting-to-proceed

  


Qualcomm shares fall as reports say Apple may scrap its chips

(Reuters) – Qualcomm Inc’s shares fell 3 percent on Monday after two brokerages said Apple Inc might drop the chipmaker in favor of Intel Corp as the supplier for modem chips in its next generation of iPhones.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/8hWKEwc7Pcg/qualcomm-shares-fall-as-reports-say-apple-may-scrap-its-chips-idUSKBN1FP225

  


The Guardian view on EU trade: first, Britain must make more | Editorial

The UK government is set on a dangerous course if it leaves the customs union. But whatever happens industry needs reviving

This time last week, the government seemed to be leaving the door open to a soft Brexit in which the UK remained within a customs union with the EU. That door now seems slammed firmly shut by Downing Street on the grounds that such a move would prevent Britain from negotiating its own trade deals.

However foolish the notion of a global Britain enjoying faster growth as a result of being granted access to consumers in China, More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/05/the-guardian-view-on-eu-trade-first-britain-must-make-more

  


The Guardian view on Google and Toronto: smart city, dumb deal | Editorial

Google’s offer to redevelop the Toronto waterfront as a smart city of the future prompts the question: is Google’s future the one that the rest of us want?

At a time when the private finance initiative in the UK is collapsing into a discredited mess – in the case of Carillion, so literally discredited that the company is bankrupt – across the Atlantic another public body, the city of Toronto, is trying to solve its short-term problems by handing responsibility for part of its infrastructure over to a giant private company. The lucky winner this time is Alphabet, the More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/05/the-guardian-view-on-google-and-toronto-smart-city-dumb-deal