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Greece’s efforts to secure a second, €130 billion international bailout and avoid a default next month stalled on Sunday.

It is hard to think of a starker failure in domestic government since the poll taxNo one, but no one, thinks that the health and social care bill returning to parliament this week is any good. Nurses and doctors have lined up to denounce it – even GPs, whom the legislation claims to put in charge. Professional resistance can be dismissed as "producer interest", but not so the joint editorial published by three specialist periodicals, including the Health Service Journal. The journal is generally[...]

'Chronicle' Tops Box Office :: Sun 05th Feb 2012

Action film "Chronicle," about three teenagers who gain superpowers, grossed $22 million at the weekend box office, putting it in the top position.

Justine Greening to attend firm's AGM to vote against executive payout – though Labour says she is failing to use full powersThe transport secretary, Justine Greening, is planning to vote against a proposed £20m bonus pool for Network Rail executives. But she was accused by Labour of failing to use her powers to put a stop to the payments.On Friday, she will attend Network Rail's annual general meeting to vote against a package which could see chief executive Sir David Higgins collect a £340,000 payout[...]

Japanese camera maker to aims to hold managers to account over fraud claims at emergency meeting on 20 AprilOlympus, the Japanese camera maker suing 19 current and former executives over accounting fraud, has told the Tokyo stock exchange it will hold an emergency shareholders' meeting on 20 April.Michael Woodford, the firm's whistle-blowing former CEO, has said he will attend."This will be the first formal opportunity for all of the company's shareholders to question and hold its management to account,"[...]

Cable firm expected to report first annual profit as it reveals network will be plugged in months ahead of scheduleVirgin Media will complete its rollout of super-fast broadband ahead of schedule, making the service available to each of the 13m homes passed by its network this spring.The group, which is expected to report its first annual profit on Wednesday, will announce on Monday that its super-fast service now passes 10m of the UK's 26m homes and that its entire network will be plugged in several[...]

Prime minister Lucas Papademos faces an uphill struggle to win the backing he needs to avoid a disorderly default in MarchGreece's economic future hung in the balance on Sunday as the debt-laden country's technocrat prime minister, Lucas Papademos, met party leaders in a last-ditch effort to rally support for the stringent reforms Athens must enact in return for aid.With at least one political leader in the coalition government publicly refusing to endorse the rescue package, it was far from sure whether[...]

Without the free content created by its 850 million users, Facebook would surely not be on the verge of a multibillion-dollar initial public offering.

Airline Teams Endure Hiccups :: Sun 05th Feb 2012

India's Kingfisher Airlines shelved plans to join Oneworld, the second loss to the global marketing alliance in a week. The move capped a tough period for the alliances that have come to dominate the industry.

Bumi investors sought the removal of Co-Chairman Nat Rothschild, with an eye toward reducing debt and expanding Indonesian coal-mining operations.

A New Question of Internet Freedom :: Sun 05th Feb 2012

European activists are hoping to stop the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which they say will erode Internet freedom and stifle innovation.

Micron Announces New Chief :: Sun 05th Feb 2012

Micron Technology announced Mark Durcan had been appointed chief executive replacing Steven Appleton, who was killed Friday when the small plane he was piloting crashed.

-- Rentrak's Box Office Essentials® Theatrical Data Collection and Analytical Service is the Source for All Studio Box Office Reporting--

Transport secretary Justine Greening to oppose executive bonuses at company's AGM following outcry from Labour MPsJustine Greening, the transport secretary, is to vote against bonuses for Network Rail executives at the company's annual general meeting following an outcry from Labour MPs.The government claimed the move would send a "very clear signal" it opposed payments like the £340,000 reportedly due to chief executive Sir David Higgins.It is understood that this will be the first time a minister of[...]

Monetary policy may bear too much of the UK economy's burden but will policymakers be brave enough to change?Financial markets have had a rip-roaring start to 2012. Fire-fighting by the European Central Bank (ECB) has eased fears that the eurozone will slide into a severe recession this year. Upbeat surveys of both the manufacturing and service sectors suggest that the UK should return to growth in the first quarter of 2012, weather permitting.Three pieces of upbeat news that should, in normal[...]

Museum listed as one of world's top 20 cultural assets due to be sold off to pay £134 pension deficit after high court rulingThe head of a Unesco committee that shortlisteda British museum as one of the world's top 20 cultural assets has condemned a high court judgment that, one year one, is forcing it to close.The Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent is to be broken up and sold to pay off a £134m pension deficit, following a high court judgment in December.As well as thousands of ceramics produced by Josiah[...]

Max Schrems's crusade against the information collected by the social network has become a cause célèbre in parts of Europe, looming over the company as it prepares to go public.

A vice-president of a major western bank in Tokyo compares the banking cultures of Japan and the west• This monologue is part of a series in which people across the financial sector speak about their working livesWe are meeting in the centre of Tokyo on a Saturday in January. Casually dressed for the weekend, he is a slender man in his early 30s with a fashionable haircut. He orders pasta."When I travel to New York, I am always struck by the percentage of Caucasians in the banks there. Here in Tokyo it's[...]

For weeks all the talk has been of Scottish independence. But amid clear signs that the north of England is slipping further behind the rest of Britain as the economic crisis deepens, there are signs of a new assertiveness from Manchester to Newcastle. Is our most beleaguered region about to rise up and demand a better deal?To say Hartlepool is having a hard time would be an understatement. Every job vacancy in this seaside town 30 miles south of Newcastle attracts an average of 16 applicants and nearly one[...]

The judiciary seems to have a skewed view of what the public has a right to knowAs soon as a British politician imitates a Bible-belt Republican and puts pictures of his adoring wife and chubby-cheeked children on his election literature, you can guess what will dominate the next "news cycle". The press will reveal that while the leaflets were at the printers he took a campaign worker behind the filing cabinet, buried his head in her hair and whispered words to the effect of: "My wife doesn't understand[...]

Industrial recovery from the tsunami has been remarkable, but the competition from Korea's burgeoning electronics industry is becoming relentlessThe circuit board of skyscrapers in Tokyo's tech district glints in the winter sunshine, with the Sony Technology Centre seemingly reaching up to the sky. It stands proudly alongside the other titans of Japan Inc such as Panasonic in the Shinagawa district – but in reality these are crumbling empires, their very foundations chipped away by the aggression of[...]

Fears of an internet meltdown during the London Games may lead to web access being rationed for British businessesBritish businesses are being warned that they could lose their internet connections during the Olympics due to a surge in the number of people going online at key times. The demand could be such that internet companies might be forced to ration access, according to official advice.The warning, in the Cabinet Office's official advice, Preparing your Business for the Games, says that the country's[...]

Rewards may be down and sentiment against them, but bankers will still be flaunting the cash"We still do well in February – it's bonus season," says Holly Midwinter-Porter of Boodles, an upmarket jeweller opposite the Bank of England in the heart of the City of London.Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), won't be collecting his £1m bonus this month, but thousands of other bankers will. Boodles, and other high-end jewellers, including Bulgari and Theo Fennell, in the historic[...]

Some of this year's payouts will be as startling as ever, but as anger over rewards in the financial sector explodes across front pages, attitudes are shifting even in the CityIt's like Christmas all over again – for a lucky handful at least. In the high-class homes of Notting Hill, the mansions of Connecticut and luxury towers of Hong Kong, investment bankers are eagerly waiting for their bonus cheques to land.The latest round of bumper payouts could not come at a more incendiary time. The credit crisis[...]

Is it time to leave Facebook? :: Sat 04th Feb 2012

Amid plans for a $10bn share offering, the social networking giant has come under fire for its controversial 'Timeline' feature. Two Observer writers discuss the merits of logging off for goodJames Silver, writer and journalist I could blame it on the launch of Timeline (Facebook's now mandatory reboot of users' profile pages) or the forthcoming mega-IPO. Or even claim I was taking some high-minded stance (a social suffragette perhaps?) on how social media gnaws away at our privacy/sense of[...]

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