Palmer & Harvey’s pension deficit balloons to £80m

Palmer & Harvey’s pension deficit balloons to £80m

Palmer & Harvey’s pension deficit more than doubled over the past 10 years to £80m, as shareholders and some directors took about £70m in dividends from the heavily indebted and loss-making convenience store supplier. The company, which went into administration last week with the loss of 2,500 jobs and a further 900 at risk, was owned by dozens of private individuals via a complex web of equity and loans. Shareholders received more than £8m a year in dividends even as the company made losses of more than £10m a year,…

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Catalan’s deposed vice-president to contest election from prison

Catalan’s deposed vice-president to contest election from prison

The deposed Catalan vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, looks poised to contest this month’s regional election from a prison cell after a judge at Spain’s supreme court denied him bail, saying it remained to be seen whether his pledge to abide by Spanish law was “truthful and real”. Junqueras is among more than a dozen Catalan leaders facing possible charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds over their roles in October’s illegal independence referendum and the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence. While Judge Pablo Llarena granted bail of €100,000 (£88,000)…

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The US is exporting obesity – and Trump is making the problem worse

The US is exporting obesity – and Trump is making the problem worse

As Donald Trump’s administration throws sharp elbows in trade negotiations and systematically rescinds regulations introduced by Barack Obama, one casualty is likely to be efforts to fight the global obesity epidemic. Left unchecked, rapidly rising obesity rates could slow or even reverse the dramatic gains in health and life expectancy that much of the world has enjoyed over the past few decades. And by forcing its food culture on countries like Mexico and Canada, the United States is making the problem worse. One of the paradoxes of modern global capitalism…

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