Sprint and T-Mobile agree merger that could cost 20,000 US jobs

Sprint and T-Mobile agree merger that could cost 20,000 US jobs

Sprint and T-Mobile confirmed on Sunday that they have agreed to incorporate into a company that would reducing major US wireless providers to three. The deal would create a stronger competitor to the larger AT&T and Verizon and save money by merging networks and closing stores, aiding efforts to build infrastructure and buy rights to the airwaves needed for faster “5G” service that is expected to be up in running within the next few years. The Communications Workers of America, a union for telecommunication workers, has said the merger will…

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Entertainment, fashion and halal lipstick: retailers cash in on £200m Ramadan economy

Entertainment, fashion and halal lipstick: retailers cash in on £200m Ramadan economy

Muslims observing Ramadan are increasingly become the target by supermarkets and brands, which has led to a rise in spending on gifts and food during the month, in concordance to new research. The Ramadan economy in the UK is worth at least £200m, with supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons increasingly gearing products, displays and special offers on popular food items to Ramadan in areas with significant Muslim populations. This year, for example, Morrisons is selling a Ramadan countdown calendar, similar to an Advent calendar, aimed at…

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Ukrainians commemorated the victims on the 32nd anniversary of the Tchernobyl disaster

Ukrainians commemorated the victims on the 32nd anniversary of the Tchernobyl disaster

Ukraine held a ceremony honoring the memory of victims, dead firefighters and rescuers in the Tchernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear accident in history, which polluted most of Europe, but most of all Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, which were Soviet republics then. “Tchernobyl will remain forever an open wound in the heart of our country,’’ declared the Ukrainian President Petro Porochenko on his Facebook page, calling to “do everything possible to ensure that this tragedy never happens again.’’ During the night, several hundred gathered together for a commemorative ceremony at Slavoutitch,…

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Belgium’s governments agree on budgetary roadmap

Belgium’s governments agree on budgetary roadmap

Belgium’s Federal Government and federated entities reached agreement on the 2018-2021 Stability Programme on Friday, for the first time since the budgetary roadmap, updated each year by late April at the European Commission, became binding in 2013. “It’s a first and a positive first: the Federal State and the Federated Entities agreed on a joint budgetary trajectory to present to Europe,” Federal Minister of Budget Sophie Wilmès said in a press release. “It’s a beautiful victory for federal cooperation. It is proof that with effort and will, the Belgian model…

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Record turnover and high investment in chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Record turnover and high investment in chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Belgium’s pharmaceuticals and chemicals sector had a record turnover of 65.8 billion euros in 2017, while investments totalled 2.2 billion euros, a 10-year high, according to figures presented on Thursday by the sector’s federation, Essenscia. “The year 2017 was positive for the sector,” said Essenscia Director Yves Verschueren. “There was record turnover and employment is going in the right direction. The trend is also favourable for export, traditionally one of our strongpoints.” Prospects for the future are also positive, despite uncertainties linked to the international situation, he added. Turnover went…

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Syria: Donors pledge about 4.4 billion dollars in humanitarian aid for 2018

Syria: Donors pledge about 4.4 billion dollars in humanitarian aid for 2018

The international community pledged on Wednesday to finance humanitarian aid to Syria’s population and refugees to the sum of 4.4 billion US dollars (about 3.6 billion euros) in 2018, UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock said on Wednesday at the Brussels II Conference for Syria. “We’ve made a good start,” said Lowcock, adding that the UN would have wished to raise more funds. He thanked the European Union, Germany and the United Kingdom for their substantial contributions. Eight years into the Syrian conflict, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in the…

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New IAAF testosterone rules could slow Caster Semenya by up to seven seconds

New IAAF testosterone rules could slow Caster Semenya by up to seven seconds

The Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya could run up to seven seconds slower under new rules requiring her to lower her natural testosterone levels to race internationally, a prominent sports scientist has predicted. Under rules due to be announced on Thursday morning by the IAAF, the world athletics governing body, a separate female classification for an athlete with differences of sexual development (or DSDs) will be introduced. Such athletes, including Semenya, will have to reduce and then maintain their testosterone levels to no greater than 5nmol/L by 1 November if…

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Nuclear phase-out: subsidies for electricity producers

Nuclear phase-out: subsidies for electricity producers

Belgium’s Federal Energy Minister plans to grant subsidies to all electricity producers as part of efforts to encourage the energy sector to increase its non-nuclear thermal production capacity by supporting investors, according to a draft law that Le Soir newspaper was able to consult. Under the bill, a capacity remuneration mechanism (CRM) would be established in 2020 to support primarily gas-production plants since “at least 3,600 Mw” of additional thermal capacity needs to be installed to offset the closure of the Doel and Tihange nuclear plants, the Elia electricity utility…

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Persimmon investors revolt against chief’s ‘excessive’ £75m bonus

Persimmon investors revolt against chief’s ‘excessive’ £75m bonus

Persimmon shareholdershave revolted against the “grossly excessive” and “totally and utterly unjustifiable” £75m bonus handed to the housebuilder’s chief executive, Jeff Fairburn. Several shareholders took to their feet at Persimmon’s annual meeting in York on Wednesday to express their outrage at the “enormous sums” awarded to Fairburn and other senior managers at Britain’s second biggest housebuilder. Some 64% of shareholders failed to support the huge payout and just 36% voted in favour of the housebuilder’s renumeration policy in one of the biggest expressions of investor frustration in recent years. However,…

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Google owner Alphabet reports 84% rise in profits despite privacy concerns

Google owner Alphabet reports 84% rise in profits despite privacy concerns

Google owner Alphabet shrugged off mounting concerns over privacy on Monday to report an 84% rise in profits for the last quarter. The results eased concerns that investment in new ventures beyond its core search business was undermining Alphabet’s outlook. There also were no immediate signs that rising global privacy concerns would affect profits. Alphabet’s profit margins have fallen in recent quarters as it ramps up costly new projects in cloud computing and hardware at its core Google unit, and despite spending cuts on an unprofitable set of ancillary initiatives…

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