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Pound at 14-month high on rate rise signal

Pound at 14-month high on rate rise signal

Business
The Brexit-battered pound hit a 14-month high against the dollar on Friday as a Bank of England policymaker reiterated the possibility of a looming interest rate rise.Gertjan Vlieghe supported the view, expressed by a majority of the nine-member monetary policy committee (MPC) at Thursday's meeting, that rates could rise in the "coming months" to help keep a lid on inflation should it continue to grow as expected.In a speech to a conference in London, the economist said: "There remains a risk that, at some stage, the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process has a larger impact on the economy than we have seen so far."If that happens, monetary policy would respond appropriately.But for now, it seems the net effect of the many underlying forces acting on the UK economy is that slack iscont...
Navy deploys buoys in Arctic for climate research

Navy deploys buoys in Arctic for climate research

Business
Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The Office of Naval Research, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy and several other partners have deployed climate change research buoys into the Arctic Ocean.The mission, announced Wednesday by the Navy, was a joint effort to collect oceanographic and temperature data for environmental modeling purposes. The research is designed to assist future naval operations in the Arctic."Polar lows are like hurricanes of the north and the data collected from these buoys will help us with numerical weather prediction, which will help to keep our and our partner forces safe," chief officer of the National Ice Center Cmdr. Ruth Lane said in a press release.The program is under the direction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In a recent event, Hurricane Hunter...
John Lewis profits fall by more than half

John Lewis profits fall by more than half

Business
Profits at the John Lewis Partnership have more than halved after the retailer was hit by reorganisation costs and the impact of the weaker pound following the Brexit vote.The partnership said profits in the six months to 29 July fell 53.3% to £26.6m.John Lewis said the fall in the pound had pushed up its costs, hitting profit margins.It added that inflationary pressures, driven by exchange rates and political uncertainty, had hit customer demand.John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield told the BBC: "We should be under no illusions, Brexit is having an effect on the economy, no question. It's the same for everybody, and the main effects are sterling and confidence."Uncertainty is one of the consequences of this, and of course businesses never like uncertainty, because it makes
U.S. Navy awards Northrop Grumman contract for counter-IED tool

U.S. Navy awards Northrop Grumman contract for counter-IED tool

Business
Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a contract for the full-rate production of software-programmable jammers for protection from improvised explosive devices, known as JCREW.The contract carries a value of $ 57.7 million and if all contract options are exercised, the value of the award would rise to $ 505 million, Northrop Grumman said in a news release Tuesday."JCREW is a crucial capability that's urgently needed in the field to protect our warfighters," Jeannie Hilger, vice president for communications business at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, said in a statement. "The system developed by Northrop Grumman is exceedingly effective at defeating the innumerable immediate IED threats and designed for rapid updating to defeat new threats."The open architecture design ...
Obama-era solar power program reaches goal early

Obama-era solar power program reaches goal early

Business
Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. solar power initiative enacted by former President Barack Obama reached a goal for cost competitiveness three years early, the government said.The U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory said in a report that the cost to install solar power during the first quarter of the year reached a record low because of higher efficiencies, lower labor costs and the decline in the price for photovoltaic components.For utility-scale projects, those supplying energy to the nation's grid, the costs are down about 30 percent when compared with first quarter 2016."These results suggest that the DOE's SunShot Initiative, which was launched in 2011 to make solar cost-competitive with other forms of energy, has met its 2020 cost target for utility-scale solar sys...