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1,500 jobs at risk as 42 Homebase stores to close

1,500 jobs at risk as 42 Homebase stores to close

Business
DIY retailer Homebase is set to close 42 stores, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk. The retailer is closing the stores via a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing shops.Homebase said it anticipated the outlets would close from later this year into 2019.Until then, "all stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland will remain open for business as usual and this process will have no impact on customer purchases, outstanding orders or any product or service guarantees".It said a "comprehensive review" had concluded that its current store portfolio mix "is no longer viable"."Rental costs associated with stores are unsustainable and many stores are loss making," it said.The CVA procedure would al...
Thailand cave: Rescuers in race against weather as rains close in

Thailand cave: Rescuers in race against weather as rains close in

World
Rescuers in Thailand are racing against the rains to free 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.A deluge is expected to hit in a matter of days and could force the water level up, threatening to flood the pocket where the group has taken refuge.The boys, aged 11-16, and their coach have been trapped since 23 June.They are believed to have entered the cave when it was dry, before sudden heavy rains blocked the exit.The group was found on Monday night by two British rescuer divers, on a rock shelf about 4km (2.5 miles) from the mouth of the cave. What are the rescue options? Community of hope springs up outside cave The region of Chiang Rai where the boys are trapped has for the past few days experi...
Austria to close 7 mosques, expel imams in crackdown

Austria to close 7 mosques, expel imams in crackdown

World
Austria's government said Friday that it is closing seven mosques and plans to expel imams in a crackdown on "political Islam" and foreign financing of religious groups. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques. The actions by the government are based on a 2015 law that, among other things, prevents religious communities from getting funding from abroad. Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said the residence permits of around 40 imams employed by ATIB, a group that oversees Turkish mosques in Austria, are being reviewed because of concerns about such financing. Kickl said that, in two cases, permits have already been revoked. Five more imams were d...
RBI's June policy a close call, tone to remain hawkish: UBS

RBI's June policy a close call, tone to remain hawkish: UBS

Finance
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to maintain the repo rate at 6 per cent in the ensuing policy review meeting next week, however, there is also a probability of a pre-emptive hike by 25 bps, says a UBS report. According to the global financial services major, the June policy review meeting is likely to be a close call, while the tone of the policy statement is expected to remain hawkish. "In its monetary policy review, scheduled for 4-6 June, we expect the MPC to maintain the repo rate at 6 per cent. However, we assign a 40 per cent probability that the MPC will pre-emptively hike rates by 25 bps in the meeting," Tanvee Gupta Jain, Economist, UBS Investment Bank said in a research note. In its first bi-monthly monetary policy for 2018-19, RBI left repo rate unchanged at 6...
Smart luggage firms close because of airline battery rules

Smart luggage firms close because of airline battery rules

Technology
Two smart luggage firms have closed in May, with both blaming changes to airline policies regarding how lithium batteries can be taken on board planes.Raden and Bluesmart said the changes, by several major airlines in December 2017, had made business impossible.The new rules meant that luggage batteries had to be removable. The smart suitcases feature weight sensors, a built-in phone charger and location awareness - but all require battery power."...our intent was to add ease and simplicity to your travel experience and this unforeseen policy change has made this impossible," Raden said in a message on its website, spotted by The Verge.Bluesmart's products did not feature removable batteries at all.The firm described its news as "bittersweet" in an announ...