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Carillion bosses drove construction firm off a cliff, say MPs

Carillion bosses drove construction firm off a cliff, say MPs

Business
Media playback is unsupported on your device Carillion's board presided over a "rotten corporate culture" and was culpable for its "costly collapse", two committees of MPs have concluded.They also called for a potential break-up of the big four audit firms, after they "waved through" the indebted construction firm's accounts. And they attacked the government for lacking "decisiveness and bravery" to tackle corporate regulation failures.The MPs said regulators should consider disqualifying the directors.Carillion collapsed under a £1.5bn debt pile in January. It employed 43,000 people, about 20,000 of them in the UK, thousands of whom have lost their jobs.It also held numerous public contracts, such as the maintenance of schools and priso...
Construction plunge and Beast hit UK growth

Construction plunge and Beast hit UK growth

Business
A plunge in construction activity and the so-called Beast from the East took a toll on the economy in the first quarter, with growth falling to 0.1%.The preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which were much worse than economists and markets had predicted, showed the weakest growth since 2012.They sparked a dive in the value of the pound, trading at $ 1.38 versus the dollar after falling almost a cent, as expectations of a rise in interest rates by the Bank of England next month tumbled.The Bank had been forecasting a rise in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.3%.Image:Market expectations of an interest rate rise being announced by Mark Carney in May went into reverse on the ONS data The ONS data, which is subject to revisions as more information becomes availabl...
Nuclear fusion project hails halfway construction milestone

Nuclear fusion project hails halfway construction milestone

Technology
A vast international experiment designed to demonstrate that nuclear fusion can be a viable source of energy is halfway toward completion, the organization behind the project said Wednesday. Construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, in southern France has been dogged by delays and a surge in costs to about 20 billion euros ($ 23.7 billion). ITER's director-general, Bernard Bigot, said the project is on track to begin superheating hydrogen atoms in 2025, a milestone known as "first plasma." "We have no contingency plan," he told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Paris. Scientists have long sought to mimic the process of nuclear fusion that occurs inside the sun, arguing that it could provide an almost limitless source of cheap, safe and cle...
Construction growth slumps to one-year low

Construction growth slumps to one-year low

Business
Construction activity slumped in August to its lowest level in a year, the latest snapshot of the sector reveals.Monthly purchasing managers' index (PMI) data from Markit/CIPS UK Construction showed a significant decline in building works, with a reading of 51.1 for last month - down from 51.9 in July.The reading - the weakest overall UK construction performance since August 2016 - was close to the 50 point mark which shows stagnation.A reading above 50 indicates growth. Economists had forecast a figure of 52.Subdued business investment and economic uncertainty dragged on demand for new projects, according to Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit.Firms reported a lack of new orders to replace completed ventures, with residential building the only area to buck the overall trend in Aug...