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Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley ‘deeply apologetic’ for virus blunders

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley ‘deeply apologetic’ for virus blunders

Business
Retail tycoon Mike Ashley says he is "deeply apologetic" following a series of mistakes in his company's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.The boss of Frasers Group, which has Sports Direct and House of Fraser in its stable of companies, published an open letter on Friday morning in which he expressed regrets but also offered use the company's truck fleet to the NHS for the delivery of supplies to fight COVID-19. He was roundly criticised by MPs for emails to the government, as the country was placed on lockdown, in which the company claimed Sports Direct was essential for keeping the nation active. Image: Sports Direct's website remains open for sales It later moved to defend its stance in further correspondence before backi...
Scammers may try to steal direct payments to Americans for coronavirus relief

Scammers may try to steal direct payments to Americans for coronavirus relief

Finance
boonchai wedmakawandFinancial scammers will likely try to steal money offered to Americans suffering from the negative economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic — and the public should be on its guard, federal officials warned on Wednesday.The White House has proposed making direct payments to American households as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on broad swaths of the U.S. economy."We predict that the scammers are gearing up to take advantage of this," wrote Jennifer Leach, associate director of the Division of Consumer and Business Education at the Federal Trade Commission, in a blog post published today.The Trump administration has called for $ 500 billion in near-term relief to Americans, as part of a $ 1 trillion financial relief package, according to reports.The siz
2,000 jobs to go as Virgin Money, Lloyds and Direct Line all slash roles

2,000 jobs to go as Virgin Money, Lloyds and Direct Line all slash roles

Business
Virgin Money, Lloyds Banking Group and Direct Line have announced job cuts totalling more than 2,000 on a bleak day for financial services workers.The three companies all partly blamed ongoing changes to customer behaviour for the cuts - including the fact that many bank customers choose to go online rather than visit branches. Direct Line is slashing around 7% of its workforce with 800 jobs going, while Lloyds is cutting 780 roles and Virgin Money will lose 500.In a statement published on Wednesday afternoon, Virgin Money - which is based in Norwich - said the move was partly the result of a shift to online banking and also part of ongoing changes following its merger with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank. Image: The banks said that mobile and onl...
Earliest direct evidence of milk consumption

Earliest direct evidence of milk consumption

Science
Scientists have discovered the earliest direct evidence of milk consumption by humans.The team identified milk protein entombed in dental plaque on the teeth of prehistoric farmers from Britain.It shows that humans were consuming dairy products as early as 6,000 years ago - despite being lactose intolerant.This could suggest they processed the raw milk into cheese, yoghurt or some other fermented product.This would have reduced its lactose content, making it more palatable.The team members scraped samples of plaque off the teeth, separated the different components within it and analysed them using mass spectrometry.They detected a milk protein called beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) in the tartar of seven individuals spanning early to mi...
Direct debit fraud: ‘My mother lost £14,000’

Direct debit fraud: ‘My mother lost £14,000’

Business
"I was shaking with rage and stress, I couldn't believe this had happened."Sue is describing the moment she discovered that her late mother, Margaret (not their real names), who'd spent the last years of her life battling dementia, had had more than £14,000 stolen through direct debit fraud."To be told that that amount of money had been taken... I was outraged that someone could steal off my mother," Sue says.And she is not alone in her concern. The charity Action on Elder Abuse is warning about the dangers of direct debits being fraudulently set up in the name of vulnerable victims.The charity says it's concerned about loopholes and a lack of transparency within the current system.But the Direct Debit scheme says its guarantee means companies that use it