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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...
Govt signs secret Brexit agreements with firms

Govt signs secret Brexit agreements with firms

Business
Sky News has established the Government has been signing a series of secret agreements with companies and industry groups over highly controversial outcomes of the Brexit process for Britain's trade border.The attempt to enforce silence about outside discussions on the changes urgently required to the border after Brexit has raised eyebrows across industry.A series of non-disclosure agreements have been forced into the process of consultation with the logistics companies that actually operate the UK border, with one industry source calculating that "many dozens" have been signed.The development was described by Meg Hillier MP, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee, as "extremely unusual" and "a sign of Government paranoia".She told Sky News: "I'm pretty staggered by that because I don...
Travel firms 'fail' on Brexit holiday rights

Travel firms 'fail' on Brexit holiday rights

Business
British holidaymakers booking trips within the EU after Brexit are being urged to check the small print amid claims travel firms are failing to clarify their rights.The consumer group Which? said it believed holiday companies should be providing updated terms and conditions for customer cancellations and refunds in the event the UK leaves the EU without an aviation deal on 29 March next year.There have been warnings, most prominently from Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary, that flights could be grounded in that eventuality because UK operators would no longer come under the single market for aviation.Which? said it was particularly important for customers booking a non-package holiday in Europe to ensure they would not be left in limbo as they would not be covered by current repatr...
Union Bank says has $45 mln direct exposure to Nirav Modi, Gitanjali firms

Union Bank says has $45 mln direct exposure to Nirav Modi, Gitanjali firms

Finance
Union Bank of India has direct credit exposure of about Rs 120 crore ($ 18.4 million) to companies controlled by jeweller Nirav Modi, and another Rs 175 crore ($ 26.9 million) to Gitanjali group of companies, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday. Companies belonging to Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who heads the Gitanjali group, have been accused by Punjab National Bank of defrauding the bank of over $ 2 billion. The bank alleges firms controlled by the duo colluded with rogue PNB staff to secure fraudulent guarantees that were used to raise credit from overseas branches of Indian banks. Both Modi and Choksi have denied wrongdoing, and so have two key accused PNB employees in the case, which has so far led to 19 people being arrested. The latest Union Bank figures are separate fro...
Florida shooting: Firms abandon NRA amid consumer boycott

Florida shooting: Firms abandon NRA amid consumer boycott

World
Several US companies have cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) amid calls for a boycott of businesses linked to the powerful gun lobby in the wake of the Florida school shooting.The firms include car rental giants Hertz and Enterprise, which had offered discounts for NRA members.The murder of 17 people has prompted renewed calls for tighter gun controls.Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott has backed calls to raise the minimum age for buying a gun from 18 to 21.Mr Scott has been widely seen as an ally of the NRA who has previously opposed stricter laws in the state. However, he has come under mounting pressure to respond to the demands of students who survived the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.How did the boycott come about?Activists have tried to put pr...