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California passes landmark gig economy rights bill

California passes landmark gig economy rights bill

Business
California lawmakers have passed a bill that paves the way for gig economy workers to get holiday and sick pay.Assembly Bill 5, as its known, will affect firms like Uber and Lyft, which are based in California and depend on those working in the gig economy.Some estimates suggest costs for those firms would increase by 30% if they have to treat workers as employees.But opponents of the bill say it will hurt those people who want to work flexible hours.If it is signed into law, the bill will change how employees are treated in the gig-economy, which has been a cornerstone of the model adopted by ride-hailing firms and food delivery apps.But California state senator Maria Elena Durazo said underpaying workers wasn't innovative. Assembly Bill 5 would put into...
Fracking starts at landmark Lancashire site

Fracking starts at landmark Lancashire site

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Fracking for shale gas has begun for the first time in the UK since it was linked with earthquakes in 2011. Energy firm Cuadrilla confirmed the controversial process had started at its site in Little Plumpton, Lancashire after a legal challenge failed on Friday. Protester Ginette Evans said there was a "mood of disappointment" but insisted the fight was "not over".Cuadrilla insisted the process was safe and would be of "enormous" benefit.The company's chief executive Francis Egan said: "These are the first exploration wells that will be tested... we have high hopes for them but we have to wait and see what comes out."If successful, he said it would "lead to tens of thousands of jobs and could be a very signific...
NHS to save 'hundreds of millions' in landmark drug ruling

NHS to save 'hundreds of millions' in landmark drug ruling

Health
A landmark ruling against two leading drug companies could save the NHS "hundreds of millions" a year. The case centred on the treatment of patients with the eye condition, wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).Twelve NHS bodies in the north east of England were offering patients the drug Avastin, a cheaper alternative to the licensed drug, Lucentis. Health bosses said the ruling may reduce the power of companies to fix prices. Drug company Novartis said they were "deeply disappointed" because patients were being asked to accept an unlicensed treatment to save the NHS money.David Hambleton, chief executive officer of NHS South Tyneside clinical commissioning group (CCG), one of the NHS groups involved in the case, welcomed ...
Canada to legalise cannabis after landmark vote

Canada to legalise cannabis after landmark vote

World
Canada is to become only the second country to have a legal nationwide cannabis market after a landmark government bill was passed by the senate. The Cannabis Act sailed through by a vote of 52 to 29 on Tuesday, allowing for the drug to become available for recreational use as soon as the cabinet decides on a final date.It is expected to be decided upon by mid-September, meaning retail sales could begin before the end of the year. 1:49 Video: Will cannabis be legalised ...
China's markets just became more important to the rest of the world after a landmark day

China's markets just became more important to the rest of the world after a landmark day

Finance
Close to 230 China A shares debuted on index provider MSCI's emerging markets benchmark on Friday, a move investors expect will attract billions of dollars in inflows to the mainland market. The partial inclusion of the A shares — yuan-denominated stocks traded on the mainland — to MSCI's Emerging Markets Index takes place in two phases, with the second step only coming in August. Among the names included were a mix of financials, consumer and developer names such as Kweichow Moutai, which makes premium liquor; BYD, an electric vehicle manufacturer; China's largest lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China an...