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Looking for a home in Berlin or Budapest? Prepare to pay more

Looking for a home in Berlin or Budapest? Prepare to pay more

Finance
Dutch engineers test 'floating island' There's a nice little real estate boom underway in Europe. Europe took 11 of the top 20 spots on a ranking of cities with the largest price increases in the first quarter, according to global property agency Knight Frank. Prices spiked more than 14% over the previous year in Berlin, Rotterdam and Budapest. EU data back up the findings, showing that home prices increased by an average of 4.7% across the bloc in the first quarter, the highest price growth since late 2007 when the global financial crisis was about to explode. Demand has been fueled by low interest rates, an improving job market, rising consumer confidence and growing interest from foreign buyers, according to Kate Everett-Allen, a residential property expert at Knigh...
Turkish troops prepare to enter Idlib province, Syria

Turkish troops prepare to enter Idlib province, Syria

World
Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Turkey deployed commando units along its border with Syria and aided Free Syrian Army rebels as they crossed into Syria's Idlib province, the Turkish government announced.The troop movement is part of a joint mission between Turkey, Russia and Iran to monitor a de-escalation zone in Syria and remove a stronghold of former al-Qaida militants from the area. The three countries agreed in May to be guarantors of a cease-fire to help end the six-year civil war in Syria.Although there is no U.S. involvement in the mission, and the U.S. government is watching the combined involvement of the three countries armies. A Pentagon spokesman said the United States supports the action.Rebels of the FSA rode on trucks through Turkey and crossed the Syrian border on Saturday, while Turkish ...
Prepare for 'very hard' Brexit, German firms told

Prepare for 'very hard' Brexit, German firms told

Business
Germany's biggest business lobby group has warned companies operating in the UK to prepare for a "very hard Brexit".The Federation of German Industries (BDI) accused Theresa May's Government of being "at odds" with itself on a clear strategy for the looming divorce, claiming the outcome was "completely open".Its managing director, Joachim Lang, told reporters in Berlin: "After four rounds of negotiations, German industry looks with concern at the progress of the Brexit negotiations."The British Government is lacking a clear concept despite talking a lot."German companies with a presence in Britain and Northern Ireland must now make provisions for the serious case of a very hard exit. Anything else would be naive."Video:Five key points from PM's Brexit speechThe BDI said it had created its ...
Carillion lenders prepare £800m debt deal

Carillion lenders prepare £800m debt deal

Business
A pack of UK banks have drafted in advisers to steer them through a financial restructuring at Carillion, the troubled support services group.Sky News has learnt that lenders including Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland have appointed FTI Consulting ahead of a crucial set of results that Carillion is due to announce next week.FTI is said to have been hired in the last few days by the banks, which have lent hundreds of millions of pounds to Carillion.The future of the construction company, which has a key role in major public infrastructure projects such as the HS2 high-speed rail link, was plunged into doubt by a huge profit warning in July.The alert, which Carillion blamed partly on big writedowns on a number of projects, sent its shares crashing.Since then, it has ousted its chief...
America’s utilities prepare for a nuclear threat to the grid

America’s utilities prepare for a nuclear threat to the grid

Finance
WHEN North Korea said on September 3rd that it had developed a hydrogen bomb, adding that it could be used for a “super-powerful” high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) attack, America’s electricity industry was already on alert. Sceptics tend to dismiss as far-fetched the idea that the rogue regime would knock out the electricity grid by detonating a nuclear bomb high in the atmosphere. Regulators have not mandated safety measures. But the utilities are taking it seriously enough.They are more than a year into a three-year programme, funded by about 60 electricity firms, to understand the potential impact of a HEMP attack on the generation and transmission of electricity, and to find ways to shield the network. Such concerns are not new. In 1962, when America exploded nuclear devices