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Pound at highest level since Brexit vote

Pound at highest level since Brexit vote

Business
The pound has climbed to its highest level against the US dollar since the Brexit vote.Sterling was up by more than a cent to reach nearly $ 1.37 in Friday trading. It was little changed against the euro, hovering below €1.13.It has not been as high versus the dollar since the result of the EU referendum in June 2016 sent the pound plunging from $ 1.50.That result saw sterling sliding to less than $ 1.20 in ensuing months before steadily gaining back ground over 2017.The latest rise on Friday was partly attributed to a report that Spain and the Netherlands were open to a softer Brexit deal for Britain.Bloomberg reported that the two countries' foreign ministers had agreed to work together for a divorce deal that would maintain close ties between the EU and Britain.That did little to help t
Toys R Us faces crunch vote over UK rescue plan

Toys R Us faces crunch vote over UK rescue plan

Business
Toys R Us's future in the UK is hanging in the balance ahead of a key vote by creditors later on Thursday over whether to back the firm's rescue plan.The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) - which wants the toy retailer to put £9m into its struggling pension fund - has said it will vote against the plan.Failure to agree a deal could put all its 3,200 staff at risk of redundancy.However, reports suggest Toys R Us has put forward new proposals to try to reach a last-minute deal with the PPF. The PPF - whose duty is to pensioners and not the company - wants money upfront to secure funding for Toys R Us's staff pension scheme, which has a deficit of more than £25m. Why did Toys R Us fall from grace?Toy sellers bet on Christmas as sales dipToys R Us, which has 100 stores and outlets in the UK, has p
Republican tax bill: House passes plan to Senate for final vote

Republican tax bill: House passes plan to Senate for final vote

Business
The Republican-controlled Congress is expected to confirm the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than three decades.The House of Representatives approved the legislation comfortably on Tuesday, but the vote is likely to be closer in the Senate.The bill looks set to mark the party's first major legislative triumph under President Donald Trump.Critics say the package is a deficit-bloating giveaway to the super-rich.But Republicans argue the tax cuts for corporations, small businesses and individuals will bolster economic growth.Tuesday saw 12 Republicans and all Democratic members of the House oppose the bill, which passed by 227 votes to 203, to loud cheers and applause from Republicans in the chamber.Speaker Paul Ryan said: "Today we are giving the people of this country t...
England 'won't be intimidated', Stokes sends a message & vote on who's on top

England 'won't be intimidated', Stokes sends a message & vote on who's on top

Sports
Media playback is not supported on this device First Ashes Test, Gabba, Brisbane (day one of five)England 196-4: Vince 83, Stoneman 53Australia: Yet to batScorecardEngland "sent a message" on the opening day of the Ashes that they will compete with Australia, says former captain Michael Vaughan.The tourists recovered from 2-1 to reach 196-4 in Brisbane, thanks to James Vince's 83, Mark Stoneman's 53 and an unbeaten 28 from Dawid Malan."I was concerned that England might get blown away," Vaughan, who captained England to an Ashes series victory in 2005, told the BBC's Test Match Special."I wrote them off."England are widely expected to struggle in Australia, where they have won only once in the past seven tours dating back to 1990-91.Vinc...
Tensions high in run-up to Catalonia independence vote

Tensions high in run-up to Catalonia independence vote

World
Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Tensions continued to run high with Spain's national government pledging to block Sunday's planned independence referendum in Catalonia.Last week, Spain's national police confiscated 9 million ballots from a warehouse outside Barcelona that Catalonian officials had planned to use to carry out a controversial independence referendum set for Sunday.The dramatic turn of events, first reported by Catalan News, was an opening salvo by the Spanish government to prevent what it regards as an illegal vote from taking place. The government has ordered police and the Guardia Civil, or Spanish Civil Guard, to confiscate all election-related materials, including the actual ballot boxes. Polling supervisors have been threatened with fines of up to 300,000 euros if they help facilitate...