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City centres 'could become ghost towns'

City centres 'could become ghost towns'

Business
City centres are in danger of becoming ghost towns as shopping habits change, a committee of MPs has warned.To combat this, the government should "level the playing field" for High Street retailers by raising taxes on online giants such as Amazon, it said.The MPs also called for lower business rates and more regeneration in town centres. The government said it was investing to ensure High Streets "adapt and thrive for generations". A fifth of UK retail sales now occur online with that proportion likely to grow, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee said. Replacing failed shops 'won't save cities' Three things that could save the High Street But it said the impact on high streets had been "stark", resulting in "store closures, persiste...
For the IRS, government shutdown 'could not have come at a worse time,' report says

For the IRS, government shutdown 'could not have come at a worse time,' report says

Finance
The longest government shutdown in history could not have come at a worse time for the IRS, the National Taxpayer Advocate has told Congress. The IRS was heading into its first filing season under the massive new tax law when the federal government partially closed. Among the changes was the raising of the standard deduction for married couples to $ 24,000 from $ 13,000, and to $ 12,000 for individuals, from $ 6,500. Personal exemptions were also eliminated. "It was the biggest change in 30 years," said Gary Milkwick, chief product officer at 1800Acco...
EU copyright reforms 'could harm creatives'

EU copyright reforms 'could harm creatives'

Technology
By Ajay Nair, news reporter The EU is a step closer to implementing a controversial copyright law reform that could affect what people share on websites like YouTube after politicians agreed on changes to the proposals.The reform, which pits tech giants like Google against publishers and content creators, will be put to MEPs next week before they make their final decision at a later date. Proposed changes to the law are designed to re-balance the relationship between internet platforms and those who create content - anything from music and memes to news and film.It seeks to give fairer pay to creators and forces tech firms to remove copyrighted content.Following the announcement, Andrus Ansip, the European Commission's vice president for the digital singl...
Cross-Channel freight trade 'could drop by 87%' under 'no-deal' Brexit

Cross-Channel freight trade 'could drop by 87%' under 'no-deal' Brexit

Business
Cross-Channel freight trade could drop by between 75% and 87% for six months in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, according to a Border Force document obtained by Sky News. The estimate comes as part of an internal assumption for no deal contingency plans.A slide from an internal Government presentation marked "Official-Sensitive" and titled "Freight Traffic Contingency Assumptions" is a recent internal assessment much of which was omitted from public No Deal documentation. It reads: "The reasonable worst case flow through the Short Straits is reduced to between 13% and 25% of current capacity for a period of between 3-6 months."This is a reference to traffic from Dover-Calais and in the Channel Tunnel. NEW:Sky News obtains Border Force conti...
NHS long-term plan: Focus on prevention 'could save 500,000 lives'

NHS long-term plan: Focus on prevention 'could save 500,000 lives'

Health
NHS bosses in England say a new 10-year plan could save up to 500,000 lives by focusing on prevention.GPs, mental health and community care will get the biggest funding increases.The aim is to curb the reliance on hospitals, which will get a smaller cut of the budget - leading some doctors to warn they were facing a "near-on impossible task."The plans also include DNA testing for children with cancer, and other young people with a rare genetic disorder.Society of Acute Medicine president Dr Nick Scriven said he was "staggered" by the plans given the problems facing hospitals.Many trusts are missing all three key waiting time targets for A&E, cancer care and routine operations, and are struggling to balance the books. If you can't see the NHS Trac...