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‘I had a nice lifestyle, no debt. Now I owe £35k’: Shop owners desperate for post-pandemic help in the budget

‘I had a nice lifestyle, no debt. Now I owe £35k’: Shop owners desperate for post-pandemic help in the budget

Business
Guildford High Street, with its pretty cobbled streets, chi chi shops and historical architecture, is the perfect example of an affluent commuter suburb.But even this pleasant corner of Surrey hasn't been immune from the economic shock of the pandemic. The Hair and Beauty Bar has been a staple on the High Street for 21 years, but after being forced to close for the third time in 12 months, owner Gemma Raif is fearful of the future.Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world "The past year's been very difficult," she said. "I had a successful business that gave me a nice lifestyle, with no debt. Now I owe at least £35,000 in rent, which is not a nice place to be when you're not used to being in debt. If the landlords decide to pursue me, it could be my house that could go." ...
Nice attack: Mayor says deadly stabbing points to terrorism

Nice attack: Mayor says deadly stabbing points to terrorism

World
Are you in the area? Did you witness what happened? If it's safe to do so, please share your experiences by emailing .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration...
Coronavirus: Want to sell a home? Make the garden look nice

Coronavirus: Want to sell a home? Make the garden look nice

Business
Landlords and owners putting their homes on the market are being told to show off gardens in marketing photos as house-hunters search for space.Pictures of the kitchen had previously been considered key to attracting the attention of browsers.Lockdown has changed the priorities of buyers and renters, many of whom have been working from home, research by property portal Rightmove suggests.Flats are the big losers, as indoor and outdoor space becomes a bigger draw.Rightmove said that a studio flat was the most sought-after property type among renters in January, but by May - after the coronavirus lockdown - it had dropped out of the top five. A two-bedroom house is now the biggest attraction.Moving further out of townFlats have als...
Malaysia leader rebukes ‘not nice’ Trump after acquittal

Malaysia leader rebukes ‘not nice’ Trump after acquittal

World
Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticized U.S. President Donald Trump while suggesting Trump resign despite his acquittal on impeachment charges last week. Mahathir, who returned to office in 2018, also took issue with Trump's character at a press conference, Malay Mail reported Monday. The Malaysian prime minister said his comments were not for "all Americans," who he said were "very nice people." "I didn't refer to all Americans. I just said with regards to President Trump only," Mahathir said. "I find that Americans are very nice people, but not President Trump. I asked him to resign to save America." Mahathir's criticism of Trump began Saturday at the Third Conference of the League of Parliamentarians for Al-Quds. The Malaysian leader was providing his re...
Apple, Google and Amazon decide to ‘play nice’ over smart home tech

Apple, Google and Amazon decide to ‘play nice’ over smart home tech

Technology
The highly competitive tech giants Apple, Google and Amazon have announced they are teaming up in an effort to make smart home tech easier to use.The firms, along with the Zigbee Alliance, will work together so that smart home products are compatible with many different smartphones and voice assistants.Ikea is among other companies involved.One analyst said the move was a "surprise" and showed the companies were willing to "play nice".In recent years, the tech giants have been fiercely vying for dominance over smart home tech - with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant often considered to have carved up the lion's share of products.Manufacturers have often had to choose a particular voice assistant with which to make their device compatible - a smart speak...