HMRC is pulling the winding-up process of Liberty Steel

HMRC is pulling the winding-up process of Liberty Steel

Britain’s tax authorities have withdrawn a wind-up order against a large portion of Liberty Steel, controlled by commodity trader Sanjeev Gupta.

Thousands of jobs were at risk after HM Revenue and Customs filed a petition in the High Court last month to shut down Specialty Steel UK and three other Liberty Steel businesses.

Plants that may have been damaged include the electric arc furnace at Rotherham in South Yorkshire and the high-value processing plant at Stokesbridge, which supplies British aerospace and the automotive industry.

Liberty Steel said yesterday that HMRC had withdrawn the petitions and injected more funds into the business to secure continued activities.

Liberty Steel is the UK arm of Gupta’s GFG Alliance, whose main lender, Greensil, a supply chain finance firm, has jumped on the bandwagon since financing last year.

Neither Liberty Steel nor HMRC disclosed how much tax was unpaid.

Jeffrey Cable, Liberty Steel’s Chief Transformation Officer, said: “We are pleased to report better progress in our discussions with lenders, including the UK’s HMRC.”

In Coventry, an automotive sector provider, 209 jobs are at risk, individually, after the company failed to find a buyer for Liberty Pressing Solutions.


BBC chief Tony Hall is resigning amid growing challenges

BBC chief Tony Hall is resigning amid growing challenges

LONDON – The BBC’s director general Tony Hall announced on Monday that he would step down as head of the UK broadcaster within six months of serving seven years.

Hall said he was resigning so that a new leader could oversee a mid-term review of the BBC’s funding in 2022 and the renewal of its operating charter in 2027.

The announcement comes at a time when the BBC is facing intense political and public pressure to fund publicly in a rapidly changing media landscape and viewing habits. It has been criticized by both sides in the Brexit debate over coverage of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, and some in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government have suggested changing the BBC’s funding model.

The broadcaster is currently financed with a fee of 4 154 a year ($ 200 per year) paid by each family, including a television. It is not state-controlled, although the government sets the terms of the broadcaster’s certificate, which is renewed every decade.

In a warning to critics of the organization, Hall said: “In the age of fake news, we are the golden standard of neutrality and truth.

“What the BBC, and what it stands for, is valuable to this country,” Hall said. “We ignore it at our peril.”

The Associated Press

Taxpayers will have to spend billions more to rescue the bulb energy government

Taxpayers will have to spend billions more to rescue the bulb energy government

Keeping Bulb Energy on could potentially cost taxpayers billions of pounds more than is currently being determined, government officials say.

The bulb, which has 1.6 million subscribers, was semi-nationalized in late November when it was placed under special administration because it was pushed down by rising wholesale gas prices.

In November, the wholesale price was about £ 2 per unit.

Since then, prices have consistently been higher than that.

They peaked at £ 4.70 in December and peaked at £ 8 on Monday – a time of extreme turmoil – 20 times the price seen last year.

When the bulbs were placed in special administration, the Treasury set aside £ 1.7 billion to purchase the required gas until the end of the tax year in April 2022, a time when a buyer was expected to be found for the business.

Government officials acknowledge that in this environment the possibility of offloading the business to a private buyer seems remote and that this means that taxpayers will be hooked on gas bills that energy analysts believe could be billions of pounds.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The Special Administrator of Bulbs is obliged to keep administrative costs as low as possible, and we will work closely with them to ensure maximum value for money. Taxpayers. “

Extreme volatility in the energy market has seen some consumers willing to pay £ 3,500 a year to fix their energy bills for two years, according to another major energy operator.

This is well above the মূল 1,971 energy price cap that went into effect in April, but that cap could rise further every six months.

Industry analysts estimate that the next energy price cap from October could be set at £ 3,000 or more.

Other energy retailers are reluctant to offer or recommend customers to lock in at such a high price because they fear they may fall into the trap of higher tariffs if prices return to a more normal level.

Some may be willing to pay a high price for the peace of mind given to them. Despite the government’s two-tiered বিল 9bn energy bill support package, millions of consumers will be unable to afford energy bills later this year.

It will offer consumers a £ 150 council tax rebate in April and a 200 200 loan in October that will be repaid at £ 40 a year for the next five years.


The Quebec investor group is buying Canadian activities and other assets of Canam Group

ST-GEORGES, Que. – A group of Quebec investors has signed an agreement with American Industrial Partners Equity Firm to buy the Canadian operations of Canam Group’s architectural steel company, as well as some assets in the United States and abroad.

The transaction, which is expected to close next week, will total more than $ 840 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, it was announced on Monday that the new company would be equally owned by the group, including the Marcel Dutel family, the Caisse de depo et placement du Quebec and the Fonds de solidarite.

The treaty includes St. Gadion-de-Beaux, Cui., Boucherville, Cui., Mississauga, Ont. And Canam Building Plant in Calgary and Quebec City, Laval, Cui. And Canam Bridge plants in Shaunigan, Q.

The new company will be part of Stonebridge’s erection operations in Brasov, Romania and Calcutta, India’s engineering and drafting office, South Plainfield, NJ, as well as Canam Bridge US in Clermont, NH.

The activities of US subsidiary Kanam Steel Corporation and FabSouth are not part of the agreement and will be jointly owned by AIP and the Quebec Investors Group.

“With the support of CDPQ and Funds, Canam will continue to grow with the same quality and reliability that has built its reputation,” said Marcel Dutil, chairman of Canam Group.

This report was first published in The Canadian Press on January 20, 2020.

Canadian Press

Shell has cut off oil and gas ties with Russia over its attack on Ukraine

Shell has cut off oil and gas ties with Russia over its attack on Ukraine

Shell last week apologized for buying Russian oil and said it would begin cutting off all involvement in the country’s oil and gas, including the closure of its 500 petrol stations there.

The London-listed power giant sparked an international backlash on Friday by buying a heavy discount cargo of Russian oil just days after it condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and promised to pull out of a joint venture with Kremlin-backed Gazprom.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba tweeted: “Doesn’t smell Russian oil? [like] Ukrainian blood for you? “

Ben Van Bourdain, chief executive of Shell, said: “We are acutely aware of our decision last week to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil for refining in products such as petrol and diesel – albeit with security concerns in mind.” Thoughts – not right and we’re sorry. “

She said that to date, Shell’s activities have been guided by “continuous discussions with the government about the need to isolate society from the flow of Russian energy while maintaining the supply of energy.”

Van Boureden set out a series of pledges to remove the shale from all Russian oil and gas involvement, which he said the shale would now follow if the government did not order otherwise.

He said Shell would immediately stop buying Russian crude oil on the spot market and would not renew the contract. It will change its “crude oil supply chain to remove Russian volumes” as soon as possible, but says “physical location and availability of alternatives means it could take weeks to complete and reduce throughput at some of our refineries.”

Shell says it operates about 500 service stations in Russia and also has an aircraft fuel and lubricant business. Van Beurden said all of this would be stopped, although the timing was unclear. It will “carefully consider the safest way to do this, but the process will start immediately”.

It will begin “phased withdrawal from Russian petroleum products, pipeline gas and LNG” but warns that it will take longer. It was revealed on Saturday that Shell had unloaded a cargo of Russian LNG at a terminal in Wales.

The announcement of a full withdrawal from Russia marked a significant increase in Shell’s position last week, when it promised to withdraw from a joint venture with the Kremlin-backed gas company Gazprom. This includes a 26.5 percent stake in Russia’s Far Eastern Giant Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas project.

At the time, Van Boureden said that Shell was “shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we are sorry for, a senseless act of military aggression that threatens European security.” He added: “We can’t – and we can’t – stand by.”

Although there is no formal ban on Russian oil and gas, buyers began avoiding Russian oil cargo last week, with Russian oil being released on record to Brent crude.

On Friday, however, Shell bought a cargo of Russian crude oil from Swiss trader Trafigura at a discount of 28 28.50 per barrel.

Shell initially defended the purchase, saying it had “a relative lack of alternatives” to supply refineries and chemical plants “to ensure that we continue to produce the necessary fuels and products that people and businesses depend on every day.” .

As Saturday’s response escalated, it promised to donate any money to a fund to help the people of Ukraine, but again defended the decision, stressing that “cargoes from alternative sources did not arrive on time to avoid disruption of market supplies.”


James Dean Resurrection Encourages Controversy to Raise Digital Dead

James Dean Resurrection Encourages Controversy to Raise Digital Dead

LOS ANGELES – Men’s goal in bringing James Dean to life for an upcoming film is not only to give his digital metaphor a role, but to give him a whole new career.

Dean’s planned appearance in the Vietnam War movie “Finding Jack” and the possibility of future parts, digital de-aging and imitation of real actors have turned from cinematic strategy to general practice. And it is giving new life to old arguments about the immortality and dignity of the dead.

“Our goal is to create a virtual entity for James Dean. It will be used not only for one movie, but also for many movies and gaming and virtual reality, “said Travis Clyde, CEO of Worldwide XR, who is leading the design of the Dean project. “Our focus is on making the ultimate James Dean so he can survive by any means.”

Legally, Dean Estate and his surviving relatives have the right to do so in full agreement.

“Our clients want to protect the rights of this valuable intellectual property and the memory of their loved ones,” said Mark Rozler, CEO of CMG Worldwide, a legal and licensing company that has long owned a title similar to Dean’s. “We have to trust them. They want to see that the image and memory of their loved one survives. ”

Dean is a staunch candidate for a revival with the epitome of Hollywood and the briefness of his life and career – he died at the age of 24 and made only three films: “East of Eden”, “Rebel for no reason” and “Giant.”

Rozler and Claude Warner Bros. did not get the right to use footage of those films, but they do have lots of photos and dozens of TV roles for Dean.

“There are thousands of pictures we have to work with,” said Clyde. “What we usually do is we take all those pictures and videos and we run through machine learning to create that resource.”

It will be added to the work of a stand-in actor using motion-capture technology, as is now commonly done with CGI characters and other actors’ overblown voices.

Last year’s announcement of the role sparked a backlash, with reactions on Twitter from “Captain America” ​​star Chris Evans: “Maybe we can get a computer to draw a new Picasso ৷ or write some new John Lennon tunes. It’s a complete lack of understanding here.”

Terry White, editor-in-chief of the film magazine “Empire”, said: “I think there is something wrong with reviving long-dead actors in particular, and that seems a bit annoying.” “James Dean’s favorite response to the news actually showed that I think most people don’t really want it.”

For those behind the Dean project, negative feedback is inevitable because they believe it will be the ultimate acceptance. Clyde predicts a Hollywood where even the living actors have a “digital twin” that helps them in their work.

“It’s disruptive technology,” said Clyde. “Some people hear it for the first time and they shudder. But the market is going on here. ”

The resurrection of the dead, often done clumsily, is happening for most of Hollywood’s existence.

Footage of Bella Lugosi, wearing a cape over her face, used in the 1959 “Plan 9 from Outer Space” was published after the horror star’s death. Bruce Lee’s film “Game of Death,” left unfinished before his death in 1973, was completed using doubles and voice overdub, and was released five years later. “The Fast and the Furious” star Paul Walker died in 2013 before the shooting of “Furious 7” ended. Her two younger brothers and others worked as stand-in to finish her scenes.

Even Lenin and many other dead historical figures were digitally revived in 1994 in “Forest Gump”.

But the technology of entertainment and revival has taken a big leap in terms of quality and prestige, including the extensive de-aging and re-aging used in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”; Will Smith, a young man, digitally returns to play the current version of last summer’s “Gemini Man”; And Carrie Fisher, whose youngest self made a brief digital return to 2016’s “Star Wars: Rogue One” and reappeared in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” after his death.

These examples have raised scattered skepticism – both about the quality of the technology and the legitimacy of the revival – but the audience has largely accepted them.

Guy Williams, visual effects supervisor at filmmaker Peter Jackson’s Veta Digital, says the possibilities are a moral dilemma.

“The question is not so much whether you use someone’s metaphor to bring someone back or create a digital version of them, but what you do with it and the respect you show for it,” Williams said. “So, to me, the more important question.”

The visual effects supervisor behind Pablo Hellman, Robert De Niro of “The Irishman” and the de-aging of others, says he considers that moral dilemma in his work.

“The main question you have to ask yourself is why do this?” Hellman says. “You know, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, you know? This is something I always ask: is it in the service of the story?

Ethical considerations can give way to market power if viewers decide that they find the digital version of dead actors admirable and delicious.

“I think the moral question will be decided by the audience and society, whether they want to see it or not,” said Bill Westenhofer, visual effects supervisor at Gemini Man.

Dean will play a supporting role in “Finding Jack”, which is now in pre-production. Limited screen time, at the moment, as far as his retrievers want to go. But they hope that the digital avatar can eventually carry a film, perhaps even James Dean himself at different ages.

“There’s going to be a biopic of James Dean at some point,” said Clyde. “I don’t think there’s technology today to take risks.”

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Kemp reports from London.

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Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.

Andrew Dalton and Matt Kemp, Associated Press

How to come up with a business name

How to come up with a business name

Do you want to start your own business in the near future? You may already know what your main activity will be, you may not have thought of your business name yet.

However, finding a name for your company or brand is a choice that should be considered in advance. Here are all our tips for finding the best possible name for your future company.

As well as related How to come up with a business name? You can seek advice from experts for any advice while building your business, which is free to us.

How to choose a name for your company?

The goal of a company name is to send a clear message about the sector of its operations as well as to convey a sense of consistency with the values ​​it wants to convey to its customers.

The step of choosing a company name is an important step when creating a company.

How to find a brand name related to the market?

First, define your position, your purpose, your proposal, and your values ​​so that there is a solid foundation for action. Experts will be able to guide you to set up your projects. Then think about what your target customers are looking for to avoid abstract or generic terms.

The ideal is to find names that relate to the market niche you want to conquer. You will have plenty of time to change your business name as your business grows to attract international customers. On the other hand, if you want to change your product or service, do not describe your business name.

How do I know if a company name already exists?

The best way to be sure of the availability of your name with a corporate name or trade name is to consult the data.inpi.fr database of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) for free. In the SIRENE database of INSEE as well as national registration of trade and company.

For further confirmation, it is recommended to complete this search with an in-depth search (search for spelling, phonetic and intellectual match) on brand and company names. This can be done online at the INPI website.

Choose simplicity

Many businesses struggle to build a customer base because of an unexpected name. Unusually, this choice begins with a good deal of attention from partners, such as trying to attract customers with a real name and stand out from its competitors.

But many companies eventually had to change the name of the company because the consumer did not necessarily understand the company’s preferences and area.

Originality and simplicity are key words when choosing a name for your business. It is best to choose short words that indicate your activity

Name Generator (How to invent a name?)

A business name or brand name generator is a computer tool that will use artificial intelligence to suggest names for your next business idea. The generator will suggest a unique name and also suggest business name ideas related to the category you choose.

Of course, you have to think for yourself beforehand because the more prepared you are before creating a business name, the better the results will be.

Registering your business name: Required steps

When you start a business, your business must have a name. Once you’ve found the name, it’s important to register your business name.

Brand filing file

Trademark registration with INPI is an important moment in creating a trade name in the development of a company. Brand image is a very important element in maintaining the identity of a product. This allows your business to create an image of trust with your customers.

Also, your trademark registration protects you from fraud, protects your domain name … all thanks to a specific approach to fighting fraud, which is easier to implement than an unfair competition approach.

To be registered, the trademark must be:

  • Be free (see availability of names);
  • Be unique (the sign must be nominated by your company and not others);
  • Be Legal (No Regulated Title)
  • No need to be against good morals (no offensive conditions …)

The mark must not be misleading, meaning it will not confuse customers about the quality of the particular product.

It must not be descriptive of the designated product or service and ultimately it must not repeat the essential features of the product, or use a generic name that would allow it to be designated (e.g. “water” brand cannot be filed for water designation) ).

Examination of files by INPI

Once your file has been sent, INPI will study it to make sure your brand name is within the rules. It is possible that INPI will ask you for different explanations. In this case, INPI does not contradict the precedence of your mark.

If INPI verifies your file, your trademark will be registered with BOPI and you will receive a registration certificate.

How much does it cost to file a business name?

The cost of filing a company name depends on the number of classes you have requested to register with INPI. Pay 190 190 for a class then pay 42 42 per extra class.

On average, it costs 210 to file a business name with INPI. For protection on an international scale, an additional budget of approximately € 250 is required.

In the case of preserving a domain name, the cost may vary from a few euros to a few tens of euros depending on the provider.


“We are open to business,” Macron of France told CEOs worldwide

“We are open to business,” Macron of France told CEOs worldwide

PARIS – France’s president is taking on the role of salesman-in-chief for his strike-ravaged country.

Emmanuel Macron on Monday used the pomp of Versailles Palace to attract international business leaders, stressing that his reforms were attracting investors despite six weeks of lame protests and walkouts over his plans to overhaul the retirement system.

To convey the message that the eurozone’s second-largest economy is open for business, Macron’s government has announced a 2 billion-euro ($ 2.2 billion) deal for the French shipyard at Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast. It will build two cruise ships for the company MSC, which will represent about 2,400 jobs in three years. MSC has confirmed plans to build other ships in France for another 4 billion euros ($ 4.4 billion).

“The good news comes from nowhere. It comes because we are implementing reforms, because our country is moving, dynamic, “said Macron.” I know our heads are full of bad news and we are convinced that everything is going to explode. But that is not true. “

Macron made the remarks to workers at a plant at the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in the northern city of Dunkirk, one of his stops on a crazy day trying to persuade investors to choose France. Astrazeneca has announced 500 million in new investments over the next 5 years.

Later, in Versailles, Macron hosted 180 international business leaders, including top executives from Google, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Samsung and General Electric. Many executives were stopping on their way to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Coca-Cola says it will invest 1 billion euros ($ 1.1 billion) over the next 5 years, including its Dunkirk plant in France.

Japanese automaker Toyota said last week it would build a new car model at its Valencia plant in northern France, representing 400 jobs and an investment of 100 million euros ($ 110 million).

Macron was elected in 2017 to a pro-European, pro-business platform and argued that France needed to be more globally competitive. He has begun tax cuts on business revenue and passed legislation to make it easier to hire and dismiss workers and make it harder to get unemployment benefits.

For such a policy, Macron has faced strikes and protests by French workers. The Yellow West economic justice movement began in November 2018 and included months of street protests over the cost of living and perceived social injustice.

In recent weeks, the president’s plan to revise the pension system has provoked major transport strikes. Macron said his plan to integrate more than 40 different retirement systems would be more equitable for all French workers. Those with special retirement contracts are opposed to the change, and various types of workers are opposed to any move to raise the retirement age from 62 to full.

Train traffic was close to normal on Monday and the Paris Metro was slightly disrupted after a major union called for a halt to the strike on Saturday.

The government says Labor The steps have begun to produce results and are creating more jobs. France’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in a decade this year, but at 8.6% it is still the highest in the European Union.

The World Economic Forum, in its 2019 Global Competitiveness Report – an assessment of the competitive landscape of 141 economies – rated France 15 out of 22 in 2017.

Sylvie Corbett, Associated Press

5 training programs to facilitate new managers

5 training programs to facilitate new managers

When you first step into the role of manager, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You can now be in charge of the employees, and you probably want to fix that by them and the company you work for.

Make sure your team runs like a well-oiled machine when there can be a lot of pressure to lead your company to success. Although you may be able to do more than that, there is no harm in participating in the following few training programs. They can benefit you and your team more than you can imagine.

Mental health

Employee well-being is important, which is why mental health training in the workplace can be important. If your team does not have the skills to manage wellness, you can learn them through specially designed programs.

These training programs can help managers identify signs of mental health problems, provide first aid to staff members, and guide people who can provide further support. While encouraging employees to have open conversations about mental health, they can also teach managers how to listen, reassure, and respond.

People management

A key part of being a manager is managing people. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.

Some people build strong relationships between natural managers and the workplace, but others need a helping hand when it comes to managing that position. Fortunately, there are many different person management training programs available to help you learn these critical skills.

Diversity and inclusion

We aspire to be able to staff our organizations with people of all nationalities, backgrounds, genders and abilities. However, not all managers understand diversity and inclusion and how to deal with the risks associated with harassment and discrimination. Diversity and inclusion training can be important for managers to learn about privileges, unconscious biases, cultural identities, inclusion and more.

Cyber ​​security

Most medium to large businesses have access to IT experts to help them with their cyber security needs. These professionals can set up infrastructure to keep sensitive information safe and secure.

However, managers who work with workplace systems on a daily basis must have at least a basic idea about cybersecurity to avoid any potentially serious problems. Taking a training program to learn about your company’s cyber security policies and procedures can prevent minor but potentially harmful problems, such as opening a virus email attachment and compromising with a server at work.

Communication

Effective workplace communication can be important for job satisfaction, less conflict, increased productivity, and building stronger relationships. If communication is poor, so can performance.

Taking training courses on how to communicate with your team and open lines of communication among other employees can be important for the success of your business. These types of training courses are designed to help you create a culture of communication, communicate clearly and understand non-verbal communication.

Being a manager can open many doors for the average person, but it can be a difficult step to take when you realize that you are now responsible for an entire team. Some of these training courses above may be worthy of your consideration while they may benefit both you and your entire workplace.


The UK is looking to fast-growing Africa for trade relations after Brexit

The UK is looking to fast-growing Africa for trade relations after Brexit

LONDON – British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Prince Harry on Monday called the United Kingdom an ideal business partner for Africa as their country prepares for a post-Brexit deal with the world.

But Britain is facing a tough challenge as it seeks to assert itself on a continent with some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a young population of 1.2 billion that will double by 2050.

Of the 54 African heads of state, the first to attend the first UK-Africa investment conference is less than a few dozen who attended the first Russia-Africa summit last year or a regular meeting in China.

The UK’s Department of International Trade says bilateral trade with Africa was $ 46 billion in the year ending the second quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, Africa’s bilateral trade with China, the continent’s top trading partner, was $ 208 billion in 2019.

Johnson told attendees that the conference “has been going on for a long time.” He acknowledged that British officials and agencies needed to work together to persuade African countries to do business with the United Kingdom.

“We have no divine right to that business,” he said. “It’s a competitive world. You can have a suit “- especially China and Russia.

Britain will leave the European Union on January 31, and Johnson said the United Kingdom would be a free-trade “world after Brexit.” He vowed that the post-Brexit immigration system would “keep people before passports”, acknowledging a general frustration across Africa.

As other global powers, including the Gulf states and India, continue to increase their diplomatic and economic presence in Africa, some observers have wondered about the interests of former colonial Britain.

When Theresa May visited Kenya in 2018, even Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that it was the first visit by a British prime minister to the East African economic center in more than three decades.

The United Kingdom said 16 African leaders, including leaders from Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Malawi, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Uganda and Rwanda, were attending Monday’s summit in London.

“Africa’s wealth is undisputed,” said Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Ado, noting that by 2050, one in four people in the world will be African.

Leaders stressed the need to tackle growing inequality and the dire need for improved infrastructure on the continent, especially as millions of people move to growing cities.

In addition to the slowdown in its top two economies, South Africa and Nigeria, Africa is showing economic momentum as the recently launched African continental free trade zone collects steam.

Last year, economic growth slowed in all geographic regions except Africa, with the United Nations last week reporting its annual global economic situation and prospects for 2020.

The United Nations has said that Africa’s GDP growth will be 3.2% in 2020 and 3.5% in 2021. And 25 African countries are projected to achieve at least 5% economic growth this year.

The UK should adopt a broader investment approach for Africa’s growing middle class and increasingly sophisticated customers, the Overseas Development Institute reported this month. It said more than 80% of Britain’s investment in Africa was focused on mining and financial services, and that 30% of investment on the continent went to a single country, South Africa.

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Report from Anna Johannesburg.

Jill is outlawed and brought in, The Associated Press