Home Authors Posts by Clyde K. Valle

Clyde K. Valle

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Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.

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When starting a New Age business, normal small business principles apply. As with any other type of business, the key areas you have to focus on include product or service development, the writing of a business plan, budgeting for initial set-up costs and other financial planning, marketing efforts, and finally the successful management of the business.

With a New Age business concept, defining the type of products or services that you plan to specialize in plays an important role. There are various fields that you can focus on, such as gift ideas, healing services, books, and interior decorating that are based on New Age principles or New Age training services. The type of product or service that you specialize in will determine the initial set-up costs, the type of rental space required (if any), the selection of an ideal location and the number of employees required. With New Age businesses, it’s important to budget for business internet service to ensure a reliable connection.

Managing your own business is hard work and it is crucial that you have enough passion and self belief if you want to make it work. One reason many people cite in starting a New Age business is to enhance people’s lives. Find out what it is that you have a passion for and focus on building your business on that passion.

By creating a vision and mission statement for your business, you will be able to define your ideals and set reachable targets. This process will help you determine the best type of product or service for your business. When you have finalized your business concept, the next step will be to research what your potential customers will be looking for and how much they will be willing to pay for it.

Before making a decision on the location of your business, have a look at the potential customer groups in each area that you are considering. Locations that are close to eco-friendly housing communities will be ideal for health and holistic living products or services. Decide if you want to focus on working professionals, housewives or students and look for a location that can provide you with access to your target group.

The branding of your business is vital to creating a successful venture. Think carefully about the colors, shapes, designs and the signage of your business. Is the personality and aim of your business reflected in the branding? Can customers easily identify your business and the type of products or services offered?

One of the marketing ideas that you can consider is to showcase your brand at local fairs, events, and industry trade shows. The use of flyers and advertisements in the print and online media, as well as involvement with community events are effective promotional tools. Consider hosting regular events at your shop where potential customers can be introduced to your brand. Running specials or competitions can expose your brand to even more potential customers.

The online presence of your business is a powerful promotional tool. Consider investing in a professionally designed website and hosting to ensure that visitors can find your business online. Social media marketing is an essential part of any successful online marketing campaign. It is important to reach your target audience by using all of the available marketing and promotional tools at your disposal.

Continue to use all of the resources and tools that you can find online. Also, creating a network of entrepreneurs and industry professionals will help drastically. If you have the passion and self-belief, you will make a success of your New Age business.

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McDonald’s has suspended sale of chicken nuggets and some other products in Hong Kong.

The fast food chain said it had imported chicken and pork from Shanghai Husi Food, the Chinese company that allegedly supplied out of date meat to fast food firms.

China has suspended operations of Shanghai Husi after local media reports claimed it re-processed expired meat.

McDonald’s had removed nuggets from its menus at its Japanese outlets earlier this week over the same issue.

It said on Wednesday that about 20% of its chicken nuggets sold in Japan came from Shanghai Husi.


McDonalds has suspended sale of chicken nuggets and some other products in Hong Kong photo

McDonald’s has suspended sale of chicken nuggets and some other products in Hong Kong

McDonald’s said that nearly 500 stores in Japan had removed chicken nuggets from their menu, adding that sales were expected to resume after it switches to other suppliers in China and Thailand.

The company has also stopped selling its McSpicy chicken filets, chicken and green salads, fresh corn cups and iced lemon tea at its outlets in Hong Kong.

The move came after Hong Kong’s food safety regulator suspended all imports from Shanghai Husi Food.

The regulator added that any food products from Husi already imported into Hong Kong would be marked, sealed and banned from sale, pending the results of the ongoing investigation by Chinese authorities.

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency quoted McDonald’s as saying that it had imported certain products from Shanghai Husi between July last year to June this year, but no food items from the Shanghai supplier remained in stock.

“We reiterate that until today, all the food sold at McDonald’s restaurants conforms to the food safety standard under Hong Kong legal regulations,” the company said.

Shanghai Husi is the Chinese unit of US-based food supplier OSI Group.

Its other customers in China include Yum Brand owned KFC, coffee chain Starbucks and Burger King.

Japanese convenience store operator, FamilyMart, has also admitted that its “Garlic Nugget” imported from the Shanghai firm was sold at nearly all of its 10,000 outlets across Japan.

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General Motors’ earnings have slumped because of costs related to its vehicle recalls.

In Q2 2014, net profits fell 85% from a year ago, to $190 million, GM said.

GM has recalled nearly 29 million vehicles this year, mostly due to faulty ignition switches.

The cost of recall-related repairs came to $1.2 billion, with another $400 million put aside for compensation payments. The shares fell 4% in afternoon trade.

However, GM said that this was an uncertain estimate.

General Motors’ earnings have slumped because of costs related to its vehicle recalls photo

General Motors’ earnings have slumped because of costs related to its vehicle recalls (photo AP)

“There is no cap on this program, but this charge is the company’s best estimate of the amounts that may be paid to claimants,” GM said in a statement.

“Due to the unique nature of the program, this estimate contains significant uncertainty and it is possible the total cost could increase by approximately $200 million,” the statement continued.

“At the end of the day, the ultimate cost of this will be determined by Ken Feinberg [the compensation expert administering the fund],” GM chief financial officer Chuck Stevens said.

The defective ignition switch has been linked to 13 deaths so far.

GM also said it was changing the way it would estimate future recall expenses, a move which involves putting aside a certain amount of money from the sale price of each vehicle.

As a result the company has put aside another $900 million as a best estimate of “future possible recalls for up to the next 10 years on 30 million GM vehicles on the road today”.

Chuck Stevens also said the situation in Ukraine had led to GM cutting production there by 20-25% at its plant in St Petersburg, and that he expects more of the same in the second half.

Those costs aside, GM expects to be profitable in Europe by about 2015.

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Queen Elizabeth II popped up in the background as two Australian Commonwealth Games hockey players were posing for a selfie.

Jayde Taylor, 29, posted the picture on Twitter saying: “Ahhh The Queen photo-bombed our selfie!! #royalty #sheevensmiled #amazing.”

Queen Elizabeth II popped up in the background as two Australian Commonwealth Games hockey players were posing for a selfie photo

Queen Elizabeth II popped up in the background as two Australian Commonwealth Games hockey players were posing for a selfie (photo Twitter/Jayde Taylo)

That led to a series of other postings on social networks with England’s European and Commonwealth 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner, 33, and another Australia hockey player, Anna Flanagan, 22, uploading similar images.

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Has your business been affected by crime?

Whether through fraud, shoplifting, vandalism or robbery, transgressions against your company can make you feel like closing the doors and heading for the hills to live a solitary existence.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Before you turn over large profits and retire to the south of France with a supermodel in tow, however, there are more mundane things to consider.

To make a real success of your business, it’s important opportunistic thieves are not gnawing away at your profits faster than a beaver who’s guzzled an energy drink.

Want to know how to safeguard your business quickly and easily? Read on to find out …

Invest In Electric Fencing

It may seem overly protective, but electric fencing is designed to deliver a short and safe shock to would-be intruders, keeping them where they belong: away from your property. In addition, aside from the shock, a fence itself offers a great visual deterrent to those with nefarious thoughts.

Catch Them on Camera

If your business is lagging behind technologically, CCTV is a shrewd investment. Not only will its mere presence make camera shy criminals think twice, but if they do happen to go for it, their ugly mug will, hopefully, be captured on camera, making things a little bit easier for the police to accost them.

Set Up an Alarm

If a crafty criminal has somehow circumvented your electric fencing, dodged CCTV and made it in to your premises, you need an alarm system in place to send out a signal if your business is breached. This is typically done by using motion detectors to gauge any unauthorised movement inside.

Hire Security Staff

While we can all agree that technology is great, it’s often necessary to have a human security measure in place in case things go awry. Step forward your new security guard. Before rushing into a decision, though, make sure you’re hiring an accredited professional to protect your premises.

Buy a Safe

Finally, in case the above somehow fail catastrophically, it’s wise to keep most of your company’s valuables in a safe. Why? Because a criminal who’s evaded your other security measures needs no more invitation to swipe stock and cash before swanning past your security guard on the way out.

Admittedly, there’s much more to protecting your business from interlopers than outline above, but by implementing these measures, you’ll be on the road to the south of France in no time …

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General Motors has announced six more recalls covering 717,950 vehicles in the US for varying reasons, although none were related to ignition switch issues, Reuters reported.

Only this year GM has recalled nearly 15 million vehicles worldwide for potentially lethal issues with ignition switches.

The largest recall announced on July 23 is for a potentially loose bolt in power adjustable front seats for several cars from model years 2010 and 2012.

Vehicles involved in the today’s recalls have been linked to two crashes and three injuries but no deaths, the carmaker said.

Most of GM’s recalls this year have been for older models, but many of the recalls announced Wednesday are for current-model vehicles, including about 57,000 Chevrolet Impala sedans from the 2014 model year for the loss of power steering.

GM will recall 717950 vehicles in the US for varying reasons although none were related to ignition switch issues photo

GM will recall 717,950 vehicles in the US for varying reasons, although none were related to ignition switch issues

The latest recalls hit GM’s best-selling vehicles, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, from the 2014-2015 model years. They were among about 124,000 vehicles across eight model lines recalled because a weld on seat brackets may not have been done properly.

The company said it expects that 1% of welds were not completed properly.

Others recalled include three Cadillac models from the 2014 model year, – the ATS, CTS and ELR.

The largest of the recalls announced today was for 414,333 vehicles that may have a loose bolt to adjust front seat heights. Consumers are advised not to use the power seat height adjuster until dealers can replace a bolt.

Vehicles involved in this recall include the 2010-2012 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers; the 2011-2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse sedans; the 2010-2012 Cadillac SRX crossovers and the 2011-2012 Chevrolet Camaro sports cars.

The carmaker did not report how many more vehicles will be included in the six recalls outside the US.

GM has recalled about 29 million vehicles worldwide this year, of which about 25.7 million have been in the US.

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Boeing has reported high profits from April to June 2014 boosted by “strong” commercial aircraft sales.

Boeing’s net profits rose 52% to $1.65 billion from the same period last year.

During a quarter which saw the company deliver its first Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft, Boeing’s earnings from commercial aircraft operations helped to offset a fall in defense profits.

Separately, Delta Air Lines reported a 17% rise in profits thanks in part to higher fares.

Earnings from Boeing’s defense, space and security business fell 25% to $582 million, but profits from commercial aircraft rose 7% to around $1.6 billion.

Boeing boosted its full-year earnings forecast to between $7.90 and $8.10 per share, up from its previous forecast of $7.15 to $7.35 per share.

“Overall, our strong first-half financial performance, sustained focus on growth and productivity, and positive market outlook support our increased earnings guidance for the year,” said Boeing CEO Jim McNerney.

Boeings earnings from commercial aircraft operations helped to offset a fall in defense profits photo

Boeing’s earnings from commercial aircraft operations helped to offset a fall in defense profits

Boeing expects higher full-year profits in part due to second-quarter tax settlements totaling $408 million.

The company said commercial aircraft deliveries rose 7% to 181 in the three month period. The total included 30 Dreamliner jets.

Boeing grounded a number of aircraft last year, including the Dreamliner fleet, following two incidents where batteries caught fire.

The aircraft maker said it had a total order book worth $440 billion, with more than 5,200 orders for commercial aeroplanes.

“With 783 new commercial airplane orders to date this year and significant contracts in the quarter for military aircraft and satellites, our backlog remains large and diverse,” Jim McNerney said.

Meanwhile, US carrier Delta Air Lines announced second quarter earnings rose 17%, to $801 million from a year ago.

Passengers flew more miles, at higher average fares, and fuel spending declined, the company said. Delta’s average fuel price was $2.93 per gallon in the quarter. The company owns its own refinery in Philadelphia.

The results from Delta come before American and United post second quarter figures on Thursday. Analysts expect the biggest US carriers to report large profits.

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Chrysler has announced it would recall up to 792,300 sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) to fix an ignition-switch problem, the same part involved in the massive GM recall.

The carmaker, a subsidiary of Italy-based Fiat Chrysler, said it was issuing the recall “out of an abundance of caution”.

Chrysler took the move because ignition keys can be moved unintentionally from the “on” position, causing engine stall, reducing braking power and potentially disabling frontal airbags.

Chrysler will recall up to 792300 SUV’s to fix an ignition switch problem 640x392 photo

Chrysler will recall up to 792,300 SUV’s to fix an ignition-switch problem

The automaker said the switch may be shifted by an “outside” force, often the driver’s knee.

Chrysler said it “is unaware of any related injuries” and knew of a single reported accident and a relatively small number of complaints covering 0.015 percent of the vehicles subject to the recall.

The recall affects certain models of the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Chrysler urged owners of these vehicles to “assure that there is clearance between their knees and the keys”. The company also suggested drivers remove all items from their key rings, leaving only their ignition key.

The recall follows a June disclosure by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was investigating the air bag systems on these models following complaints of stalling.

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Microsoft has reported a 7% fall in profit during Q2 2014.

The tech giant said profit during the March to June period was $4.6 billion, compared with $4.97 billion during the same period last year.

Microsoft said its Nokia division, which it acquired in April, lost $692 million.

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Microsoft said its Nokia division lost $692 million

Last week, Microsoft announced it would cut 18,000 jobs – the biggest round of job cuts in the company’s 39-year history.

“We are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Satya Nadella said Microsoft is choosing to focus on revenues from the company’s cloud division, which he said were set to double to $4.4 billion this year.

Shares in Microsoft were mostly flat in trading after stock market hours.

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Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190 million after some 8,000 women joined a legal case claiming a gynecologist had secretly recorded them.

Dr. Nikita Levy, who killed himself last year, reportedly used cameras in pens and key fobs to tape patients.

Lawyer Jonathan Schochor said all of the women had been “brutalized” and described it as a “betrayal”.

Dr. Nikita Levy reportedly used cameras in pens and key fobs to tape patients photo

Dr. Nikita Levy reportedly used cameras in pens and key fobs to tape patients

The settlement is believed to be the largest of its kind in US history.

The hospital said in a statement that one individual “does not define Johns Hopkins”.

“It is our hope that this settlement, and findings by law enforcement that images were not shared, helps those affected achieve a measure of closure,” the statement said.

Nikita Levy’s misconduct was first brought to light by a colleague, who saw a pen camera around his neck.

Authorities later discovered more than 1,200 images and videos clips of patients on hard drives in Nikita Levy’s home.

The women also alleged that Nikita Levy ordered an “excessive number” of invasive exams and engaged in inappropriate physical contact.

An investigation later determined Dr. Nikita Levy participated in the misconduct on his own and did not record underage patients.

Nikita Levy was fired by the hospital on February 8, 2013, after the allegations came to light and was found dead 10 days later.

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McDonald’s and KFC have stopped using meat from Chinese supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co following allegations it sold them out of date meat.

According to Xinhua, Chinese authorities in Shanghai have ordered the suspension of operations at Shanghai Husi Food Co.

Reports by local media said that Husi had re-processed expired meat products.

McDonald’s and KFC said they had stopped using meat from Husi.

In a statement posted on its website, translated from Mandarin, the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration said it had “decided to investigate claims of the alleged use of expired raw food material production and the processing of it in food”.

KFC China have stopped using meat from Shanghai Husi Food Co following allegations it sold them out of date meat 640x439 photo

KFC China have stopped using meat from Shanghai Husi Food Co following allegations it sold them out of date meat (photo Reuters)

Shanghai Husi is the Chinese unit of US-based food supplier OSI Group.

According to OSI’s website, the company’s unit in China “started to provide high-quality products to McDonald’s China” in 1992.

The unit began supplying Yum China in 2008. Yum China manages the KFC and Pizza Hut chains and its sales have been hit by recent health scares.

Yum’s sales dipped after a report in 2012 said two of its suppliers were providing chickens with excessive levels of antibiotics.

Just as the company was recovering from those allegations, fears of an outbreak of bird flu in the country dented its sales.

According to figures from research firm Euromonitor, McDonald’s and Yum are the two leading fast food chains in China, based on sales.

Speaking to Reuters a spokesperson for McDonald’s in China said: “If proven, the practices outlined in the reports are completely unacceptable to McDonald’s anywhere in the world.”

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Huawei has reported a 19% jump in sales to 135.8 billion yuan ($21.9 billion) for the first six months of the year.

The Chinese telecom equipment maker said it expects to make an operating profit margin of 18.3% for the period.

Huawei has traditionally concentrated on making telecoms network equipment, but has benefited by diversifying into fast-growing sectors such as smartphone manufacturing.

It is now one of the world’s largest smartphone makers.

Cathy Meng, the company’s chief financial officer, said the firm “achieved quality and sustainable growth in our consumer business thanks to the increase of brand awareness and smart devices sales worldwide”.

According to IDC, Huawei shipped 13.7 million smartphones in the first three months of this year – making it the third-biggest smartphone vendor in the world.

Huawei is now one of the worlds largest smartphone makers 640x401 photo

Huawei is now one of the world’s largest smartphone makers

Huawei did not give a breakdown of its latest sales numbers.

The company has also been looking to tap into the market for wearable technology and introduced its hybrid Talkband smart device earlier this year.

Furthermore, China’s investment in fourth-generation mobile network technology has led to a steady stream of revenue for the company.

“Driven by increasing investments in LTE networks worldwide, Huawei has further solidified its leadership position in mobile broadband,” Cathy Meng said in the statement.

Huawei’s growth comes despite it coming under scrutiny in key markets in recent years.

In 2012, US politicians claimed that the company posed a security threat because of its alleged links to China’s government and military.

The concerns over its association with the Chinese authorities have been driven in part, by the fact that the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, was a former member of the People’s Liberation Army.

However, Huawei has repeatedly denied those claims and has stressed that it is 100%-owned by its employees and founder.

Earlier this year, a report in the New York Times alleged that the National Security Agency (NSA) had infiltrated Huawei’s servers.

In response, China has demanded a clear explanation from the US government.

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company – America’s second largest cigarette company – has been ordered by a Florida court to pay $23.6 billion to the wife of a smoker who died of lung cancer.

RJ Reynolds was hit with the punitive fine in addition to $16.8 million in compensatory damages.

Cynthia Robinson took action against RJ Reynolds in 2008, seeking compensation for her husband’s death in 1996.

An official at the company said the court’s verdict was “far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness”.

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company has been ordered by a Florida court to pay 23.6 billion to the wife of a smoker who died of lung cancer 640x360 photo

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company has been ordered by a Florida court to pay $23.6 billion to the wife of a smoker who died of lung cancer

During the four-week trial, lawyers for Cynthia Robinson argued that RJ Reynolds was negligent in informing consumers of the dangers of consuming tobacco.

This negligence, the lawyers said, led to her husband Michael Johnson Sr. contracting lung cancer from smoking after becoming “addicted” and failing multiple attempts to quit.

“RJ Reynolds took a calculated risk by manufacturing cigarettes and selling them to consumers without properly informing them of the hazards,” Cynthia Robinson’s lawyer Willie Gary said.

“We hope that this verdict will send a message to RJ Reynolds and other big tobacco companies that will force them to stop putting the lives of innocent people in jeopardy,” he added.

RJ Reynolds plans to appeal against the court’s decision, vice president and assistant general counsel Jeffery Raborn said in a statement.

“This verdict goes far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented,” Jeffery Raborn said.

The punitive damages awarded to Cynthia Robinson were said to be the largest of any individual case stemming from a class action lawsuit filed in Florida.

Several similar cases have resulted in smaller payouts after the state’s highest court ruled that smokers and their families only had to prove addiction and that smoking caused their illness.

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Malaysia Airlines shares closed down 11% in Malaysia following the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Some Asian stock markets also ended the day lower on fears the crash may intensify political tensions between the West, Ukraine and Russia.

This is the second catastrophe to hit the Malaysian airline this year after flight MH370 disappeared in March.

Questions are being asked about whether the carrier can now survive.

Malaysia Airlines shares closed down 11 percent in Malaysia following the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine 640x403 photo

Malaysia Airlines shares closed down 11 percent in Malaysia following the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine (photo AP)

“Even if this is pure coincidence, it’s never happened in history that a flag carrier has seen two wide-body aircraft disappearing in a few months,” said Bertrand Grabowski, head of aviation at DVB Bank, which acts as a banker to Malaysia Airlines.

“The support from the government needs to be more explicit and perhaps more massive.”

Malaysia Airlines has been losing money for many years and its market value has fallen by more than 40% in the past nine months.

Reports suggest that state investment company Khazanah Nasional, the major shareholder in Malaysia Airlines, is looking to take the carrier private.

Khazanah Nasional has invested more than $1 billion into the airline in recent years and had previously indicated that a major restructuring was on the cards.

Analysts said further investment was needed if Malaysia Airlines was to survive in the short term.

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Google has reported a 22% jump in revenue in Q2 2014 compared to a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $16 billion and profits were up 6% to $3.4 billion, said Google in its earnings report.

Google’s revenue rose to 16 billion and profits were up 6 percent to 3.4 billion in Q2 2014 photo

Google’s revenue rose to $16 billion and profits were up 6 percent to $3.4 billion in Q2 2014

Strong demand for Google’s advertising helped boost revenues above expectations.

Google also announced chief business officer Nikesh Arora was leaving for SoftBank.

Nikesh Arora, who has been with Google for 10 years, will be temporarily replaced by Omid Kordestani.

Omid Kordestani was Google’s business founder and formerly led Google’s sales team.

Shares in Google rose by about 1% after the market closed.

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Microsoft has announced it will cut up to 18,000 jobs marking the deepest cuts in the company’s 39-year history.

The bulk of the cuts, around 12,500, will be in its phone unit Nokia, which Microsoft bought in April, the tech giant said.

Microsoft pledged to cut $600 million per year in costs within 18 months of closing the acquisition.

The cuts are much more severe than the 6,000 initially expected.

Microsoft employs 127,000 globally.

Microsoft will cut up to 18000 jobs marking the deepest cuts in the companys 39 year history photo

Microsoft will cut up to 18,000 jobs marking the deepest cuts in the company’s 39-year history

Chief executive officer Satya Nadella, who took the helm in February, wants the company to shift its focus away from software to online services, apps and devices.

“Making these decisions to change are difficult, but necessary,” Satya Nadella wrote in the announcement to staff.

Microsoft said it also planned to have fewer layers of management “to accelerate the flow of information and decision making.”

The company said staff affected by the job cuts would be notified over the next six months, and they would be “fully completed” by the end of June next year.

In total it said the cuts, including severance pay, would cost it between $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next year.

Last week, Satya Nadella rebranded the company as “the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world”.

The cuts are aimed at helping Microsoft better compete with rivals including Google and Apple.

The last significant job cuts at Microsoft were in early 2009, when previous chief executive Steve Ballmer axed 5,800 staff.

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Real Madrid has topped Forbes’ 2014 annual list of World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams.

The Spanish soccer club, which won the Champions League in May, is worth an estimated $3.44 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

The top three slots are occupied by football clubs, with Barcelona in second place at $3.2 billion, and Manchester United third, with a value of $2.81 billion.

Forbes calculated the value of the teams based on equity, debt and stadium deals.

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Real Madrid has topped Forbes’ 2014 annual list of World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams

MLB baseball team the New York Yankees were in fourth spot, valued at $2.5 billion.

In fifth place is NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.3 billion.

NFL teams fill 60% of the top 50 slots, occupying 30 places.

The 20 non-NFL teams in the top 50 include six from MLB, eight from football, four from NBA basketball, one from the NHL ice hockey league and one from Formula 1 motor racing.

Forbes calculates that the average value of the top 50 teams is $1.34 billion, an 8% increase on last year.

Baseball team the New York Mets are one of three teams that dropped off this year’s list of the top 50.

The other two to fall out of the list are also familiar names, the Oakland Raiders from the NFL and F1 team McLaren.

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Bank of America has reported a 43% drop in its quarterly profits after a fall in mortgage revenue and a rise in legal costs.

The US’s second largest bank said net income of $2.3 billion in Q2 2014 was down from $3.4 billion a year earlier.

Its finances have been hit recently by huge payments to the authorities to fend off accusations of wrong-doing.

Bank of America has reported a 43 percent drop in its quarterly profits after a fall in mortgage revenue and a rise in legal costs photo

Bank of America has reported a 43 percent drop in its quarterly profits after a fall in mortgage revenue and a rise in legal costs

In 2013, Bank of America’s shares have fallen from 32 cents to 19 cents per share.

In April the bank agreed to pay $9.5 billion for misleading US mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the financial crisis in 2008.

It then agreed separately to pay $783 million in fines and refunds, for mis-selling payment and identity theft insurance to nearly three million credit card customers.

Bank of America’s chief financial officer Bruce Thompson acknowledged the rise in litigation costs and praised the bank for doing “a good job managing expenses”.

Bruce Thompson also said that during the quarter the bank’s credit losses remained “near historical lows”.

Bank of America’s results come as analysts have noted a split in the US lenders’ quarterly results between banks that cater mainly to US customers and those with a more prominent global presence.

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Time Warner has rejected an initial takeover approach from rival 21st Century Fox estimated at $80 billion.

The takeover approach by the Rupert Murdoch owned company was made last month, it was revealed.

21st Century Fox confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that its offer for Time Warner had been rejected.

It added it was not currently in talks with Time Warner about pursuing the deal further.

Time Warner has rejected an initial takeover approach from rival 21st Century Fox estimated at 80 billion photo

Time Warner has rejected an initial takeover approach from rival 21st Century Fox estimated at $80 billion

“21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies,” the company said.

“The Time Warner board of directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner.”

21st Century Fox owns movie studio 20th Century Fox and cable news channel Fox News.

According to the New York Times, Fox offered to sell Time Warner-owned CNN as part of the takeover deal proposal for its rival in order to clear any objections US regulators might have had to the deal.

A statement released by Time Warner said after lengthy discussions it had decided it was not in its best interests or those of its shareholders to accept the proposal or to pursue any further discussions with Fox.

Time Warner’s share price jumped some 16.35% higher in the first 20 minutes of trade on the New Stock Exchange to $82.62 per share.

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JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have seen mixed results from their investment businesses.

JPMorgan reported an 8% fall in Q2 2014 profits after declines in its securities trading business.

Net income in the three months to the end of June was $6 billion – a fall of $500 million compared with a year earlier.

However, Goldman Sachs saw a 5% profit rise after higher revenues from its investing and lending business.

JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have seen mixed results from their investment businesses photo

JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have seen mixed results from their investment businesses

The bank earned $1.95 billion in the three months to June 30, up from $1.86 billion in the same period a year earlier.

JPMorgan, the biggest US bank in terms of assets, saw net income from its corporate and investment business drop by $800 million to $2 billion, a fall of 31%.

A decline in bonds and currencies trading by big institutions hit revenue in the bank’s securities trading business.

Nevertheless, the bank said it had seen a “strong performance” in overall investment bank fees.

Its results beat market expectations and JPMorgan shares rose 3% to $57.96 in premarket trading on Tuesday.

JPMorgan’s mortgage business also declined in the quarter, with mortgage lending down 38% to $709m. Mortgage application volumes dropped 54% to $30.1 billion.

US mortgage lending volumes have slowed as mortgage rates have risen. Last week, the largest US mortgage lender, Wells Fargo, reported a 39% drop in mortgage revenue in the second quarter.

Goldman Sachs revenues from currency and commodity trading were down 10% to $2.22 billion, but the firm’s investment business was buoyed by mergers and acquisitions, and equity underwriting.

Goldman Sachs saw net revenue in its investing and lending division jump 46% to $2.07 billion, including net gains of $1.25 billion from investments in equities.

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The BRICS countries have signed a deal to create a new $100 billion development bank and emergency reserve fund.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa make the BRICS group.

The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries.

The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India.

Brazil’s president Dilma Rouseff has announced the creation of the bank at this year’s BRICS summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday.

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The BRICS countries have signed a deal to create a new $100 billion development bank and emergency reserve fund

At first, the bank will start off with $50 billion in initial capital.

The emergency reserve fund – which was announced as a “Contingency Reserve Arrangement” – will also have $100 billion, and will help developing nations avoid “short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements”.

The creation of the BRICS bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds.

BRICS nations have criticized the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for not giving developing nations enough voting rights.

One of the goals for the BRICS bank – whose creation has been discussed for some time – would be to increase the amount of money loaned to developing countries to help with infrastructure projects.

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Oscar Pistorius was involved in an argument at a nightclub at the weekend, his spokesperson has said.

The South African athlete had an altercation with businessman Jared Mortimer who said he was drunk, The Star newspaper says.

Oscar Pistorius’ spokesperson said the argument took place after Jared Mortimer started to “aggressively interrogate” him about his murder trial.

Reeva Steenkamp was killed at Oscar Pistorius’ home in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, on February 14, 2013.

Jared Mortimer said he got involved in a row with Oscar Pistorius at the nightclub in Johannesburg’s upmarket suburb of Sandton, after the athlete insulted his friends and South African President Jacob Zuma’s family, The Star reports.

Oscar Pistorius had an altercation with businessman Jared Mortimer at a Johannesburg nightclub 640x360 photo

Oscar Pistorius had an altercation with businessman Jared Mortimer at a Johannesburg nightclub (photo AP)

“I took that personally because I am very good friends with a member of the Zuma family,” Jared Mortimer is quoted as saying.

Jared Mortimer said the Olympic sprinter was intoxicated and started to poke him in the chest while they were talking.

The businessman said he then pushed Oscar Pistorius away from him and the athlete fell over a chair.

The club’s bouncers helped Oscar Pistorius up, but were asked to remove him after he “had a confrontation with another man”, Jared Mortimer is quoted as saying.

Anneliese Burgess, a spokeswoman for Oscar Pistorius’ family, disputed Jared Mortimer’s version of events.

Oscar Pistorius, 27, was in the VIP section of the club when he was approached by a man who had since been identified as Jared Mortimer, she said.

“The individual, according to my client, started to aggressively interrogate him on matters relating to the trial,” said Anneliese Burgess.

She added that Oscar Pistorius “regrets the decision to go to a public space and thereby inviting unwelcome attention”.

On Sunday, hours after the incident, Oscar Pistorius tweeted for the first time since the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

He tweeted a Bible verse, a collage of pictures of his humanitarian work, and an extract from Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning.

Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial was adjourned last week for closing arguments on August 7.

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The United States violated global trade rules when it imposed tariffs on products from China and India, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has found.

In response to a 2012 complaint, the WTO said the US improperly imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and solar panels.

The WTO said the US improperly imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and solar panels photo

The WTO said the US improperly imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and solar panels

In a separate ruling, it said the US must change the way it imposes tariffs on India steel products.

The US is embroiled in several trade spats with China and India.

“China urges the United States to respect the WTO rulings and correct its wrongdoings of abusively using trade remedy measures, and to ensure an environment of fair competition for Chinese enterprises,” said China’s foreign trade ministry in a statement.

However, the WTO did not agree with all of the complaints filed by India and China.

The US – which has argued it imposed the tariffs to combat artificially low prices on products from India and China’s state-subsidized industries – has the right to appeal the ruling.

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Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to US authorities to settle an investigation into risky sub-prime mortgages.

Citigroup will pay $4 billion to the Department of Justice and $2.5 billion for “consumer relief”.

Consumer relief includes investment in affordable homes and mortgage relief.

Following the decision, the bank reported a stronger than predicted quarterly profit, and saw its share price rise by 3.62% to $48.70.

Second-quarter earnings fell by 96% to $181 million, but that was after a $3.8 billion charge related to the settlement.

Citigroup has agreed to pay 7 billion to US authorities to settle an investigation into risky sub prime mortgages photo

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to US authorities to settle an investigation into risky sub-prime mortgages

The settlement stems from the sale of securities made up of sub-prime mortgages, which were at the centre of the 2008 financial crisis.

Citigroup is the second major bank to pay a settlement since President Barack Obama launched an investigation into housing loans.

JPMorgan Chase paid $13 billion last year to settle government investigations.

The Citigroup fines are said to have surprised stock analysts and people inside the bank, who had hoped to settle for less.

According to the US Attorney General Eric Holder, “under the terms of this settlement, the bank has admitted to its misdeeds in great detail”.

Eric Holder said the settlement “does not absolve Citigroup or its employees from facing any possible criminal charges in the future”.

Citigroup’s chief executive, Michael L. Corbat, said that the decision was the right one for shareholders.

“We believe that this settlement is in the best interests of our shareholders, and allows us to move forward and to focus on the future, not the past,” he said.

Investors welcomed the decision, as Citigroup’s share price rose in New York trading.

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Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has agreed a deal to buy American rival Russell Stover.

Lindt said the takeover would help it to expand in the US, making it the third-largest chocolate manufacturer in North America.

It said it had agreed not to disclose the purchase price for the deal.

“This biggest and most important strategic acquisition in Lindt & Sprungli’s history is a unique opportunity,” said chair Ernst Tanner.

Swiss chocolate company Lindt Sprungli has agreed a deal to buy American rival Russell Stover photo

Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has agreed a deal to buy American rival Russell Stover

Lindt, known for its chocolate balls and gold foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies, said it would now expand the range of chocolates it sold in the US to include a variety of products from Russell Stover, including sugar-free chocolates.

The chocolate company said it expected the deal to boost its earnings from 2015 onwards, and that as a result, it would pass $1.5 billion in annual sales in North America.

Russell Stover owns the Whitman’s brand in the US. It is known for its boxed chocolates and has four chocolate factories in the US, and also runs a chain of 35 stores.

The American company currently has annual sales of about $500 million.

Both companies said the union was “a perfect strategic fit”.

“The acquisition clearly signals Lindt & Sprungli’s intention to improve its market position in North America,” Lindt added in a statement.

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