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Google hit with anti-trust EU fine
EU regulators hit Google with a record 4.34 billion euros antitrust fine for using its Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals.
The penalty is nearly double the previous record of 2.4 billion euros which the U.S. tech company was ordered to pay last year over its online shopping search service.

The fine represents just over two weeks of revenue for Google parent Alphabet Inc. and would scarcely dent its cash reserves of $102.9 billion. But it could add to a brewing trade war between Brussels and Washington.

Google said it would appeal the fine.

EU antitrust chief Vestager's boss, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House next Wednesday in an effort to avert threatened new tariffs on EU cars amid Trump's complaints over the U.S. trade deficit.

Vestager also ordered Google to halt anti-competitive practices in contractual deals with smartphone makers and t..

Sir Cliff Richard wins damages from the BBC
Sir Cliff Richard has won substantial damages after London's High Court ruled the BBC had breached his privacy by televising a police raid on his house.
It said it had left him feeling violated.

The BBC said the “dramatic” ruling would have a huge impact on the media's ability to report police inquiries and scrutinise their conduct.

The broadcaster used helicopters to film detectives searching the home of Richard, 77, one of Britain's best known entertainers, when he was away on holiday in August 2014 as part of an investigation into allegations of historical child sex offences.

Prosecutors later said Richard, who maintained his innocence throughout, would face no charges due to lack of evidence.

Handing down his judgment and awarding the singer 210,000 pounds ($273,700) in damages, Justice Anthony Mann said the BBC had infringed Richard's privacy rights “without a legal justification” and “in a somewhat sensa..

Former Wales and Lions captain Warburton retires
Former Wales captain Sam Warburton has retired from rugby union at the age of 29 after failing to return to peak fitness following neck and knee surgery.
Flanker Warburton, who was capped 74 times by his country and played five tests for the British and Irish Lions, led Wales in a record 49 matches.

He recently returned to pre-season training with his club Cardiff Blues.

“Unfortunately, after a long period of rest and rehabilitation the decision to retire from rugby has been made with my health and wellbeing as a priority as my body is unable to give me back what I had hoped for on my return to training,” Warburton told the WRU website.

Warburton led Wales to the 2012 Six Nations title and at two World Cups. His last match was the Lions' test draw against the All Blacks in June, 2017.

“I cannot thank the Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff Blues enough, who have gone beyond the call of duty, in providing the support I receive..

PM prepares for 'difficult day' as Brexit rows continue
Theresa May could be forced to call another election in months if the “fanatical” pro-Brexit wing of her party do not compromise over how Britain leaves the EU, former prime minister John Major has warned
Major, who led Britain from 1990 to 1997, said he feared the country was on course for a disorderly Brexit, with May unable to reconcile the two wings of the Conservative Party.

A campaigner to stay in the EU, Major said some lawmakers in his and May's party were now prepared to go to any lengths to leave the bloc, regardless of the potential damage to the economy or the risk that this could lead to a Labour government.

“It seems to me there are people in parliament who would be perfectly content to have an exit with no deal,” Major told ITV News, referring to “the hard, most convinced Brexit supporters” who refuse to compromise.

“My concern is about those who are a touch too fanatical about the issue a..

UK pay growth at six-month low
British workers' pay growth has slowed to its weakest in six months despite record employment.
It's challenging the Bank of England as it considers whether to raise interest rates next month for only the second time since the financial crisis.

Average weekly earnings rose by 2.5 percent on the year in the three months to May, slowing from the previous three month period when they grew by 2.6 percent and the weakest since the three months to November, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

Pay growth excluding bonuses, which the BoE says sometimes gives a better picture of the underlying trend, slowed by a similar amount, to 2.7 percent. Both readings were in line with the average forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

There was little immediate market reaction to the data, which economists said was unlikely to dissuade the majority of the BoE's policymakers from raising rates on Aug. 2 after their next meeting..

Ronaldo targets European glory with new club Juventus
Juventus's record signing Cristiano Ronaldo has said his move from Real Madrid was a “well thought out decision” as the Portugal forward aims to help his new club win their first Champions League title in more than two decades.
Ronaldo, who joined the Italian champions last week on a four-year contract for 100 million euros ($117.07 million), added that he did not want to stay in his comfort zone after winning three straight European Cups with Real.

The 33-year-old left Los Blancos as their all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies over nine years.

“I'm a person who likes to think about the present,” he told a news conference on Monday. “I'm still very young and I always liked the challenges, from Sporting, to Manchester (United), to Real (Madrid) and now Juventus.

“It was a well thought-out decision. It is the best club in Italy. ..

Trump criticised after backing Putin on election meddling claims
Standing side by side with Vladimir Putin, U.S. President DonaldTrump refused to blame the Russian leader for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, casting doubt on the findings of his own intelligence agencies and sparking a storm of criticism at home.
Although he faced pressure from critics, allied countries and even his own staff to take a tough line, Trump spoke not a single disparaging word in public about Moscow on any of the issues that have brought relations between the two powers to the lowest ebb since the Cold War.

Instead, he denounced the “stupidity” of his own country's policies, especially the decision to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Just three days ago, the U.S. Justice Department announced an indictment of 12 Russian spies for hacking into Democratic Party computer networks.

Trump's performance at a joint news conference with Putin in Helsinki stirred a wave o..

Vote Leave referred to police for breaching spending rules
Britain's electoral commission has fined the officially designated pro-Brexit campaign group for breaching spending rules in the 2016 referendum and referred it to the police.
The commission said Vote Leave worked with another campaign group, BeLeave, which spent 675,000 pounds ($893,500) with Aggregate IQ, a company which used social media data to target voters, under a common plan with Vote Leave.

“We found substantial evidence that the two groups worked to a common plan, did not declare their joint working and did not adhere to the legal spending limits,” Bob Posner, the commission's director of political finance and regulation.

Vote Leave was fined 61,000 pounds and the Electoral Commission referred David Halsall, the responsible person for Vote Leave, and Darren Grimes, the founder of the BeLeave campaign group, to the police for false declarations of campaign spending.

Published: 17/07/2018 by Ra..

PM wins parliament vote after bowing to Brexit pressure
Theresa May has won a series of votes in parliament, keeping her over-arching strategy to leave the European Union just about on track after bowing to pressure from Brexit supporters in her party.
But by accepting the demands of hardline Brexit campaigners, she exposed her vulnerability in parliament, where both wings of her Conservative Party attacked each other, highlighting the deep divisions that have so far hampered progress in talks with the EU.

May has vowed to stick to her plan to negotiate the closest possible trade ties with the EU, saying her strategy was the only one that could meet the government's aims for Brexit, the biggest shift in Britain's foreign and trade policy for decades.

But even before the EU has had time to assess her vision for Britain's future ties with the bloc, her plans have come under fire from both camps in the Conservative Party. One pro-EU ex-minister called it the “wor..

Hosepipe bans to be introduced for millions
The ban is going to affect millions of people across the North West
A hosepipe ban is going to be introduced in parts of England.

It will be brought in from next month in the North West.

Experts reckon it will affect as many as 7 million people.

Water companies say they have inadequate supplies.

Earlier this month the company said:

“The reducing reservoir levels are not surprising given the ongoing lack of rainfall and exceptionally high demand. We have seen the level of water consumption reduce slightly over recent days and we are very grateful to those customers who have listened to the advice about using water wisely.

“Behind the scenes we’re working exceptionally hard to avoid the need for restrictions and we are managing resources carefully, using our integrated pipe network to move water around the region, to reduce demand on those reservoir sources which are lower.

“We are still encouraging our customers to voluntarily..

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