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We are all supermarket switchers now

As Tesco warns on profits and cuts the dividend, things are going to get worse for the big supermarkets before they get any better.

New fracking sites could soon be springing up across the country.

Fracking: Britain's big balancing act

Shale gas is certainly controversial, but Brits may be more willing to accept it as the desperation for cheaper energy bills takes hold.

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Uber cab service banned in Germany

Cab service Uber has been banned in Germany in the latest shot in a fight with the country's taxi drivers.

Uber
Uber cab service has been banned in Germany. Credit: PA

The ruling comes after Berlin authorities barred Uber from operating in the capital last month because of safety concerns.

The injunction applies pending a full hearing of a suit brought against Uber by a German group that offers a taxi-ordering app.

Their arguments were in line with those of established cab companies which claim Uber's app-based services, which offer limousines and pickups by private drivers, dodge rules that ordinary taxi firms have to abide by.

cab protest
Black cab drivers in London protested over the introduction of Uber. Credit: PA Wire

Black cab drivers in London have protested about California-based Uber, claiming its app contravenes rules that restrict the use of taxi meters. Protests have also taken place in Paris and Madrid.

Boris renews attack on 'barbaric' Heathrow plan

Boris Johnson has renewed his attack on proposals to expand Heathrow airport, calling the plans "barbarically contemptuous of the rights of the population".

Boris Johnson claimed plans to expand Heathrow were 'contemptuous' of local people.
Boris Johnson claimed plans to expand Heathrow were 'contemptuous' of local people. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Mayor of London was writing in the Daily Telegraph as business chiefs published a report urging politicians to make sure work on airport expansion has "spades on the ground" by 2020.

Mr Johnson, who favours a new hub in the Thames Estuary, claimed building extra runways at Heathrow was "desperately short-sighted" and would cause congestion and "medical problems associated with pollution".

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Business chiefs urge action on airport expansion

Proposals for airport expansion due next summer must lead to "spades on the ground" by 2020, a report from the Confederation of British Industry has said.

The CBI also stressed the importance of having a single hub airport in the UK with spare capacity for new routes.

Expanding Gatwick is one option the Airport Commission is looking at.
Expanding Gatwick is one option the Airport Commission is looking at. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Airport Commission is currently looking at two potential schemes to expand Heathrow, one to expand Gatwick, as well as the so-called 'Boris Island' plan for an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Read: UK needs a four-runway airport, say think tank

CAA: ATOL certificate 'protects' money paid to bust firm

Any customers who received and Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) certificate when booking with the now bust Student Adventures travel company are protected for the money they paid directly to the company, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

They said that GBCE, Student Adventures parent company held an ATOL certificate until March 31 this year.

They added: "Consumers who received an ATOL certificate when booking are protected for any money they paid directly to the company."

"We understand there are approximately 100 consumers currently abroad, but these people will have scheduled airline tickets so will be able to travel home as planned. We are looking into the impact on forward bookings and will publish advice for consumers who are yet to travel shortly."

Student 'cheated' by travel company collapse

A student who was due to climb Mount Everest said she feels "cheated" by the collapse of a travel firm who texted her about their collapse as she waited at the airport.

Rosie Cleere, 19, said she received a text from travel firm Student Adventures on Thursday morning - the day of departure - reminding her to meet at Heathrow Airport at 4:45pm.

But with just 15 minutes to spare at 4:30pm, a text message arrived from the company advising her to check her email.

The email informed the students that the company had ceased trading and said it was "unable to provide any services for you as a customer of ours whilst you are in-country in Nepal."

Cleere who said she spent hundreds of pounds and months training for the trip, said: "I was devastated, I was sobbing. Some of my other friends were sobbing. I was still crying even today when I've been talking about it." She added: "It feels as though we've been completely cheated."

The English Literature student at Newcastle University, added that the company should have informed them before they travelled to the airport.

Students stranded in Africa after travel firm collapse

A group of 11 students who are currently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity has been left stranded after a travel firm went bust.

Students have been left stranded up Mt Kilimanjaro after a travel firm went bust.
Students have been left stranded up Mt Kilimanjaro after a travel firm went bust. Credit: Reuters

The collapse of travel company Student Adventures, run by GBCE Ltd, means that the youngsters will not have accomodation or travel booked for their remaining time in Tanzania, the Practical Action charity has been told.

As a result, the charity - which uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries - has sent representatives from its Kenya and UK offices to offer support and advice, arrange accommodation and transport and ensure the students' safety before they return to the UK.

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Co-op chair speaks of 'defining moment for the group'

The vote on a radical shake-up of the way Co-operative group is run is "a momentous and defining moment" for the group, Co-op chair Ursula Lidbetter said.

Co-op
Co-op group members have backed radical shake-up. Credit: PA Wire

These reforms represent the final crucial step in delivering the change necessary to return the group to health. This will strengthen the society and enable us to move forward with the urgent work to rebuild the business and deliver on our renewed purpose, in the interests of all our colleagues and our millions of members and customers.

– Co-op chair Ursula Lidbetter

The changes to the group's governance were backed by its members following a landmark vote.

Co-op group members back radical shake-up

A radical shake-up of the way the Co-operative group is run has been approved by its members.

A general view of a Co-operative food store, in the Strand, central London
A general view of a Co-operative food store, in the Strand, central London. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive

At a special general meeting in Manchester, the crisis-hit company said 83% of votes were cast in favour of proposals drawn up in the wake of last year when the group racked up £2.5 billion losses.

The plans include reform of the food-to-funerals group's board structure, with elected directors - including the likes of a plasterer, engineer and retired deputy head teacher - largely replaced by professional business people.

The new governance structure includes the creation of a smaller board of directors and a move to a one-member one-vote system.

Tesco shares slide after profit warning

Tesco shares have fallen by nearly 7 per cent this morning after the supermarket issued a profit warning.

Britain's biggest grocery retailer now expects annual profits to be £400 million lower at £2.4 billion.

Chris Choi, ITV News Consumer Editor, tweets:

Chris_normal

Tesco says "challenging trading conditions and ongoing investment...continued to impact the expected financial performance of the Group".

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