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UTV Business Eye judges - 'spoilt for choice'

The business community is preparing to salute some of its brightest and best performers with the eleventh UTV Business Eye awards, in partnership with Emirates.

It has been a testing year for local companies and the difficult economic and political climate only makes their success all the more remarkable.

Seventeen gongs will be awarded,including one lifetime achievement award and as the Business commentator Jamie Delargy reports, the judges were spoilt for choice.

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Bombardier agrees '24 jet' deal with EgyptAir

The deal was announced at the Dubai Airshow.

Bombardier has revealed EgyptAir plans to buy up to 24 C-Series aeroplanes.

The agreement was announced at the Dubai Airshow.

EgyptAir has agreed to buy 12 aircraft, with purchase rights for an additional 12 - which Bombardier said could raise the value of the contract to nearly $2.2bn US.

It follows last month's news when Airbus acquired a majority stake in the C-Series programme.

Safwat Musallam, Chairman and CEO of EgyptAir, said: “We look forward to expanding our network with the CS300 and we are happy to see that the partnership announced with Airbus will bring added support to the C Series program.”

Bombardier employs around 4,000 people in Belfast.

Its president, Fred Cromer, said: “We’re thrilled that EgyptAir selected the CS300 aircraft to renew its fleet.”

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NI budget set to go before House of Lords

James Brokenshire's budget will go before the House of Lords on Tuesday. Credit: UTV

The secretary of state's budget bill will go before the House of Lords on Tuesday.

There is an extra £50m for health and education, out of the DUP's £1bn deal with the Conservatives.

James Brokenshire has also commissioned an independent review into whether MLAs should still be paid their full salaries.

DUP MEP Dianne Dodds said the situation can't go on indefintely. Credit: UTV

The DUP said it was "regrettable" that there was not an Executive in Northern Ireland to pass the budget.

Dianne Dodds MEP said: “This is a situation that we have said can not go on indefinitely.

“We have now a budget for Northern Ireland but there are decisions piling up on any number of issues.

“On the reorganisation of the health service, on education, on public services, on infrastructure - all of these decisions are waiting.

“We need ministers to take decisions.

“If Sinn Féin won't come to the table, if Sinn Féin won't form an Executive, then it will be up to the Government to provide ministers to actually take those decisions.”

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RHI inquiry will be 'transparent investigation of facts'

Oral hearings began on Tuesday. Credit: UTV

The chairman of the public inquiry into the RHI scheme has said it will be a “transparent investigation of the facts”.

Sir Patrick Coghlin was speaking as the inquiry opened on Tuesday morning.

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He delivered a short opening address then a barrister for the inquiry began a statement which is expected to continue for much of the week.

Sir Patrick said: "This inquiry was established in the wake of a media and political turmoil during which strongly worded allegations and repudiations were exchanged.

"The inquiry was set up to provide a measured, objective, independent and publicly transparent investigation of the facts in accordance with the terms of the reference and that is what this inquiry shall seek to do."

Controversy surrounding the Renewable Heat Incentive triggered the collapse of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing institutions earlier this year.

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