budget impasse drags on. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on * The UK blue chip index closed up 11.54 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,449.04 points on Thursday. * President Barack Obama met Republican and Democrat leaders in Congress but reiterated in a speech that he would not give in to Republican demands to roll back his healthcare programme in exchange for reopening the government. * The U.S. government shutdown has led to a delay in the closely-watched non-farm payrolls data, which is normally due for release on Friday. No major domestic economic data is due on Friday. * BARCLAYS : The British bank is expected to sell at least 300 million pounds ($487 million) of its shares in the market on Friday, as it finds a home for shares not taken by existing investors in a 6 billion pound fundraising. * UK CORPORATE DIARY: TATE & LYLE issues a trading update. JOHN WOOD GROUP issues a trading update. TODAY’S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
Tesco posts flat UK sales as turnaround plan struggles for growth
The one where she expertly sported a crop top and sequined skirt ? So do we. And so does Marie Claire Australia. The glossy chose the very same image for its November 2013 cover, mere months after the photo’s Vogue debut. For the Aussie take, Bey is slightly more zoomed out and it appears some handy Photoshop work has been done to adjust the color, but we couldn’t miss that Jonathan Saunders ensemble anywhere. Fashion magazines can be so sneaky sometimes. As we know, this type of cover sharing is common amongst international editions of magazines (remember this one ?). But something about this appropriation feels a bit… well, too obvious. After all, that Vogue UK cover was a pretty major score for Beyonce, especially on the heels of her American Vogue cover in March . See both magazines below and tell us if you think this photo was the right pick for a second go. Beyonce for Marie Claire Australia, November 2013: Beyonce for Vogue UK, May 2013: We can see why all the fashion glossies want her: Loading Slideshow September 1998 with her Destiny’s Child bandmates In March 1999, Destiny’s Child’s color-coordination was going strong September 1999 at the 5th Annual Soul Train “Lady of Soul” Awards Bey was so on-trend in 2000: waistband-less jeans and a bandana top Hanging with Sisqo at the MTV Movie Awards in June, 2000 September 2000 at the 6th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards Sparkly and skimpy at the Source Hip Hop Music Awards in August, 2000 Beyonce back in the Destiny’s Child Days at the 2002 Grammys (Getty) B rocked a shimmery bustier dress to the Billboard Awards back in 2003 (Getty) Loving her lingerie a little too much at the 2003 Essence Awards (WireImage) Beyonce the barbarian at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards (Getty) A strange print for a night on the red carpet back in 2003 (Getty) Beyonce looking like a hot, gold mess at the 2004 Grammys (Getty) Pretty in pink at the 2004 NRJ Music Awards (Getty) Beyonce’s the ultimate glamour girl, especially in this metallic romper from 2004 (Getty) Not the right silhouette for this famously curvy star, 2005 (WireImage) Beyonce does vixen velvet in this sultry black gown worn to the 2005 Oscars (Getty) Matching with her Destiny’s Child mates at the 2005 BET Awards (WireImage) Not so red carpet ready in this yellow frock from 2005 (FilmMagic) Beyonce donned this intricate gown to the 2006 MTV VMAs (FilmMagic) A sexy, sophisticated white gown worn to the 2007 Academy Awards (FilmMagic) Effortlessly gorgeous at the U.K. premiere of “Dreamgirls” in 2007 (WireImage) B wore this appropriately revealing ensemble to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue event back in 2007 (Getty) Beyonce’s a stunner in this black, embellished dress from 2008 (FilmMagic) And at the 2008 Grammy after party thrown by Sony/BMG (WireImage) Beyonce’s ice blue gown from the 2008 Grammys (Getty) At the Kennedy Center Honors, 2008 (Getty) Beyonce looked fierce and fabulous at the 2009 BET Awards (WireImage) B donned this nude-colored gown to the 2010 Grammys (WireImage) Bold and beautiful at a benefit last year (WireImage) At a Lorraine Schwartz event in 2010 (Getty) A vision in Pucci at The Met Gala this past May (Getty) Beyonce performing at the 2011 Glastonbury Music Festival (Getty) On GMA this past July (Getty) Showing off her baby bump at the 2011 MTV VMAs (Getty) Performing in a sequined jacket at the 2011 VMAs (Getty) Stepping out in Paris in June 2012 (FameFlynet photo) At a Laker’s Game in February 2012 (Getty photo) Stepping Out In NYC in March 2012 (Pacific Coast News photo) At ‘Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations’ in May 2012 (Getty photo) Stepping Out In NYC in June 2012 (Pacific Coast News photo) Stepping Out In NYC in June 2012 (Pacific Coast News photo) At the 2012 BET Awards in July 2012 (Getty photo)
Beyonce’s Marie Claire Australia Cover Is Actually From Vogue UK (PHOTOS)
The GREAT Tech Awards, an international technology competition celebrating the best of UK and US technology start-ups, is hosted by UK Trade & Investment. New York-based tech start-ups applied over the summer to win one of five custom UK expansion packages in the education, finance, hardware, lifestyle, and media sectors. “The technology sector is of utmost importance to the UK, and is bolstered by our commitment to innovation, entrepreneurialism, and a dynamic business climate,” said HRH The Duke of York, whose official work includes supporting the economic success of the UK. “The GREAT Tech Awards offer an unparalleled opportunity for the winners to use the UK as their next step towards international expansion and success. I wish the winners the best of luck on their exciting new journey across the Atlantic.” The US award winners were handpicked by a panel of judges representing the finest industry leaders, influencers, and entrepreneurs. The winners are: Media: ADstruc The Advisors’ Choice Award, awarded to Blippar , recognizes a British technology company that has successfully established a New York office. Sponsors of the competition include Virgin Atlantic Airways, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), TaylorWessing, BritishAmerican Business (BAB), and Blick Rothenberg. “We are thrilled to announce the winners of The GREAT Tech Awards tonight, which represent the best of the UK-US tech industry,” said Danny Lopez, British Consul-General to New York. “We have seen exponential growth in tech clusters in both UK and US cities in recent years, and it’s no coincidence. Winners will embark on a journey of international expansion in the best country in Europe to grow a business, and these bespoke development packages will provide a helpful boost for these companies to succeed.” The five category winners receive a customized package that includes: a premium economy round-trip airplane ticket provided by Virgin Atlantic Airlines departing from JFK on October 14, and returning from LHR on October 19, 2013; a meeting with a senior representative at the UK Prime Minister’s Office, No. 10 Downing Street; over $4,000 worth of legal services courtesy of TaylorWessing; $3,000 worth of accountancy/business advisory services provided by Blick Rothenberg LLP; a two-day customized business development program in London (15-16 October); three classes at General Assembly in London; one entry pass to London’s Wired 2013 Conference (17-18 October 2013); an introductory meeting with a major British brand to be selected by a sponsor; a tour of co-working and shared office spaces in London; a free annual corporate membership with BAB in either London or New York’s chapters; a complimentary Gold Ticket Registration to the BAB Christmas Luncheon (in either London or New York); inclusion in a feature on the winners in BAB New York’s Network magazine. The Advisors’ Choice winner’s prize package includes: a business reception hosted by the British Consul-General New York at the British Residence; a free annual corporate membership with BAB in either London or New York’s chapters; three classes at General Assembly in London; a complimentary Gold Ticket Registration to the BAB Christmas Luncheon (in either London or New York); inclusion in a feature on the winners in BAB New York’s Network magazine.
Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor LONDON | Wed Oct 2, 2013 2:43am EDT LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L), Britain’s biggest grocer that is 18 months into a recovery plan, posted flat quarterly sales in its home market on Wednesday, as 1 billion pounds ($1.62 billion) of investment failed to boost its fortunes. The country’s biggest retailer and the world’s third largest said sales at UK stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, showed zero growth in the 13 weeks to August 24, its fiscal second quarter. That compared to analysts’ forecasts in a range of flat to down 0.5 percent and does represent an improvement on a first quarter decline of 1 percent. First-half group trading profit fell 7.6 percent to 1.59 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) in the six months to August 24 – in line with analysts’ forecasts. That was hit by a particularly poor performance in Europe, where trading profit in the first half was down 68 percent. “We are continuing to make good progress on building a better Tesco in the UK and the investments we have made in our international businesses have started to feed through into an improved trading performance in the second half,” the group said. “However, challenging economic conditions overseas, particularly in Europe, have held back consumer confidence and spending, leading to a lower level of sales than expected.” Once the envy of British retailers Tesco has been hurt by falling profits and asset write-downs, a costly retreat from U.S. and Japanese markets and revelations that horsemeat had been found in some meat products sold by it and other retailers. In Britain it was hit hard by the economic downturn because compared to rivals it sells a higher proportion of non-food items, where consumers have cut back the most and also following years of underinvestment that resulted in it losing ground to Wal-Mart’s (WMT.N) Asda, the No. 2, and J Sainsbury (SBRY.L), the No. 3. Tesco is also the most affected by the growth of discounters Aldi ALDIEI.UL and Lidl LIDUK.UL, according to JPMorgan Cazenove, until recently Tesco’s house broker. Though the firm has invested heavily in store upgrades, product ranges, more staff and its online offer for a British market which contributes over two-thirds of group revenue, its share of the market is still showing a year-on-year decline, monthly industry data showed last week.
UK gears up for cyberwarfare offensives
by Charlie Osborne September 30, 2013 8:08 AM PDT The UK government is planning to recruit hundreds of computer specialists to defend core infrastructure against cyberthreats, Conservative Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Sunday. Speaking at the annual Conservative party conference, Hammond said the United Kingdom was dedicating additional resources and funds to building a strong cyber intelligence and surveillance network, according to Reuters . As cybercrime continues to prove a lucrative way for hackers to steal valuable data for profit or as part of state-sponsored jobs — and many governments struggle to catch up and protect networks adequately against rising attacks — defense budget funds now need to not only consider physical threats, but digital warfare as well. Hammond commented: “Last year our cyber defenses blocked around 400,000 advanced malicious cyber threats against the government’s secure internet alone, so the threat is real. But simply building cyber defenses is not enough: as in other domains of warfare, we also have to deter. Britain will build a dedicated capability to counterattack in cyberspace and if necessary to strike in cyberspace.” In February, the National Audit Office named “addressing the UK’s current and future ICT and cybersecurity skills gap” as a “key challenge.” The NAO report was published as part of the UK’s 650 million pound ($1.09 billion) Cyber Security Strategy scheme, and said it could take “20 years” to address the skills gap at all levels of education. Not only could a dedicated task force of offensive security experts deter hackers in the future, but the Defence Secretary told the Mail on Sunday that cyberstrikes could work “alongside conventional weapons in future conflicts,” disabling communications, nuclear weapons, ships and critical hardware. To establish the new cybersecurity force, the UK will recruit experts in their hundreds from a number of fields. The recruitment drive will include civilian computer experts who will be part of the “Joint Cyber Reserve,” and their role will be to work alongside members of the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ to protect critical infrastructure and prevent data theft. The cost of the program was not disclosed, but recruitment is due to begin in October. Hammond commented : “Increasingly, our defense budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe. The cyber reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyber-space. This is an exciting opportunity for Internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.” The UK is also seeking ways to train the next generation of cyberspecialists. In May, two UK universities — Oxford and Royal Holloway — were granted 7.5 million pounds in funding to help develop the country’s skills in online security.