Ireland’s economy will not recover to its pre-Covid-19 level before 2022 “at the earliest”, a business group has said. Ibec said that gross domestic product (GDP), which is commonly used as a shorthand for economic growth, will fall by 11.1 per cent this year, slightly more than the 10.5 per cent drop which Paschal Donohoe, the finance minister, said in April that Ireland would be likely to experience. Although Ibec said that the economy would expand in 2021, it predicted that unemployment would remain an issue. Ireland’s unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent in May compared with 5.4 per cent in April, according to figures published yesterday by the Central Statistics Office. However, when people receiving the pandemic unemployment payment for those out of work
A leading investor group has rebuked Aston Martin Lagonda for having no women on its board. The luxury car company was chaired by Penny Hughes, but she was removed as the company began to implode. Aston Martin said that the dearth of women directors was the result of recent management shake-ups. The carmaker’s share price has fallen from £19, when it was floated 18 months ago, to 68¾p last night. The lack of women at the top table does not appear to have been a big problem at the annual meeting.
Back in January, before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tempus was, in suitable moderation, doing something similar, recommending that investors hold on to their shares in C&C Group. There was a caveat, though: the drinks maker might be affected if people began to watch their pennies more closely as Brexit loomed. Well, Brexit is still months away, but the coronavirus outbreak has delivered an even bigger shock to the system. Every company, C&C included, is having to review its operations and future planning. Prior to the pandemic, C&C was doing well.
American military spending has boosted profits for Chemring, the defence group. Unlike many companies during the pandemic, Chemring said that it would continue to pay dividends, with the interim payout up 8 per cent to 1.3p a share. The news sent the shares into lift-off, rising 56p, nearly 27 per cent, to 269½p and clawing back much of the deficit from the sell-offs during the Covid-19 outbreak. In February its stock was changing hands at 285p. In mid-March it hit a low of
Leading scientists warned last night that Boris Johnson’s two-week foreign quarantine plans made “no sense” as Downing Street’s own chief scientific adviser distanced himself from the policy. The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) was not consulted on the decision to make all arrivals in Britain self-isolate for two weeks. Yesterday Theresa May led a Conservative rebellion against the measure, which Tory MPs said would inflict “unnecessary economic isolation” on the country. Mr Johnson defended the plan, insisting that it was necessary now that Britain was “getting the virus under control”. He added that there was a “risk” of cases from abroad increasing the infection rate in
Today, when the prime minister opens the UK’s Global Vaccine Summit, world leaders will have come together to build on a medical innovation created more than 200 years ago by a Gloucestershire doctor called Edward Jenner. Jenner was behind the world’s first vaccine, and thanks to his ingenuity, routine immunisation now saves millions of lives every year. The race for a coronavirus vaccine is being led by British experts and funded through our overseas aid budget. In short: vaccines work. People who are vaccinated protect themselves and the rest of the population by lowering
The WHO has been criticised for its public praise of China’s handling of the pandemicBeijing frustrated World Health Organisation (WHO) officials as they struggled to get critical information at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, leaked internal recordings reveal. The recordings, obtained by the Associated Press, highlight the United Nations agency’s difficulty in extracting information from China amid concerns that public criticism would make Beijing even more reluctant to open up. The delayed information included the genome of the coronavirus, which China did not share for more than a week after they had fully decoded it. The recordings contain officials complaining in meetings during the week beginning January 6 that Beijing was not sharing the data needed to assess the risk that the virus posed to the rest of the world. China confirmed human-to-human transmission only on January 20
As lockdown eases, where does the country go from here? As the lockdown eases and the country looks cautiously beyond the immediate coronavirus crisis, we want to hear what longer-term challenges you see affecting your lives. The Times and The Sunday Times, in partnership with Engage Britain, are holding a nationwide conversation online. Readers are invited to join thousands of members of the public to discuss what needs to be tackled to make Britain a better place to live as it emerges from the pandemic. You just give your response to each question, and say whether you agree or disagree with other people’s.
Beijing’s push for the security law in Hong Kong may have caused people to look for a way outThe number of passports issued to eligible Hong Kong residents has more than doubled in five years as people seek an “insurance policy” against Beijing’s tightening grip. Hong Kong exiles in Britain said yesterday that the document was regarded as a way out if China continued to exert control with the national security law which would reduce freedoms enjoyed by people in the former colony. Johnny Patterson, director of Hong Kong Watch, a human rights organisation, said that the increase in the number of British National (Overseas) (BNO) passports could be linked to the deteriorating situation. Beijing’s push for the security law has stoked concerns about erosion of freedoms. This has led to widespread protests and calls for the removal of its Beijing-backed chief executive.
Travelodge is accused of trying to enrich its offshore shareholders at the expense of UK savers and investorsLandlords have accused Travelodge of using a restructuring plan to “enrich its offshore shareholders at the expense of UK savers and investors”. The proposal, seen by The Times, warns landlords that if the CVA is not approved Travelodge is “likely to enter into administration or liquidation”. However, Travelodge is facing opposition from its landlords, who say that the company should look to its shareholders for support. Travelodge’s owners include Goldman Sachs, the American investment bank, and Avenue Capital and Golden Tree, the asset mansgers. Its landlords include British pension funds,
May wasn’t just the sunniest May in UK records, it was the sunniest of any month of any year. There were an average of 266 hours of sunshine across the UK in May, beating the record of 265 hours in June 1957. The sunniest place of all in May was Bournemouth, although this comes from a limited survey of 48 weather stations across the UK that have reported sunshine statistics. The weather station at Bournemouth Airport recorded 339.5 hours of sunshine in May, which smashed their previous sunniest month, June 1975, which had 320.1 hours. May’s sunshine was 70 per cent of the maximum possible for the month, making an average of 11 hours each day and, hardly surprisingly, without any completely dull days.
The Restaurant Group, owner of Frankie & Benny's, is to close up to 120 branches on sites associated with multiplex cinemasUp to 3,000 jobs are at risk in the casual dining sector after the owner of the Frankie & Benny’s chain decided not to reopen many of its branches when the lockdown is lifted. The Restaurant Group, which recently pushed most of its Chiquito Mexican eateries into administration, is understood to have called time on between 100 and 120 restaurants, affecting between 2,000 and 3,000 staff. The sites involved, most of them Frankie & Benny’s, are in TRG’s leisure division, which operates restaurants on edge-of-town leisure parks with multiplex cinemas and tenpin bowling centres. In an email to staff, seen by the BBC, the company said that many sites were “no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently”. It added: “The Covid-19 crisis
Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist, has acknowledged that the authorities did not take enough actionThe scientist behind Sweden’s light-touch coronavirus strategy has conceded that it led to “too many” deaths, in the first admission that the choice not to impose a general lockdown could have been a mistake. While its neighbours shut schools, restaurants and all but essential shops in early March, Sweden was the only rich European country to take a less coercive approach. Until now it has pursued a policy of “mitigation”, permitting most schools, bars, nightclubs and virtually all other businesses to remain open, and initially allowing gatherings of up to 500 people. Its death rate per capita has climbed to among the highest in the world, behind only Belgium, Britain, Spain and Italy. Sweden has registered 4,542 Covid-19 deaths, four times as many as Denmark,
From The Times archive, June 4, 1920War has been declared by certain authorities on the butterfly tribe, and schoolchildren are being bribed to deliver their dead bodies at a fixed tariff. These are sorry tidings. Much misconception exists among gardeners on the part played by butterflies and their larval offspring, and when the village infantry is mobilized against them they are likely to do more harm than good. Only two British butterflies — the large and the small cabbage whites — do any harm worth mentioning to gardens or farm crops; all others are either harmless or positively beneficial. As for the best tactics in the legitimate campaign against cabbage whites, if it pleases gardeners to have children prancing among their young vegetables, by
President Trump, who has used Twitter throughout his presidency, signed an executive order targeting social mediaThe technology industry has begun a legal fightback against an executive order by President Trump targeting social media after Twitter flagged two of his tweets as misleading. On Tuesday the Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a non-profit group backed by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Twitter, filed a lawsuit at a federal district court in Washington DC claiming that the order violated the freedoms of speech of social media companies and their users. According to the complaint, the order was not only “plainly retaliatory” against Twitter but also “seeks to curtail and chill the constitutionally protected speech of all online platforms and individuals”. Mr Trump, who has used Twitter throughout his presidency and the campaign that preceded it, signed the order last