Babcock helicopters are used in coastal and ski emergencies and also to ferry workers to North Sea oil and gas installationsCosts racked up during the coronavirus pandemic have sent profits tumbling at Babcock. The defence contractor yesterday reported a 9 per cent year-on-year fall in underlying revenue to £2.2 billion for the half-year to the end of September, while pre-tax profits were down by almost two thirds at £55.3 million. Babcock was hit by the cost of operating a socially distanced navy base at Devonport in Plymouth, training military engineers during lockdown and operating emergency helicopters when there were fewer emergencies. Shares in Babcock have rallied since hitting a 15-year low of 212p last month, but they fell by 4¼p, or 1.2 per cent, to 350¾p yesterday after the latest results, which investors had expected to be poor, were published. The company also said that
Alex Salmond is considering taking further legal action against the government he used to leadSNP ministers have failed to hand over key documents relating to the unlawful investigation of Alex Salmond despite two court orders and a search warrant, it has emerged. The former first minister is considering taking further legal action against the government he used to lead. Among evidence due to be handed to a Holyrood inquiry into the government’s mishandled pursuit of Mr Salmond is material that has not previously been seen by the former SNP leader or his legal team. In a letter to members of the cross-party committee at the Scottish parliament, David McKie, of Levy and McRae, the law firm representing Mr Salmond, said that the Scottish government had not yet provided an explanation for why the evidence had emerged only now.
Foden celebrates with Sterling after his goal gave City the breakthroughShortly after Manchester City’s victory in Piraeus, Pep Guardiola went through a roll call of praise in front of the cameras before he and his players dashed to the airport with three valuable points stowed away in the hold. First Guardiola praised his centre backs, John Stones and Rúben Dias, in his post-match press conference: “A good couple,” he said. Then came adulation for the front line. “Bernardo [Silva], Phil [Foden], Raheem [Sterling] and Gabriel [Jesus] were all so aggressive.”Guardiola said that his two dynamic full backs, Benjamin Mendy and João Cancelo, were “outstanding” before commending Rodri and Ilkay Gündogan for their aggression, too. There was only one member of the starting XI that Guardiola did not praise — his goalkeeper, Ederson.
There’s an endearingly ambitious academic discipline called cliodynamics which aims to predict the rise and fall of civilisations using mathematical modelling. Cliodynamics has been in the news this year because its most famous proponent, Peter Turchin, a biologist previously famous for studying the population dynamics of pine beetles, made a series of predictions a decade ago that an “age of discord” was due to begin in 2020. Reluctantly, because I like a big sweeping theory, I’m with Turchin’s sceptics who argue that humans are a great deal more complex than pine beetles (well, most of them) and are therefore much harder to predict. I’m not sure general laws of civilisation can help us make sense of this messy and frightening year. But I do think
It is a stain upon the World Cup when its arguably most dangerous performer is accused of being a cheat. The fact that Maradona’s first goal, five minutes into the second half, was knocked past Shilton with his forearm as they went up together for Hodge’s sliced clearance is counter-balanced by his second goal: an incomparable, solo gem which personified his talent. As an argument that, but for Maradona’s first goal, England might otherwise be in the semi-final, the controversy holds little substance. On the run of the game, there was no doubt that the right team won. England must question not so much Maradona’s fortuitous goal as their own tactical approach.
It’s not every week that a country makes history but this week Scotland did. We became the first nation in the world to make period products free in all public buildings. Women who can’t afford sanitary products shouldn’t be penalised, nor stigmatised. Truly progressive moments like this — where politicians put aside their rancorous differences and vote together — provide a fleeting moment of national pride and unity. I watch from the outside, one of those expats who still feels a huge amount of pride and affection for the country of my birth, but who
For 175 years, Hammersmith Bridge has held the key to the Boat Race. A crew that passes under it in front — aiming ideally for the second lamppost from the left — will win four times out of five. One Canadian who led Oxford to victory against Cambridge in 2006 felt so indebted to the move his crew made there that he called his son Hammersmith. Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s green iron landmark, almost halfway into the race, has been closed for 18 months because of structural problems. Now fears for the safety of boats passing under it, as well as uncertainty about whether spectators will be allowed, means that next year’s Boat Race on April 3 could be moved off the Thames for only the
At last a new job for Gio Compario, the Welsh-Italian warbler. He’s landed himself a shock Future: joining the publisher of Classic Rock, Airgun Shooter and Practical Caravan. But why, you ask, is Future buying Gio? Future said the 136p-a-share deal to buy Goco was struck at a 23.6 per cent premium. But only 33p of that’s in cash.
Tommy Cook, chief executive, says trading will remain strong as 5G networks are rolled outA recently listed Scottish technology company has upgraded forecasts only weeks after arriving on the stock market. The news impressed investors and shares in Calnex Solutions jumped by 18p, or 25 per cent, to 90p yesterday. Yesterday it reported a 37 per cent increase in revenue to £7.7 million for the six months to the end of September. Calnex was founded in 2006 and has its headquarters in Linlithgow, West Lothian, along with other sites in Belfast, Beijing and California. It makes testing instrumentation and software primarily for the telecoms industry, with customers including Samsung, Vodafone, China Mobile, Microsoft, Facebook, Google
Historians describe 1816 as the year without a summer. Mary Shelley’s holiday with Lord Byron was ruined and instead of walking along the shores of Lake Geneva she retreated inside and wrote Frankenstein. Well, my Frankenstein in the Covid-ridden winter of 2020 will be perfecting the hotpot. Meat, stock, some vegetables and the application of gentle heat. “Especially in these darker evenings, one-pot wonders fill the soul full of joy,” says Richard Corrigan, the Irish chef.
Rishi Sunak has said that struggling towns and high streets will be more likely to win investment from a £4 billion fund if their MP endorses their schemes for regeneration. Money from the “levelling-up fund” will be spent on everything from upgrading stations to building libraries, the chancellor announced yesterday. Mr Sunak also unveiled plans to establish an infrastructure bank, based in the north of England. From spring next year the bank will invest with the private sector in green technologies such as carbon capture storage, solar power and wind turbines. Mr Sunak said that areas would be able to submit bids to the levelling-up fund for investment in specific schemes.
A Scottish software company has been bought in what is believed to be a multimillion-pound deal. Altia-ABM makes systems that help law enforcement agencies and government departments in their duties. Its products are used in areas such as fraud detection, money laundering monitoring and criminal investigation management. It was founded in 2002 by Ian Watson, 64, and Rodney Orr, 60, and now employs around 60 people. He became chairman of Altia in 2013 and believes that the exit deal is a good one for staff, shareholders and the growth prospects of
Identification evidence linking Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to the bombing was “virtually of no value”, a lawyer for his family saidDocuments relating to a key witness in the Lockerbie bombing conviction would have “destroyed” the case if they had been disclosed, an appeal court has been told. The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, travelling from London to New York on December 21, 1988, killed 270 people. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was found guilty in 2001 of mass murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years. He was the only person convicted of the attack, and died in his home country in 2012 having been released on compassionate grounds. A third appeal against his conviction began on Tuesday at the High Court in Edinburgh, sitting as the Court of Appeal.
Nothing adds more to a footballer’s value than rubbing shoulders with the best. For all the domestic kudos that would come with ending their long wait for a major trophy, the growing stature of Rangers’ players is made in Europe. Their manager, Steven Gerrard, is rightly proud of their record in that arena. At Ibrox tonight, a victory against Benfica could secure them a place in the Europa League round of 32 with two games to spare. The Portuguese giants are severely depleted, but it is another big stage for Rangers, whose improvement under Gerrard
2 All Saints’ Day, aka All Hallows’ Day, falls on the first of which month? 3 Which movie duo had an excellent adventure and a bogus journey and, in their third film, face the music? 4 Deadheads are fans of which US band, “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world”? 7 Chef Joël Robuchon claimed he owed everything to his take on pommes purée, aka which dish? 8 Which Stuart king’s many mistresses included Hortense Mancini, Moll Davis and Winifred Wells?