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USA UK and Malta News
15/04/2008 - 19:43

UK today Editoweb, 15 april 2008

Economic gloom adds to case for lower rates - BA says 2 managers to go after T5 fiasco - MoD defends prince's stag do flight - Cost of Diana probes passes £12.5m - Fears for 2,800 clothes chain jobs.

Economic gloom adds to case for lower rates
The housing market is turning down fast and retail sales are falling, surveys showed on Tuesday, in another sign that interest rates will need to fall further this year to shore up the economy. The weak figures add to mounting pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose first year in power has been tarnished by the failure of a high street bank and a raft of other bad economic news as a global credit crunch hits households. Inflation numbers showing no acceleration in price growth in March gave some relief, although there is a real risk that the let-up will prove temporary as oil and food prices soar.

BA says 2 managers to go after T5 fiasco
British Airways is parting company with two senior managers following the airline's chaotic move to a new terminal at Heathrow airport. The airline said that Gareth Kirkwood, director of operations, and David Noyes, director of customer services, would both be leaving the group and would be replaced by a chief operations officer to combine both roles. Europe's third-biggest airline has cancelled hundreds of flights and misplaced tens of thousands of pieces of luggage following the opening of the new 4.3-billion-pound ($8.5 billion) Terminal 5 at Heathrow last month.

MoD defends prince's stag do flight
The Ministry of Defence has defended the actions of Prince William who used a helicopter training exercise to fly himself and his brother to a stag do. The young royal, who is on an attachment with the RAF, piloted a Chinook to London on Friday, picked up Prince Harry then travelled to the Isle of Wight for the social event.

Cost of Diana probes passes £12.5m
The cost of investigating the death of Diana, Princess of Wales has jumped to more than £12.5 million, it was confirmed. New figures show the bill for the long-running Diana inquest now stands at £4.5 million, but this is likely to increase as the hearing's last few days are not included.

Fears for 2,800 clothes chain jobs
Discount clothing chain Ethel Austin has been placed in administration sparking fears for thousands of jobs nationwide. The Merseyside-based company, which has 300 stores across the UK, had recently completed a financial restructuring plan. Philip Duffy and David Whitehouse, partners in Menzies Corporate Restructuring (MCR), have been appointed joint administrators. Mr Duffy said: "At this stage, it is too early to be certain about the exact reasons for the financial difficulties.

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