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Headlines - 18/04/2016

18 April 2016 |


The Independent reports this week that the British immigration officials have been using technology to hack refugee phones. In a society that preaches freedom and equality, is this not a breach of privacy? Nonetheless, it may come as a surprise to some readers that this is actually legal. Hence, an amendment was made to the 1997 Police act in 2013 which enables “property interference, including interference with equipment.”

Hitting the headlines again this week is the issue of immigration and the Brexit. For all in-campaigners the recent report reflected in the Guardian broadcasts some favourable information. The report states that immigration will not be impacted and will not be reduced if the UK chooses to leave the European Union. This is because many of the immigrants are low skilled workers which will still be needed for the economy. Moreover, if the UK chooses to be harsh with EU citizens, the report explains that it is likely that the EU will be tough when negotiating trade deals, which again could be detrimental to the UK economy. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how the out-campaign responds to these arguments. Can they?

In the US immigration is also causing a stir. Obama has been campaigning for approximately four million illegal immigrants of America to be protected. Reuters explains that Obama is trying to get people who have been living in the ‘United States at least since 2010, do not have a criminal record and have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents – get into a program that shields them from deportation and supplies work permits.’ This action was previously thrown out of the lower court in 2014 when Obama tried to take executive action; however, the Supreme Court restored the case.


  • Bloomberg: Immigrants in limbo as U.S. top court weighs Obama action
  • Independent: British immigration officials hacked into refugee phones and computers
  • The Guardian: Brexit unlikely to cause significant fall in immigration, says report
  • Europe

    It seems to be near misses for the Eurozone at the moment as the Wall Street Journal escapes deflation. The figures show that prices were 0.1% lower than expected. Nonetheless, despite this somewhat positive news, industry output in the Euro zone has dropped more than expected according to Reuters. This was because of the law of output of non-durables including clothes in the Eurozone. These pieces of news suggest that the Eurozone economy appears to be on the on the verge of instability again. In other Eurozone economy news, the ECB have announced an increase in their quantitative easing programme from 60bn euros to 80bn euros. Part of this programme will see the ECB buy a greater variety of assets reports the Financial Times.

    In light of this news one question emerges; if the UK chooses to leave the European Union is this at further threat? Will the economic trade arguments from the in-campaign remain true or will the Eurozone economy be in such desperation that nothing will change in terms of trade agreements?


  • Wall Street Journal: Eurozone Escaped From Deflation in March
  • Reuters: Euro zone February industry output drops more than expected
  • UK

    It has not been an easy few weeks for UK Prime Minister David Cameron as he has been faced with the Panama papers scandal as well as the upcoming Brexit vote, campaigning is under way. Many have called for him to resign; a protest actually took place outside Number 10 Downing Street following the news around his offshore company. However, Cameron infamously pledged that he would not resign if the UK decided to vote to leave, yet speculation has risen in recent weeks. Despite this, two cabinet ministers, who have remained forward thinking, argued this week that Cameron should not leave if the UK choose to Brexit reports the BBC. Some still remain of the opinion that Cameron should not lead a country in which has chosen against his advice.

    Keeping on the topic of Brexit, the Bank of England has warned of the economic harm the Brexit could cause. The Monetary Policy Committee within the Bank of England also met today to discuss interest rates and a unanimous decision was taken to keep rates at 0.5%. Hence, the Bank of England are worried about the outcome of the June vote regarding the EU as they believe that it could have a detrimental effect on the pound and UK assets reports the Guardian, and therefore they have put measures in place to try and protect the interests of the UK.

    In other UK news, the Guardian calls for the UK to take action over Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes in Yemen. This call comes as the ‘the UK has licensed the sale of £6.7bn of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, including an estimated £2.8bn since airstrikes against Yemen began in March 2015’ reports the Guardian. This conflict explains the Guardian ‘is believed to have killed more than 2,800 civilians, including at least 700 children, many of them in airstrikes.’ Whilst a ceasefire, described by the Guardian as ‘fragile’ is currently in place, the UK government is being called upon to investigate the situation- what will be done?


  • BBC: EU referendum: PM should stay if UK backs Brexit, ministers say
  • The Guardian: Bank of England warns Brexit could do serious harm to UK economy
  • Business News

    For all those suffering with bad broadband, this news will please you! The BBC informs us this week that the British Infrastructure Group ‘is calling for greater powers to enable consumers to hold providers to account.’ This concern comes as it appears that broadband providers are not in breach of guidelines even if their advertisements for certain broadband speeds only meet some of their customers.

    In other business news, Citigroup’s quarterly profits have plunged by 27%. This comes as Citi has decided to focus its business on its more profitable areas. This loss therefore comes explains the BBC as ‘the cost of shrinking some of its businesses increased’ in particular energy loans.

    Reuters also reports this week that fast food chain, McDonalds is hoping to sell 2,800 of its restaurants located in North Asia to a private equity firm. It will be interesting to see how much and if McDonalds are able to sell it. For more mergers and acquisition news see the Reuters article below.


  • BBC: Broadband speed advertising misleading, say MPs
  • BBC: Citigroup quarterly profits plunge 27%
  • Global News

    China has been a constant concern for the world and whilst worries will persist as news broke this week that their economy slowed to 6.7%, there is some positive news. These reports are the slowest in seven years however the BBC explains that this is in line with revised figures and expectations. Moreover the article indicates future potential growth and strength as ‘there are pockets of growth. Investment in industrial assets and infrastructure registered a surprise jump by 10.7% in the three months to March, when compared to the same period last year.’

    Nonetheless, across the Atlantic, U.S. industrial output has fallen. Reuters argues that this is due to ‘the slowing global economy and robust dollar, which have eroded demand for U.S. manufactured goods.’ This news regarding industrial output follows more negative news for the U.S. economy as Bloomberg explains that the upcoming U.S. elections are causing doubts for consumers. This in turn has resulted in consumer confidence falling as citizens worry about future finances due to low wage growth rates and the potential fallout the U.S. election could have on the economy.


  • BBC: China GDP: Economy slows to 6.7% in first quarter
  • Reuters: U.S. industrial output falls, signals weak first-quarter GDP growth
  • Oil

    It has become increasingly noticeable over the past few weeks that oil prices have been creeping up suggesting the industry is recovering from the oil crisis. Nonetheless, despite these minor improvements, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced a new plan which prepares for the post-oil future of the state. Bloomberg explains that he hopes to build social, economic and development plans in order to boost the energy and industrial market. The diversity in which the report suggests, infers that the future of oil may remain dark in particular in the wake of technology.


  • Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia's Post-Oil Plan Starts April 25, Prince Says