A campaign to cancel the Tokyo Olympics is gaining pace - as polls say 80% of Japanese people want the games to be called off. Around 200,000 people in Japan have signed an online petition demanding the event - postponed from last year and now due to open in less than 12 weeks on 23 July - is scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. It comes as a state of emergency in Tokyo and major cities including Osaka and Kyoto is likely to be extended until the end of the month, despite being due to expire on 11 May. Just 2.2% of the Japanese population has been vaccinated despite tens of millions doses of unused COVID-19 vaccines piling up. Health chiefs imported 28m doses of the Pfizer vaccine in late April - but 24m remain sitting in freezers. Advertisement The petition, launched only days ago, is entitled: "Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to save lives". It claims the games cannot be held safely - and argues the event has drained financial … [Read more...] about Tokyo Olympics: Thousands demand games cancelled as Japan extends COVID state of emergency
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Jes Staley, the chief executive of Barclays, could be forgiven if tonight he reaches for a more expensive wine than usual for a Friday evening. A major thorn in his - and the bank's - side has just been removed. Edward Bramson, the British-born but US-based activist investor, today called time on his three-year campaign to get Barclays to shrink its corporate and investment banking business and reinvest the capital saved in other areas. Sherborne Investors, his investment vehicle, said it had offloaded its entire 6.01% shareholding in the bank. The news will come as a huge boost to Mr Staley. Sherborne had been a huge distraction to him as he sought to navigate the bank through the recession sparked by COVID-19 . Advertisement The Sherborne fund that had held the stake in Barclays included some of the City's best-known investors, including Schroders, Aviva, Fidelity International, Jupiter, Janus Henderson, Invesco and Colombia Threadneedle, among its … [Read more...] about Barclays boss Staley emerges victorious after activist investor battle
After 11 years of Tories in Downing Street, today's by-election and local elections are a remarkable disaster for the opposition, showing Labour still going backwards. Sir Keir Starmer's first electoral test has not yet yielded any positive news, with the worst by-election since the Second World War and now questions about direction. This will prompt soul searching across the party, which will now be asking whether there is even a path back to power. There is no one answer to Labour's problems, only questions. Here are five of the biggest: Where are Labour's heartlands now? Advertisement The Tees Valley, where Tony Blair built the foundations of New Labour, continues to turn blue. But there is a striking variety of areas in which the Tories picked up seats and councils elsewhere in the country. Take the West Midlands. In Nuneaton, just north of Coventry, the Tories have won the council by picking up 10 of the 11 seats straight from Labour, in a result … [Read more...] about Election results: Five problems for Keir Starmer as Hartlepool defeat puts party in crisis
Oh no. Here we go again. That will have been the reaction of many stakeholders in Barclays - past and present employees, investors and customers - following news that the bank and its chief executive, Jes Staley, are being investigated by the UK's two main financial regulators. Mr Staley, who is generally regarded as having done a good job since he became chief executive of the bank in December 2015, is hardly the first Barclays boss to become embroiled in a high-profile regulatory investigation. His predecessor-but-one, Bob Diamond, was forced to step down in July 2012 after the bank admitted to rigging Libor and other money market rates. Both Mr Diamond and his immediate predecessor, John Varley, have been interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over fees paid by Barclays ahead of the bank's emergency £7.3bn fundraising in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, a refinancing that helped it avoid receiving a state bail-out. Advertisement The … [Read more...] about Why Jes Staley is likely to be ‘punished severely’ in whistleblower row
THIS scrawl by John Lennon was a hit as a collection of Beatles memorabilia went under the hammer. It was one of two strange scribbles by the late musician that together went for £9,563. Items from the band’s Hamburg years included letters to German photographer Astrid Kirchherr. Lennon ’s work permits for visits to the city fetched £137,750. A letter from John Lennon sold for £50,250, while photographs of the Beatles arriving at Hamburg airport in June 1962 were sold for £12,750. The collection was sold for a total of £383,823 by auctioneers Bonhams in London on Wednesday. Most read in Music Exclusive 'WAKE-UP CALL' I quit drinking to make our best album yet, says Royal Blood's Mike Kerr DIVIDE & CONQUER Can you guess the football-mad celebrity in this throwback childhood pic? 'I'M FREE' Jesy Nelson says 'I didn't know I could be this happy' after quitting Little Mix … [Read more...] about Strange drawings by John Lennon sell at auction for over £9,500 – but could your two-year-old do better?