After months of intense negotiation and deal-making, on Friday the US and China slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on $34 billion worth of the other's imports, setting the stage for a full-blown trade conflict between the world's top two economies. US President Donald Trump has also put pressure on Beijing by banning Chinese companies from investing in US tech firms and blocking tech exports to China. The Trump administration has long accused Beijing of using unfair means to overtake America's technological supremacy. Read more: From the world's workshop to the world's tech hub: China's economic leap forward The main source of Washington's grumbling appears to be Beijing's "Made in China 2025" initiative, an ambitious plan to close the Asian giant's technology gap with the West. First unveiled in 2015, the initiative seeks to turn China from being the world's factory into a global technology leader, including in biotech, robotics, aerospace and clean-energy cars. Watch … [Read more...] about Is China on course with ‘Made in China 2025’ amid trade row with US?
Michael Woodford, the British businessman who was sacked as chief executive of Olympus after blowing the whistle on a £1bn fraud scandal, will receive a £10m payoff. Woodford, who departed two weeks after taking the job, agreed an out-of-court settlement with the Japanese consumer and medical camera maker company last week, which was subject to ratification by the board. "In today's settlement between myself and the company we reached a fair and amicable agreement, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the new board well in taking Olympus forward," Woodford said. "It is a wonderful company with wonderful products and people and has a bright future ahead of it." Last October Woodford, 51, was ordered to return his company mobile and laptop and told to take a bus to the airport after raising the issue of dubious accounting practices with the board. Over the following weeks, regulators uncovered an accounting fraud scandal stretching back more than a decade. … [Read more...] about Former Olympus chief gets £10m payoff
The former chairman of Olympus, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, was one of seven men arrested on Thursday in a dramatic escalation of the $1.3bn (£829m) fraud scandal at the Japanese camera manufacturer. Kikukawa, former Olympus executive vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada were detained along with two former bankers and two others, under suspicion of violating Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. The men under suspicion were identified by an investigative panel, commissioned by Olympus, as having played a role in the 13-year cover-up of huge investment losses made in the late 1980s bubble economy through complex mergers and acquisitions deals. Kikukawa, who headed Olympus for a decade until last year, is accused of concealing losses, booking overstated asset write-offs and falsifying financial statements, prosecutors said in a statement. He and 18 former colleagues are being sued by shareholders over the scandal. The prosecutors also arrested Akio Nakagawa, … [Read more...] about Former Olympus chairman arrested as scandal deepens
Len McCluskey, the trade union leader, has launched a withering attack on Tom Watson, suggesting he would not be re-elected as Labour’s deputy leader if he faced a vote of the party’s members. The Unite general secretary hit out at his former ally after Watson used a conference speech to urge the party to stop “trashing the record” of New Labour governments if it wanted to win elections. In a speech that was seen as a rallying call to those sceptical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Watson told a cheering hall: “I don’t know why we’ve been focusing on what was wrong with the Blair and Brown governments for the last six years, but trashing our record is not the way to enhance our brand. We won’t win elections like that, and we need to win elections.” McCluskey, who is a staunch supporter of the leadership, said he thought Watson had delivered an “extraordinary speech”. “It confused me, it seemed to be saying … [Read more...] about Len McCluskey launches withering attack on Tom Watson
No chief inspector of schools got off to a stickier start than Amanda Spielman. The education select committee unsuccessfully opposed her appointment in 2016 because, it thought, she lacked not just teaching experience but “passion”. “It is not a job where you simply throw opinions around,” she told the MPs. When one committee member said the chief inspector should be “a crusader for high aspirations and standards”, she replied that “when you start crusading you can often lose track of … objectivity, honesty and integrity”. She does not regret that comment. “The last thing a chief inspector should be is a crusader,” she tells me when we meet at Ofsted’s headquarters in London. “I think the sector is pretty exhausted by an awful lot of crusader language.” Yet crusading is precisely what critics now accuse her of. When Neena Lall, head of St Stephen’s, an east London primary school, banned girls … [Read more...] about Ofsted head: ‘The last thing a chief inspector should be is a crusader’. Oh really?