How Led Zeppelin rewrote rock’s rulebook and changed the music business | Louder

It wasn’t just the sound of rock music that Led Zeppelin changed forever. The music business was never the same again either. The contract that Zeppelin signed with Atlantic Records in late 1968 included not just the biggest advance ever handed to a new group at that time, it also gave them unprecedented control over every aspect of their music and image. 

What made the deal even more remarkable was that nobody at Atlantic had seen Led Zeppelin play live before they signed them. In fact the band had only played a handful of gigs, and most of those were as The New Yardbirds. But Atlantic had heard the tapes of the first Led Zeppelin album. 

“It was [producer] Jerry Wexler who wanted to sign them. He’d recognised the enormous talent of Jimmy Page,” says Phil Carson, who was in charge of running Atlantic Records’ international operation at that time and later became a vice-president of the company. “It was then handed over to [Atlantic’s founder] Ahmet Ertegün who finalised the deal with [Zeppelin manager] Peter Grant.” 

Carson continues: “The deal changed the way things were done because Led Zeppelin demanded a massive measure of control. They controlled what singles would be taken from an album, they controlled the artwork. They controlled the mastering process – Jimmy Page mastered every album personally. Atlantic had absolutely no say in any of that stuff whatsoever.”

How were Led Zeppelin able to do this? 

“Because it was clear to Ahmet immediately what he was dealing with – the talent of the band and the talent of the management team. Peter was running the thing with the assistance of [leading New York music business attorney] Steve Weiss. And Ahmet realised there was something extraordinary in the way that Peter Grant and Jimmy Page had created Led Zeppelin. 

“He knew it would be the very best. He also knew that The Yardbirds, the band Jimmy had been with previously, had a following in the States so they would be able to tour even though they had no record out when the first tour was booked. Jimmy already had a reputation as an artist, even though it was fairly low-key. No one knew any of the others, but the impact was instant.” 

Why did Led Zeppelin approach Atlantic? 

“The fact that Atlantic had been so successful with Cream probably had something to do with it. Plus I think Jimmy had a respect for the music coming out of Atlantic. The catalogue of music that Ahmet and Jerry had built up there was hugely respected among British musicians. And Atlantic still had the air of an independent label even though it was a pretty big company by then. It certainly wasn’t a corporate record company. 

“They also had this edict about signing bands – ‘Only sign a band if there is a virtuoso musician in it.’ Because virtuoso musicians don’t play with good musicians, they only play with excellent musicians. And if you think about Led Zeppelin there are four virtuoso musicians in that band.”

Led Zeppelin could veto singles, but they couldn’t control what radio played, could they? 

“Jimmy’s whole idea was that you should play an album in its entirety. In those days I would go into a radio station like [pioneering New York station] NWEW with Jimmy and [DJ] Scott Murray would put on side one of and play the whole fucking thing. Other DJs would pick up on different tracks. Sometimes there would be a consensus and then the record company would go to the band and say: ‘Hey, we’ve gotta put that track out as a single.’ 

“That’s how Whole Lotta Love came to be Zeppelin’s first big single. It was edited to bring it down to a reasonable length, which caused all kinds of mayhem. In the end they agreed that the edited version could be played on radio but not sold in the shops. My first experience with Peter Grant was over Whole Lotta Love when I decided to put it out as a single in England. 

“I had it pressed and ready to go out, when I was summoned to Peter Grant’s office and told: ‘You can’t do that.’ I said: ‘What do you mean? I’m running the record label over here.’ And he said: ‘You speak to Ahmet right now.’ So I rang him from Peter’s office and he said: ‘Get the damn thing back.’ I did it but about 1200 copies leaked from our Manchester distribution centre, and now they’re huge collector’s items. I just wish I’d kept a few.” 

Didn’t this deprive you of a publicity tool? 

“That’s what we all thought. But we were proved wrong because any airplay simply made people search out the album. After a while you wondered whether rock bands really needed singles. And in Zeppelin’s case they certainly didn’t.” 

Other bands, like ELP and Yes, released singles. Even The Rolling Stones. 

“The Stones were always a singles band. They never really sold a lot of albums until they joined Atlantic. It was just the concept of marketing that Atlantic had was different. Which is one of the reasons the Stones signed with Ahmet.” 

Why did Led Zeppelin refuse to go on TV? 

“They did a few right at the beginning but they were not happy with how they sounded on television. They felt that if you wanted to see the band you should go to a concert. By the middle of 1970, a year and a half after they’d signed to Atlantic, they’d already done five tours of America, and found time to record their second album. It was incredible.” 

So what was Atlantic’s role? 

“More or less innocent bystanders! All we had to do was keep our heads down and make sure the records were in the stores. We also got the radio play, but we had nothing to do with the live side of things. Zeppelin concert tickets would go on sale without advertisement. Sometimes it was just announced on a radio station. It was mostly word of mouth. The interesting thing is that it still is, only now it’s the internet generation. So you had 1.2 million people applying for 16,000 tickets to see them at the concert they did for Ahmet in 2007.”

This content was originally published here.

Liverpool’s excellent business continues with reported plans for Andy Robertson

Liverpool are reportedly planning talks with Andy Robertson over an improved contract, which would double the left-back’s current wage.

Robertson has established himself as a key figure on Merseyside since his £8 million move from Hull City last summer, taking a considerable step up.

Despite impressing at the KC Stadium, his move remained a calculated gamble for Liverpool, and after a slow start this has certainly paid off.

The 24-year-old is now one of the standout full-backs in the Premier League, and played a pivotal role in last season’s dramatic run to the Champions League final.

He was Jurgen Klopp‘s top assist-maker in pre-season, with four, and laid on Mohamed Salah‘s opener in the 4-0 victory over West Ham last weekend.

Now, his fine form is set to be rewarded, according to , who claim he is in line for a new deal that would “see him pocket more than £60,000 a week.”

The Scot still has three years remaining on his existing terms, but the club are seemingly eager to tie him down for the long term to avoid a possible departure.

Liverpool are said to be “confident terms will be tied up quickly,” which would be another major boost after a summer that heralded some excellent business.

The signings of Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri have significant bolstered Klopp’s squad, while both Mohamed Salah and Rhian Brewster have signed new contracts.

Roberto Firmino put pen to paper on an extended deal in April, and Sadio Mane is expected to do similar in the coming weeks.

After addressing the deficiencies in Klopp’s starting lineup ahead of 2018/19, the Reds would be sensible in securing the futures of those already key to their success.

Though £60,000 a week seems relatively low for a regular first-team player at Liverpool, with Salah, Firmino and Virgil van Dijk earning more than double that, it does reflect Robertson’s low profile.

If the Mirror are to be believed, this would be another brilliant move by the club.

This content was originally published here.

Tamworth business Bradley Scott Windows unveils stunning new mural to commemorate Remembrance Sunday – Birmingham Live

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A proud Tamworth business has unveiled a stunning mural in time to commemorate Remembrance Sunday.

Bradley Scott Windows in Watling Street, Two Gates has shown off its amazing artwork complete with a soldier portrait and a Lancaster bomber.

The work produced by Graffiti by Title was started and completed on Friday, November 6.

Owner Andy Farrington beamed: “It is awesome, absolutely awesome. I am chuffed to bits with it.

“I have got poppies and planes, a portrait of an old soldier, a Lancaster bomber. It does look good. I don’t do things by halves. If you are doing it then you have to go all out.

“It is perfect for Sunday. It is just nice to show our respects. I am massively proud. My son was in the Army so I have got a connection there.

“These are tough times so hopefully it will go down well and bring a smile to people’s faces once again. It goes well with the Bulls Head opposite. It will be here for many years to come, it will stop here.

“I have wanted to do it for a while now. As soon as the lockdown was announced I thought ‘here we go’. We can’t go down to St Edithas like usual so I said I am going to do it and I have.  I go into town every year with my grandson. It is such a shame that we can’t this year, I am gutted but now we can stand outside here at 11am.

“I would have done the mural anyway I think to be honest with you but with the lockdown I just said right let’s get it done.

“Grafitti By Title is just amazing. I told him what I wanted and sent him some images through and he did the rest. He got here at about 10am and was done before dark. A massive thank you.”

Andy, who also has poppy colourings in his window designed by kids at the local Three Peaks Academy, unveiled a mural to Captain Tom Moore back in the first lockdown.

He recalled: “It just went crazy. He was such a hero and very topical at the time. What else can I say? What a man he is.

“I wanted to honour him because he is a hero. He is a World War Two hero and he has raised more than £30 million for our NHS. I thought this would be a fitting tribute so I decided to get it done.

“So many people turned up and were taking photos. I didn’t expect it to get that much of a reaction.”

This content was originally published here.

Entrepreneur from Cleanse and Co went from packing orders in lounge room to heading crystal business | Daily Mail Online

A 28-year-old entrepreneur and mum has revealed how she went from packing crystals in her lounge room at midnight to heading up a crystal empire that turns over $700,000 per month.

Hayley de Angelis, from Melbourne, said she stumbled upon the idea of spirituality and alternative healing remedies at the age of 24 when she was at a low point in her life.

She soon realised how much power and strength she drew from reading self-help books and carrying specific crystals around in her pocket, and how useful they could be for other people too.

‘I decided what I really wanted to do was source crystals from around the world and sell them to other people,’ Hayley told FEMAIL. 

‘Every single product I have created through Cleanse & Co helps me on a daily basis and I just wanted to share that with others.’

A 28-year-old entrepreneur (pictured) revealed how she went from packing crystals in her lounge room at midnight to heading up a crystal empire that turns over $700,000 per month

Hayley de Angelis, from Melbourne, stumbled upon the idea of spirituality and alternative healing remedies at age 24 when she was at a personally low point (her crystals pictured)

The 28-year-old sources everything from rose quartz (pictured) to jade and howlite from countries including China, Brazil, Africa and Madagascar

The 28-year-old sources everything from rose quartz to jade and howlite from countries including China, Brazil, Africa and Madagascar.

But while Cleanse & Co is now hugely popular, Hayley’s crystal empire had very humble beginnings.

‘I started my business by supplying my crystals to a nearby store and working out of the lounge room,’ Hayley told FEMAIL.

‘I would finish my full-time job and be packing orders until midnight most nights.   

‘By the time I’d finish, my apartment in South Melbourne would look like a bombsite.’

While Hayley (pictured) started her business from her lounge room, she has since gone on to sell $700,000 worth of crystals per month

The most popular items are the crystal-infused candles (pictured), of which Cleanse & Co sell 200 + per day

Demand for Cleanse & Co’s unique items grew quickly, and Hayley soon moved into packing orders from her garage (her crystals pictured)

Demand for Cleanse & Co’s unique items grew quickly, and Hayley soon moved into packing orders from her garage.

‘We grew very quickly,’ the 28-year-old said.

It wasn’t long before there was enough demand to launch a website, and Hayley now employs an impressive 20 people. 

‘It’s only recently that I’ve taken a moment to sit back and see the size of the business,’ Hayley said. 

‘It’s always been so much fun for me buying and selling crystals and making candles, so the finances and status of the business were never much of a thought in the early days.

‘We are currently hitting $700,000 in sales a month, so I hope to blow it out of the water and make $8million next year.’ 

Hayley (pictured) said it’s only recently that she has taken a moment to sit back and have a look at what she has achieved with the Cleanse & Co business

On Cleanse & Co’s website, shoppers can find everything from crystal-soaked bath washes to special healing kits (pictured) designed for different things

What are the three crystals everyone should own? 

* ROSE QUARTZ: Love and self-love.

* CLEAR QUARTZ: Cleansing energy.

* HOWLITE: Stress and anxiety. 

On Cleanse & Co’s website, shoppers can find everything from crystal-soaked bath washes to infused candles, crystal towers and mini ‘healing kits’.

‘The most popular items are the crystal infused candles,’ Hayley said, admitting they sell 200 plus per day.

The candles cost $59 each and feature everything from orange calcite for power to amazonite for balance.

‘If you’re looking to get into crystals, there are three stones which are great starts,’ Hayley said.

‘The first is rose quartz, as everyone needs love and self love in their life and who doesn’t need a pink rock?’

The second stone is a clear quartz, which gives you ‘cleansing energy and can be styled well in a home’.

‘The third stone everyone needs is howlite, which is fantastic for stress and anxiety,’ Hayley said.

‘It’s like carrying around a little safety blanket in your pocket!’  

The 28-year-old said she thinks her business has struck a chord with thousands of others because all of her followers on Instagram ‘feel as though they have a best friend in us’

When it comes to what is next for the business, Hayley explained she has big plans:

‘In 2021, I’d like to get into monthly healing subscription boxes,’ Hayley said.

‘Maybe instead of fresh flowers, we could even do a same day self-love delivery box you can send to a friend or family member who needs a pick-me-up.’

The 28-year-old said she thinks her business has struck a chord with thousands of others because all of her followers on Instagram ‘feel as though they have a best friend in us’.

‘We go above and beyond and are very personable when it comes to helping people select their crystals and find the light,’ Hayley said. 

‘Cleanse & Co aims to help you align with your higher self through products and practises, reconnecting, healing and inspiring you to all that you truly are – loved, worthy and whole,’ Hayley said (her crystals pictured)

The candles cost $59 each and feature everything from orange calcite for power to amazonite for balance (candles pictured)

What do you need to know about common crystals?

* AVENTURINE: The stone of prosperity. Aventurine reinforces leadership qualities and decisiveness. It promotes compassion and empathy and encourages perseverance. Aventurine calms anger and irritation while promoting feelings of well-being making it an absolutely amazing stone for just about everything.

* CHEVRON AMETHYST: The journey stone. Chevron amethyst encourages you to look deep inside yourself while gently releasing you from resistance, opening your mind, body and soul. Chevron Amethyst is a protecting stone and is perfect to use while in mediation or during yoga practice, to protect yet encourage physical and spiritual growth.

* RHODONITE: The compassion stone. Rhodonite encourages expressions of feelings, connection with loved ones and lifting guilt and shame. It is an emotional balancer that clears away emotional wounds and scars from the past while providing nurture and love. Rhodonite clears and activates the heart making it an excellent stone for communication, lifting your confidence and healing heart wounds after break ups or trauma.

* NEW JADE: The stone of protection. New Jade assists in soothing the emotional body, releasing fear and fret. It creates a protective shield from enemies and destructive forces. New Jade helps us to connect with the heart and mind and release blockages or repressed emotions. This stone is a powerful heart healer making it a perfect stone to carry for protection and during times of stress.

* PINK TOURMALINE: Pink Tourmaline is a stone of love, compassion, emotional healing and self love. It helps calm one’s emotions in times of distress, and is the perfect stone to carry if you suffer from daily bouts of anxiety. This stone is such a strong healing stone due to it commonly being formed within Quartz masses. Quartz naturally amplifies any stone placed near it, so we regularly recommend Pink Tourmaline to anyone suffering from heavy emotional pain weighing on the heart. 

Finally, the entrepreneur shared her tips for others who have a business idea and are tempted to run with it:

‘Keep your brand clean and appealing to everyone,’ Hayley said.

‘I think one of the main reasons for my success was bringing a minimal approach to holistic healing so people don’t feel too overwhelmed with a whole pile of hippie things.’

Hayley also said focusing on the product first will mean you go on to good things.

‘Cleanse & Co aims to help you align with your higher self through products and practises, reconnecting, healing and inspiring you to all that you truly are – loved, worthy and whole,’ Hayley said.

‘We believe that in doing so, you gain the courage and knowing that you are able to achieve anything you set your mind to, fulfilling your life’s purpose.’

For more information about Cleanse & Co, please click . You can also follow the brand on Instagram here.

This content was originally published here.

Russian who ‘paid $3.5M to Hunter Biden did so to open doors for her business to enter US market’ | Daily Mail Online

Russia’s richest woman Yelena Baturina has refused to discuss her alleged payment of $3.5 million to Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

But her brother, Viktor Baturin, 63, has told DailyMail.com the money was ‘a payment to enter the American market.’

Joe Biden was the vice president when Baturina wired the money in a series of payments to a bank account held by Hunter’s investment firm Rosemont Seneca Thornton in 2014, according to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

The following year, she opened up an office in the US to oversee her investments in America. In 2016, she launched her first development project, investing $10 million in commercial buildings next to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  

The ultra-wealthy 57-year-old has long been dogged by corruption allegations, stemming from when her late husband, who was the mayor of Moscow, awarded her with lucrative government business contracts, helping her grow the business. 

The suspicion the money was given to Hunter in order to influence Joe has been a battle cry of corruption for Republicans, as it would be considered illegal to try to influence a public official into creating policies that would favor Hunter’s interests. 

President Trump referenced the alleged payment during the first presidential debate, but Joe Biden flatly denied his 50-year-old son had received the Russian’s money. 

Baturina, whose estimated fortune is around $1.3 billion, told DailyMail.com she was ‘not interested’ in explaining an alleged consultancy fee. Hunter’s lawyer denied he received $3.5 million from Baturina, claiming he wasn’t a co-founder of the investment firm.  

But now, in a bizarre twist, her brother Viktor claimed ‘it was a payment to enter the American market’ while also suggesting she may have been ‘set up’ into making a payment.  

Russia’s richest woman Yelena Baturina has refused to discuss her alleged payment of $3.5 million to Joe Biden’s son Hunter, as her brother claimed she may have been ‘set up’

Last month, the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Baturina wired the money in a series of payments to a bank account held by Hunter’s investment firm Rosemont Seneca Thornton in 2014

 Baturina is the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov (pictured together), who died in 2019 and was Mayor between 1992 and 2010. He was fired by Russia’s then president Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations, which were never proven in court prior to his death last year

Baturina said in a statement in 2016 about her new US business activities: ‘We’ve managed to make a number of investments at a very good moment – in the situation when the market dropped after 2008. 

‘Today the market has without a doubt fully recovered, and the forecast for the future is very good – the rental sector is particularly stable. 

‘In this regard, we plan to expand our operations, and are considering the acquisition of a number of similar projects. ‘ 

Baturina and her brother have long had an unpredictable business and personal relationship. Both were involved from the start in her company, a plastics turned construction firm INTECO, the basis of her fortune. 

Her brother Viktor Baturina, 63, claimed ‘it was a payment to enter the American market’ while also suggesting she may have been ‘set up’ into making a payment

The businessman said: ‘Yelena, due to her nature, is not involved in anything on her own. 

‘Some proposals are prepared for her, she considers them and says – ‘yes, we’ll do it’.

‘As I understand it, the people around her offered her a set of steps for entering the American market.

‘They proposed this scheme…. 

‘Of course, I’m not surprised, there were no special goals.

‘It was a pure business, her subordinates proposed a scheme to her and she then had no option but to take responsibility.

‘I believe they explained to her that it was a payment to enter the American market.’

In a separate interview, he said: ‘Her subordinates probably set her up.’ 

Baturina is the widow of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, who died in 2019 and was mayor between 1992 and 2010. The two met in 1987 while working on Moscow’s council committees before marrying in 1991.  

Much of Baturina’s fortune was built on her plastics-turned-construction firm Inteco, which dominated the construction business in Moscow – thanks in part to lucrative government contracts granted while her husband was mayor.

There was outcry in 1995 when her firm was awarded a contract with Moscow to build seats for the 81,000-person Luzhniki Stadium, the city’s largest stadium. Critics accused Luzhkov of corruption by awarding the contract to his wife. 

Baturina’s firm later shifted into construction and was credited with receiving up to 20 percent of Moscow’s new construction contracts. 

Luzhkov was fired in 2010 by Russia’s then president Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations, which were never proven in court prior to his death.  

Much of Baturina’s fortune was built on her plastics-turned-construction firm Inteco, which dominated the construction business in Moscow – thanks in part to lucrative government contracts granted while her husband was mayor. Pictured: Baturina and Luzhkov in 2016

Luzhkov denied claims of wrongdoing or corruption, saying he was falsely accused because he refused to support Medvedev. Still, because of the ‘political difficulties’, Baturina moved herself and her two daughters to London in 2011. Pictured: Baturina with her two daughters at Luzhkov’s funeral in 2019  

Luzhkov denied claims of wrongdoing or corruption, saying he was falsely accused because he refused to support Medvedev. 

Still, because of the ‘political difficulties’, Baturina moved herself and her two daughters to London in 2011.  

Since moving to England, Baturina still remained in the public eye, most recently last year when she suddenly quit from her trustee position for the Mayor’s Fund for London, which pays for education programs in deprived areas of the city.

She resigned after an investigation revealed a board member at her own foundation was being prosecuted for alleged money laundering and tax crimes in Spain. The alleged crimes were not in relation to his work at her charity. 

It was only last month when Baturina’s connection to Hunter Biden came to light in the recent GOP report from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  

The report stated the transactions occurred in February 2014 – while Joe Biden was still vice president. 

It quickly drew outcry from some Republicans, although the report doesn’t indicate there was anything illegal about the transaction. 

Critics have long claimed Hunter ‘cashed in on Joe Biden’s vice presidency’ by obtaining high-paying positions, such as his board position with Ukraine energy company Bursima.  He got the job in April of 2014 and stepped down in 2019.

The report states: ‘Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine.’

Still, the findings did not show that Hunter’s dealings ever influenced Joe Biden or impacted the White House’s policy.  

President Trump referenced the alleged payment during the first presidential debate on Tuesday, but Joe Biden flatly denied his 50-year-old son had received the Russian’s money

The GOP report also states that between May 6, 2015 and December 8, 2015, Baturina sent 11 wires in the amount of $391,968.21 to a bank account belonging to BAK USA LLC, a technology startup based in Buffalo, New York. The transactions all listed ‘Loan Agreement’ in the payment details section.

Nine of the 11 transactions, totaling $241,797.14 were first sent from Baturina’s accounts to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton bank account, which then transferred to the money to BAK USA, according to the report.

BAK USA, which proposed to manufacture computer tablets in partnership with unnamed Chinese partners, was repeatedly touted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a success story in his tax-break scheme to lure startups.

The company filed for bankruptcy liquidation in 2019 with $39.4 million in debts and just $147,000 in assets. It’s unclear what connection Hunter Biden or his firm had to the now-defunct company. 

Biden’s campaign immediately panned the report, released six weeks before the election, as an effort by an ally of President Donald Trump’s to damage his election opponent.

The campaign said the investigation was founded on ‘a long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory’ and, even before the report was released, issued a detailed statement aiming to rebut point-by-point allegations that it said had long been debunked by media organizations as well as by U.S. and Ukrainian officials. 

Democrats have accused Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, the Homeland Security chair, of a politically motivated initiative at a time when they say the committee should be focused on the pandemic response and other, less partisan issues.

Johnson has acknowledged in interviews that he hoped to complete the report before the election, telling The Associated Press that the ‘American people deserve the truth’ about his probe.

Baturina is the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who died in 2019 and was Mayor between 1992 and 2010. Pictured: Vladimir Putin with Yelena Baturina at her husband’s funeral in December 2019

As Baturina refuses to answer comments about the payment, she is nowhere to be seen at her palatial five story multi-million dollar home in London. Her luxury home is located in London’s Kensington area which is a few minutes walk from the palace home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

But he has also been on the defensive over Democratic accusations that his investigation was serving to amplify Russian disinformation. He has denied receiving information from Andrii Derkach, the Ukrainian lawmaker singled out by intelligence officials.

 Baturina, who has refused to answer questions about the payment, has not bee seenn at her palatial five story multi-million dollar home in London’s Kensington area,  a few minutes walk from the palace home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

The home, which has animal sculptures at the front and is in a street lined with Porsches, Mercedes, Rolls Royces and other high end cars, had the blinds drawn on its 13 street facing windows.

The property was bought in 2013 through a company in Gibraltar and was obtained through a mortgage provided by a private bank based in the UK, the Channel Islands and Gibralter.

Houses in the area can be bought for around $12 million and the late Hollywood film director Michael Winner used to live nearby.

A security official said: ‘I have read these stories about Hunter Biden but she is not here to talk to you.’ 

Her daughters Olga, 26 and Elena Luzhiova, 28, have also been registered at the property. 

This content was originally published here.

Toyota to build new model for Suzuki at UK plant | Business News | Sky News

Toyota is to begin producing a new model in the UK late next year in a rare boost for Britain’s beleaguered car industry.

The Japanese car maker will make hybrid electric vehicles on behalf of Suzuki at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, with engines from its Deeside site in North Wales.

It will not lead to any more jobs or investments but will increase the utilisation rate at Toyota’s car factory, providing reassurance at a time when worries including Brexit hang over the sector.

Toyota manufacturing UK (TMUK) managing director Marvin Cooke said: “This is good news for our UK plants and demonstrates Toyota’s trust in the capability of our workforce to deliver the highest levels of superior quality products.

“Seeking to produce additional volume for other customers is one example of all the efforts we are making to keep our UK manufacturing operations as competitive as they can be.”

The car maker’s announcement – which was first reported by the Financial Times – did not alter its previously stated concerns about Brexit.

Marvin Cooke has said he might have to halt production in the event of "no-deal" Brexit

Mr Cooke said: “We have consistently said for the medium to longer term, continued free and frictionless trade and common automotive technical standards will be essential to support the international competitiveness of the UK automotive sector.”

Toyota, like other British manufacturers, is worried about the impact a no-deal Brexit could have on its use of “just in time” supply chains.

Tony Walker, deputy managing director at Toyota Motor Europe, told MPs last December that such a scenario would be “disastrous” and could result in months of “stop-start” production.

Toyota employs 3,200 people at its Burnaston and Deeside plants and two years ago invested £240m to upgrade the Burnaston site to produce the new Corolla.

The new Suzuki model it is to produce will be based on its Corolla Wagon.

It is part of a wider global collaboration between the two Japanese car makers announced earlier on Wednesday which will also see Suzuki produce compact models for Toyota in India.

The UK announcement comes after Sky News revealed that Honda was to close its plant in Swindon and that Nissan has scrapped plans to build a new X-Trail model in Sunderland.

Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover said earlier this year that it planned to cut 4,500 jobs.

The industry has been faced with a cocktail of challenges including a global economic slowdown and in particular plunging demand from China, as well as changes to emissions rules and a collapse in sales of diesel vehicles – compounded by uncertainty over Brexit.

This content was originally published here.

Mum claims garage ‘didn’t tell her’ about final £6,900 payment for new car she bought in finance deal – Birmingham Live

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A motorist says she has been left with a car she cannot afford after claiming she was never told about a lump sum payment at the end of her finance deal.

Pub landlady Jillie Stross was shocked to discover she would have to pay £6,900 to keep the car – money she said she doesn’t have.

Jillie claims staff at the motor dealership did not tell her about the final payment because she never saw any paperwork before she signed the deal due to Covid restrictions.

BristolLive reported that Jillie bought a Dacia Duster SE Twenty from Wessex Garages in Newport last month because she needed more space for her mobility scooter. 

She signed the finance agreement to pay £198 per month for the new car – but said she was not told about the balloon payment, a lump sum payable at the end of the deal.

Jillie told Wales Online : “I was asked by the salesperson how did £198 per month sound?  I thought it was a bit more than I had wanted to pay, but it was fine.

“I was told when I came into the office that because of Covid-19 we couldn’t go through the paperwork, and I was asked to sign it electronically. I thought I was signing up for a test drive at the time and only realised afterwards I was actually buying the car.”

Jillie said she went through with the purchase as she needed a car which could easily fit her mobility scooter. She suffers from arthritis and needs the scooter when she’s out and about and to look after her children, including her 12-year-old autisic son.

After picking up the car, Jillie said “something didn’t feel right” so she rang them up and queried the £198 a month fee – and that’s when they mentioned the final balloon payment.

Jillie, who says she cannot afford the final payment said: “I’ve been onto both the finance company and the dealer and was told there was nothing wrong, that I’d signed the papers and agreed to everything.

“I said I had been told we couldn’t go through the actual paperwork due to Covid-19 and so I’d never actually seen it before signing. I was never even shown the screen at the time or anything.

“I feel like an idiot and I am kicking myself for not insisting on seeing it at the time, but I trusted them.

“I didn’t think it was malicious or deliberate, I think they never told me and are now denying that no-one did.”

Wessex Garages has said they were aware of the issues Jillie had raised, but denied any mis-selling or wrongdoing.

In a statement they said: “We are aware of the issues the customer has raised and Wessex Garages has responded promptly and professionally at every stage.

“Whilst we are unable to comment on the specific details of this case, we have tried to offer alternatives and fully advised the customer of her options while trying to resolve the matter.

“Having investigated fully we are confident that there is no indication or miss selling, breach of regulations or policies.”

This content was originally published here.

Britain cannot go back to ‘business as usual’ with China after end of coronavirus, Raab warns

Britain cannot go back to “business as usual” with China after the end of the coronavirus crisis, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has warned.

Mr Raab said the UK will want an international “deep dive” investigation into the causes of the pandemic and the reason why it was not stopped earlier.

He was speaking amid growing calls from Conservatives for a reset of the UK’s relationship with Beijing, with former Tory leader William Hague saying Britain needs to take a “tougher” line on issues like the involvement of Huawei in 5G telecoms networks in order to avoid becoming strategically dependent on the communist state.

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Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Mr Raab’s comments came after a telephone conference with G7 leaders including US president Donald Trump, who has directly accused China of lying about the death toll from coronavirus and even repeated an unconfirmed story suggesting the disease may have originated in a Chinese laboratory.

Asked whether relations with China could change as a result of the pandemic, Mr Raab told the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing: “We ought to look at all sides of this and do it in a balanced way, but there is no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis.

Shape Created with Sketch.
High noon in a coronavirus-stricken world

Shape Created with Sketch.
High noon in a coronavirus-stricken world

1/18 Najaf, Iraq

A man holds a pocket watch at noon, at an almost empty market near the Imam Ali shrine
Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, also known as The Grand Palace)
Empty streets at Old Town Square

5/18 Jerusalem’s Old City

A watch showing the time at noon, in front of Damascus Gate
A woman jogs past the Houses of Parliament on Westminster Bridge
The seafront Malecon next to an almost empty road
The clock on Spasskaya tower showing the time at noon, next to Moscow’s Kremlin, and St Basil’s Cathedral on an empty square

16/18 New York City, US

The clock strikes noon at the main concourse of the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan
Almost empty streets at Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)
People walk past Ring Road Central Street
A man holds a pocket watch at noon, at an almost empty market near the Imam Ali shrine
Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, also known as The Grand Palace)
Empty streets at Old Town Square

5/18 Jerusalem’s Old City

A watch showing the time at noon, in front of Damascus Gate
A woman jogs past the Houses of Parliament on Westminster Bridge
The seafront Malecon next to an almost empty road
The clock on Spasskaya tower showing the time at noon, next to Moscow’s Kremlin, and St Basil’s Cathedral on an empty square

16/18 New York City, US

The clock strikes noon at the main concourse of the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan
Almost empty streets at Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)
People walk past Ring Road Central Street

“We will have to ask the hard questions about how it come about and why it couldn’t have been stopped earlier.”

Beijing has faced international criticism over the slow response to the initial cases of coronavirus in the city of Wuhan at the end of last year, after police detained doctor Li Wenliang for “spreading false rumours” when he first tried to raise the alert. Critics have blamed the so-called “wet markets” where Chinese consumers buy live animals for enabling the crossover of the bacteria from wild populations.

And doubts have been raised over the transparency shown by Chinese authorities on death rates and the geographical spread of the disease.

Mr Raab, who is standing in for Boris Johnson while the prime minister recuperates from a bout of coronavirus, said the UK has had good co-operation with China in relation to the return of UK nationals from Wuhan and the procurement of equipment.

But he said: “I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after-the-event review of the lessons – including of the outbreak of the virus – and I don’t think we can flinch from that at all, it needs to be driven by the science.”

He declined to speculate on the outcome of any review, saying: “We will look very carefully with all our the other international partners, and the World Health Organisation and other international organisations as to how this outbreak happened and what can be done to prevent it happening in the future.

“Until we get those answers, we can’t really track a way forward.”

This content was originally published here.

Investigation reveals nine Russian business people donating to Conservative Party

A Sunday Times investigation has unveiled nine Russian business people who donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party.

Earlier this week it was revealed that the party has received a huge surge in cash from Russian donors since Boris Johnson was elected leader.

The party received at least £498,850 from business people and their associates between November 2018 and October 2019.

Threats posed to UK democracy

And now the
first names on the list has been uncovered.

Oligarchs
and other wealthy business people are at the heart of a Russian goldmine that
feeds directly into the Conservative Party.

The nine
people are also thought to have been named in a secret intelligence report on
the threats posed to UK democracy which was suppressed last week by Downing
Street.

Some Russian donors are personally close to the prime minister.

Breaking – 9 Russian businessmen who gave money to the Conservative party are named in a secret intelligence report on the threats posed to UK democracy which was suppressed last week by Downing Street. See tomorrow’s Sunday Times story with @cazjwheeler

— Tom Harper (@TomJHarper) November 9, 2019

Friend” Boris Johnson

Alexander Temerko, who has worked for the Kremlin’s defence ministry and has spoken warmly about his “friend” Boris Johnson, has gifted more than £1.2 million to the Conservatives over the past seven years.

The largest
Russian Tory donor is Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of Vladimir Chernukhin, a
former ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

She paid £160,000 in return for a tennis match with Johnson and has donated more than £450,000 in the last year alone.

KGB spy

Alexander Lebedev, the former KGB spy in London, is also thought to be of interest to MPs on the ISC.

Lebedev’s son Evgeny invited Johnson when he was foreign secretary to parties at the family’s converted castle near Perugia, Italy.

The future prime minister apparently travelled without the close-protection police officers that normally accompany senior ministers of state during the trip in April 2018.

The post Investigation reveals nine Russian business people donating to Conservative Party appeared first on The London Economic.

This content was originally published here.

Boris Johnson says ‘business as usual’ after first confirmed death of patient with coronavirus in UK – ITV News

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty said the “direction of travel” was from the containment phase to the delay phase but the “step change” had not been made yet, clarifying earlier comments suggesting a move was being made already.

During the “contain” phase, officials aim to detect and isolate early cases and trace people who have been in contact with those infected in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading widely across the country.

In the “delay” phase, the aim is to slow the spread of the virus, reducing the impact and pushing it away from the winter season.

The Government believes that if the peak of the virus can be delayed until warmer months, it can reduce the risk of overlapping with seasonal flu and other challenges that the colder months bring.

Plans for the delay stage of the outbreak could include school closures, greater home working and reducing large-scale gatherings to “slow the spread”.

It comes as cases of coronavirus in the UK have more than doubled in 48 hours, bringing the total to 116 people.

Of these, 18 people have so far recovered from the respiratory illness and 45 people are being treated at home.

At least ten of the UK cases are caused by community infections – meaning they did not contract the virus abroad or in known hotspots.

Overall, 105 people have tested positive in England, two in Wales, six in Scotland and three in Northern Ireland.

Also on Thursday, the NHS said anyone who has returned from Italy and is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 – a cough, fever or shortness of breath – should self-isolate at home.

Chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said the move was needed because of the evolving situation in Italy.

In a bid to reduce pressure on the NHS as the number of cases of the virus increases, the Department of Health said people diagnosed with coronavirus and who exhibit only mild symptoms should self-isolate at home rather than in hospital.

Prof Whitty warned critical care beds in the NHS could come under intense pressure during a coronavirus epidemic.

He said people needing oxygen would stretch the health service and some “things may be considerably less well done” during the peak of an epidemic.

He said half of all coronavirus cases in the UK are most likely to occur in just a three-week period, with 95% of them over a nine-week period.

This content was originally published here.