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Catalan imputs on the English Media
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El reportatge oblidat de la BBC sobre Catalunya

El reportatge oblidat de la BBC sobre Catalunya | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

El 1979, la BBC va produir una sèrie de cinc reportatges de 25 minuts titulada «Realidades de España». La seva funció no és gaire clara. Sembla que en algun moment es van comercialitzar per ajudar a aprendre l’espanyol. Però això no lliga gaire amb el contingut (a vegades bastant polític).

El millor episodi és el cinquè: «Catalonia: a region apart» («Catalunya: una regió a banda»). S’hi resumeix què és Catalunya, per què és diferent i què volien (o què volem) els catalans.

És un document extremament curiós, molt difícil de trobar, inexistent a internet, i crec que inèdit a l’Estat espanyol. Em sembla que n’existeix una còpia al British Film Institute, però vaig tenir la sort que el meu amic Felix, arquitecte resident a Glasgow, me n’aconseguís una còpia en VHS.

Veure «Catalonia: a region apart» és una experiència estranya. És entranyable, però també d’una actualitat colpidora: és indignant i alhora t’omple d’energies. Està farcit de tòpics, però és honest, i ens deixa tan bé que sembla propaganda proCatalunya...

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UK Gov't 'Sweetheart' tax deals each worth over £1bn

UK Gov't 'Sweetheart' tax deals each worth over £1bn | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Four corporations that reached settlements worth £4.5bn between them are among those let off lightly

The scale of the government's "sweetheart" tax deals – individual secret agreements drawn up between tax officials and corporations to settle disputes – can be revealed for the first time after previously unseen documents showed that just four settlements were worth £4.5bn between them.

A leaked document sent by Dave Hartnett, the former head of tax at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), to David Gauke, the exchequer secretary at the Treasury, discloses the figure, which has not been released by HMRC before on the grounds of preserving "taxpayer confidentiality".

The document describes deals in excess of £1bn as "not uncommon". The size of the figure has been seized upon by MPs and tax campaigners who want HMRC to release details of how much tax was owed by each of the four unnamed companies before the deals were struck...

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Jobseekers made to carry out bogus psychometric tests

Jobseekers made to carry out bogus psychometric tests | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Unemployed people are told they risk losing benefits if they fail to carry out meaningless questionnaire

Jobseekers are being made to complete bogus psychometric tests by the Department for Work and Pensions – and told that in some cases they risk losing their benefits if they do not complete the meaningless online questionnaire.

The test called My Strengths, devised by Downing Street's behavioural insights or "nudge" unit, has been exposed by bloggers as a sham with results having no relation to the answers given.

Some of the 48 statements on the DWP test include: "I never go out of my way to visit museums," and: "I have not created anything of beauty in the last year." People are asked to grade their answers from "very much like me" to "very much unlike me"...

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Measles epidemic tops 1,000 cases

Measles epidemic tops 1,000 cases | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The number of cases in the Swansea measles epidemic tops the 1,000 mark, but about 5,000 youngsters still need vaccinations, health officials say.
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Banc Sabadell es queda el negoci a Espanya del Lloyds Bank

Banc Sabadell es queda el negoci a Espanya del Lloyds Bank | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

L'entitat que presideix Josep Oliu suma 760 milions en dipòsits a les zones de València, Alacant, Múrcia i Andalusia. El banc ja es va quedar el negoci del NatWest el 1996

Banc Sabadeell continua acumulant adquisicions d'entitats al mercat espanyol. A les compres de la CAM, Caixa Penedès i Banco Gallego, ara sumarà el negoci a Espanya del grup Lloyds Bank. Les tres primeres operacions eren el resultat de la reestructuració bancària espanyola, però la que ha anunciat aquest dilluns a la Comissió Nacional del Mercat de Valors (CNMV) forma part de la reordenació europea...

 

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'Keep Calm and Speak Catalan', a poster of passive resistance

'Keep Calm and Speak Catalan', a poster of passive resistance | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (CNA).- The poster ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, created during war times by the British Government, has become one of the most wide spread pop icons. It has many derivate works and its symbology is known worldwide. This is why Josep Maria Ganyet, an expert in digital communication, chose this poster in order to protest against the Educational Law project proposed by the Spanish Minister of Education, José Ignacio Wert last December. The law project has proved to be very controversial in Catalonia...

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El president Mas agraeix a les comunitats catalanes a l'exterior "el seu compromís amb Catalunya en aquests moments transcendentals i crítics"

El president Mas agraeix a les comunitats catalanes a l'exterior "el seu compromís amb Catalunya en aquests moments transcendentals i crítics" | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

El president de la Generalitat, Artur Mas, ha adreçat per primera vegada un missatge als catalans que viuen fora del país, amb motiu del Dia Internacional de la Catalunya Exterior, que enguany se celebra el proper diumenge, 28 d'abril. El cap del Govern els ha traslladat “el meu reconeixement, en nom del Govern de la Generalitat i en representació de tots els nostres conciutadans, a la vostra condició de societat civil catalana, no com un apèndix llunyà sinó com a part integrada en un tot, que és Catalunya”...

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Bee-harming pesticides banned in Europe

Bee-harming pesticides banned in Europe | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

EU member states vote ushers in continent-wide suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides

Europe will enforce the world's first continent-wide ban on widely used insecticides alleged to cause serious harm to bees, after a European commission vote on Monday.
 

The suspension is a landmark victory for millions of environmental campaigners, backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), concerned about a dramatic decline in the bee population. The vote also represents a serious setback for the chemical producers who make billions each year from the products and also UK ministers, who voted against the ban. Both had argued the ban would harm food production...

 

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Universal credit: Major benefits shake-up begins

Universal credit: Major benefits shake-up begins | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

A massive shake-up in the UK benefits system starts on Monday, with the first claims being made for a new universal credit payment.

Universal credit will merge several benefits and tax credits into one monthly payout.
 

It begins with a very small number of new claimants in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, but will eventually affect nearly eight million people.

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said the new system was about "changing people".
 

'Right not early'
 

The benefit is for working age people looking for work, and will replace income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit, and housing benefit...

 

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Archbishop Welby criticises City for 'culture of entitlement'

Archbishop Welby criticises City for 'culture of entitlement' | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The City of London has been affected by a "culture of entitlement", the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says.
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Barça beats Panathinaikos Athens 64-53 and classifies for Euroleague Basketball Final Four in London

Barça beats Panathinaikos Athens 64-53 and classifies for Euroleague Basketball Final Four in London | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (CNA).- Barça Regal has beaten Panathinaikos 64-53 to classify for the Euroleague Final Four, to be played next May in London. The Catalans dominated the game from start to finish thanks to the leadership of Juan Carlos Navarro who scored 15 points. After a thrilling 5-game quarter-final series, Barça will try to win its third Euroleague title and faces Real Madrid in the semi-finals. The four previous games were very tight with each team winning one game at home until this last game, in which the Palau Blaugrana home factor was the key to the local win...

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El Celler de Can Roca retakes global restaurant title for Catalonia

El Celler de Can Roca retakes global restaurant title for Catalonia | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Winner of Restaurant magazine's award is 30 miles from El Bulli, which topped list for four years before Noma .

A restaurant that started life as a small family business in a working class neighbourhood in Catalonia, and is still run by three brothers, was has been named the finest place to dine on the planet at the restaurant industry's most prestigious awards.

El Celler de Can Roca, in Catalonia in north-eastern Spain, was voted the world's best restaurant in a poll coordinated by Restaurant magazine, displacing the experimental eatery Noma in Copenhagen, which had held the title for the past three years and was pushed into second.

The winner, which calls itself "a freestyle restaurant committed to the avant garde", was opened by brothers Joan and Josep Roca in 1986, in a plot next to their parents' bar. They were joined by brother Jordi in 1997, two years after their restaurant won its first Michelin star (it now has three). The brothers – Joan is head chef, Jordi head pastry chef and Josep the sommelier – say they learned their passion for food from the aromas of their mother's stews, "generously, simply and honestly prepared", but their cooking has developed beyond simple Catalonian recipes to embrace cutting edge techniques...

Media Review:

Noma Toppled by El Celler de Can Roca as Best Restaurant (Bloomberg) http://ves.cat/fAf1

The Catalan 'El Celler de Can Roca' is ranked the best restaurant in the world (CNA) http://ves.cat/fxZ4

Emerging economies move up world’s best restaurant rankings (Financial Times) http://ves.cat/fAgM

Fat Duck and Noma slide as El Celler de Can Roca takes crown in World's 50 Best Restaurants (Independent) http://ves.cat/fAfr

El Celler de Can Roca - The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2013 (Restaurant Magazine) http://ves.cat/fAs3

El Celler de Can Roca named world's best restaurant (Reuters) http://ves.cat/fAi0

El Celler de Can Roca head chef credits brothers for success (Telegraph) http://ves.cat/fAfk

 

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Lloyds buys 1.8% of Banc Sabadell by transferring its Spanish subsidiaries to the Catalan bank

Lloyds buys 1.8% of Banc Sabadell by transferring its Spanish subsidiaries to the Catalan bank | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Banc Sabadell bought all the shares in the Lloyds subsidiary companies in Spain, Lloyds Bank International and Lloyds Investment, and in exchange the British bank acquired 1.8% of the Catalan company’s total shares, according to a press release sent on Monday by the Spanish Stock Exchange Authority (CNMV).


Banc Sabadell paid €84 million for Lloyds’ Spanish business, an amount that will be paid in stocks, giving 53.75 million (53,749,680) shares in the Catalan bank to the British banking giant. This way, Lloyds will control 1.8% of Banc Sabadell’s total shares...

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Lloyds Banking Group first quarter profits rise to £2bn

Lloyds Banking Group first quarter profits rise to £2bn | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Lloyds Banking Group reports a big rise in profits for the first three months of the year, making a total of more than £2bn.

The bank, which is 39% taxpayer-owned, reported a pre-tax profit of £2.04bn in the first quarter, up from £280m for the same period last year...

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Six admit planning to bomb English Defence League rally

Six admit planning to bomb English Defence League rally | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Six men from the West Midlands plead guilty to planning to attack an English Defence League rally in June last year.
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The Spanish Government raises the deficit target for the Autonomous Communities from 0.7% to 1.2% for 2013

The Spanish Government raises the deficit target for the Autonomous Communities from 0.7% to 1.2% for 2013 | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (ACN).- The Spanish Government announced on Friday that it was raising the deficit targets for the Autonomous Communities from 0.7% for 2013 to an objective of 1.2% in order to give them more room to balance their budgets, considering the economic recession. The deficit target for Spain’s entire public sector has also been raised from 4.5% to 6.3%. The decision also affects the deficit objectives until 2016, when Spain expects to post a 2.7% total deficit, meeting the European Union requirements. Today the European Commission stated that it considered the fact that the Spanish Government decided “to delay the correction of the excessive deficit until 2016” to be “coherent”. However, the Commission did not mention the internal split of deficit targets among government levels, despite the previous Catalan petitions on this issue...

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Athletic Bilbao vs FC Barcelona: Barça will have to wait for the Spanish League title (2-2)

Athletic Bilbao vs FC Barcelona: Barça will have to wait for the Spanish League title (2-2) | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

FC Barcelona (FCB).- Barça’s 22nd La Liga title will have to wait. A last gasp equalizer from Ander Herrera thwarted FC Barcelona’s hope of wrapping up the Spanish League on Saturday night, which means, the title will have to wait.Barça’s last ever game in San Mames will be remembered as a real epic battle, played in the rain at a typically high tempo and with plenty of goals and chances. Susaeta opened the scoring in the first half and nearly got the second with a shot that rattled the woodwork. Barça turned the score around after the break when Messi came off the bench and in a three minute flurry the Argentinean and Alexis made it 1-2 and seemed to have ensured the points until Ander’s last minute effort...

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How HMRC treated its Goldman Sachs tax deal whistleblower as a criminal

How HMRC treated its Goldman Sachs tax deal whistleblower as a criminal | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Tax officials used intrusive powers to rake through Osita Mba's personal data in attempt to prove he had spoken to the Guardian

The belongings, emails, internet search records and telephone calls of the HM Revenue and Customs solicitor Osita Mba and the telephone records of his wife, Claudia, were examined by revenue investigators, according to previously undisclosed documents... 

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Kodak to sell two of its businesses to UK pensioners in $2.8bn deal

Kodak to sell two of its businesses to UK pensioners in $2.8bn deal | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Kodak to hand over control of camera-film and document imaging businesses to Kodak Pension Plan, firm's largest creditor

Eastman Kodak has agreed to hand over its photography and other businesses to its own UK pension fund as the troubled film giant struggles to emerge from bankruptcy...

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Armed drones operated from Britain

Armed drones operated from Britain | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Armed drone aircraft have been operated remotely from Britain for the first time, the MoD confirms.

It said Reaper drones had flown missions controlled from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, where campaign groups are expected to protest against the practice later.

The MoD said it respected people's rights to protest peacefully...

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L'Estat concedeix un 1,2% de dèficit a les autonomies, lluny de l'objectiu de la Generalitat

L'Estat concedeix un 1,2% de dèficit a les autonomies, lluny de l'objectiu de la Generalitat | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

L'objectiu de fins a l'1,9% amb què treballa el Govern serà difícil d'assolir amb la nova flexibilització mitjana que preveu Montoro

El govern espanyol ha flexibilitzat aquest divendres els objectius de dèficit del 2013 de les comunitats autònomes del 0,7% actual a l'1,2%, en el marc d'una revisió del quadre macroeconòmic de l'Estat que els ha dut a enfonsar les previsions de creixement.

El minsitre d'Hisenda, Cristóbal Montoro, ha detallat en la roda de premsa posterior al consell de ministres que l'ampliació serà "de mitjana" fins a aquest 1,2% per al conjunt de les comunitats autònomes, tot i que s'està estudiant la possibilitat d'establir exigències desiguals per a les diferents comunitats...

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