Government’s secret post-Brexit plan must rule out the Singapore model

Whitehall should publish the findings of ‘Project After’ to clarify the direction of UK industrial strategy in the case of no-dealThere are plans under discussion in Whitehall to cope with the long-term consequences of a no-deal Brexit. Dubbed Project …

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The trillion-dollar question: can the tech giants keep growing?

A startling stock-market landmark for Apple has been offset by big falls for Facebook and Twitter. Is this tumultuous period just a blip, or the first sign of trouble?It has been a tumultuous couple of weeks for America’s high-flying technology stocks,…

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The Guardian view on Elon Musk: a billionaire in need of humility | Editorial

Attacking a British diver involved in the Thai cave rescue was ridiculous. He should concentrate on fixing his businessElon Musk is 47 years old and terrified by artificial intelligence. The Silicon Valley billionaire thinks we’re living in a version o…

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‘I live a life of austerity so I can travel all the time’

Tom Bourlet on how he saves money to fund his lifestyle – and how Heinz spaghetti hoops inspired the name of his blog

I’ve always been a saver. As a student I lived frugally and was constantly setting up little businesses such as a moving-in service for freshers so that I could graduate in profit. My favourite gourmet experience has always been Heinz spaghetti hoops.

Now, despite earning a decent salary, I lead a life of austerity as all my spare time and money are consumed by my travel blog Spaghetti Traveller, named for that spaghetti hoops passion.

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M&S drops cauliflower ‘steak’ amid ridicule from customers

Costing double the price of a whole vegetable and shrouded in layers of plastic, ‘clean eating’ product fails to make the cut

Marks & Spencer has withdrawn its “cauliflower steak” product from sale after it was ridiculed by consumers for its “excessive” plastic packaging and inflated price.

The sliced cauliflower, which comes in plastic packaging with a separate sachet of lemon and herb drizzle, was being sold for twice the price of a whole, single cauliflower at the supermarket chain.

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Tweet and tell: turning Twitter into complaints megaphone

Companies from rail operators to superstores are being caught up in Twitter storms but there is a good way – and a bad way – to deal with angry customers

There was plenty for rail passengers to be #angry about on Tuesday, with social media channels buzzing with complaints as the biggest rise in rail fares since 2013 kicked in.

But come the end of the day Virgin Trains was apologising not for cancelled trains, overcrowded carriages or rocketing fares – but for being sexist on Twitter after a customer complaint went viral.

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Energy price caps and big mergers will only serve to shore up the ‘big six’

In 2019, standard variable rates could be capped and Npower and SSE might be one company. Yet, even then, the customer may not see much benefit

Will early 2019 be remembered as the beginning of the end for competition in the UK energy market? That is likely to be the time when Theresa May’s price cap on energy bills takes effect and two titans of the market complete the merger they proposed last week.

The new company to be created by Npower and SSE means the so-called “big six” energy suppliers will shrink to five. More importantly, it means half of the market will belong to just two companies: the new firm and British Gas.

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The Guardian view on the Paradise Papers: a light on murky dealings | Editorial

Allowing the very richest to secede from the rest of society and choose the jurisdiction they operate under has led to an astonishing rise in global inequality

The millions of leaked files in the Paradise Papers once again shine a bright light on where the uber-elite stash their cash. Until very recently the hidden web of investments made by the super-rich operated in the comforting darkness offered by secretive tax shelters. The disinfecting sunlight provided by whistleblowing-led investigations since 2013 has fundamentally altered how the world looks at, and regulates, tax affairs. Last year’s Panama Papers cost the leaders of Iceland and Pakistan their jobs. More than a dozen nations have changed their laws and the offshore law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers closed offices in tax havens. It is work that is both necessary and brave: one of the journalists involved in investigating the Panama Papers was blown up by a car bomb last month.

This latest dump of data centres around the Bermudian law firm Appleby, a 119-year-old operation favoured by the global super-rich and big corporations, as well as the Singaporean company Asiaciti Trust and the mostly opaque company registries of 19 tax havens. The first stories have already generated global headlines: about why millions of pounds from the Queen’s private estate went into an offshore portfolio which included an investment in the retailer BrightHouse, criticised for exploiting poor families with high-interest loans to purchase white goods; and about why anti-poverty campaigner Bono has so much money he didn’t know some of it bought a piece of a Lithuanian shopping centre via a tax haven.

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