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Tuesday newspaper round-up: North Korea, Brexit talks, services sector, builders

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Tuesday newspaper round-up: North Korea, Brexit talks, services sector, builders

Tue, 29 August 2017
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Tuesday newspaper round-up: North Korea, Brexit talks, services sector, builders

(ShareCast News) - Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe have vowed to increase pressure on North Korea after the regime launched a missile over Japan on Tuesday morning. The Japanese prime minister denounced the launch as an "unprecedented and grave threat" to the country's security. In a 40-minute phone call with Trump, they agreed to call for an emergency meeting of the UN security council to discuss the situation. - Guardian
The European Union's chief negotiator has warned Britain to start "negotiating seriously" as the stand-off over the Brexit divorce bill intensified. Speaking before the latest round of talks began in Brussels today, Michel Barnier voiced frustration at the government's "ambiguity" and the failure of ministers to publish a position paper on the UK's potential financial liabilities. - The Times

Profits have been hit in the all-important services sector on the back of a steep rise in costs, even as demand ­remains robust. The services sector makes up roughly 80pc of the UK economy and covers the two main areas: business and professional services, such as ­accountancy and marketing; and consumer services, including hotels, bars and restaurants. - Telegraph

The pension deficits weighing down thousands of Britain's businesses grew by billions of pounds last year, with black holes widening ­despite moves to close "gold-plated" defined benefit schemes. The total cost of pension liabilities among blue-chip FTSE 100 giants grew £95bn to £681bn in 2016, according to JLT Employee Benefits, with 10 firms - including British Airways owner IAG and defence conglomerate BAE Systems - sitting on deficits that dwarf their stock market value. - Telegraph

The organisation that provides warranties for most new-build homes has been criticised by the competition regulator for a "lack of transparency" over payments to leading housebuilders totalling millions of pounds a year. The National House Building Council (NHBC), which provides warranties for about 80 per cent of new homes, pays premium refunds to builders who have a good long-term claims history. - The Times

Companies that are publicly listed in the UK will be obliged to publish the pay ratio between their chief executive and their average British worker under government plans. The proposals, which will be announced on Tuesday and will come into force by next June, will also aim to give workers a voice at boardroom level. But the plans fall short of the corporate governance revolution promised last year by Theresa May. - Guardian

Manufacturers are demanding that the government provide urgent clarity on the future of EU workers' rights, warning they will face shortages of skilled staff if they cannot recruit from Europe after Brexit. EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said a quarter of the firms it represents had seen job applications from the EU fall and 16% had seen more European workers quit since the 2016 referendum. - Guardian

Nissan will increase production at its Sunderland plant by a fifth and double the amount of parts it sources from within the UK in an attempt to offset higher costs following Britain's withdrawal from the EU. The Japanese car giant will step up production by 20pc to around 600,000 vehicles per year, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The share prices of UK's supermarkets are set to come under renewed pressure after Amazon enacted a swathe of large price cuts at the Whole Foods grocer it now owns. The American behemoth announced last week it would slash prices at the upmarket grocer it bought for £10.7bn earlier this year, a statement which knocked shares in each of its major listed UK rivals last week. - Telegraph

Britain is facing a triple waste whammy of stalled recycling rates, not enough incinerators being built and landfill running scarce. That is the stark prognosis of the country's busiest bin clearer, Biffa, which is calling on the government to think again on waste having followed policies that have got Britain among Europe's better performers but no further. - The Times

Uber has appointed Dara Khosrowshahi, the boss of online travel agency Expedia, as its new chief executive as it looks to repair its reputation following a string of scandals. The decision to hire Mr Khosrowshahi comes two months after the departure of former CEO Travis Kalanick, who bowed to shareholder pressure and stepped down after months of chaos at the ride-hailing company. - Telegraph

Large private businesses face greater scrutiny from next year after the government confirmed that it will develop the UK's first ever corporate governance code for big unlisted companies. The idea was floated last autumn in a green paper on corporate governance reform but will become official today when the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy sets out new boardroom standards. - The Times

Anti-fracking protesters will make a last-ditch effort to prevent Cuadrilla fracking in Lancashire when they bring a legal challenge to the Court of Appeal this week. The case, to be heard tomorrow and Thursday, seeks to overturn planning consent that was granted by Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, last October. Lancashire council had rejected the plans in 2015 but Mr Javid approved them after a public inquiry. - The Times

Britain's biggest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline, under pressure to improve its development pipeline and financial performance, is pinning its hopes on a radical new approach: "electroceuticals". Also called bioelectronics, the idea is that tiny electronic implants will be able to treat a vast range of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arthritis, hypertension and other heart conditions, and gastrointestinal diseases. - Guardian

Partners at Deloitte will pocket around £865,000 this year after the accounting giant won a string of large mandates from blue-chip companies. The Big Four accountancy firm's 703 partners will share a profit pool of £608m for the year to May 31, with each taking home around 3.3pc more than last year. - Telegraph