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Friday newspaper round-up: Coal ban, Budget, Lloyds, Shell, Barclays, Anglo American, flooding

By Josh White

Date: Friday 21 Feb 2020

Friday newspaper round-up: Coal ban, Budget, Lloyds, Shell, Barclays, Anglo American, flooding

(Sharecast News) - The sale of bags of coal and wet wood for domestic fires will be banned in England from February next year under plans to remove a huge source of air pollution. Ministers will announce today that the most polluting fuels will be phased out completely by 2023 in a victory for The Times's Clean Air for All campaign. - The Times
Next month's Budget is a golden opportunity to reform Britain's broken stamp duty system and get the country moving again, MPs, economists and campaigners have said. Industry experts say the tax on property sales is stopping families from moving and preventing millions of young people getting on the housing ladder - as well as costing buyers ?8.4bn a year. - Telegraph

Tens of thousands of families who bought new homes in flood-risk areas are facing "crippling" financial costs, as they are ineligible for cover under a government-backed insurance scheme, a study has found. Research by the liberal conservative think tank Bright Blue found that 70,000 homes had been built on land at the highest risk of flooding in England since 2009, including 20,000 that were not protected by flood defences. - Guardian

The boss of Lloyds took a ?2million pay cut last year amid mounting speculation that his days at the bank are numbered. Portuguese banker Antonio Horta-Osorio, who joined Lloyds as chief executive in 2011, pocketed ?4.7million last year - 128 times the pay of his average employee. - Daily Mail

Royal Dutch Shell will not "get into an arms race" with BP over carbon targets, a senior executive has said, in a sign that Europe's biggest oil group will not rush to match its rival's "net zero" pledge. The Anglo-Dutch group was the first oil major to set long-term ambitions related to emissions from customers using its products, pledging in 2017 to halve the intensity of its carbon footprint by 2050. - Guardian

Barclays is scrapping technology which allowed bosses to spy on its bankers following a backlash over the invasion of staff privacy. The bank is axing tracking software which allows managers to see how long employees are spending away from their desks and the time it takes to do different tasks at their computers. - Telegraph

Steelmaking will return to Redcar within three years following the devastating loss of its major employer in 2015, the Tees Valley elected mayor has said. Following weeks of negotiations, Conservative mayor Ben Houchen said he had reached an agreement to acquire an 840-acre site on the south bank of the Tees from SSI UK. - Guardian

Anglo American has defended its ?405million bid for struggling Yorkshire potash miner Sirius Minerals as it faces a mounting backlash over the takeover. A day after one of the City's best-known hedge funds joined retail shareholders in demanding a higher offer, Anglo chief executive Mark Cutifani insisted the deal is 'fair and reasonable'. - Daily Mail

Morgan Stanley is to buy a popular online stockbroker for $13 billion in the largest acquisition by a multinational bank since the financial crisis. The Wall Street investment bank has agreed to buy E-Trade, which offers share-dealing and other trading services to more than five million private investors in the United States. - The Times

​An evacuation flight for Britons stuck on a cruise ship docked off the coast of Japan over coronavirus fears will leave Tokyo on Friday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. There were 78 British passengers on the cruise liner when cases of the coronavirus strain known as Covid-19 started to emerge. Four British cases have since been confirmed by the Foreign Office and two of the most high profile - Dave and Sally Abel - have made it to hospital for treatment. - Telegraph

The proposed closure of UK borders to low-skilled workers after Brexit risks driving vulnerable EU citizens into modern slavery, charities have said. They warned the ban will lead to a boom in a black market for low-paid workers that will be exploited by criminals and lead to coercion and abuse. - Guardian

Ministers should 'shut up' and stop 'whingeing' about Dominic Cummings because he is a 'mastermind' and they owe their jobs to him, says a former Tory minister. Lord Blencathra said ministers should 'quit' if they don't want to work with Boris Johnson's aide and instead make way for those who 'see the bigger picture'. - Daily Mail

A report that concluded the Home Office was "institutionally racist" over its "hostile environment" policy towards migrants has been toned down, The Times has been told. The Windrush review, commissioned in 2018 after Caribbean migrants were detained or deported despite having the right to live in Britain, was originally intended for publication at the end of March last year. - The Times

Britain is being deluged by "atmospheric rivers" delivered on the jet stream, the Met Office has said. Experts believe the west-east band of high-altitude winds is currently pointed directly at the UK for the first time in years, enabling a "conveyor belt" of non-stop rain. - Telegraph

Almost half of new jobs in England in the last decade were in London and the south-east, despite only a third of the population living in that region, according to a new report. Research by the think tank IPPR North shows that 47% of new jobs between September 2009 and September 2019 went to the southern regions. - Guardian

Irish leader Leo Varadkar resigned last night after suffering a crushing defeat in a parliamentary vote. No clear successor emerged from political wrangling on Thursday, designed to decide who will lead the country following a near three-way tie in a general election two weeks ago. Varadkar lost a vote to remain taoiseach, and told parliament he would resign as a result. - Daily Mail

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