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Carlsberg ramps up pressure on PM over alcohol price plan – Telegraph

Plans for a 45p-per-unit minimum price were set out last month and have the support of the Prime Minister. They would mean beer could not be sold for less than 90p a can while wine would cost at least £4.20 a bottle.

The Sunday Telegraph reveals today that political pressure is growing on the Prime Minister from Cabinet colleagues to abandon the policy.

Carlsberg chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said he is strongly against the idea, which follows a proposal for a 50p-per-unit alcohol pricing floor in Scotland that is now being tested in the European courts. “They’re the only two in Europe where we see this happening,” Mr Buhl Rasmussen said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph.

“We’re a little surprised about the UK proposal because the proposal in Scotland has been taken to court in the EU as to whether it would be in line with the free market principles.

“It could take between six and 18 months before there’s a decision so we didn’t really expect England to come out with a proposal at this time.

“But we were also surprised because we have so much evidence across Europe that price does not change or reduce abuse. What changes and reduces abuse would be education and information.

via Carlsberg ramps up pressure on PM over alcohol price plan – Telegraph.

New baby booms won’t avert dependency dilemma | Reuters

Baby on tiptoesReuters – With so many fretting about the rapid ageing of European societies and the rising burden of old-age dependency, it’s easy to overlook the mini baby booms in many countries.

Often apocalytic headlines on the greying of major economies and the “pensions timebomb” sit oddly with a growing body of data and reports of rising births and recovering fertility rates in many European economies, notably Britain.

Only this week, the inside pages of many UK newspapers dropped the little nugget that England this year is set to record the highest number of births in 40 years.According to data released by the Royal College of Midwives, more than 700,000 babies are likely to be born in 2012 if first-quarter trends persist – more than in any year since 1971.

And these numbers are no isolated blip. There’s been a welter of statistical and anecdotal evidence from Britain and elsewhere in Europe in recent years that shows a significant upturn in birth rates since the turn of the millennium.

A study released late last year by the RAND Europe think-tank showed that after two decades of year-on-year declines the total fertility rate for the European Union as a whole has stabilised in the 21st century, with all but four EU countries recording increases between 2000 and 2008.

National pictures vary of course and there’s only a modest increase in Germany and the Netherlands. But Britain has more than reversed declines of the prior 20 years and pushed back close to “replacement rates” of 2.1 births on average per woman – the threshold where population stands still.

via New baby booms won’t avert dependency dilemma | Reuters.

How having a higher purpose feeds the profit line – The Globe and Mail

When Motorola Inc. split into two companies in January, 2011, the glamorous consumer technology side of the business became Motorola Mobility. The other half, which had long served government, public safety and business enterprises, seemed like the forgotten sibling. Rechristened as Motorola Solutions, it had no spark.

Its solution was to focus on its core ideals, beginning with posters highlighting heroic “moments that matter,” when Motorola technology played a key role in an emergency. One poster showed a festival in England and told how a child had disappeared, a father was frantic and how, thanks to a police officer’s Motorola MTH800 radio and the company’s Airwave network, they were reunited within minutes. The posters evoked pride and a sense of identity for staff, resonating deeply with them and customers who saw the posters in company offices.

The poster campaign exemplifies how companies can engage their staff and the public when they drill down to find the ideals at the heart of their product or service.

via How having a higher purpose feeds the profit line – The Globe and Mail.

Strange Random Ideals Quote:

“You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.” – George Norman Douglas (Finnish Composer, 1865-1957)

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Poppy Harlow crushes car with tank!

In Kosota, Minnesota, a small business lets people drive battle tanks and crush cars … no joke!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Strange Random Tank Quote:

The way I understand it, the Russians are sort of a combination of evil and incompetence… sort of like the Post Office with tanks. – Emo Philips

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London Entrepreneur Sees Gold Mine in Unused Subway Stations – Bloomberg

London Underground roundel logo

Image via Wikipedia

A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive aims to turn 26 unused London subway stations and bomb shelters into shops and tourist attractions after raising 200 million pounds $319 million from investors.

Ajit Chambers, chief executive officer of Old London Underground Co., met Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday to discuss the plan. Chambers agreed to provide more information on potential sites, costs and the work needed to convert the stations, according to an e-mail from Johnson’s office.

“We’ve set up the construction teams, the finance availability and the investment to renovate underground space,” Chambers said in an interview. He declined to identify the investors.

Old London Underground plans to open the first site, Brompton Road station, in time for the 2012 Olympic Games in east London, Chambers said. The station, owned by the Ministry of Defence, has been shuttered since the mid-1950s after serving as the headquarters of southern England’s anti-aircraft defenses during World War II.

via London Entrepreneur Sees Gold Mine in Unused Subway Stations – Bloomberg.

Strange Random Subway Quote:

“The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls
and tenement halls
and whispered
in the sounds of silence”

Paul Simon (American Singer and Song Writer, b.1941)

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