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The front page of the website of a solicitor's practice in Bolton in the north of England says "WARNING – SCAM ALERT – We have been advised that Allansons has been cited as the instructed solicitors by Agents purporting to be from ECM Asset Management Limited and in connection with investment equity release. No such company exists and we have been informed this is part of an ongoing investment scam. Allansons has not been instructed by any such company nor been involved in any such scheme." Sadly, the profession's regulator has found, there was malfeasance within the firm. And there is apparently unrelated skulduggery afoot.

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I'm highly critical of American style oval racing. It's far too orchestrated by "IndyCar" or "Nascar" and it's boring unless there's a crash (and who wants to wish for crashes that cause injury or death?). After all, who wants to sit through 185 laps only for a crash to force the "full course yellow" or, even, "safety car" that sets up the cars for the only bit that really matters: the last ten laps or so to the finish. I've watched it, on and off, for several decades and it's almost always Dullsville personified. Until this year's Indy 500. Oh, how I wish they could all be like this.

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There's something odd about people who have misspelt names. Brandi is bad enough but to use Allen as a first name is woefully wrong. Welcome to the world of the Pritchards and their burned-down, rented, house.

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AirAsia is a superb airline. Its aircraft are well maintained and clean, its crew are great. Yes, its ability to be anywhere near its scheduled departure and arrival times are the stuff of legend - for their persistent failures. It has an ultra-slick website that whizzes through the pages. but it's the website that is the real reason that one has to think twice about booking a flight. That's because so much of it, outside the core part of finding flights, doesn't work. Cheap fares are one thing - but not when buying them is so frustrating. But a failure today takes the biscuit. UPDATED AT END

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If there's a way to force non-FB group users into the fold, Facebook is going to find it. Within the past few days, it has removed one of the most useful features of Instagram: the ability of millions of mobile users to "lurk" and read comments posted on a page. Why? Because it's failed to force them to sign up by an utterly obtrusive "splash screen" that's a bugger to remove because the X is in the wrong place. For now, it's latest change does not affect desktop users but, just as FB itself has made it increasingly difficult to access supposedly public information without an account, surely that's going to change.

The UK's Department for International Trade has issued a new, contingency version of the Open General Export Licence (OGEL) for dual use goods exported to countries within the UK.

The bringing into force of the new licence is contingent upon the UK leaving the European Union without a deal. If there is a deal, the existing arrangements will continue at least during the transitional period. However, there is something odd going on..

Niki Lauda
was born on: 
Tue, 22/02/1949
at: 
Vienna, Austria
and died on: 
Sun, 19/05/2019
at: 
Zürich, Switzerland

Following the release of market sensitive information last week (see Embarrassment for regulator with premature release of market sensitive information) there's an apology, of sorts. Is it fair dinkum or a feeble excuse?

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The Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco are a long, long, long way down the pecking order when it comes to legislation. Unlike the US Congress, where Members can pass motions that amount to comment not law, the Board of Supervisors can pass law - but it may well have no practical effect. So exactly what is the newly announced law and how much weight will it carry?

Peter Lee

It's not fake news. it's false conversations and it's satire.

As California's San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passes a law to ban the use of facial recognition by law enforcement and other agencies operating within the city. The news reached an incredulous Malaysian Transport Minister who is in the process of implementing a low-tech solution - blacked out car windows which will defeat visual surveillance methods.

The phoenix is a creature of ancient Greek mythology, It was creature of Paradise and, when it became old and frail, it would self-immolate and a younger, stronger, even more beautiful version of itself would rise from the flames. It is also to be found in Egyption myth where, as the "Lord of Jubilees" it symbolised a fresh start The symbolism of the old going down in flames and something new and shiny, but essentially the same creature, replacing it is a far from mythical part of the corporate landscape. Unlike the bird, a corporate phoenix is rarely a good thing.

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On 13 May, the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued its market-segment specific "GUIDELINES ON PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERINGAND COUNTERING THE FINANCING OF TERRORISM-DIRECT GENERAL INSURANCE BUSINESS,REINSURANCE BUSINESS, ANDDIRECT LIFE INSURANCE BUSINESS (ACCIDENT & HEALTH POLICIES)". Here are ten key phrases.

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It has become fashionable to talk of "The Three Lines of Defence" in relation to money laundering, terrorist financing, etc. Is it just more more quasi-militaristic buzzwords, so loved by Americans, and a pretence of intellect or is there genuine merit here?

Free for seven days.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has issued a notice opposing a "merger" proposal involving TPG Telecom Limited (TPG) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (Vodafone). The reasons include that TPG has been "disruptive" in a complacent market and is "the best prospect Australia has for a new mobile network operator to enter the market." But it's a far more complex picture than that.

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Here's an interesting situation. A competition regulator, by definition in possession of market sensitive information, has "inadvertently published on line" information relating to a proposed "merger."

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