The Daily Telegraph.
North Korea is digging an underground tunnel in apparent preparation for a new nuclear test, intelligence reports have claimed. Satellite images depict mounds of earth piled at the entrance of a tunnel at a site in northeast Punggye-ri, where two controversial nuclear tests were conducted in 2006 and 2009. Observers fear that the creation of a new tunnel could indicate North Korea’s intentions to conduct a third underground nuclear test, a move which would ignite widespread international criticism. “North Korea is covertly preparing for a third nuclear test, which would be another grave provocation,” said a report compiled by South Korean intelligence officers and obtained by The Associated Press. “North Korea is digging up a new underground tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, in addition to its existing two underground tunnels, and it has been confirmed that the excavation works are in the final stages.”
Syrian forces have fired across the border at protesters at a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding a Turkish translator and at least two Syrian refugees, in the first such attack since Turkey began sheltering thousands of refugees last summer.A government official said Turkey immediately protested the incident to the Syrian charge d’affaires and asked that the fire be halted. Two refugees and one Turkish citizen, a translator, were wounded inside the camp near the town of Kilis in the south western Gaziantep province, he said.
The Nikkei Business daily
Sony is to shed 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next year, according to Japanese news reports and other media said on monday that Sony Corp. will cut 6pc of its workforce as it struggles with weak TV sales and swelling losses. Sony has announced restructuring plans by selling its chemical unit. Sony is also merging its liquid crystal display (LCD) panel operation with Toshiba and Hitachi. Mr Yasukouchi said those changes could affect up to 5,000 employees who are subject to transfers. The group aims to revive the iconic but loss-making Japanese electronics giant. Sony reported a 159bn yen (£1.2bn) loss for October-December and more than doubled its projected loss for the full fiscal year.
The dollar continued its retreat against the yen on Monday after last week’s US employment data showing a slowdown in the pace of job creation stoked speculation of further stimulus to keep economic recovery on track. On Friday, non-farm payrolls data disappointed investors after just 120,000 jobs were created in the US in March, confounding expectations of a rise of more than 200,000. “Dollar debate is now where the Federal Reserve’s centre of gravity is with respect to further stimulus and what degree of US economic weakness it would take to get stimulus back on the agenda,” said Steve Englander at Citigroup
Thomas Cook is on the brink of agreeing a £1.2bn deal with banks that will secure the future of the debt-laden package-holiday operator. Just months after its last refinancing, Sam Weihagen, Thomas Cook’s new interim chief executive, is putting the finishing touches to an agreement that would give a consortium of lenders 5 per cent of the company’s shares in exchange for an extension of its bank loans to 2015.
The Daily Mail.
Millions of pensioners will be £312-a-year better off from today as changes to the state pension come into force. Basic rate payments will rise to by £5.30 a week to £107.45 while couples will see an increase of £8.50 a week. The changes will see average payments for a single person rise to £124 – up from £118 – while couples will receive £171.85. Annually this will see the average pensioner better off by £312 a year, according to the Government.
A California family claims it is owed a $130million stake in Coca-Cola Co after their father bought an antique stock certificate in 2008 for a mere $5. Tony Marohn spent the final year of his life battling the beverage company after tracing the Palmer Union Oil Co certificate to Coca-Cola. Marohn died in 2010, but his family has taken on the legal battle, saying it is entitled to about 1.8million shares of the soft-drink maker. Marohn had traced the certificate by way of long-forgotten companies such as Petrocarbon Chemicals Inc and Taylor Wine Co, according to court documents. But before the family buys that vacation home in Aspen, they’ll have to convince a skeptical Delaware Chancery Court judge that the law is on their side.
The Daily Express.
TESCO’S future in banking and America has been called into question as its chief executive, Phil Clarke, prepares to launch a bid to re-energise its core UK grocery business. Clarke is expected to use next week’s strategy review to set out the retailer’s customer service and “value proposition” credentials to boost revenues after January’s shock profit warning. The successful ingredients from trials in 200 stores will likely be rolled out in hundreds more as Tesco seeks to win back market share from rivals.