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Preview: Latest financial, market & economic news and analysis | guardian.co.uk

Business | The Guardian



Latest US financial, market & economic news and analysis.



Published: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:10:00 GMT2017-08-19T19:10:00Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
 



Women say they quit Google because of racial discrimination: 'I was invisible'

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:00:20 GMT2017-08-18T10:00:20Z

As Google reels from the fallout over a controversial diversity memo, multiple women say they faced regular discrimination and ultimately left

Qichen Zhang couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The technical specialist was in the middle of the office at Google when a white male colleague began joking with her about her hiring.

“He said, ‘It must’ve been really easy for you to get your job because you’re an Asian woman and people assume you’re good at math,’” Zhang recalled in a recent interview. “It was absolutely stunning. I remember me just emotionally shutting down.”

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'There are hundreds of sick crew': is toxic air on planes making frequent flyers ill?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 08:00:08 GMT2017-08-19T08:00:08Z

Kate Leahy used to work as cabin crew, until she was signed off sick. Then a young colleague died in 2014. She talks to the former staff looking for answers

Three years ago, Matt Bass, 34, died suddenly in his sleep. According to his father, Charlie, he had been feeling unwell for a few months. He’d lost weight, had digestive and respiratory problems, and suffered from severe fatigue. Doctors thought he might have Crohn’s disease, but were struggling to reach a diagnosis.

Matt was cabin crew for British Airways, and on the day he died had returned overnight from Accra, Ghana (by cabin crew standards, a relatively short, six-hour flight). He went for a scheduled MRI scan, hoping to get to the bottom of his ill health, then in the evening to a crew friend’s house in Slough for pizza. After a few hours, he said he needed a rest and went to lie down. When his friends couldn’t wake him, they administered CPR. An ambulance arrived and took him to A&E, where paramedics tried to revive him; but he never woke up.

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China moves to curb overseas acquisitions as firms' debt levels rise

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:32:17 GMT2017-08-18T17:32:17Z

Beijing imposes restrictions to try to stem global buying spree that has included entertainment firms and football clubs

The Chinese government has served notice on the country’s foreign investment spree in football clubs, skyscrapers and Hollywood as it moves to curb rising levels of debt among domestic companies.

The announcement of restrictions in a range of sectors follows a buying spree around the globe during which Chinese firms and business tycoons have taken control of assets including Legendary Entertainment, the US film producer behind Jurassic World and Warcraft, buildings such as the Cheesegrater in London, and English football clubs including Southampton and Aston Villa.

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Third White House panel scrapped amid Trump-Charlottesville controversy

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:37:13 GMT2017-08-17T20:37:13Z

Donald Trump’s presidential advisory council on infrastructure will disband according to a White House spokesperson

A third White House panel of business leaders is to be scrapped amid the controversy over Donald Trump’s response to neo-Nazi violence in Virginia, the Guardian has learned.

Trump’s presidential advisory council on infrastructure will disband along with the two panels that Trump rushed to dissolve on Wednesday when faced with mass resignations of chief executives from some of America’s biggest companies.

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Revealed: how British American Tobacco exploited war zones to sell cigarettes

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:00:17 GMT2017-08-18T07:00:17Z

Documents show how the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company pursued growth and profit amid instability in African and Middle East countries

British American Tobacco (BAT) has promoted sales of its cigarettes in some of the most fragile, war-torn and unstable countries of Africa and the Middle East, documents seen by the Guardian show.

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European stock markets dip after Spain terrorist attacks

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 07:08:58 GMT2017-08-19T07:08:58Z

Shares in airline, hotel and travel companies among hardest hit after atrocities in Barcelona and Cambrils

Stock markets in Europe have fallen after the Barcelona attack, with shares in airline, hotel and travel companies among the hardest hit.

IAG, the parent company of British Airways and the Spanish carrier Iberia, fell 2% on Friday. Ryanair and easyJet posted more modest losses, while Air France-KLM ended the day 1.6% down. InterContinental Hotels Group lost 1.6%, and more broadly, the European travel and leisure index fell 1.5%.

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'I hate him': Martin Shkreli court transcript reveals struggle for impartial jurors

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:42:34 GMT2017-08-17T15:42:34Z

In choosing a jury for entrepreneur’s fraud trial, the court dealt with anger over his treatment of the Wu-Tang Clan and concerns that he looked like ‘a snake’

Don’t disrespect the Wu-Tang Clan – not if you want a fair trial. The transcripts for jury interviews from the trial of Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur who became “America’s most hated man”, are out – and they show that finding 12 good men (and women) was no easy task.

Shkreli was convicted of fraud earlier this month after deceiving investors in two failed hedge funds. But the perpetually smirking “pharma bro” is best known for hiking the price of a drug used by people with Aids by 5,000% and for buying the only copy of a 2014 Wu-Tang Clan album, then refusing to let people listen to the whole thing.

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Game of Thrones secrets revealed as HBO Twitter accounts hacked

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:36:41 GMT2017-08-17T11:36:41Z

After initial hack and ransom request, TV network suffers separate breach of social media accounts amid embarrassing leaks of unaired shows

Several HBO Twitter accounts were hacked and taken over by the notorious OurMine hacking group, posting #HBOHacked messages and warnings about security.

OurMine took control of the main HBO Twitter account on Wednesday, as well as those for TV shows including Game of Thrones and Girls, posting its usual statement:

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Amazon stock market value falls by $5bn after critical Trump tweet

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:15:14 GMT2017-08-16T16:15:14Z

President accuses company of ‘doing great damage to tax paying retailers’, leading to ‘many jobs being lost’ – despite own failure to release tax returns

Donald Trump wiped over $5bn off Amazon’s stock market valuation on Wednesday with a tweet accusing the company of “doing great damage to tax paying retailers”.

Trump tweeted that “towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!”

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Daily Stormer jumps to dark web while Reddit and Facebook ban hate groups

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:55:44 GMT2017-08-16T09:55:44Z

Action by technology companies and hacking group Anonymous removes neo-Nazi site from open web, while social media steps up anti-hate actions

American neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer has moved on to the so-called dark web in an attempt to stay operational, following cyber-attacks by hacker group Anonymous and the cancellation of the site’s original domain name.

GoDaddy – the internet domain registrar and web hosting service – and Google cancelled the Daily Stormer’s domain name registration on Sunday, saying they prohibit clients from using their sites to incite violence. The Daily Stormer helped organise the violent neo-Nazi gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday at which a civil rights activist died.

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US government demands details on all visitors to anti-Trump protest website

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:21:24 GMT2017-08-15T08:21:24Z

Privacy advocates call warrant for IP addresses of 1.3 million people who visited inauguration protest website an unconstitutional ‘fishing expedition’

The US government is seeking to unmask every person who visited an anti-Trump website in what privacy advocates say is an unconstitutional “fishing expedition” for political dissidents.

The warrant appears to be an escalation of the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) campaign against anti-Trump activities, including the harsh prosecution of inauguration day protesters.

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Bill Gates gives $4.6bn to charity in biggest donation since 2000

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:30:31 GMT2017-08-15T17:30:31Z

Recipient of 64m Microsoft shares is a mystery, but is expected to be tech tycoon’s foundation

Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, has donated $4.6bn (£3.6bn) in the Microsoft founder’s biggest gift to charity since he set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates donated 64m Microsoft shares according to a US Securities & Exchange Commission filing. The recipient of the gift was not specified but it is expected that the money will be directed to the foundation he and his wife set up in 2000 with $5bn funding to improve global healthcare and reduce extreme poverty. The foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

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Man dies in fall from upper floor of London Stock Exchange

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:49:19 GMT2017-08-15T12:49:19Z

Police are investigating but say they do not believe the circumstances are suspicious

Police are investigating after a man fell to his death from an upper floor of the London Stock Exchange.

The circumstances surrounding the incident on Tuesday morning were not clear but City of London police said they did not believe them to be suspicious.

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Robot shelf-stack fail suggests they won't take our jobs just yet

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:15:43 GMT2017-08-15T13:15:43Z

Boston Dynamics demo clip shows we are not quite living in an i, Robot future – even if the machines can skate better than you can

Technology baron Elon Musk is scared of AI, warning of visions of the robot apocalypse when Terminator-esque machines decide they no longer need humans. But judging from the progress made by arguably the most advanced humanoid robots, if Terminator does show up, it won’t even be able to stack shelves without falling over.

The hilarious outtake was part of a video demonstrating the advances made by former Google-owned Boston Dynamics, featuring a series of robots including the Atlas humanoid automaton, which while impressive in many respects is far from a highly capable robotic killing machine – or job taker.

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Tech companies turn on Daily Stormer and the 'alt-right' after Charlottesville

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:30:55 GMT2017-08-14T21:30:55Z

The internet has long been a gathering place for white supremacists. But in the wake of the Virginia attack, some are reconsidering their willingness to host hate

For more than four years, The Daily Stormer has used the internet to dish up a daily menu of hate-fueled, neo-Nazi, white supremacist red meat to its readers. On Sunday, a handful of the companies involved in making that possible decided that enough was enough.

Go Daddy, a popular internet domain registrar and web hosting service, announced that it would no longer serve as the domain name service provider for Dailystormer.com, saying that, in light of the violent events in Charlottesville, the site had “crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence”.

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HBO: hackers leak unaired Curb Your Enthusiasm and Insecure episodes

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:22:16 GMT2017-08-14T09:22:16Z

HBO says it doesn’t want to feed hacker’s desire for publicity, but experts say network may eventually give in after Ballers, Barry and The Deuce also leaked

Hackers have leaked a trove of unaired episodes of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Insecure, Ballers, Barry and The Deuce, as they continue to in their efforts to extort the US television network.

The leaks over the weekend did not include any further episodes of Game of Thrones, but did include the latest episode of Insecure, which was due to be broadcast on Sunday evening, and several episodes of the highly anticipated new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is due to return in October.

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'The most dangerous US company you have never heard of": Sinclair, a rightwing media giant

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:00:46 GMT2017-08-17T11:00:46Z

Sinclair is the largest broadcast company in America. But its partisan politics – and connections to the White House – are raising concerns

Most Americans don’t know it exists. Primetime US news refers to it as an “under-the-radar company”. Unlike Fox News and Rupert Murdoch, virtually no one outside of business circles could name its CEO. And yet, Sinclair Media Group is the owner of the largest number of TV stations in America.

“Sinclair’s probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of,” said Michael Copps, the George W Bush-appointed former chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the top US broadcast regulator.

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End of the checkout line: the looming crisis for American cashiers

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:00:35 GMT2017-08-16T09:00:35Z

Donald Trump is fixated on a vision of masculine, blue-collar employment. But the retail sector has long had a far greater impact on American employment – and checkout-line technology is putting it at risk

The day before a fully automated grocery store opened its doors in 1939, the inventor Clarence Saunders took out a full page advertisement in the Memphis Press-Scimitar warning “old duds” with “cobwebby brains” to keep away. The Keedoozle, with its glass cases of merchandise and high-tech system of circuitry and conveyer belts, was cutting edge for the era and only those “of spirit, of understanding” should dare enter.

Inside the gleaming Tennessee store, shoppers inserted a key into a slot below their chosen items, producing a ticker tape list that, when fed into a machine, sent the goods traveling down a conveyer belt and into the hands of the customer. “People could just get what they want – boom, it comes out – and move on,” recalled Jim Riot, 75, who visited the store as a child. “It felt like it was The Jetsons.”

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Brooklyn's social housing microgrid rewrites relationships with utility companies

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:03 GMT2017-08-17T05:00:03Z

Microgrids, promising energy self-reliance for communities, are growing in popularity as they become more affordable

Residents of a social housing complex in Brooklyn, New York, can’t stop another tempest like Superstorm Sandy from crashing through their city, but they can feel secure that it won’t cause a power cut.

In June, the 625-unit Marcus Garvey Village cut the ribbon on its very own microgrid, a localised network of electricity production and control. Rooftop solar panels produce clean power when the sun is up; a fuel cell takes in natural gas and churns out a steady current all day; when it’s more valuable to save the electricity for later, the largest lithium-ion battery system on New York City’s grid does just that.

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Breaking the code: how women in Nigeria are changing the face of tech

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:17:20 GMT2017-08-14T16:17:20Z

Female developers are emerging as influential forces in the country’s booming technology sector – but the stigma persists that computing is a ‘male industry’

The Nigerian tech scene is booming. Last year, Lagos-based startup Andela received $24m (£18.5m) in funding from Mark Zuckerberg. In 2015, financial technology startup Paystack – one of the first Nigerian tech companies to be accepted into renowned California-based startup accelerator Y Combinator – secured approximately $1.3m in seed investment from international investors.

Within this growth, women are emerging as influential forces, and changing the face of technology in Africa, especially in the fields of agricultural and financial tech. This is despite the fact that, as recently as a decade ago, women were grossly underrepresented in and excluded from the industries they are now helping to shape.

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How Trump v Kim can wreck the world economy without a shot being fired | Larry Elliott

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 11:00:12 GMT2017-08-13T11:00:12Z

Tension is more likely to spark a US trade war with Beijing than a shootout with Pyongyang. China’s debt bubble will burst, with major consequences

Full marks for timing, Mr President. Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, making it an appropriate moment for Donald Trump to threaten North Korea with obliteration.

One of the few achievements Trump can point to in his first six months in office is that shares on Wall Street have been steadily rising since his election victory last October. The “fire and fury” remark and the inevitable counter blast from Kim Jong-un gave the markets pause for thought. But not much more than that.

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James Damore, Google, and the YouTube radicalization of angry white men

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10:00:11 GMT2017-08-13T10:00:11Z

Damore became an ‘alt-right’ hero after Google fired him over his views on women. Did Google-owned YouTube play a role in reinforcing those ideas?

For the YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, the Google manifesto was personal and painful. After reading the news of engineer James Damore’s 10-page memo criticizing diversity initiatives, her daughter asked: “Mom, is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?”

Wojcicki recounted the conversation this week in a widely cited essay on sexism in tech in which she denounced the arguments advanced by Damore as “tragic”. Her reflection did not, however, address the role that her own company’s video platform may have played in spreading the questionable scientific claim that women are biologically less suited to tech.

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Vanishing app: Snapchat struggles as Facebook bites back

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 17:40:22 GMT2017-08-11T17:40:22Z

Losses are steep and user growth is anaemic leaving investors fearful the latest ‘new Facebook’ has run out of steam

Is Snapchat – the social media app famous for its disappearing messages – in danger of doing a vanishing act of its own? It’s a question some are asking after investors turned on the company again this week following a second set of poor results which have turned a once-hot tech company into a stock market casualty.

The losses alone were steep. Snapchat’s parent, Snap Inc, lost $443m over the last three months, compared with $116m in the same period a year ago. Young tech companies are expected to burn through cash at a prodigious rate as they chase customers, but the main worry for shareholders was anaemic user growth, missed revenue targets and the threat from Facebook and Google – both of which have copied some of Snapchat’s key features. Imitation may well be the most sincere form of flattery, but in this case it could also be the most deadly.

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What that Google memo didn't tell you about pay inequality in America

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:00:56 GMT2017-08-11T10:00:56Z

The wage gap is more than simply one very memorable statistic – it’s a measure of inequality that shrinks and expands according to age, industry and race

A Google employee’s tirade against diversity efforts included a claim that the gender wage gap is a myth, in spite of mountains of data proving otherwise.

But the wage gap is more than simply one very memorable statistic – that a woman in the US earns $0.80 for each $1 a man earns. It is a measure of inequality that shrinks and expands based on variables including age, geography, industry, occupation and race.

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The strange case of Fox News, Trump and the death of young Democrat Seth Rich

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 05:09:04 GMT2017-08-07T05:09:04Z

The revelation that Fox News made contact with the White House over a false and malicious story could spell trouble for the network – and the president

In the early hours of Sunday 10 July 2016, Seth Rich, a 27-year-old digital campaigner with the Democratic National Committee, was walking home after a long night at his favorite Washington sports bar, Lou’s City. He was in no hurry, chatting for more than two hours on the phone to his girlfriend. At 4.19am, he told her he was almost at his door and had to go.

Seconds later, gunshots rang out. A minute after that, police arrived to find Rich lying on the ground just a block from his apartment, still alive but fading fast, with two bullet wounds in his back. He died in hospital a few hours later.

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'Nissan, you made us mad': union promises to fight Mississippi defeat

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 13:51:27 GMT2017-08-05T13:51:27Z

  • United Automobile Workers fails in bid to organize in southern car plant
  • New charges with National Labor Relations Board could prompt new vote

Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, voted against unionizing on Friday by a margin of 2,244 to 1,307. The vote was a disappointing defeat for those who hoped to open the door for union organizing across the American south.

Related: Nissan dispute could go down as most vicious anti-union crusade in decades | Bernie Sanders

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Cambridge University Press blocks readers in China from articles

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:14:37 GMT2017-08-18T18:14:37Z

Academics and contributors dismayed after hundreds of CUP articles in China Quarterly become inaccessible in country

Cambridge University Press has blocked readers in China from accessing hundreds of academic articles – including some published decades ago – after a request by Chinese authorities, arguing that it did so to avoid its other publications from being barred.

The publisher confirmed that hundreds of articles in China Quarterly, a respected scholarly journal, would be inaccessible within China, after a letter from the journal’s editor protesting against the move was published.

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Chinese state media revel in Donald Trump's Charlottesville woes

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:35:39 GMT2017-08-18T16:35:39Z

Presidency proving propaganda boon to party outlets that have spent decades trying to depict US as place of conflict and chaos

Donald Trump swept to power vowing to make America not only great again but also strong, wealthy, proud and safe.

Pick up a Chinese newspaper this week, though, and you will find the state of Trump’s nation being described in rather less triumphalist terms.

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Angela Merkel rival takes aim at German car chiefs

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 17:02:27 GMT2017-08-13T17:02:27Z

Social Democrat chief Martin Schulz says embattled sector’s failure to innovate and lead projects such as electric cars risks the future of country key exporter

Martin Schulz, the main challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s September election, has accused the country’s car industry executives of putting the sector at risk by failing to plan for the future.

The future of the automotive sector, Germany’s biggest exporter and provider of about 800,000 jobs, has become a hot election issue as politicians blame executives and each other for the industry’s battered reputation following the emissions scandal.

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Weaker sterling attracts record number of foreign tourists to UK

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:16:40 GMT2017-08-18T16:16:40Z

ONS figures show 3.5m trips made in June – up 7% on previous year – with spending by those visitors up 2% to £2.2bn

Sterling’s plunge after the EU referendum is making Britain more attractive for foreign holidaymakers, resulting in a record number of overseas visitors in June.

Non-UK residents made 3.5m visits to Britain in June, an increase of 7% from a year ago and a record for that month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). European and North American visitors led the way, while spending by visitors from overseas increased by 2% from a year ago to £2.2bn.

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China releases jailed Australian casino executive

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 13:03:17 GMT2017-08-12T13:03:17Z

Jason O’Connor was among 19 of Crown Resorts’ staff to be convicted of gambling offences, and is the last of three Australians to be released

China has freed an Australian casino executive who had been convicted of gambling-related offences.

Jason O’Connor, who headed Crown Resorts’ international VIP programmes, was sentenced to 10 months in prison in Shanghai in June.

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Bell Pottinger faces hearing over claims it stirred racial tension in South Africa

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 15:02:59 GMT2017-08-13T15:02:59Z

PR company summoned before disciplinary committee, accused of divisive social media campaign in South Africa to benefit billionaire Gupta family

Bell Pottinger, the public relations company founded by Margaret Thatcher’s spin doctor Lord Bell, will on Friday be hauled before the public relations and communications association (PRCA) disciplinary committee over allegations it ran a secret campaign to stir up racial tension in South Africa on behalf of billionaire clients.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance party, has demanded that the British PR industry body censures Bell Pottinger for running a “hateful and divisive campaign to divide South Africa along the lines of race”.

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Barcelona adds Segway ban to curbs on tourism

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:27:01 GMT2017-08-11T10:27:01Z

As anti-tourist sentiment grows across Europe, the Catalan capital’s move is applauded by residents, with a new protest planned for the seaside neighbourhood

It was once dubbed the capital of cool, but these days visitors to Barcelona can expect a quite frosty welcome as the city’s love affair with tourism comes to a bitter end, with hooded youths spraying a tourist bus with slogans, and strike chaos at the city’s airport. On Wednesday, Segway tours and electric scooters were banned from the Old City and the seafront, in a move that will be applauded by most citizens.

The scooter and Segway issue is just one aspect of a widespread view that the city is becoming a theme park, run in the interests of tourists rather than residents, and that soaring rents, driven up by Airbnb and other platforms, are forcing residents out of their homes.

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Contaminated eggs scare grows as UK supermarkets pull products

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 07:20:22 GMT2017-08-11T07:20:22Z

Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda withdraw items as FSA says 700,000 contaminated eggs have reached Britain

Four supermarkets have withdrawn products from their shelves as it emerged that 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated in a contamination scare had been distributed to Britain.

The Food Standards Agency said the number of contaminated eggs estimated to have reached the UK was far higher than the 21,000 first supposed, and that egg salads from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda, sandwiches from Morrisons, and sandwich fillers from Waitrose had been withdrawn.

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The experts strike back! How economists are being proved right on Brexit | Barry Eichengreen

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:41:28 GMT2017-08-10T12:41:28Z

The only surprise is that the experts’ predicted economic consequences of Brexit took so long to materialise

The Brexit debate is an endless source of mirth for anyone with a dark sense of humour. My favourite quote is from Michael Gove, Britain’s environment secretary.

Just before the EU referendum in June last year, Gove, then justice secretary in David Cameron’s government, dismissed the all-but-unanimous view of economists and others that a decision to leave the EU would deeply damage the British economy. “People in this country have had enough of experts,” Gove testily explained, referring to “experts from organisations with acronyms, saying they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong”.

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Generation rent: why I’ll never live in a house with dedicated shoe storage

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:23 GMT2017-08-18T12:00:23Z

Trying to find a pair of shoes in the three-layer-deep shoe stack beneath my clothes rail would no longer be a problem

• Every week, a member of generation rent writes about her dreams of property ownership

Some people choose to exercise before work. They like to start the day energised by the challenge of personal bests, and the sense of virtuousness that comes from having tried where others have not.

I, too, like that – but I’d prefer not to leave my house. Instead, I get my fix facing two herculean challenges. First, trying to find the one piece of black clothing I want to wear in my drawer of mainly black clothing, and second, trying to find a pair of shoes in the three-layer-deep shoe stack that lives beneath the clothes rail.

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My father is a good citizen. America's immigration system should realise that

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:00:44 GMT2017-08-17T10:00:44Z

When Brenda Avelica’s father was arrested and threatened with immediate deportation while driving her sisters to school, the video was shared all over the world. Six months on, she describes the impact of his detention on her family

My life has changed drastically since 28 February when my father, Rómulo Avelica-Gonzalez, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents as part of President Trump’s effort to fulfil his campaign promise to deport immigrants with criminal records.

While my father sits in a detention centre, I wake up every morning with an upset stomach and a nervous, worrisome feeling. I describe it as like getting knocked down by a large wave.

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Let's not lose sight of the BBC's shameful ethnic pay gap

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 16:00:45 GMT2017-08-06T16:00:45Z

The emphasis of the current debate on the pay disparity between men and women threatens to sideline vital questions of race inequality

As the row over the BBC’s gender pay gap escalated last month, I found it fitting that most of my conversations were taking place in a very specific forum. A few years ago, in response to the paucity of senior female journalists of colour, and the sense we were being excluded from other gender-focused networks, we set up our own group. It’s informal – not limited to ethnic minority women, but women of all backgrounds who are committed to equality – and for the last few weeks it has been abuzz.

The main debate has not been the existence of a gender pay gap – that came as a surprise to no one – but how a renewed focus on gender inequality can still leave questions of race inequality languishing in the dark. Take, for example, the fact that so many senior BBC women felt content to sign their name to a letter calling for immediate action on gender disparity by the BBC without so much as mentioning the ethnic pay gap. This felt like feminism taking one gigantic leap backwards – to the 1980s, perhaps, when Kimberlé Crenshaw so famously coined the term “intersectionality” to highlight the fact that “women of colour are invisible in plain sight”.

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How can companies cut the UK's class pay gap?

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:30:08 GMT2017-04-27T05:30:08Z

Professionals from poorer families earn almost £7,000 less per year than those from wealthier ones, despite businesses claiming to act on social mobility

It’s no surprise that social class can affect your life chances, but recently the education secretary highlighted the problem with a stark statistic.

Children who show signs of low academic ability at the age of five, but who come from high-income families, are 35% more likely to become high earners than those who show signs of high ability but come from poorer families, said Justine Greening.

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A guide to maternity leave for freelancers and the self-employed

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 06:00:02 GMT2017-08-07T06:00:02Z

From applying for maternity allowance to ‘keeping in touch days’, journalist Cherry Casey explains what you’re entitled to

Hours that fit around school runs, being on hand to soothe a sick child and never missing a sports day – the benefits of being a freelance parent are far-reaching; no doubt one reason why there was a 70% increase in us from 2008-15.

However, when it comes to maternity or parental leave, the story is slightly different. Concerns about how to cope financially without statutory maternity pay constantly resurface among my freelancing networks.

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The unbanked: stop catering for the middle classes and open up to the world | Chris Walker

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:11:37 GMT2017-01-30T11:11:37Z

Grand plans to get a further 2 billion people in the formal financial system sound impressive, but scepticism abounds

Bladimir didn’t want a bank account. The 22-year-old son of corn and bean farmers in rural El Salvador had moved to the capital in search of greater economic opportunity, but a bank account was not part of that plan. He had grown up with stories of scams and disappointments, and had a deep distrust of bank accounts as a safe way to store his money. Bladimir, however, was not given a choice. As part of his job as a security guard at a mall, he was required by his employer to open an account in order to receive his pay.

Bladimir’s entry into the formal financial system happened at a time when the poor of the world were gaining unprecedented access to financial tools and services. Regulatory changes and technological advances were complemented by an international push from multilateral organisations to make sure that poor people were able to have bank accounts. This all follows a grand target (set by the World Bank) of achieving universal financial access by 2020, allowing 2 billion adults who currently aren’t part of the formal financial system to gain access to a transaction account to store money, send and receive payments as the basic building block to manage their financial lives.

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