2013.02.14

News Headlines - 14 February 2013

Tax avoidance firms will be banned from major government contracts | guardian.co.uk

Companies found guilty of aggressive tax avoidance will be banned from bidding for major government contracts, under new rules published by the Treasury.

Fake whiplash claims push up insurance bills by £118 a year with premiums up 80 per cent in four years | Mail Online

Bogus whiplash claims cost every motorist an extra £118 on their annual car insurance bill, it has been revealed. Premiums have risen by 80 per cent since October 2008 due to the rise in people making costly – and often false – whiplash claims, according to a report by insurance company Aviva. The average legal fee for a whiplash claim is £2,500, almost half of which is due to intermediaries, including claims management companies and personal injury lawyers, seeking a cut for themselves. The researchers said that if insurers handled claims directly rather than through these third parties, an estimated £1.5billion could be stripped from UK motor insurance premiums.

HEARD ON THE STREET: Bank of England Flexes Further on Inflation - WSJ.com

The U.K. has already buried its debt target. On Wednesday, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King performed the last rites on its inflation target—at least as it has been widely understood. Speaking at the publication of the BOE's latest Inflation Report, he confirmed that the Monetary Policy Committee now expects inflation to remain above the BOE's 2% target until the end of 2015. Until now, the BOE has interpreted its target to mean that inflation should be returned to target within two years.

BBC News - Oscar Pistorius: Olympian and Paralympian faces murder charge

South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is facing a murder charge after his girlfriend was shot and killed at his Pretoria home. His arrest over the death of model Reeva Steenkamp has stunned the country where he is considered a national hero. The 26-year-old is due to appear in court on Friday.

BBC News - Sea slug's 'disposable penis' surprises

A sea slug that is able to detach, re-grow and then re-use its penis has surprised scientists. Japanese researchers observed the bizarre mating behaviour in a species called Chromodoris reticulata, which is found in the Pacific Ocean.


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