Yahoo - DRC
British oil major BP said on Tuesday it had cut 255 jobs, or around 8 percent of its workforce in Azerbaijan as it trims costs in response to the "challenging market environment". Crude prices have more than halved since June to below $50 per barrel, and oil majors have been cutting capital and operating expenditures as crude prices more than halved since June. BP announced in December a $1 billion (0.66 billion pounds) programme to cut thousands of jobs globally. In Azerbaijan, 105 Azeri nationals and 150 foreigners would be made redundant, BP's Azerbaijan operations said in a statement.
The number of unemployed people in France rose slightly higher in December to yet a new record high with few signs of improvement in the offing for the euro zone's second-biggest labour market. The Labour Ministry said the number of people registered as jobless in mainland France rose by 8,100 last month to 3,496,400, up 0.2 percent from November and up 5.7 percent over one year. President Francois Hollande has seen his popularity ratings drop to record lows as he failed to live up to promises to turn the job market around, though they have picked up following attacks this month by militant gunmen that killed 17 people.
By Sarah McFarlane and Karolin Schaps LONDON (Reuters) - EDF Energy will reduce British household gas prices by 1.3 percent on Feb. 11, making the smallest cut to consumer bills among the country's six biggest suppliers who have all now announced price reductions based on lower wholesale costs. Wholesale crude and gas prices in Europe have tumbled due to a global supply glut, reducing some of the energy purchase costs utilities incur. Britain's Chancellor George Osborne, gearing up for a May national election, urged energy companies earlier this month to pass on savings to customers, saying action could be taken if they failed to do so. EDF Energy's rivals have cut gas prices between 3.5 and 5.1 percent, with RWE npower implementing the steepest reduction.
By Lefteris Papadimas and George Georgiopoulos ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unveiled a cabinet of anti-austerity veterans on Tuesday, signalling he has no intention of backing away from election pledges despite warning shots from the euro zone and financial markets. Greek markets endured a second day of turmoil on Tuesday, with bank shares diving and investors fearing the anti-bailout government might be set on a collision course with the country's European Union and IMF creditors. Promising to reverse budget cuts and renegotiate Greece's huge debts, Tsipras's leftist Syriza party stormed to power in Sunday's snap election on a wave of anger against the German-backed austerity policies that have driven up poverty and left one in four Greek workers out of a job. Among a team spanning the radical and more pragmatic wings of Syriza, Tsipras named academic economist Yanis Varoufakis as his finance minister.
By Kirstin Ridley LONDON (Reuters) - Around two million Britons who may have been mis-sold insurance to cover events such as credit card fraud will be asked to vote for a scheme that could cost top banks hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation. The scheme, which affects security products on credit and debit cards over an eight-year period, comes after banks have already set aside more than 24 billion pounds to compensate customers mis-sold loan and mortgage insurance. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Tuesday 11 lenders and card issuers had voluntarily agreed to compensate customers after "collaborative discussions". The total amount of compensation will depend on how many eligible customers pursue a claim after buying or renewing products such as Sentinel, Safe and Secure Plus and Card Protection between Jan. 14, 2005 and August 2013.
"The eagle has crash-landed in Washington," cried Senator Charles Schumer. "The eagle has crash-landed in Washington," cried Senator Charles Schumer of New York, in a statement that used the incident to amplify his call for FAA regulations on drones. The drone that penetrated the White House grounds and triggered a lockdown of the complex was essentially a toy, flown by a man who frantically called the Secret Service after it got away and insisted he never intended to land it near the executive mansion.
By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union will put in place its "capital markets union" by 2019, starting with quick wins like encouraging direct investment in businesses, an EU document seen by Reuters showed. The document, co-written by EU financial services chief Jonathan Hill, sets out a timetable for the first time on a core policy of the European Commission to help revive the bloc's flagging economy. Harmonising rules for capital markets to increase the trade in stocks, bonds and other securities is an important goal for the EU. Sceptics say a fully seamless union of EU capital markets is impossible to achieve.
By Alan Baldwin MILTON KEYNES (Reuters) - Russian Formula One racer Daniil Kvyat can be as much of a revelation at Red Bull this season as Australian Daniel Ricciardo was last year, according to team boss Christian Horner. Ricciardo took his first three grands prix wins in 2014, his first season at the then-champions after graduating from sister team Toro Rosso, and eclipsed team mate and four times champion Sebastian Vettel along the way. Kvyat, 20, has also now moved up from Toro Rosso following Vettel's departure to Ferrari with Ricciardo becoming the man to beat. "I think in Kvyat we've got a really fast, determined, intelligent driver," Horner told reporters at a Red Bull event on Tuesday.
The European Central Bank's bond-buying programme will lift Italian growth over the next two years, making it easier for the government to make badly-needed economic reforms, an Italian central bank official said on Tuesday. "The action decided last week by the ECB governing council will contribute significantly to raising growth over the next two years, offering more room to marry reform and growth," Bank of Italy Deputy Director General Fabio Panetta said at a conference in Rome. Italy's biggest employers' group, Confindustria, said on Saturday the ECB plan could raise Italian gross domestic product by 0.8 percent this year and by a further 1 percent in 2016 by weakening the euro exchange rate, thus boosting exports, and by lowering long-term interest rates. Italy has been the euro zone's most sluggish economy over the last decade and has not posted a single quarter of growth since the middle of 2011.
By Dan Williams HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) - When Israelis gather around the water cooler to discuss their March 17 election, odds are the conversation will turn to a television satire that has caught even U.S. President Barack Obama's notice in the past. Eretz Nehederet ("Wonderful Country"), which airs weekly on Israel's biggest private station Channel 2, spares no candidate. Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes off as a conniving buffoon and his main challenger, Labour party chief Isaac Herzog, as a needy nerd. Now in its 12th season, the Monday night show boasts a 30 percent audience share in Israel.
By Justin Palmer LONDON (Reuters) - Owen Farrell's misfortune could be Danny Cipriani's gain. The prospect of the talented but often troubled flyhalf laying down a marker for England in World Cup year became more realistic on Tuesday when Farrell was ruled out of the entire Six Nations. His absence with a knee ligament injury elevated Cipriani and Stephen Myler up the pecking order with both contending to be on the bench when coach Stuart Lancaster names his side to face Wales in Cardiff on Feb. 6. With George Ford nailed on to start in the pivotal number 10 role, Lancaster must decide whether maverick Cipriani is ready to continue his road back to redemption in the Millennium Stadium bear pit for the Friday night blockbuster.
By Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Complacency may have been the reason twice major winner Martin Kaymer blew a 10-stroke lead in the final round of this month's Abu Dhabi Championship, the German said on Tuesday. The U.S. Open title holder seemed unbeatable in the desert two weeks ago until a startling collapse featuring six dropped strokes in eight holes let in unheralded Frenchman Gary Stal for a maiden European Tour victory. "When you lead by six shots overnight and start off birdie- birdie-par-birdie you almost feel like not much could go wrong," Kaymer told reporters ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic that starts on Thursday. "In golf that little bit of too much confidence can hurt, it's a very fine line." Kaymer, who also landed the U.S. PGA Championship crown in 2010, said his Middle East meltdown would make him an even tougher competitor in the future.
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland must avoid a repeat of recent expenditure overruns to protect the progress made in repairing its public finances, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said at the end of a mission to Ireland on Tuesday. Ireland's budget deficit likely fell by less than expected last year, Dublin said earlier this month, as a jump in year-end government spending, particularly in healthcare, prompted some concern that fiscal discipline may be slipping. ...