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The Business Matrix: Saturday 26 October 2013

Unions seek pledge on Qatar

A host of British building companies are under pressure from trade unions not to exploit cheap migrant labour on construction contracts ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The GMB has called for an urgent meeting with 13 British companies including Mace, Laing O’Rourke and Kier.

Mail still worth a punt, says broker

Royal Mail is worth £5.7bn and its shares are still worth buying even though they are now valued at 61 per cent more than the Government’s float price, the stockbroker Panmure Gordon said yesterday. It rated the postal group’s stock a “buy” despite their value rising by another 26p to 555p yesterday.

Sainsbury’s ahead of Asda by a nose

Sainsbury’s has overtaken Asda to become Britain’s second-biggest supermarket for the first time in a decade, according to research released yesterday by market analyst Nielsen. The latest data gives Sainsbury’s a 16.6 per cent share of the market.

Inflation points to revival in Japan

Efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reflate Japan’s economy gathered pace in September as consumer prices rose for the fourth straight month. The core consumer prices index, which excludes food, was up 0.7 per cent, from 0.8 per cent in August.

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Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam