City Diary : Where there's smoke, there's cattle-burning

Pooh, what a pong. Fledgling Buckingham-based manufacturer Environmental Technology Research is on tenterhooks. Like most people it doesn't know what the Government's latest thinking on slaughtering and Mad Cow Disease is. The company's Steven Feldman says this is important since it makes metering devices for chimneys which measure how much dust and smoke particles are emitted. In these environmental times, there are strict rules on what can be thrown into the atmosphere. If loads of new cow incinerators have to be built, to burn the mad cows, ETR is quids in. If not, it will have to stick to crematoria. It already has a quarter of the UK market.

Marc Popiolek is leaving City spin doctors Financial Dynamics after two-and-a-half years, to join rivals Gavin Anderson. The former editor of the Daily Telegraph Questor column helped to advise Smith & Nephew and Burmah Castrol while at FD. Jeff Randall, former City editor of the Sunday Times who joined FD last year, has also recently left, to return to the paper. Headhunters have apparently been interested in the firm's talent.

The traditional image of small business owners is that of "movers and shakers in their local communities, active in local politics, community and social activities." Office World's latest quarterly Small Business Survey brands this a myth. When you might have expected the butcher, baker and plumber to be down the Rotary Club or running the local Conservative office, most in reality prefer to go to the cinema or theatre. The survey finds that sports activities were also important with over a third of business owners. So at least they are still down the golf course. Interest in political activities was a mere 5 per cent. John Major really has had it.

The Italians love nattering on their mobile phones so much that the Italian government was forced recently to place screening material on the outside of its Parliament building, to block such phone conversations and ensure at least some work got done.

This story is told with a mix of amusement and pride by Francesco Caio, the 38-year-old chief executive of Omnitel Pronto Italia, the smaller of Italy's two mobile companies. In the months since Omnitel launched last December, it has gained 100,000 subscribers. By comparison, Orange managed in the first three months of its UK launch to attract a quarter of that number.

Ominitel's progress is of especial interest to Olivetti, Carlo De Benedetti's troubled computer giant, since the latter owns 41 per cent of the new company. Olivetti yesterday announced net losses for 1995 of a mere 1.598 trillion (yes, trillion) lire, or pounds 670m. No wonder Signor Caio is interested in floating off Omnitel.

No elephants, please, we're British: Xenophobic Brits may think that Johnny Foreigner has lots of funny habits, but they should hear what the Chinese think about the Brits. The latest Overseas Jobs Express quotes the China Trade News on how to behave when travelling to the UK to do business. "When dealing with the British there are certain taboos and superstitions it is necessary to understand.

"Elephants are taboo to the British - if you are exporting goods you must ensure that they do not carry any pictures of elephants on trademarks or packaging. Horseshoes however are considered lucky."

The correspondent goes on: "When eating with the English, you must make every effort to avoid making any noise by knocking china and cutlery together. Also, meetings of 13 people are out of the question, as it is an unlucky number." The article concludes by advising visitors to remember that Britain is a country of animal-lovers and to make a point of saying a few words of appreciation to pet owners about their animals. Like "nice goldfish."

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices