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Business News

Business Diary: Murdoch silenced by autocue malfunction

It's not often that Rupert Murdoch is lost for words, but that's what happened during his keynote speech at an Abu Dhabi media summit yesterday when the autocue broke down. In the end, an aide had to dig out a hard copy of the speech, enabling the great man to carry on.

Tesco sticks it to American rival

Tim Mason, boss of Tesco's US operation, Fresh & Easy, continues to land punches on his rivals. In a thinly veiled attack on Whole Foods Market, the US organic food giant, Fresh & Easy's website now carries the strap, "Wholesome food, not whole pay cheque". Whole Foods has been dubbed "Whole Paycheck" in the US, because of the perception that its prices are, well, a bit on the pricey side. Mason clearly still believes in the "Every little helps" slogan he once helped to create for Tesco in the UK.

Once bitten, twice shy – we hope

We know fraudsters are wicked, but this scam is really heartless. Someone has set up a fake version of the website of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the compensation fund in the US for victims of bankrupt brokers. The dodgy site asks those conned by Bernie Madoff to submit claims, with the idea of ripping them off all over again.

MPs aren't the only one fiddling their expenses

About one in 30 employees of small and medium-sized companies admit to having made false expenses claims, according to a survey by Fuel Genie. Guess which type of industry is most likely to see false claims? Step forward financial services, where the figure is one in five.

The PM's £600m pension saving

People who accuse Gordon Brown of failing to tackle the deficit are quite wrong. By leaving it late to go to the polls, he has saved taxpayers £600m, says the pension consultant Towers Watson. That's because the law now stipulates that the basic state pension has to start rising in line with earnings before the end of the next Parliament. By taking us into the next tax year, this pricey change will now take place a year later.

Number of the day: £440m

The total value of fraud committed on debit and credit cards in the UK last year, down 29 per cent on 2008.