News An RAF Apache helicopter

Helicopter-maker AgustaWestland has been awarded two Ministry of Defence contracts worth £760 million which will secure more than 1,000 jobs in the UK.

GE blames 8 per cent fall in profits on US economic slowdown

Jeff Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric for seven years, is fighting to shore up his reputation after the conglomerate shocked Wall Street with a decline in earnings and a profit warning – less than a month after Mr Immelt made an upbeat presentation to shareholders.

Professor Joseph Weizenbaum: Creator of the 'Eliza' program

In 1966 Joseph Weizenbaum, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published one of the most celebrated computer programs of all time. The program interacted with a user sitting at an electric typewriter, in English, in the manner of a Rogerian psychotherapist. Weizenbaum called the program "Eliza" because "like the Eliza of Pygmalion fame, it could be taught to 'speak' increasingly well". In his paper, Weizenbaum gave a slightly contrived example of a conversation between Eliza and a young woman (Eliza's responses appear in capital letters):

CBI calls for major overhaul of business tax system

Tax cut could boost revenue by £15bn a year. City's confidence in Chancellor plummets

GE Energy goes again with auction of Port Talbot plant

Baglan Bay to be sold at the end of the year, as electrical giant focuses on nuclear bid

Small Talk: Indian firms put in a hot performance

Indian companies have outperformed on the Alternative Investment Market in the past year, with more set to arrive in London in 2008 as they look for international investment and recognition.

CVC gives up on Biffa as rivals consider joint bid

The private equity giant CVC Capital Partners has walked away from a take-over bid for the waste management group Biffa, which accepted a £1.2bn offer this month. This comes as two suitors have held talks about teaming up for a counter bid.

Battle for Biffa: suitors aim to gatecrash deal

A takeover battle is set to erupt for Biffa with up to three suitors close to gatecrashing a £1.2bn private equity deal accepted by the UK waste group.

Leading article: Invest in the planet and clean up

Reading, as we know, is not George Bush's strongest suit, but he should at least glance at the graphs of a new report before his latest initiative on global warming opens in Hawaii this week. They show that his whole approach to tackling global warming – by relying on voluntary initiatives from industry to come up with technological breakthroughs – is doomed to failure. That may be just what he intends – so Gordon Brown and the other leaders of the major developed and developing economies represented at the mid-Pacific meeting should read the report, too.

Big business says addressing climate change 'rates very low on agenda'

Poll of 500 major firms reveals that only one in 10 regard global warming as a priority

Market Report: Takeover talk lifts Biffa above the stock carnage

It was a massacre on the markets yesterday, as fears the US was plunging headlong into a recession sent London down more than 5 per cent. There were few rumours doing the rounds as most traders performed the "duck and cover" manoeuvre, but talk emerged of a takeover battle erupting for Biffa.

Customers demand refunds for PPIs

Customers seeking refunds flooded a banking watchdog with complaints yesterday after serious failings were exposed in the £5bn-a-year industry in Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).

Carving up the nuclear spoils

The Government's decision yesterday to give the go-ahead for a new generation of plants will trigger a battle for a share of the spoils in the nuclear and energy industries. Danny Fortson reports

National Grid plans £12bn spend to boost gas import capacity

National Grid, the owner of Britain's gas and electricity transmission networks, unveiled plans yesterday to invest £12bn over the next five years.

Album: Danielson


Metropolitan (15)

It doesn't seem a minute since I was queueing to see this at the old Lumière cinema on St Martin's Lane. Whit Stillman's comedy of manners was actually released 16 years ago, and it's heartening to report that time has been kind to it.

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