News roundup 27.11.2015

Shopping in New York is cheaper than at home right? Apparently not. Post Office Travel Money had the nerve to do a price comparison on 100 items between London and the Big Apple.   A Superdry hooded windtrekker men’s jacket and a Karen Millen red, ruffled lace dress would both set shoppers back 47 per cent more in Manhattan than in the UK, while Calvin Klein Euphoria was 26 per cent more expensive. But some youth brands such as Hollister were up to 50 per cent cheaper. And if you need a high-vis jacket, be careful where you shop. Poundworld has been fined £700,000 for selling Chinese-made jackets for £1 which had reflectivity of only three per cent of the correct standard.

Britain now has the fourth lowest level of home ownership in the EU after it was overtaken by France for the first time since records began 20 years ago. The proportion of homeowners has fallen to 64.8percent, down from a peak of 73.3 per cent in 2007. We now are ahead of only Germany, Austria and Denmark. Across the EU more than 70 per cent lived in their own homes last year.

Smartphones that only need charging once a week could be on the way. An Oxford University engineer has invented a material to replace the screen glass for phones, tablets and smartwatches which would use no power. More than 90 per cent of the power in a mobile device is needed just to illuminate the screen. Dr Pelman Hosseini’s company Bodle Technologies hopes to have a prototype within a year.

One in five over-55s fall victim to scams, mainly via email. One in four of those polled by Santander said they did not always check online bank accounts, and one third said they would give out personal details over the phone. Savvy young people could now play a role in educating the older generations about cyber security, it would seem…

The arts in Britain are increasingly dominated by people from middle-class backgrounds, according to new research. A survey of over 2,500 people working in the arts found that three-quarters had at least one parent in a ‘middle-class’ job and more than half had at least one with a university education. Some 88 per cent said they had worked for free at some point as they tried to break into their industry.

Women executives miss chances to get ahead because they can’t face boozy male-dominated business dinners, according to the new head of the Confederation of British Industry. Caroline Fairbairn says that female bosses with children would rather be at home with their families than networking at alcohol-fuelled functions lasting into the small hours which seem to be all about male bonding.

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