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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Shoplifting, EnQuest, Klarna

(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - Guardian More than 7.4 million people in the UK struggled to pay a bill or a credit repayment in January, according to a financial regulator. The figure is less than last year but is still significantly higher than before the cost of living crisis began. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which tracks the number of households in financial difficulties, 5.8 million people reported that they were struggling to pay a large bill in February 2020. - Guardian

A UK energy company is to start drilling at the biggest oil field discovered in the North Sea in at least 20 years in spite of a net zero crackdown on the industry. EnQuest plans to bring two fields onstream which have the potential to produce 500 million barrels of crude oil over coming decades. The sites, which neighbour Kraken oil and gas field, 80 miles east of Shetland, will reignite the political battle over the North Sea's future in which Labour has threatened to block new production citing environmental concerns. - Telegraph

Klarna intends to grow its business by deploying generative artificial intelligence instead of hiring new staff. The "buy now, pay later" credit business believes that it will continue to expand its operations and revenue despite a hiring freeze that was announced in December, because AI is making work more efficient. - The Times

Elon Musk is wrong to say that artificial intelligence will overtake human intelligence next year, according to one of the world's leading AI scientists. Yann LeCun, Meta's chief AI scientist and one of the so-called godfathers of the technology, said that while artificial general intelligence was achievable, it could take decades to arrive. - The Times

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Monday newspaper round-up: Border checks, house prices, apprenticeships
(Sharecast News) - Post-Brexit border checks will cost UK businesses £470m a year, the government's public spending watchdog has said. Plans to bring in border checks on goods coming from the EU faced "significant issues" including critical shortages of inspectors before their introduction last month, the National Audit Office said in a report. - Guardian
Friday newspaper round-up: Bank branches, mortgages, Northern Rock
(Sharecast News) - The number of UK bank branches that have shut their doors for good over the last nine years will pass 6,000 on Friday, and by the end of the year the pace of closures may leave 33 parliamentary constituencies - including two in London - without a single branch. The tally is being published by the consumer group Which? as it seeks to make the "avalanche" of closures and the "disastrous" impact they can have on local communities an election battleground. - Guardian
Thursday newspaper round-up: JCB, M&S, smart meters
(Sharecast News) - The British digger maker JCB, owned by the billionaire Bamford family, continued to build and supply equipment for the Russian market months after saying it had stopped exports because of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the Guardian can reveal. Russian customs records show that JCB, whose owners are major donors to the Conservative party, continued to make new products available for Russian dealers well after 2 March 2022, when the company publicly stated that it had "voluntarily paused exports" to Russia. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Brexit border outages, Boeing, Stellantis
(Sharecast News) - Lorries carrying perishable food and plants from the EU are being held for up to 20 hours at the UK's busiest Brexit border post as failures with the government's IT systems delay imports entering Britain. Businesses have described the government's new border control checks as a "disaster" after IT outages led to lorries carrying meat, cheese and cut flowers being held for long periods, reducing the shelf life of their goods and prompting retailers to reject some orders. - Guardian

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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