Facebook strikes Australia news deal, NatWest anti-fraud failure and Sackler settlement
Patrick Atack in London

"The deals are testament to the success of the legislation."

That's the view of Roger Sims, the Australian competition regulator, who was commenting on the deal between Facebook and News Corp to provide news on the social media platform for the required fee. It comes after months of wrangling over new laws that require platforms to pay news organizations for their content. 

Meanwhile in Europe, it's been a bad day for the UK-based NatWest bank. It was judged by the regulator to have not paid the required attention to large deposits and now faces criminal charges for failing to comply with anti-fraud rules. 

But it's been much better if you're a shareholder or stakeholder with Poland's InPost firm. For the uninitiated, they provide lockers that people can hire and have online purchases delivered to. It's become hugely successful and the company is now hoping to buy a similar firm that operates in France. 

Finally, it's been a creative year in China, as telecoms firm Huawei registered a record 25,000 new patents in 2020. 

As always, scroll down for more! 

Patrick Atack

Digital business correspondent 

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In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates finance firms and banks, has charged NatWest with failing to comply with anti-fraud and laundering rules. The commercial bank based in London is said to have "failed to adequately monitor and scrutinize" deposits amounting to millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, following the row that reached a crescendo when Facebook removed Australian media pages from its platform, the social media giant has now agreed to pay some publishers for the work they share on the site. A three-year deal will see Facebook pay News Corp for providing news.

Greggs, a popular UK bakery chain famous for sausage rolls and its vegan alternatives, has fallen to its first loss since it was floated on the market in 1986. Greggs said it fell to a $19 million loss, down from 2019 profits of $150 million. Despite the fall, which was not as far as expected, the firm said its future growth targets remain the same.

Polish parcel delivery and locker firm InPost said it plans to acquire its French counterpart Mondial Relay for $672 million. The company provides automated lockers from which customers can pick up online orders. It made $658 million in profits in 2020, which it hopes to double with this takeover.

The Sackler family, which owns the producer of OxyContin, the opioid painkiller blamed for much of the U.S. addiction epidemic, has increased its offered bankruptcy settlement to $4.3 billion. Purdue Pharma, which made the drug, filed for bankruptcy after thousands of lawsuits piled up, blaming the firm for the continuing opioid addiction crisis.  

After the U.S. banned Chinese telecoms firm Huawei from accessing many crucial parts of the country's infrastructure, the firm has registered a record number of new product patents. Huawei now holds more than 100,000 patents to technology it has developed to become self-sufficient. The number of patents increased by at least 25,000 over 2020.

Investment in North Sea oil and gas installations has dropped to 15-year lows and drilling was reduced to levels last recorded in the 1970s as firms tried to preserve cash during the pandemic. Trade body OGUK said the North Sea basin had entered a period of "long-term decline."

Flutter, an international gambling group, which owns betting firms PaddyPower and PokerStars, is considering listing its U.S. arm FanDuel on the stock market. FanDuel started as a fantasy sports platform, but since a Supreme Court decision in 2018 legalized sports gambling nationwide, it has increased its remit. The move is seen as an attempt to capitalize on the growing U.S. betting sector.


WATCH: An antivirus spray that is 99.99 percent effective against COVID-19 has been developed by a British inventor. 🦠 🇬🇧



As covered by CGTN Europe, London has been rocked by the murder of Sarah Everard - and the Feminists Of.. group. has asked for misogyny to be included in "hate crime" statistics. 

Jo Atkins-Potts is chair of the London chapter of the group. She explained the widespread anger, but why head of London's police Cressida Dick should not be asked to resign. 

Look, if Cressida Dick resigned today, that would not change the violence against women that needs to end. My issue is not with Cressida Dick or with any specific police officer. My issue is with the fact that misogyny is so ingrained in our culture, it's so ingrained in the structure of our culture. This is bigger than one police chief, one police force. Radical change has to be the priority and is needed now. 


What kind of policy changes would you like to see come about to make the UK safer for women? 

Misogyny should be a hate crime. That is the policy change that I would like to see. A hate crime, it's a prejudiced, motivated crime against of someone based on their membership to a certain group or race or social group, and that to me, would be the start of seeing this change, from seeing violence ended against women.  


How widespread is the problem of violence against women?

It isn't rare. We have marched against this for years, for generations. And 97 percent of women have been sexually harassed. This is not a new thing. Enough is enough.


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