Coffee giant to give a bit back

The global coffee giant Starbucks are giving a bit back to the community in terms of job creation efforts by partnering with the non-profit Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of 180 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that orchestrate loans to businesses in low-income communities.

The Coffee shop network gave OCN $5 million at the start of the collaboration, which, when paired with the additional $1 million raised, it claims will create up to $42 million in loans to small businesses.

Starbucks has often been criticized in the past but this new scheme is hoped to raise their profile in an ethical way that will benefit many American communities hard hit by recession.

New breakthrough for Malaria treatment

There is new hope that a vaccine could be prepared in the battle against Malaria which still affects millions of people around the developing world.

Scientists now believe that they understand how the malaria parasite entersred blood cells.

The scientists, who work for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK, identified a red blood cell receptor that acts like a gateway into the cell. When they blocked the malaria protein from interacting with this receptor, the disease could not get in.

If you are visiting a country where malaria is endemic then it is very important you take out travel insurance for over 80s to ensure you are covered for any medical issues that may arise.

“By identifying a single receptor that appears to be essential for parasites to invade human red blood cells, we have also identified an obvious and very exciting focus for vaccine development,” study co-author Dr. Julian Rayner said in statement.

UK planning reforms will cut house prices and help young people

The ‘priced out’ generation will be the main benefit of planning reforms planned to come into effect in the UK. The law will be making it easier for developers to construct new homes which would increase supply and potentially drive down historically high prices.

The main group of people who are against this, driven on by a ‘vested interest’ Daily Telegraph campaign, are the older generation who have benefited from buying at a fraction of todays’ prices and the most rampant house price inflation in history. They are more concerned with conserving the value of their property and less so about the greenbelt for which they use as the main reason to prevent these reforms.

The UK chancellor said new planning laws would help younger people take a step on to the property ladder.

Young and travelling around the world? The ensure you have the best backpacker insurance in case of any medical issues.

 

Research into cancer moving forward in big leaps

From the Guardian, UK.

The head of the UK’s leading cancer charity has said understanding of the disease is advancing “exponentially”, as potentially groundbreaking trials to genetically test tumours of 9,000 newly diagnosed patients begin.

Describing a “golden era” of research, Harpal Kumar, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said there has been “an explosion in our understanding of what cancer is, why it happens, why it doesn’t happen in some people and why it moves around the body”.

The trials backed by the Department of Health and Cancer Research UK are being launched next month in seven hospitals across Britain. Scientists believe the results could revolutionise cancer treatments.

They will aim to find out which existing drugs the cancers are susceptible to. They will also potentially pave the way for discoveries of new medicines that are personalised or targeted to the genetic makeup of an individual’s cancer and therefore far more effective

Big supermarkets have their wrists slapped

UK supermarkets have been exposed as price fixing over a a range of dairy goods.

Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco were among nine supermarkets and dairy processors today fined almost £50 million for fixing cheese and milk prices over seven years ago.

According to an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) four supermarkets, Asda, Safeway, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, indirectly co-ordinated increases in cheese and milk prices through five dairy processors, Arla, Dairy Crest, McLelland, The Cheese Company and Wiseman.

Tesco was the only retailer to not receive a reduction in its fine for agreeing to early resolution and was fined £10.43 million for colluding with companies to fix cheese prices in 2002 and 2003. Sainsbury’s was dealt the largest fine of £11.04 million for fixing both cheese and milk prices.

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In total eight companies were fined £49.51million, while Arla benefited from compete immunity for being the first company to alert the OFT to the anti-competitive behaviour.