Saturday, 25 October 2014
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olhaoOlhão council has given up trying to collect money owed in rent from its stock of social housing and has simply written it off, to the cheery delight of skint residents

The council agreed in its October assembly meeting to write off rent arrears and in the future to reduce its 15% interest charge on overdue rent, and replace it with a gentler but by no means cheap 5.5% on monies outstanding.

cliffrichardThe police force which conducted the dramatic and televised search of Sir Cliff Richard’s home have been criticised by a committee of MPs.

They called the search “utterly inept” and said that South Yorkshire Police should apologise to Sir Cliff for the “enormous and irreparable damage” to his reputation.

4775Plans are in place for new credit cards in Britain to be issued with fingerprint scanners instead of using PINs.

The card will be activated by the holder putting their finger over a sensor on the card. It would no longer be needed to put the card into a terminal and then tap in the four-digit code.

amazonAmazon reported a loss of nearly half a billion pounds just in the third quarter of the year and predicts that the final quarter of this year will also see a bigger-than-expected loss.

The internet retailing giant reported a third-quarter loss of $437m (£273m) – a considerable increase over the $41m loss it had in the same period last year.

ptThe British private equity fund Apax Partners, which manages a portfolio of more than €20 billion, wants to buy the train crash that is Portugal Telecom and has set Portuguese lawyers the task of poring over the figures and contracts to see if there are any nasty surprises in store for a new owner.

Apax Partners has appointed lawyers to start digging not long after the French company Altice declared an interest in buying PT.

lynxThe Iberian lynx has just been allocated a 2,000 hectare protected space in which to live, hunt and hopefully to breed. The added bonus fir this rare species is a ready supply of plump, unsuspecting rabbits courtesy of the ICNF.

A meeting in Mértola, chaired by the Secretary of State for Planning and Nature Conservation, saw the first protocols agreed between the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forestry (ICNF) and the owners of land where the lynx will be able to roam freely without being shot at.

bombeirosTwo Left Bloc MPs have emphasised the need for central government to fund the fire fighting service from the State Budget, rather than leave it to councils which may use monies raised by Civil Protection supplements to fund other services.

In today’s statement, the bloquistas Cecília Honório and Helena Pinto argue that additional demands for money to fund civil protection services in some municipalities, such as in Portimão, are simply an "attempt to raise revenue for those municipalities on the brink of bankruptcy" and not "to fund any sort of service."

citiusThe Union of Judicial Officers estimates that there are 500,000 cases that are not yet appearing on the new Citius computer package that was introduced in an effort to speed up Portugal’s court systems.

A survey of 130 bailiffs indicated several flaws in the new system introduced first on September 1st, and then again in early October.