Paperchase 'sorry' over Daily Mail deal after backlash

Paperchase Christmas wrapping paperImage copyright Paperchase

Paperchase has promised not to run any more promotions in the Daily Mail following a backlash from an online activist group which has criticised its news stories.

The stationery firm offered free wrapping paper in Saturday's newspaper.

But on Monday, it said:"We're truly sorry and we won't ever do it again."

A Daily Mail spokesman said:"It is deeply worrying that Paperchase should have allowed itself to be bullied into apologising."

Following the promotion, Stop Funding Hate tweeted:"After a torrid few weeks of divisive stories about trans people, is a Daily Mail promotion really what customers want to see @FromPaperchase?"

Stop Funding Hate is an lobby group which targets companies to stop advertising with the Mail, the Sun and the Daily Express.

Last year, Lego ended its promotional giveaways in the Daily Mail following a campaign by the online activists.

After a number of individuals also contacted Paperchase, it initially said:"Thank you for taking time to share your opinion.We genuinely like to know what customers think about us - even though on this occasion some of your feedback is uncomfortable to hear.We promise to review in detail all customer feedback on this promotion."

It then tweeted:

End of Twitter post by @FromPaperchase

In response, a spokesman for the Daily Mail, said it has only run one promotion with Paperchase which is not an advertiser.

It added that it "had no plans for any more, so it is disingenuous of them to say it won't be repeated".

He said:"However it is deeply worrying that Paperchase should have allowed itself to be bullied into apologising - on the back of a derisory 250 Facebook comments and 150 direct tweets - to internet trolls orchestrated by a small group of hard left Corbynist individuals seeking to suppress legitimate debate and impose their views on the media.

"Has the company considered what message they are sending to the four million people who read the Daily Mail on Saturday, many of whom will be their customers?

"It is one of the fundamental principles of free and fearless journalism that editorial decisions are not dictated by advertisers or commercial partners, and we are sure anyone who values freedom of expression will be as appalled as we are by Stop Funding Hate's attempts to threaten the Mail and other newspapers."

A spokesman for Stop Funding Hate, said:"We are on the side of freedom of speech.What happened over the weekend was that hundreds, if not thousands, of people exercised their freedom of speech and Paperchase exercised its freedom of choice."...


  1. ^ Skip Twitter post by @FromPaperchase (
  2. ^ November 20, 2017 (

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Nebraska approves Keystone XL pipeline

Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota.Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Miles of unused pipes, prepared for the Keystone XL pipeline, in North Dakota in 2014

Nebraska regulators have approved the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for the controversial and long-delayed project to progress.

The commissioners voted 3-2 in favour of the project, which will link Canada's oil sands to US refineries.

The decision comes days after a leak in the existing Keystone network spilled 210,000 gallons in South Dakota.

The pipeline is backed by US President Donald Trump but opposed by environmentalists and some landowners.

Former President Barack Obama had rejected the project[1] in 2015 on environmental grounds, but President Trump reversed the decision earlier this year.

That left the fate of the 1,179-mile (1,897-km) pipeline in the hands of Nebraska's Public Service Commission.

On Monday the commissioners voted to approve the "mainline alternative route", slightly different from the route preferred by TransCanada, the firm spearheading the project.

Keystone XL pipeline:Why is it so disputed?[2]

Drone footage captures extent of US oil leak[3]

The decision is subject to appeal.TransCanada is also reviewing demand from shipping firms....

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Uber and Volvo strike deal for 24,000 self-drive cars

Volvo Uber carImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Volvo hopes to sell tens of thousands of vehicles to Uber under the deal

Uber has struck a deal to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo.

The agreement envisages that the pick-up service will purchase the vehicles[1] over the course of three years beginning in 2019.

Uber began testing prototypes made by the carmaker last year in the US.

One expert said the announcement "makes a good headline" but had doubts that fully autonomous, driverless Uber rides would be ready to begin until some years later.

Uber and Volvo have not disclosed financial terms, but have confirmed that the deal is "non-exclusive" - meaning both are free to form similar partnerships with others.

"Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for autonomous driving ride-sharing service providers globally," said Volvo in a statement[2].

"Today's agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction."

Chinese company Geely bought Volvo from Ford in 2010.

Assuming Uber buys all 24,000 XC90 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) outlined in the agreement, the deal could be worth $1.4bn (£1.1bn), according to an estimate by the Financial Times[3].

Image copyright Fresco News/Reuters Image caption One of Uber's test units was involved in an accident earlier this year

Trade secrets

Under their pre-existing agreement, Uber already uses various customised Volvo vehicles - which include some of the carmaker's own self-drive hardware - and then adds on its own proprietary artificial intelligence technologies.

At present, tests are limited to Tempe, Arizona and Pittsburgh.

But the new agreement seeks to radically expand the scale of the operation.

"The issue is that we don't have any legislation in any city of the world that would remotely allow this sort of thing to happen at the moment," said Paul Newton, director at the consultancy IHS Automotive, about the idea of a totally driverless taxi service.

"We're expecting Japan to be one of the first to allow 'level four' automation - where you have the vehicle doing most of the work but still need a human with steering controls in the driving seat.

"But 'level five' - where it's a completely autonomous vehicle in every sense of the word - is less likely to be around in this timeframe."

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Uber has also tested its self-driving capabilities on Ford cars

He added that even if the technology were ready in the next five years, new laws and infrastructure would probably take longer to put in place.

Uber's self-drive ambitions may also be delayed by a legal dispute with Waymo - a self-drive business owned by Google-parent Alphabet.

Waymo claims Uber benefited from the theft of some of its trade secrets and is seeking about $1.9bn (£1.4bn) in damages.

The case is due to go to court in San Francisco in early December....


  1. ^ that the pick-up service will purchase the vehicles (
  2. ^ said Volvo in a statement (
  3. ^ to an estimate by the Financial Times (

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Brexit: German business grouping calls for UK to remain in EU

German industryImage copyright Getty Images

A group of influential German business figures have launched a campaign to keep the UK in the European Union.

The alliance, dubbed a New Deal for Britain, includes three ex-presidents of the Federation of German Industry.

One of the three, Heinrich Weiss, said:"With Britain, the EU is losing its most important ally in the fight for competitiveness."

They will lobby European governments to offer more concessions to the UK, in particular on immigration.

'Battle for Britain'

The Federation of German Industry (BDI) is the German equivalent of UK business lobby group the CBI.

The other leading ex-BDI figures are Michael Rogowski and Hans-Olaf Henkel, who is now an MEP.

"We want to launch a Battle for Britain with this initiative, we need a new offer from the EU, this call is addressed to Brussels and also to Berlin," said Mr Henkel.

The message may not go down too well in Berlin, where the official - and prevailing - position is that EU integrity matters more than a good deal for the UK.

But the breakaway group of influential economists and industrialists is demanding European governments take a more compromising stance.

The alliance - which fears Brexit will trigger economic turmoil in Europe - will also call on the UK government to change its mind about leaving the EU.

The BBC's Berlin correspondent, Jenny Hill, said:"In reality the group is unlikely to significantly alter Germany's position.

"But these are influential voices and their message does echo a more widespread concern in Berlin at the current state of Brexit negotiations."

It comes as the EU says it is ready to offer the UK the "most ambitious" free trade deal if it meets its conditions on Brexit.

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said:"If we manage to negotiate an orderly withdrawal and establish a level playing field...the EU will be ready to offer its most ambitious FTA [free trade agreement] approach."...

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Cities fight to win key EU agencies from London

Frankfurt EBA video Image caption Frankfurt produced a glossy video as part of its campaign to win the European Banking Authority

A decision on the future location of two key European agencies will be made on Monday through a complex voting process.

London is losing the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) because of the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

Nineteen cities are bidding for the EMA, while eight want to host the EBA.

More than 1,000 people work for the two agencies in London.

Ministers from the 27 EU countries remaining in the bloc after the UK departs in 2019 will take part in the secret ballot.

The cities bidding for the EMA are:Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Bonn, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Lille, Milan, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Valletta, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb.

Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Prague, Luxembourg City, Vienna and Warsaw are vying for the EBA.

No country is allowed to host both agencies.

The EMA is the more alluring of the two bodies, as it promises to make its new host into a hub for Europe's medical industry.

UK betting company Ladbrokes makes Milan the favourite to win the medicines agency, followed by Bratislava and Amsterdam.It has Frankfurt - which produced a glossy video[3] - as the frontrunner for the banking authority, followed by Vienna and Dublin.

However, diplomats say the outcome will be very difficult to predict."Nobody really knows what is going to happen - they will be locked there for hours," one said.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Bratislava is one of 19 cities vying for the European Medicines Agency

A complicating factor could be the reluctance of many EMA staff to move to some of the 19 cities in the running, the agency has warned.Replacing them would delay drug approvals and patient safety checks.

A first ballot, due to start at about 1500 GMT, will see ministers rank their top three choices.

Unless a majority makes the same first choice, a second vote among the best performing cities will follow, then a third-round runoff.If the voting is still tied, the Estonian meeting chairman will then draw lots.

The city that wins the EMA must then drop out of the running for the banking authority.

Slovakia has been campaigning hard to make the case for relocating the EMA to Bratislava.If it fails, diplomats say Slovakia may seek to cushion the blow by seeking support for its finance minister becoming chair of the Eurogroup, which runs policy for the eurozone....

What is the EMA?

  • The European Medicines Agency evaluates and supervises medicines for both human and animal use
  • It helps national authorities authorise the sale of drugs across the EU's single market of some 500 million people
  • It has been based at Canary Wharf in east London since 1995 and has about 900 staff

What is the EBA?

  • The European Banking Authority guarantees financial stability in Europe, including the integrity of the EU's banking sector
  • Its 170-strong workforce is tasked with harmonising banking rules across the EU
  • Created in 2011, it is best known for its banking "stress tests" designed to test how well banks can withstand a possible repeat of the 2008 financial crisis
  • Its staff carried out 700 missions in member states last year, meaning its new host must have good air links

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