Granny dam-builder

Granny dam-builder

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAmla Ruia is trying to help people suffering water shortages in IndiaIt is easy to underestimate Amla Ruia. But at 71, this mild-mannered Mumbai matriarch is one of the most prolific dam builders in the world, and at the forefront of India’s fight against drought. Each year more than 300 million people in India have to battle severe water shortages. In recent years when the monsoon rains have been disappointing the government has been forced to deliver water to farms and villages…

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Branson's knee-in-the-groin showdown with BA's Walsh on hold

Branson's knee-in-the-groin showdown with BA's Walsh on hold

The most anticipated knee in the groin in modern business history appears to have been dodged after Sir Richard Branson and Willie Walsh both claimed to have won a bet placed five years ago over Virgin Atlantic’s future. Disappointingly for aviation industry observers, a rendezvous to settle a spat that developed across two continents in 2012 appears to be off. At the time, Walsh – the chief executive of British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group – made comments suggesting that the Virgin Atlantic brand could disappear after US company…

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Bitcoin futures trading begins on CBOE exchange in Chicago

Bitcoin futures trading begins on CBOE exchange in Chicago

Image copyrightGetty Images Bitcoin has begun trading on a major exchange for the first time. It launched on the CBOE Futures Exchange in Chicago at 23:00 GMT Sunday, allowing investors to bet on whether Bitcoin prices will rise or fall. In the lead-up to its futures debut, the value of the digital currency has surged. Bitcoin’s introduction to the CBOE has been seen by some as a step towards legitimising the currency. The move is expected to be followed next week by a rival listing on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange….

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Indies feel pushed out of vinyl boom as 'dad rock' sells in record numbers

Indies feel pushed out of vinyl boom as 'dad rock' sells in record numbers

A surge in demand for records by “dad rock” bands and blockbuster acts such as Ed Sheeran is delaying new releases by independent labels, as vinyl sales hit a 25-year high. Indie labels say it is now taking several months, rather than weeks, to bring out a new record as the small number of surviving vinyl factories struggle to cope with orders. “We’ve been making records continuously for 20 years and the lead time has gone up from three weeks to three months,” says Gerald Short, founder of Jazzman Records….

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Two-year degrees to lower tuition fees

Two-year degrees to lower tuition fees

Image copyrightGetty Images Image caption More students will be encouraged to take degrees in two yearsStudents in England are going to be offered degrees in two years with a £5,500 saving in tuition fees, says the universities minister Jo Johnson. Undergraduate courses will be condensed into “accelerated” degrees, with fees 20% less than a three-year course. Mr Johnson said he wants to “break the mould” of a system in which three-year degrees have “crowded out” any more flexible ways of studying. The Office for Fair Access says the plan could…

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