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Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

    That's it for today from Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Friday.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis.

  2. Are influencers exploiting brands for freebies?

    CVT Soft Serve owner Joe Nicchi holding his "influencers pay double" sign

    Los Angeles-based ice cream van owner Joe Nicchi is giving social media influencers the cold shoulder.

    Every week, bloggers, Instagrammers, and content curators with supposedly large social media followings make offers to promote his business on one condition: he gives them ice cream free of charge.

    Since launching his company, CVT Soft Serve, in 2014, Mr Nicchi has rebuffed their requests. He told the BBC he has managed to cultivate a "good following of local customers" on social media without their help.

    In recent months, however, he has become increasingly frustrated with influencers' proposals.

    Exasperated by what he deemed to be frivolous requests, Mr Nicchi instituted a new rule: "influencers pay double". He made a tongue-in-cheek sign for his rule which he displayed on his van "more for fun than anything".

  3. Japan auctions commercial whale meat as ban lifted

    A chef at a whale meat restaurant in Tokyo shows off a chunk off red meat

    Whale meat in Japan has been sold at auction for sky-high prices following the first commercial hunt since a ban was lifted.

    Meat cut-offs from two minkes sold for up to 15,000 yen ($140; £110).

    Japan left the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on 30 June to resume hunting and argues it can be done sustainably.

    Despite international outcry, Japan now intends to catch 227 whales for meat before the end of the year.

  4. Idris Elba 'frustrated' with writers' claims

    Idris Elba

    Idris Elba has spoken of his "frustration" at accusations of plagiarism and discrimination by two former writers on his new play, Tree.

    A row broke out on Tuesday after Tori Allen-Martin and Sarah Henley claimed they were shut out and suffered "intimidation and disrespect".

    Tree, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival on Thursday, is credited to Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah.

    The women say they were "pushed off" after four years and got no credit.

  5. Netflix to cut back on smoking scenes

    Stranger Things season 2

    Netflix says it's going to cut back on how often smoking is shown in its original shows.

    The move comes after a report said programmes on the streaming site showed "much more tobacco" than on US TV or cable.

    Netflix says smoking in programmes aimed at younger people will only be allowed for "reasons of historical or factual accuracy".

    In other shows it will only be shown if "it's essential to the creative vision of the artist or character-defining".

  6. How robo-boat tech could help uncover ocean secrets

    Video content

    Video caption: How robo-boat tech could help uncover ocean secrets

    An uncrewed robotic surface vessel that can deploy and recover autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) has been developed.

    The team behind the technology, GEBCO-NF, won this year’s Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE which looks for the best new technology to map the seafloor. The team say the $7m (£5.5m) prize money will help fund their future ocean projects.

    More than 80% of the ocean floor is still unexplored.

  7. Why blue jeans are going green

    Jeans, such as these at Saitex's factory in Vietnam, can now be made without waste water being released into the environment

    As consumers become ever more concerned about environmental and ethical issues, pioneers in the global denim industry are cleaning up its act.

    Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, which describes itself as a "craft jeans maker", has an open-door policy.

    "Anybody can walk in here, even without an appointment," says Han Ates, the founder of the London-based small business. "Through that we create transparency."

    Transparency has become a buzzword in fashion of late, with labels keen to show their best practice, both in terms of how well they treat staff and how environmentally friendly they are.

  8. Everything is going online

    Simon Jack

    BBC Business Editor

    Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in a William Hill shop
    Image caption: Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in a William Hill shop

    Bookmakers were seen by many commercial landlords as their saviours - spreading out and filling the gaps left as retailer after retailer cut stores or went bust.

    The truth is, bookies had a lot in common with the retailers they were replacing - most of their business was moving inexorably online.

    The last thing keeping physical stores open in some areas were those controversial Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

    The noise of a roulette ball whizzing around a virtual wheel is a familiar soundtrack to anyone who has been in a betting shop in the last ten years.

    You can lose money breathtakingly quickly - I got through £60 in less than five minutes the one time I tried it for myself.

    They were also considered among the most addictive and harmful forms of gambling. The decision to limit the maximum bet to £2 from £100 was considered a major victory by gambling charities.

    These shop closures are unlikely to be the end of it. I'm told it is a racing certainty that the other big players - particularly Ladbrokes Coral who have over 3,000 shops - will follow suit.

  9. Carlisle airport reopens after 25 years

    Video content

    Video caption: Carlisle airport relaunches passenger flights

    Scheduled passenger flights have returned to Carlisle airport for the first time in more than 25 years.

    Loganair are operating flights to Dublin, Belfast and Southend from what is called Carlisle Lake District Airport.

    It is the first commercial airport to open in Britain in 14 years.

  10. London closes flat

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended flat, after spending Thursday mostly not moving, following markets in Europe and Asia. It is believed traders are waiting for the US Federal Reserve to make its next move after the US national holiday ends.

    The FTSE 100 closed 5.7 points or 0.08% lower to 7,603.58. Top of the losers was Coca-Cola, which dropped 7% to $28.58 as its shares were trading ex-dividend.

    The FTSE 250 ended just 6.8 points or 0.03% ahead to 19,767.61, led by Greek gas driller Energean Oil & Gas, which jumped 12.8% to 949.5p after announcing it is to buy the oil business belonging to Italian energy firm Edison for $750m.

  11. Deserted betting shops

    Rob Plummer

    Business reporter, BBC News

    A William Hill bookmakers shop in Croydon

    The south London suburb of Croydon is prime William Hill country, with a high concentration of its betting shops within handy walking distance of each other. I visit three of them.

    The first two are small and almost deserted. Although the dreaded fixed-odds betting terminals loom large, hardly anyone is using them. The third one, in a busy shopping street with lots of footfall, is larger and livelier, with a small gathering of men glued to the horse racing on TV.

    The staff in all three greet me with a smile, but when I state my purpose, they clam up. “My lips are sealed!” says one, miming the act of zipping her mouth shut. “I can’t talk to you at all.”

    If I were a betting man, I’d wager that at least one of those three must be earmarked for closure. Which one, though? If the staff know, they certainly aren’t telling.

  12. Viagogo denies allegations

    ED Sheeren
    Image caption: Ed Sheeran has cancelled tickets purchased by touts and resold on sites

    Ticket reseller Viagogo has contacted the BBC in response to the Competition and Markets Authority's announcement that it is now moving forward with legal proceedings for contempt of court against Viagogo.

    "We were surprised at the announcement from the CMA today, which we learnt of through their press release, and we deny the allegations that we are in breach of compliance with their regulations," said a Viagogo spokesperson.

    "We have recently completed a 3rd party review which has given us approval that we are reaching compliance with the requirements.

    "It is important to note that no contempt of court has actually been filed against us at this time, and per the protocol of the order we have until the 18th July to respond to the CMA’s concerns.

    "We will continue to work closely with the CMA, as we have been for the past year, to ensure we are offering the best possible consumer experience and protections in the UK."

  13. Deadline looming for payday loan compensation applicants

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter


    Borrowers who believe they were mis-sold payday loans have been alerted to looming deadlines for any compensation claims.

    Administrators KPMG are dealing with cases of former customers of SRC Transatlantic Limited, which operated until 2017 as SpeedyCash and had outlets in various UK towns.

    Anyone who believes they have a claim must submit it to KPMG by 31 July but, owing to the collapse of the company, they may only receive a fraction of any successful claim, according to the administrators.

    "We expect customers with a valid claim to get a low pence in the pound portion of the money they are owed by 30 April, 2020. It is important to note that claims made after 31 July, 2019, are very unlikely to be considered," a spokesman said.

    Customers of WageDayAdvance and Juo Loans, who might also be making claims to the same administrator after its collapse, have a later deadline of 31 August.

  14. Oil prices fall

    Oil rigs

    It might be Independence Day in the US, but not everyone is celebrating.

    Oil prices fell around the world on Thursday, after latest data showed that US inventories fell less than expected, due to US refineries consuming less crude oil than the week before and processing 2% less oil than the same period in 2018.

    Brent Crude Oil Futures fell 0.4% to $63.54 a barrel.

    West Texas Intermediate meanwhile dropped 0.8% to $56.91 a barrel.

  15. Thames Water plans to cut 650 jobs

    Thames Water logo on a glass of water

    Six hundred and fifty jobs are to be cut by Thames Water as part of a plan to reduce costs.

    The UK's largest water company, based in Reading, has told 350 members of staff they are at risk of redundancy.

    It said a further 300 jobs would "potentially" be removed by not filling vacancies and through terminating contractor roles.

    Thames Water said employees delivering services to customers would be largely unaffected by the changes.

  16. Good afternoon

    Kristina Mladenovic of France at the Championships at Wimbledon

    Thanks Jill and Dearbail for this morning's live coverage of all things business.

    Mary-Ann Russon with you until 21:30 for the rest of the day's news and views.

    Pictured today is Kristina Mladenovic of France, playing a backhand in her Ladies' Singles second round match against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, during Day four of the Championships at Wimbledon.

    Got a point of view? You can tweet me at @concertina226 and @BBCBusiness.

  17. Watch: Man arrested for drenching Baidu boss

    Video content

    Video caption: Baidu chief Robin Li is soaked by an unnamed assailant

    Chinese police have arrested a man in connection with an incident that left the boss of tech giant Baidu drenched with water.

    Chief executive Robin Li was giving a speech when a man climbed on stage, grabbed him and upended a bottle of water over him.

    Beijing police said a man had been placed in administrative detention on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble".

    Read more here...