A British link to the suicide terrorist attacks in the US may have been missed because of a lack of ...
A British link to the suicide terrorist attacks in the US may have been missed because of a lack of co-ordination between law enforcement agencies, a senior security official signalled on Wednesday night, according to the FT.
David Veness, head of Scotland Yard's Specialist Operations, said police and MI5, the security service, had been unable to establish whether some of the suicide hijackers had simply been in transit or lived in Britain while preparing their attacks.
He said the uncertainty arose because computerised information about terrorist suspects was not held at British airports.
Corporate investors who last year combined to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into a European ventures fund managed by Softbank, the Japanese internet investment group, have asked for their cash back, continues the FT.
Softbank Europe Ventures is handing back between $200m and $250m to a number of corporations which committed funds last year while technology mania still raged.
A handful of US venture firms have voluntarily returned funds to institutional private equity investors. But this is thought to be one of the first occasions on which investors - in this case corporations - have requested their money back.
Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, is seeking support for a $100bn (£68bn) package to rescue the US economy after the devastation caused by the 11 September terrorist attacks, reports this morning's Times newspaper.
Greenspan told a closed meeting of the Senate Finance Committee that any package would have to amount to at least 1% of the US gross domestic product to have "the intended economic effect".
The rescue package could see many Americans getting another tax windfall, only months after receiving cheques for up to $300 under the Government's summer tax cut. The package could also include cuts in capital gains tax and corporate tax, a temporary suspension of payroll taxes, and more generous accounting policies for small firms on depreciation and expenses write-offs. This could encourage investment by smaller US companies.
Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, yesterday announced a review of private pensions legislation designed to cut costs and red tape, continues the Times.
The review will be led by Alan Pickering, former chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds. Pickering, a partner at actuarial consultants Watson Wyatt, said he would advise ministers on ways to simplify the private pension system without jeopardising the security of scheme members. "Even full-time pension professionals don't understand the system at the moment," says Pickering.
And Abbey National has emerged as one of the banks that invested in a $1 billion (£680m) bond secured against the rental income from tenants at the World Trade Centre, adds the Times.
Larry Silverstein, the property tycoon who acquired the lease to the World Trade Centre for more than $3bn earlier this year, has said that all losses will be covered by insurance policies.
However, some analysts believe the insurance claim will take a long time to be cleared through a syndicate of about 20 insurance companies, delaying payments to bondholders.
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