United Kingdom

March 12, 2009

YouTube to block music videos in United Kingdom

Online video site YouTube will block most music videos in the United Kingdom because talks with a royalty group there failed and an earlier license between YouTube and the group expired. San Bruno-based YouTube, which is owned by giant Google Inc. said the Performing Rights Society for Music asked for too much money in licensing fees, more than YouTube was willing to pay.

Filed under Media and Entertainment, United Kingdom by

February 11, 2008

BTAnnounces Solar Energy System for California Headquarters

Press release: HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, will join BT today to announce the ground-breaking of a renewable energy initiative at BT’s office complex in Southern California. Next month, BT will begin construction of a solar photovoltaic system for its North American corporate headquarters site in the City of El Segundo (Los Angeles County). Once the system is fully operational by late summer, BT expects to reduce carbon emissions by 642,000 pounds (more than 290 metric tons) annually as well as decrease its overall power costs for the site in future years. HRH Prince Andrew, the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, commented, “British companies continue to demonstrate their interest and investment in the United States and in solutions to help reduce the impact of climate change.” He continued, “I commend BT for its leadership in producing significant renewable energy solutions in the UK. With this solar project, BT extends its environmental consciousness to its operations in the U.S.”

Filed under Energy Industry, United Kingdom by

August 9, 2007

Virgin America Takes Off

Virgin America, headquartered in Burlingame California, has started operations today with daily flights to New York and Los Angeles. As reported in Aviation and Aerospace:

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group that owns 25 per cent of Virgin America and licenses the Virgin brand, will jet into town. Virgin America Chief Executive Officer Fred Reid, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and possibly Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger will be in attendance. Newsom and Schwarzenegger lobbied Branson to have Virgin America set up its headquarters in the Bay Area. The state also put up nearly $13 million in job-training funds as inducements for the carrier to open its corporate headquarters in Frisco.

Virgin America first set up office operations in 2004, promising to create excitement, offer jobs and create an economic ripple in the Bay Area. It took three years, but funding has fallen into place, and the Transportation Department has overcome its fright of foreign ownership and given a green signal to Virgin America’s flight plans. The airline has hired about 500 of the estimated 3,000 to 5,000 employees it expects to eventually have on its rolls. About 100 are pilots and another 100 are flight attendants. Most staffers will be based in the Bay Area.

Not all of Virgin America’s employees are in the Bay Area. The carrier uses reservations agents who work from their homes around the US. Virgin America also outsources many of its IT needs to CSS Corp, a San Jose company that further farms out the work to its outfit in Chennai, India. Justifying these practices, CSS chief marketing officer Ajmal Noorani says: “Virgin America is offering a very high-quality service at a cut-throat price, and it needs to keep its IT lean and mean.

A 10-year-old company, CSS employs just 45 people in San Jose, and 5,000 worldwide in its offices in New York, Washington, Singapore and India. It is also setting up operations in Poland and Ireland. In 2004, Virgin America received nearly $13 million in job development funding from the Employment Training Panel, associated with the California Employment Development Department, to create Bay Area jobs. Officials expect the company will use the money to retrain some of the thousands of Bay Area aviation industry workers laid off in the post-9 / 11 US airline meltdown.

Filed under Aerospace and Aviation, United Kingdom by

March 21, 2007

Virgin America cleared to fly

“Virgin America Inc. won approval to begin flying, pending changes to its ownership plan. The Burlingame-based startup airline, owned in part by British billionaire Richard Branson, must replace chief executive officer Fred Reid and make other changes to its corporate structure as a condition of final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Virgin America first sought a license to fly in December 2005, when it raised more than $177 million in startup capital. But federal regulators expressed concerns over whether the airline met U.S. ownership standards, citing Branson’s involvement… Virgin America said it plans to offer low-cost domestic air service like Southwest Airlines Co. and JetBlue Airways Corp. Its first route will be between San Francisco and New York City with other routes to follow”

Filed under Aerospace and Aviation, United Kingdom by

March 16, 2007

Governor Schwazenegger praises Prime Minister Blair

Governor Schwarzenegger has issued this statement praising Prime Minister Tony Blair for the introduction of legislation in Great Britain to reduce greenhouse gases. California and the United Kingdom signed an agreement- some might even call it a treaty- to cooperate in the fight against global warming. The Governor credited Blair with being the inspiration behind California’s Global Warming Solutions act:

I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Tony Blair for taking this historic step to do in Great Britain at the national level what California is doing at the state level. The Prime Minister has been an inspiration to California as we have taken our own historic steps to fight greenhouse gases with the Global Warming Solutions Act. His leadership has shown us that we can protect the environment without harming the economy. Great Britain has already successfully reduced its greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels while at the same time growing their economy by 38 percent.

California’s economy stands to greatly benefit from the wave of new businesses and jobs created by the emerging technologies and different approaches to fighting climate change. By harnessing market forces, we will reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. And by 2050, we will reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels.

California is proudly partnering with Great Britain to fight climate change and I look forward to advancing our efforts and linking our regional trading schemes so we can create a global carbon market.

Last July, Prime Minister Blair and I took the unprecedented step of signing an agreement between California and the United Kingdom to create an international partnership to fight against global warming. Our agreement includes efforts to evaluate and implement market-based mechanisms to spur innovation, deepen our understanding of the economics of climate change, collaborate on technology research and enhance linkages between our scientific communities.

Filed under Foreign Relations, Governor Schwarzenegger, United Kingdom by

March 13, 2007

True Religion Apparel to establish London office

“Los Angeles-based True Religion Apparel Inc. is establishing its first foreign office in London to further its European growth, according to a report in Los Angeles Business. Kelly Furano, director of international sales, will be relocating from Los Angeles to London to work with distributors and retailers to build the True Religion brand in Europe, the company said… “As the True Religion brand continues to evolve into a global lifestyle collection, the time is right to place a greater focus on growing internationally, and this can only happen by placing our own team on the ground in Europe to support the wholesale growth and possible rollout of retail stores,” said Michael Buckley, True Religion president.”

Filed under Fashion and Apparel, United Kingdom by

March 2, 2007

L.A. hockey teams to open season in London

“The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings will open the 2007-08 National Hockey League regular season with contests at The O2 in London, the first time the NHL has played a regular season game in Europe, the teams said Thursday. The O2, formerly known as the Millennium Dome, is owned by Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group, which also owns the Kings.>

Filed under Sports and Recreation, United Kingdom by

March 1, 2007

CSC gets $275 million contract with UK visa agency

“Computer Sciences Corp. has signed a business process outsourcing contract with UKvisas worth about $275 million, the company said Wednesday. UKvisas is a joint UK Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office directorate that operates as the overseas arm of the United Kingdom’s integrated border management. CSC said the agreement, which has a five-year base period and two one-year options, will be worth about $275 million if all options are exercised…El Segundo-based CSC is a global information technology services company.”

Filed under Information Technology, United Kingdom by

February 28, 2007

World’s largest lawfirm is leaving California

The U.K. based law firm Clifford Chance is pulling out of California. According to San Francisco Business Times, the company, “wasn’t able to recruit lawyers from other firms. Legal recruiters said Clifford Chance’s difficulty may have stemmed from its pay structure. Clifford Chance, like many other British-based firms, uses a lockstep compensation system tied to seniority. That contrasts with the U.S. custom of paying partners based, at least in part, on the amount of business they generate for the firm. Over the years a number of Clifford Chance lawyers defected to other firms. Clifford Chance closed all its California locations except for Silicon Valley in 2004″. The company will still support California clients but its U.S. operations will be based in New York and Washington D.C.

Filed under Legal and Criminal Issues, United Kingdom by

February 13, 2007

Tesco distribution center in Riverside delayed but progressing

“Permit and planning problems have held up construction of a sprawling Riverside distribution center for supermarket giant Tesco PLC and two suppliers. But the British retailer says the delays won’t significantly affect its billion-dollar U.S. plans. One of the world’s largest grocery companies, Tesco doesn’t operate any U.S. stores right now. But it intends to open 100 to 150 in 2007 and 2008, and compete with Vons, Ralphs, Albertsons, Stater Bros., Traders Joe’s and others.”

Filed under Agriculture and Food, Freight and Logistics, United Kingdom by

February 12, 2007

BT to acquire International Network Services

“BT has agreed to terms to acquire International Network Services Inc (INS), a global provider of IT consulting and software solutions. This professional services acquisition will increase BT’s presence in North America and will significantly enhance BT’s consulting capabilities… Based in Santa Clara, California, with offices in Europe, Asia and throughout North America, the company builds, implements and secures business technology infrastructures for its customers.”

Filed under Information Technology, Mergers and Acquisitions, Telecommunications, United Kingdom by

February 2, 2007

UC Berkeley wins $500 million biofuels center

“Officials of oil giant BP awarded a $500 million biofuels research program to a consortium led by researchers at the QB3 facility at the University of California, Berkeley. The consortium includes the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Lab in Berkeley and the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek as well as the University of Illinois, which will provide agricultural expertise. In June, BP said it will spend $500 million over the next 10 years to establish the BP Energy Biosciences Institute, which it described as the ‘first facility of its kind in the world.’ The facility will be a dedicated biosciences energy research laboratory attached to a major academic center in the United States or the United Kingdom.”

Filed under Biotechnology, Energy Industry, United Kingdom by

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