NEWS DIGEST 20.02.2022: Rising food/energy prices, Meta’s Nick Clegg mole controversy

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Higher food prices are also driving the rise, with food inflation up 4.3% in the 12 months to January. A number of food staples have seen a steep price rise over the past year. “And in some ways, the worst is still to come because although food price inflation in Tesco over the last quarter was only 1%, we are impacted by rising energy prices, our suppliers are impacted by rising energy prices.” The ONS found a small number of food items decreased in price in the 12 months to January. Food prices have also risen as wages increase, including for HGV drivers due to recent shortages and with thousands of drivers leaving the UK to return to their home countries in the EU. But the biggest driver of inflation is eye-watering energy tariff rises after wholesale gas prices shot up by about 500% in 2021, as well as record costs at the petrol pumps from hikes in oil prices globally – Revealed: The 10 food items from your weekly shop increasing fastest in price (Yahoo! News/Aol. ~ News – UK)

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New Delhi: India’s consumer price indexed inflation is expected to moderate in February 2022 from the levels in January, said Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Notably, high commodities cost especially of transport fuel prices triggered a wider inflationary trend in January 2022. As a result, India’s main inflation gauge — Consumer Price Index (CPI) — which denotes retail inflation surged on a sequential as well as year-on-year basis. The index rose to 6.01 per cent last month from 5.66 per cent in December 2021 and 4.06 per cent recorded for January 2021. Accordingly, the retail inflation rate crossed the target range of the Reserve Bank of India – India’s CPI inflation likely peaked out; expected to moderate in February (Gulf News ~ Business)

Nick Clegg is at the centre of a Whitehall leak inquiry after Ministers raised concerns he was receiving secret information about Government plans to regulate Facebook. Officials fear Sir Nick – whose salary is believed to have risen to £15 million a year following his promotion last week – has retained a Government contact or contacts from his time as Deputy Prime Minister which has allowed the flow of classified information. The source said that concerns were first expressed after Sir Nick cited information from such a confidential letter in his Zoom call of June 2020. But the leak probe was only triggered last week following a story in the Financial Times about the Online Safety Bill, which aims to clamp down on harmful content on digital platforms. ‘As for the alleged content of a Zoom call involving Nick Clegg in June 2020, we have no idea what this is specifically referring to and would need more substantiated detail to respond in full.’Ministers hunt for Nick Clegg Facebook spies: Leak inquiry launched to find mole suspected of feeding secrets to former Deputy PM who’s now tech giant’s global supremo based at £7m Silicon Valley home (MailOnline News)

UN human rights experts said the Facebook platform had played a role in facilitating the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar. On Facebook, people access the news, social movements grow, human rights abuses are documented and politicians engage with constituents. Meta’s business model is built on pervasive surveillance, which is fundamentally incompatible with human rights. There are several things he should do to protect the human rights of its users. To begin with, he should listen to human rights activists. For years, they have recommended that Facebook conduct human rights due diligence before expanding into new countries, introducing new products or making changes to its services. Meta hasn’t put its users’ rights at the centre of its business model – If Nick Clegg wants to fix Meta, he needs to tackle its problem with human rights (The Guardian UK edition ~ Opinion – Human rights)

MILLIONS of households could be forced into having water meters installed in their home or risk a £200 hike to their bills. Rules state that water companies can make families install meters in areas where there is a water shortage. A spokesperson for the Consumer Council for Water told The Telegraph that companies should take action to fix leaks in supplies before making Brits put meters in. It comes as households will have to fork out up to £36 a year more for their water bill. You’ll need to have a water meter already installed and prove you use a lot of water – WATER JOKE Millions of households could have to install water meters – or face £200 hike to bills (The Sun ~ Money)

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