FT Tuesday 15th July 2014

1. Hague steps down as UK foreign secretary.

Influential conservative William Hague has announced that he will be leaving his role as UK foreign secretary with immediate effect as well as stepping down as an MP at the next general election. Hague is thought to have made the decision to leave the post voluntarily, having told David Cameron last summer that he intended to step down as an MP after over 20 years in the House of Commons. Hague will remain a heavyweight in the Conservative Party in the lead up to the general election to be held in 2015. He will stay in the Cabinet as Leader of the House of Commons, and act as David Cameron’s de facto number 2. Hague himself had an unsuccessful stint as Conservative Party Leader in the late 1990s, but ultimately lost a general election to Tony Blair’s New Labour. Hague’s departure is the main early talking point of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle, which is expected to bring in a greater number of women to offices of state.

2. US loses WTO cases brought by China, India

The USA has lost two major cases against it at the WTO. Both China and India had lodged complaints to the WTO over tariffs that the USA has imposed on the imports of steel and solar panels, which have been upheld. The US had argued that the tariffs were against “public bodies” and that the Chinese state-owned enterprises were the beneficiaries of government subsidies that distort the market against US producers. China and India said that the tariffs were protectionist measures and went against the terms agreed by the WTO.

3. The power of parent bloggers

Emma Button of the blog “Mellow Mummy”

Mum’s blogs are now increasingly powerful as social influencers and many writers are cashing in on their newfound social status for commercial means. Mum’s blogs are started for many reasons, most of them more holistic than the pursuit of financial gain. Yet the truth is that today mum’s blogs are a key marketing target of companies that are trying to access their readers, a high spending demographic. Mum’s blogs are more personal than magazines and other content, and therefore are felt to hold more influence over young mothers. Companies big and small are seeing the opportunities in this and many mum’s bloggers are now making good money out of their hobby.


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