Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

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Japan probe finds more universities biased against women

Japan probe finds more universities biased against women

A Japanese government probe has found several cases of universities discriminating against female applicants in an investigation prompted by a scandal at a Tokyo medical school

The investigation was launched by the education ministry—into 81 public and private medical schools—after the Tokyo Medical University in August had admitted that it had systematically altered the test scores of women to keep out female students.

After initially investigating, the ministry carried out field visits to 30 institutions to learn more about how they conducted entry exams.

“Inappropriate practices were discovered at several universities,” stated the ministry in the interim report, without specifying a number or naming the schools outright.

The report found evidence of schools using various methods to keep out female applicants and candidates taking the entrance test for the second or third time. Some female applicants were rejected despite achieving scores that should have been enough for them to get admitted.

 In other cases, preference was given to children of alumni over those with higher test scores.

The ministry stated there were no plans at present to punish universities involved, or even to make public those involved.

“We have chosen not to name the establishments but we are asking them to provide explanations for their practices,” Education Minister Masahiko Shibayama said at a press conference.

The report urged universities to end discrimination “so candidates can take their exams without worry.”

The final results of the investigation are to be published in December –with added visits being planned by the ministry.

A ministry official said the current probe only covers medical schools, but “the investigation would be expanded if inappropriate practices were uncovered at other establishments.”

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