December 3rd, 2015
Episode 573 of 927 episodes
The European Central Bank has moved to bolster the eurozone economic recovery by cutting a key interest rate and extending its stimulus programme. Most analysts had been expecting the ECB to go further than it did, however, the news suggests that economic policies in Europe and the United States are heading in opposite directions. The US central bank is expected to increase interest rates later this month. We talk to the US economist Irwin Stelzer about what this means. The European Commission has begun an investigation into tax deals struck between McDonald's and the state of Luxembourg. The Commission suspects those deals allowed McDonald's to escape paying taxes in both Luxembourg and the US on royalties from Europe and Russia. We examine the background with the BBC's Theo Leggett. Also on the programme, Africa's biggest mobile phone company, MTN, has succeeded in its bid to reduce a huge fine imposed by Nigerian authorities. MTN was punished for failing to cut off unregistered users. Now though the penalty has been cut by more than a third to just under $3.5bn. Plus, the hoverboard is one of the "must have" presents for young people this Christmas. It is essentially a battery-powered platform with two wheels at each end, which you control by changing your position on the board. However trading standards officers have seized thousands of unsafe hoverboards at ports and airports around the UK amid fears they could burst into flames. We find out more from the technology journalist Rupert Goodwins. Picture: Eurozone flags at ECB HQ in Frankfurt; Picture credit: Getty Images.