Thursday newspaper round-up: Supermarkets, Newport Wafer Fab, Vectura
Supermarkets are under “increasing pressure” to keep shelves fully stocked, retail industry leaders have warned as the growing havoc wreaked by the “pingdemic” continues to force thousands of workers to self-isolate. With shops in some areas suffering shortages, and firms in sectors from petrol stations to the postal service affected by absences, the government is being urged to include supermarket staff, lorry drivers and other frontline workers on a list of those exempted from self-isolation rules. - Guardian
Ministers have sought to help people trapped in flats they cannot sell or remortgage by changing advice on fire safety paperwork for lower-rise blocks, although Labour and leaseholder groups have warned that the plan is too vague. In a statement released at the same time as a Commons debate on the building safety bill, which seeks to tackle the safety and regulatory repercussions of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London, the housing and communities department announced the change. - Guardian
More than £20m of taxpayer-backed technology projects are at risk after the Government pulled funding from the Welsh microchip plant now under Chinese ownership. Newport Wafer Fab, Britain’s biggest microchip facility, was involved in four projects that had applied for public support, according to sources close to the company. - Telegraph
The British structural engineer that helped build London’s Shard skyscraper, Wembley Stadium’s arch and the Sydney Harbour Bridge is reportedly on the brink of collapse. Cleveland Bridge UK, which employs about 200 people in Darlington, has said that all jobs are at risk. A spokeswoman for the company said an advanced notification of possible redundancies had been issued. “The company is actively taking advice and exploring a range of options,” she said. - The Times
Philip Morris could use the acquisition of Vectura, the British respiratory drugs company, to make tobacco products more addictive, the heads of two US health organisations have claimed. In an escalation of the row over the planned £927 million cash takeover of Vectura, the chief executives of the American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society said in a joint statement that they were “deeply concerned” about the tobacco company’s potential misuse of Vectura’s inhalation services technology. - The Times
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