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Thursday newspaper round-up: Nuclear energy, NI rise, Crispin Odey

Boris Johnson is to put nuclear energy at the heart of the UK’s new energy strategy, but ministers have refused to set targets for onshore wind and vowed to continue the exploitation of North Sea oil and gas. Amid deep divisions among senior Conservatives, the strategy will enrage environmentalists, who say the government’s plans are in defiance of its own net-zero targets and neglect alternative measures that experts say would provide much quicker relief from high energy bills. – Guardian
Britain’s employers are being forced to shoulder a £9bn tax rise after the government pushed ahead with raising national insurance on Wednesday despite stiff opposition. Company bosses said the 1.25-percentage-point rise in national insurance contributions (NICs), which is paid by workers and their employers, would add to already severe pressure from runaway inflation and soaring business costs this year linked to Covid, Brexit and Russia’s war in Ukraine. – Guardian

Returns for one of Crispin Odey’s funds have soared after his short bet on government bonds paid off. The financier’s Odey European Inc hedge fund jumped by about 15pc in March after he shorted government bonds that mature in 2050 and 2061. The short bet has lifted the fund’s return to 53pc for the year to date, Bloomberg reported. – Telegraph

The Russian government has been accused of effectively defaulting on its foreign debts for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution after being forced to use roubles to make payments to creditors. Insurance on Russia debt signalled a record 99pc chance of default after foreign banks rejected payments in dollars for two bonds following the tightening of sanctions by the US. – Telegraph

America’s senior financial regulator has increased pressure on Amazon to be more open over its global tax affairs by rejecting the technology group’s move to block a shareholder vote on greater transparency. The ecommerce powerhouse was accused of being “out of step” with investors and regulators after seeking to quash a campaign for it to share more information about where and how it pays taxes. – The Times

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