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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Twitter, Elon Musk, Bulb, Brexit exports, China lockdowns

A green sustainable earth

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter offers shareholders the “best path forward”, its chairman declared last night after bowing to the billionaire’s $44 billion bid. The social media group dropped its resistance and approved the Tesla chief executive’s initial offer of $54.20 per share. – The Times
The UK government has defended a decision to pay millions of pounds in bonuses to staff at the collapsed energy supplier Bulb, despite the fact that it has been effectively nationalised as part of a bailout that could cost taxpayers £2.2bn. Quarterly “retention bonuses” were deemed necessary to prevent an exodus of staff that could have scuppered efforts to keep the business afloat while a buyer is found, multiple sources familiar with the situation said. – Guardian

There is no evidence of a “sustained decline” in UK exports to the EU since the Brexit deal kicked in, a report has found. Experts said sales into Europe remained strong, despite a 25pc relative decline in imports from the bloc compared with the rest of the world. – Telegraph

Six hundred employees of Interactive Investor will be awarded “celebratory payments” of up to a year’s pay as the investment platform completes a deal to sell itself to abrdn, the FTSE 100 asset management company. Richard Wilson, the chief executive, said that all staff on the payroll before December 2021 would get 20 percent of pay for each year of service, with the 200 long-servers hired before December 2016 receiving an entire year’s salary. – The Times

Markets tumbled across the world on Monday as fears of a new Chinese lockdown sparked panic buying in Beijing. Around £40bn was wiped off the FTSE 100 which dropped 1.9pc, amid concerns over a wave of draconian restrictions to prevent the collapse of China’s zero Covid policy. – Telegraph

Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV fears being hit with an advertising boycott as the opinionated news network prepares to challenge the BBC. The insurgent news channel launching on Monday night at 7pm is wary of facing a similar backlash that struck rival broadcaster GB News when some of the world’s biggest brands paused their campaigns following pressure from Stop Funding Hate, the Left-wing social media campaign group. – Telegraph

It’s a position that most businesses would love to find themselves in: booming demand for their products. But soaring requests for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) among British women going through menopause have seen some manufacturers fail to keep up, leading to months of supply shortages and stories of women struggling to sleep or work effectively after being unable to obtain their prescriptions. – Guardian

About 15,000 Russian troops have been killed since President Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine nearly nine weeks ago, according to British intelligence. Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, told MPs that more than 2,000 Russian armoured vehicles had either been destroyed or captured, as he pledged to send more weapons to Ukraine. – The Times

Sue Gray expects to complete her report into Covid law-breaking parties across Westminster at the end of May at the earliest, the Guardian has been told. Sources said that the senior civil servant, who for months has been forced to sit on her findings about illegal gatherings while Scotland Yard carries out its own inquiry, believes the police investigation could drag on for several more weeks. – Guardian

More than a quarter of British Netflix subscribers allow their friends and family to use their accounts, with at least 17m homes estimated to be password sharing across the embattled streaming platform’s biggest markets in Europe. Netflix announced plans to crack down on the practice as one of a number of strategic moves designed to stem investor panic after it had more than $60bn (£47bn) wiped off its market value last week when it reported its first loss of subscribers in a decade. – Guardian

Summer holidays are at risk for millions because of huge delays in processing passports, ministers are warning as they urge people to get applications in “as soon as possible”. The government said there had been an unprecedented surge in demand after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions because five million people had delayed renewing their passports during the pandemic. – The Times

Lockdown and social distancing have been linked to a “worrying” surge of hepatitis cases in young children. Officials said a lack of exposure to common infections during children’s “formative” years, owing to pandemic measures, may be fuelling a global outbreak in cases of the deadly liver disease. – Telegraph

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