WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama offered the help of the United States on Thursday in negotiating a cease-fire to end escalating violence between Israel and Hamas, as world leaders warned of an urgent need to avoid another Israeli-Palestinian war that could engulf the fragile region.
By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest privatisation in years was blighted by a fear of failure and poor advice from state-appointed banks, a committee of lawmakers said on Friday following an inquiry into the 2 billion pound ($3.4 billion) sale of Royal Mail . Britain sold a 60 percent stake in the postal service at 330 pence per share last October after a politically charged debate which pitted the coalition government against Royal Mail's heavily unionised workforce and the opposition Labour party. The stock quickly rose by as much as 87 percent, prompting criticism that the price had been set too low and the government had botched the deal. "We believe that fear of failure and poor quality advice led to a significant underestimate of the demand for Royal Mail shares," said Adrian Bailey, the Labour chairman of the cross-party parliamentary committee which scrutinised the deal.