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THE NEWS WRAP: Australian business leaders express optimism over the global economy

Monday, 31 January 2011 | By Oliver Milman
Australian business leaders have expressed their optimism over the global economy following the conclusion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly said that there was a "resurgence of optimism" among business leaders, although there were warnings that the global financial system could be further hit by debt in European countries.


Companies take on Government over pay


The Federal Government has been urged to back away from its crackdown on executive pay by a delegation of some of Australia’s largest companies.


The group, which includes representatives from Woolworths and Qantas, wants the Government to scrap the “two strikes" rule, which would enable shareholders to topple a board after two protests about executive pay.


Murdoch “deeply depressed” over hacking


The UK phone hacking scandal has left media baron Rupert Murdoch “deeply depressed” and could hit other parts of his media empire, according to a former News International editor.


Andrew Neil, former editor of Murdoch paper The Sunday Times, says that bad press over the scandal could ruin News’ attempts to take full control of pay-TV network BSkyB.


UK police have re-opened the investigation into the alleged phone hacking of leading politicians and celebrities by the New of the World, which has led to the sacking of the newspaper’s assistant editor.


Toys R Us apologises to staff


Toys R Us has issued a formal apology to its staff after it underpaid its workers by nearly $1 million between 2007 and 2009.


The Fair Work Ombudsman said it will drop its legal campaign against the retail giant after it agreed to make a back payment to cover the discrepancy and reform its workplace practices. Toys R Us claims that the underpayment was inadvertent.