A profile of Scientology leader David Miscavige – best man for Tom Cruise at his ill-fated wedding to Katie Holmes – focuses on the 6,000-strong Sea Org wing of his organisation. A hardcore unit distinguished by Navy-like military uniforms, Sea Org’s members are typically fielded to different regions of the world where the Church of Scientology is established to spread the leadership’s message and tackle local PR difficulties. Each Sea Org member is reportedly signed up to a contract of one billion years’ service. Who said there was no such thing as a job for life?
Business secretary Vince Cable has piled pressure on Barclays to ensure that its fallen former boss Bob Diamond will not receive a rumoured £18m “golden goodbye”. In Cable’s view, such an award would “heap shame” upon the bank, driving the wedge between its customers and shareholders ever deeper. “I would be very, very surprised if the chairman and the Board were to allow another outrage to occur,” Cable said. “I sincerely hope that [they] take a fairly strict view about all of this.”
JJB Sports chairman Mike McTighe is to step down in the wake of plummeting profits at the firm. Citing a “deterioration in trading performance against management expectation”, the sportswear chain added that sales of replica England football kits had stalled in the summer thanks to the national squad’s poor showing in Euro 2012. In addition, it said, a dreadful British climate had diminished public enthusiasm for getting outside to play sports, leading to slow sales elsewhere. McTighe will be replaced by Robert Corliss, currently head of menswear firm Robert Talbot.
In a break from the torrent of negative military publicity that the UK government has received over plans to cut the Army by one fifth, David Cameron has hailed engineering firm Thales Training and Simulation’s win of a £50m defence contract to design and build a simulator for personnel-transport plane the Airbus A400M. News of the deal has emerged at the start of the annual Farnborough Air Show. Once complete, the simulator will provide comprehensive training to RAF officers who will be required to pilot the planes – 22 of which are scheduled for delivery in 2014.
Oxfam head of relationship marketing Andrew Barton has paid tribute to William Hill customer Nick Newlife, who placed a bet in 2003 that Roger Federer would win the Wimbledon title at least seven times before 2020. Following Newlife’s death in 2009 aged just 59, his entire estate – including the pending wager – was bequeathed to the global charity. Immediately after Federer’s success at Wimbledon yesterday against British Grand Slam hopeful Andy Murray, the size of Newlife’s donation rocketed by £100,000. “All of Oxfam have been cheering Federer’s progress for the past couple of weeks,” Barton said. “The real hero, though, must be Mr Newlife for his generous gift and his tremendous sporting acumen.”
Media mogul Simon Cowell has tweeted a photo of himself onboard his private jet with honoured guest Pudsey the dog – winner of the latest series of Britain’s Got Talent. The pair are embarking on a lengthy promotional tour of the US, during which the furry dance demon (Pudsey, that is) is scheduled to appear on America’s Got Talent, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Good Morning America. It is also reported that Pudsey has been signed up as a judge on Cowell’s next brainchild, Top Dog Model – a pampered pooch parade set for broadcast on ITV2.