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Firms struggle to find finance

SEVEN out of 10 small businesses struggling to keep trading have claimed bailed-out banks are making it more difficult to access finance.

A survey also found that 54pc of credit applications by firms in the past three months have been refused by financial institutions rescued by the taxpayer.

Another 44pc of companies were hit with increased charges, while 33pc suffered a rise in interest rates.

ISME, which represents small and medium enterprises, called on the Government to intervene at board and management level in rescued banks to ensure they are servicing the economy and lending to viable businesses.

Radiohead roadie killed

Tributes have been paid to a drum technician who was killed when a stage collapsed ahead of a Radiohead concert.

Scott Johnson (33) from Doncaster in Yorkshire, died when the top portion of the stage fell in on him as he was setting up for the show in Toronto.

A message on the radiohead.com website said: "We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague.

"He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew."

Topless artist on Thailand TV

An episode of Thailand's Got Talent has stirred a morality debate after a contestant painted a canvas using her bare breasts, drawing a rebuke from the culture minister who called it shocking.

Thailand's Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome summoned the show's producers, saying that nudity on public television is not considered appropriate in Thai society.