Here are the top business stories making the headlines in the morning newspapers.

Waitrose opening soon in Aberdeen

Waitrose is to open a food hall in Aberdeen this summer, ending years of a wait for the supermarket giant to arrive in the Granite City.

The partnership between Dobbies, on the city’s Lang Stracht and the luxury chain means around 2,000 products will be available.

The Press & Journal says the food hall is expected to open in June with work on-going at the moment to get it ready for unveiling.

The area is currently stocked with Sainsbury’s products.

However, Dobbies previously announced it was ending its contract and switching to Waitrose.

Aberdeen has long been seen as a likely target for a new Waitrose, which tend to be in relatively-affluent areas, but despite opening stores across the country it had never reached the Granite City.

Pension funds to vote against reappointing BP’s chairman

Some of the UK's biggest pension funds are to vote against reappointing BP's chairman Helge Lund over a decision to weaken its climate plans.

The BBC says it comes after the energy giant cut back its target to reduce emissions by the end of the decade.

Ahead of the firm's annual meeting today, the five pension schemes - all shareholders in BP - criticised a "failure of governance" .

BP said it valued "constructive challenge and engagement".

The original target to reduce emissions was agreed by shareholders in 2022 and included a promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35-40% by the end of this decade.

But, in February, BP announced it was now aiming for a 20-30% cut in order to produce more oil and gas and extend the life of existing fossil-fuel projects.

BP chief executive Bernard Looney said this was in to increased concerns about energy security following the invasion of Ukraine.

More Scottish businesses go under

Company bankruptcies in Scotland rose by a third in the past financial year, as debts from during the pandemic contributed to 1,132 firms going under.

Trade association R3, which represents insolvency accountants, said a further wave was almost inevitable, even though the economy has shown resilience.

The BBC reports that previously-successful firms had failed due to rising costs, including energy, wages and finance.

Not-proven verdict to be ditched

The controversial not-proven verdict is to be scrapped in Scottish courts as part of sweeping reforms to the country's justice system.

The measures will also see the number of jurors in criminal trials reduced from 15 to 12.

And a pilot will be held that would see rape and attempted rape trials be held without a jury.

Not proven is one of three verdicts that can be returned in Scotland, alongside guilty and not guilty.

The BBC says the proposal to abolish the not-proven verdict is contained in a new bill published by the Scottish Government, which would see the most radical shake-up of the country's justice system in decades if it is passed.

Scottish council workers could strike

Union bosses say Scottish council workers are prepared to strike after members rejected a new pay deal.

A 5% pay rise was offered to the workers from this month, with further increases in January 2024.

But Unison said 87% of members who voted rejected the deal - with nine out of 10 of them backing action including strikes.

Bin workers, cleaners and school staff were among those in the consultative ballot. The BBC says Unison is now preparing for a formal industrial action ballot.

Soaring cost of your cheese sandwich

The cost of a homemade cheese sandwich has jumped by over a third in one year, according to research for the BBC.

The price of two slices of white bread, a serving of butter and mature cheddar has risen to 40p, up 37% over a year.

Prices of sandwich fillings including chicken, eggs and ham at supermarkets have soared, while the cost of bread has also risen, the figures suggest.

The BBC says food prices have been pushed up by extreme weather, the war in Ukraine and outbreaks of avian and swine flu.

US denies starting subsidy war

The White House has denied starting a subsidy war, following criticism of its massive support for green energy.

The BBC says the US is spending billions of dollars to help electric-car firms, green energy and microchips via loans and tax breaks.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said America wanted other countries to make similar investments and co-operate against climate change.

British firm Unipart said this week that the UK cannot "compete on a level playing field".

Largest opencast coalmine to shut

The UK's largest opencast coalmine must close after an extension to keep it running was rejected.

It means production at Ffos-y-Fran, near Merthyr Tydfil, must now stop after 16 years of excavation.

The BBC says the operator asked for an extension until 2024, arguing coal from the mine was needed by the steel industry.

But planning officials advised that the proposed extension did not fit with Welsh government policies on tackling climate change.

Fresh fears for First Republic

Shares in First Republic have tumbled nearly 30% to a new record low amid renewed fears the US bank could be the next to collapse.

The sell-off extended steep declines from a day earlier after the bank said customers had pulled $100bn (£80billion) in deposits in March.

First Republic has been under pressure since a series of US bank failures last month sparked fears of a wider crisis.

Its share price has shed 95% of its value in a matter of weeks.

The BBC says shares ended Wednesday trading at less than $6 (£5) apiece, compared with more than $120 (£96) at the start of March.

Revenues rise at Facebook parent

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has reported that revenue grew 3% in the first three months of 2023, compared with the same period a year earlier.

It also said more than three billion people used at least one of its apps daily on average last month, up 5% from March a year ago.

Shares in the firm shot up more than 10% in after-hours trade, says the BBC.

The gains come amid a wider recovery for the firm's shares, as some investors buy into chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's campaign to cut costs and refocus the tech giant.

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