Wednesday 23rd July 2014                 Change text size:

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‘Land grabbed’ areas could feed up to 550m people

If areas that have been ‘land grabbed’ in developing countries were cultivated for the benefit of the local population, the produce could feed up to 550 million of the world’s poorest people, according to new research. Land grabbing involves businesses purchasing large pieces of unused land, often to grow...


GSK - Ian Wilson via Flickr

Sex tape starring former executive worsens GSK China corruption scandal

British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has confirmed one of its former executives does appear in a sex tape – news that places further pressure on a firm already battling allegations of corruption. A video of the former head of the business’s Chinese operations, Mark Reilly, was emailed to senior...


Photo: Superhomes

Superhomes scoops award for pioneering work on low-carbon living

The Superhomes project, a network of homeowners who are retrofitting their houses to make them more energy efficient, has won an award as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week. Founded and co-ordinated by the charity the Sustainable Energy Academy in 2007, it is supported by the National Energy Foundation...


CEh Science via Flickr

UK’s Biological Records Centre celebrates five decades of wildlife research

The Biological Records Centre (BRC), established in 1964 and currently supporting 80 wildlife recording societies, is celebrating its 50th anniversary at Bath University. The data collection centre has been used by authorities to analyse the demise in pollenating insects, such as bees, and the recorded movements of migrating species....


Daniel Foster via flickr

Shale gas reserves in Scotland ‘not worth fracking’

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has estimated 80 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas is beneath the Midland Valley of Scotland, a much lower amount than what is said to be elsewhere in the UK, with green groups saying Scotland should not risk missing its carbon goals. The...


Photo: dierk schaefer via Flickr

BNP Paribas expected to pay record $8.9bn fine

BNP Paribas is set to pay a record-breaking $8.9 billion (£5.2bn) fine to US authorities for allegedly concealing transactions to dodge the government’s economic sanctions. France’s biggest bank is expected to plead guilty to hiding the identities of clients from blacklisted countries – Sudan, Iran and Cuba – while...


lilivanili via Flickr

British shoppers want cheaper fair trade products, survey finds

New shop-led research has found that 41% of consumers would buy more fair trade products if there were greater choice, with the majority of respondents unaware of the environmental benefits of the fair trade system. A survey, conducted by British gift shop Paprika among members of the public, asked...


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Legal & General: ‘fundamentally wrong’ that CEOs are rewarded for share buybacks

Institutional investor Legal & General has criticised companies for rewarding chief executives for hitting earnings per share targets when share buybacks are involved. Instead the firm said it wanted companies to invest in the real economy. Using excess capital to purchase the company’s own shares was described as “unfair”...


Photo: Christopher Michel via Flickr

Emperor penguins at extinction risk because of climate change

Climate change will present a severe threat to the iconic emperor penguin, as temperatures rise and the Antarctic sea-ice that the species depends on disappears, a new study has warned. In a new report, researchers from around the world have urged governments to list emperor penguins – the world’s...


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Nestlé agrees to pay employees and contractors living wage

Food giant Nestlé has become the first major manufacturer to agree to pay the living wage to all employees. The announcement follows increasing calls from campaign groups for more firms to pay a ‘fair wage’. The living wage is calculated according to the cost of living and employers choose...


Photo: Tez Goodyer via Flickr

Allow fracking in National Parks, says Environment Agency chief

The outgoing head of the Environment Agency has called for the government to allow fracking firms to operate in national parks, claiming that the impacts of the controversial process are “exaggerated”. In an interview with the Times, Chris Smith, who is set to leave his post next month, claimed...


Tesco by osde8info via Flickr

Tesco criticised for ‘land banking’ with 310 sites still unused

The supermarket chain Tesco has accumulated private land worth over £20 billion, with large swathes of it left unused, a new investigation has revealed. The Guardian newspaper said that the total unused land hoarded by Tesco equated to 4.6m sq metres, with 310 sites without a store. An estimated...


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Deforestation in Indonesia worse than in Brazilian Amazon, says study

Indonesia cleared 840,000 hectares of forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil, with new research suggesting that the true size of deforestation and climate change impacts have been significantly under reported. Forests play a crucial role in mitigating carbon emissions and preserving biodiversity, therefore helping tackle the...


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Regulation and competition concerns among financial services sector

UK financial services firms are optimistic despite profitability falling in the three months to June, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and consultancy firm PwC has revealed. However, concerns around the cost of regulation and competition within the market place remain. The survey quizzed 98 firms...


Sean Winters via Flickr

Bloodsucking parasite major threat to UK honeybees

A type of parasite is causing UK bees to contract deformed wing virus (DWV), which leads to developmental deformities and reduces their foraging ability, a new study has found. Scientists from Warwick University have noted how where the varroa destructor parasite sucks honeybees’ blood, DWV is more frequently transmitted and amplified....


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