Thursday 24th April 2014                 Change text size:

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Police crack down on boiler room investment scams

Criminal gangs who tricked British investors out of millions of pounds have been targeted in the biggest ever international crackdown on boiler room fraud. The operation has led to 110 arrests, mostly in the UK and Spain. Share scams are often called boiler room scams because of the cramped...


US Embassy New Zealand via flickr

Antarctica’s Ross Sea could be ice-free by 2100, threatening ‘ocean’s most pristine ecosystem’

The recently observed increase in summer sea-ice cover in Antarctica’s Ross Sea is likely to be short-lived, according to the findings of a new study that warns that the area will be largely ice-free by 2100. Such changes could have a devastating impact on what is currently one of...


natalie bennet by @natalieben via Twitter

Green Party demands place in leaders’ debates

The leader of the Green party Natalie Bennett has said she would like to see the party represented at leaders’ debates in the run up to the general election, adding that they represent a “huge number” of the British public. The party, which currently has one sitting Member of...


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Energy suppliers hold ‘unacceptably large’ amount in closed accounts

The energy regulator Ofgem has ordered the big six energy firms to return money owed to former customers. It estimates that at least £400m has been accumulated over the last six years. The money comes from credit left in customer accounts after they have switched suppliers. The regulator believes...


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RBS shares down 7.7% after biggest loss since 2008

Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plummeted on Thursday as the part state-owned bank reported its biggest loss since the 2008 financial crisis. Shares closed down 7.7% at 326.6p on the day the bank announced annual losses of £8.2 billion. This contrasts with losses of £5.2 billion...


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Norway pension fund steps up ethical investment policy

The Norway sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world with assets of $810 billion (£485 billion), recently excluded a mining company from its portfolio because of its parent company’s operations. Sesa Sterlite, an India-focused subsidiary of mining conglomerate Vendanta Resources, which itself was excluded from the pension fund...


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Renewables specialist Good Energy faced with 2.2% energy bill increase

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy, which broke the mould in November with a winter price freeze, has been forced to increase dual fuel bills by 2.2%. It said these changes were because of “costs which are outside control”, including increased transmission and metering charges. A 1.9% rise in...


Andrey Belenko via flickr

Pine smelling vapours may be responsible for global warming ‘pause’

Scientists have discovered a strange link between climate change and pine-scented vapours emitted by coniferous trees. Research by German, Finnish and US scientists has uncovered a process by which gas from the trees creates particles that can either reflect sunlight or promote cloud formation, with important impacts on the...


Keith Ramsey via flickr

Report welcomes progress as nearly 500 climate change laws pass globally

Sixty-one out of 66 countries, including emerging economies, have so far promoted laws to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, according to the latest report by the Global Legislators Organisation (Globe). Almost 500 pieces of legislation on climate change have been approved globally, including in China, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador...


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Standard Life may quit an independent Scotland to ‘protect’ investors

Standard Life has said it would consider moving its business operations out of Scotland should the country vote for independence in September’s referendum. The Edinburgh-based financial firm said it had concerns around competitiveness if people voted ‘yes’. In the company’s annual report for 2013, Gerry Grimstone, chairman of the...


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Global warming still evident despite slowdown, scientists maintain

Experts from the UK and the US have made it clear that the global warming ‘slowdown’, often pointed as evidence that climate change is not happening, “does not invalidate” the scientific reality of climate variations due to human activities. Scientists from both sides of the Atlantic have come together...


Photo: Mateusz Stachowski via stock.xchng

UK weather: Wales, Midlands and the south braced for snow on Friday

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow in Wales, the Midlands and southern parts of England on Friday morning, telling commuters to expect travel disruption. The organisation explains that the weather will be carried by an area of low-pressure heading eastwards. It adds, “There is considerable...


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20,000 crop samples sent to Arctic ‘Doomsday vault’ in case of global disaster

A shipment of more than 20,000 crops from more than 100 nations has arrived at a ‘Doomsday vault’ in the Arctic Circle, as part of a project seeking to protect biodiversity in case of a global disaster. Coinciding with the week of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault’s sixth birthday,...


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Scotland ‘on the cusp’ of establishing world’s first ethical finance hub

Scotland may be “on the cusp” of establishing the world’s first ethical finance hub, according to experts in the field. The comments come ahead of a meeting taking place on Thursday between the financial services industry and John Swinney MSP, cabinet secretary for the Scottish government. The Islamic Finance...


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Michael Gove’s speech at the Conservative Environment Network launch: full text

“Conservative instinct” is at the heart of environmental stewardship, the education secretary Michael Gove said in a speech at Westminster on Wednesday. Read the full text below. I’d like to begin by saying a special word of thanks to Zac . I knew Zac before he became...


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