Thursday 24th July 2014                 Change text size:

Photo: Birmingham News Room via Flickr

Food bank use continues to rise, with 54% increase in 12 months

More than 20m meals were given to those in desperate need last year in the UK, a report by the Trussell Trust, Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam has found.  This is a 54% increase since 2012 and the rise in food bank use has been as increasing every...


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JK Rowling donates £1m to Scottish pro-UK campaign

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has demonstrated her support for keeping Scotland in the UK by donating £1 million to the Better Together campaign. On September 18, Scots will go to the polls and decide if they want to remain part of the UK or become an independent country....


summer sun by  Gerwin Sturm via flickr

UK weather: one in four chance of hottest summer ever, says Met Office

The Met Office has said it is 25% likely that Britain will experience its hottest summer on record this year – with a 10% chance that it will be the coolest. Studied over a three-month period, the June-July-August months are likely to see slightly above average temperatures – with...


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Soco abandons drilling plans in Virunga national park after WWF campaign

British oil company Soco has agreed to halt its oil exploration activities in Africa’s oldest national park, following a year-long campaign from WWF. The company has also pledged to avoid other world heritage sites in the future, with the agreement described as a “victory for our planet” by environmentalists....


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Energy regulator calls on ‘big six’ to justify prices as costs fall

Energy regulator Ofgem has called on the ‘big six’ energy suppliers to explain to customers how falling wholesale costs will impact their energy prices. The call comes after the industry was criticised for hiking prices and for a lack of competition. According to Ofgem, both wholesale gas and electricity...


Photo: Taber Andrew Bain via Flickr

Lack of competition in payday loan market costing customers

A lack of competition in the payday loan market means customers are overpaying for their loans, the market regulator has claimed. Preliminary reports from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) say that customers are paying £5 to £10 over the odds per loan because of the industry’s focus on...


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Investors and corporates target Apple over use of hazardous chemicals

Investors, asset managers and businesses have signed an open letter to Lisa Jackson, vice-president of environmental initiatives at American tech giant Apple, urging her to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in the firm’s supplier factories. According to the letter, workers in the Chinese factories that manufacture Apple’s devices...


Photo: Dominic Alves via Flickr

Sussex waits on UN decision to become UK’s next biosphere reserve

Britain could have its first new biosphere reserve for four decades this week, with Unesco preparing to decide whether a 150 square mile area in Sussex deserves the title. The bid for the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere was put together last year and submitted to the UN, which...


Photo: Dave Hamster via Flickr

New York theological college first to divest from fossil fuels

Union Theological Seminary in New York has become the first institution of its kind to divest its $108.4m (£64.57m) endowment from fossil fuels, which it says are a “sin” for Christians. Writing in Time magazine, president Serene Jones explained some of the reasons that led to the decision to...


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F&C celebrates 30th birthday with relaunch of responsible investment funds

F&C Investments is celebrating 30 years of responsible investing by announcing the relaunch of its responsible investment capability. The company notes that over the last three decades investors are becoming increasingly interested in active ownership and engagement, rather than simply screening out unethical firms. The firm, which agreed to...


Hepburn Wind via Flickr

Wind share offer raises £100,000 investment in less than 24 hours

A renewable energy co-operative that launched a share offer on Monday, inviting investors to pledge towards two community-owned 500 kilowatt (kW) wind turbines in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, has raised nearly £100,000 in less than 24 hours. Four Winds Energy Co-op hopes to raise £3.7m by the end of July...


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One in three UK adults have ‘pre-diabetes’, research reveals

More than one in three adults are “on the cusp” of developing type two diabetes, new research has revealed, emphasising the need to curb the ongoing trend. In a study published in the British Medical Journal, scientists warn of a steep surge in diabetes among adults, as increasing numbers...


Ed Davey by DECCgovuk

Ed Davey: National Grid network could cope with England World Cup win

Energy secretary Ed Davey has insisted that Britain’s lights will stay on in the unlikely event of a World Cup victory for England, even in the face of what would be the biggest ever surge in domestic electricity demand. TV events such as the World Cup often cause surges...


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Japan receives widespread condemnation for plans to resume whaling

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has informed a parliamentary committee of his renewed efforts to continue whaling for scientific purposes, months after a ban by the international court of justice (ICJ). New Zealand and Australia have raised concerns about the new push by Japan, with New Zealand’s foreign minister...


Photo: Patrick Moore via Free Images

Solar farms to welcome visitors for ‘Solar Independence Day’

Solar farms across England and Wales will open for visits from local residents, schools, businesses and community groups on July 4 for an event that will teach the public about the benefits of renewable energy. The Solar Trade Association (STA) say Solar Independence Day will give visitors the opportunity to...


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