Thursday 24th April 2014                 Change text size:

Shalom Tesciuba via flickr

600,000 people switch current accounts using new service

Over 600,000 UK current account customers have changed providers in the first six months of the new Current Account Switch Service, according to new statistics. The Payments Council, which oversees the service, says that 609,300 customers switched between October 1 and March 31 – a 14% year-on-year increase.  The...


Photo: Unity Trust

Social bank Unity Trust announces ‘positive’ 8% growth for 2013

Unity Trust, a specialist bank for civil society, social enterprises, councils and trade unions, has reported an 8% growth in total assets and a considerable increase in profits in its full-year financial results for 2013. The bank’s assets grew to £717.5m last year, while pre-tax profits increased from £400,000...


Watershed Post via flickr

Food inspection changes might put infected meat on UK tables

Meat inspectors have warned that changes wanted by the European Commission might cause sick animals to enter the food chain. Inspectors that have to ensure that meat consumed in the UK is suitable for consumption have claimed that changes in legislation, asked by the European Union and backed by...


©Animal Defenders International

Politicians and celebrities call for circus ban for wild animals

A number of public figures have joined Animal Defenders International (ADI) in asking the government to hurry up in banning wild animals from performing in circuses in the UK. Signatories of the letter include MPs Jim Dowd, Caroline Lucas and John McDonnell, sustainable investor Ben Goldsmith and celebrities such...


Labour Behind the Label via Flickr

New guidelines say modern slavery is ‘severe but solvable’

Sedex, the membership organisation for transparent supply chains, has released the findings from a new study that looked into the risks and solutions behind forced labour and human trafficking – also referred to as ‘modern slavery’. Partnering with NGO Verité, the organisation said that many workers – especially immigrants...


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Social enterprises given investment and mentor opportunity

Early stage social enterprises have the opportunity to receive part of a £500,000 investment to take their venture to the next level and increase the social impact they are having. In partnership with Barclays, Big Issue Invest – the social investment arm of the Big Issue magazine – has...


Photo: Alex Goodey via Flickr

Labour announces devolved cities spending plan

The Labour party has pledged that if it wins the next general election, it will provide a funding boost to councils and give cities more autonomy, in a bid to close the gap between London and the rest of the country. In a speech in Birmingham on Tuesday, party...


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Brain region linked with gambling addiction identified by scientists

Scientists from the University of Cambridge believe they have identified the region of the brain that leads to problem gambling. The research could change the way gambling addicts are treated. The study found that brain damage affecting the insula – an area of the brain with a key role...


Photo: Circa via twitter

Indian election: voting underway in world’s largest democracy

The world’s largest democracy is taking to the polls today, as Indians begin voting in the first phase of a massive general election.  More than 814 million people are eligible to vote, with 20% receiving a ballot for the first time. The democratic exercise will take part in nine...


Photo: Michal Hvorecky via Flickr

Afghanistan: millions vote in first ever peaceful transition of power

People in war-torn Afghanistan took to polling stations on Saturday to vote for the country’s new president, paving the way for the first ever peaceful power transition in its history. Afghans have been subjected to interference from both the west and Soviet forces since the 1960s. It is estimated...


Photo: vitamindave via Flickr

New tourism report: hotel workers plagued by low wages and long hours

How does the all inclusive hotel model in the tourism sector affect the rights of employees? This is the underlying question that a report launched last month by campaign group Tourism Concern sought to assess and ultimately shed light on. The new research, supported by the International Federation of...


Shamu by gnislew via Flickr

SeaWorld accused of drugging orca whales after welfare concerns

Leaked documents have revealed that SeaWorld, the subject of fierce criticism over animal welfare in recent weeks, could be drugging the orca whales that perform at its marine parks across the country. The reports were made by the online site BuzzFeed, which said that it had seen documents that...


houses of parliament by shining.darkness via flickr

Labour promises to repeal ‘gagging law’

The shadow leader of the House of Commons has pledged that Labour would repeal the controversial lobbying bill, which she says restricts freedom of speech in the UK. The lobbying bill was dubbed the “gagging law” by opponents when it was introduced last year. Critics claim that it will...


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We must divest from fossil fuels ‘as quickly as possible’, say health experts

Leading academics have called on healthcare companies and other institutions to ditch their investments in high-carbon energy sources, saying this is incompatible with protecting human health. The campaign has launched on the basis that dirty energy contributes to climate change, which is already affecting the wellbeing of millions of...


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Economic growth ‘not automatically’ linked with social progress

Economic growth does not always result in social progress, according to a new global study. The research ranks New Zealand as the most socially advanced country whilst the UK landed the 13th spot. The Social Progress Index from non-profit organisation Social Progress Imperative, ranks countries across three categories –...


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