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Crossrail delay: £1.4bn bailout as autumn 2019 launch delayed

December 10, 2018

A £1.4bn bailout has been announced for Crossrail, as Europe’s biggest infrastructure project is pushed back beyond its launch date of autumn 2019. London’s £15bn route, to be known as the Elizabeth Line, had originally been due to open this month. The rescue plan – the third this year – will be used to plug […]


Nasa’s Voyager 2 probe ‘leaves the Solar System’

The Voyager 2 probe, which left Earth in 1977, has become the second human-made object to leave our Solar System. It was launched 16 days before its twin craft, Voyager 1, but that probe’s faster trajectory meant that it was in “the space between the stars” six years before Voyager 2. The news was revealed […]


Theresa May calls off MPs’ vote on her Brexit deal

Theresa May says she has called off Tuesday’s crucial vote on her Brexit deal because it “would be rejected by a significant margin”. She said MPs backed much of the deal she has struck with the EU but there was concern over the Northern Irish backstop. She said she believed she could still get the […]


UK economic growth ‘stalls’ as service sector slides

December 5, 2018

Growth in the UK’s key services sector has hit its lowest level since July 2016, prompting fears of stagnation. The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from IHS Markit/CIPS sank to 50.4 in November, down from 52.2 in October. A figure above 50 indicates expansion. “The survey results suggest that the pace of economic growth has stalled,” […]


Dry summer causes record subsidence claims, say insurers

The hot summer led to a huge surge in subsidence problems as British homes suffered in the dry heat. Insurers said claims between July and September were at the highest level for 12 years, reaching numbers last seen in the heatwaves of 2006 and 2003. More than 10,000 households made claims worth £64m, but experts […]


Takeda shareholders back £46bn Shire takeover

Takeda Pharmaceutical has won shareholder approval for a £46bn ($59bn) takeover of UK-listed drugmaker Shire, clearing the way for Japan’s largest corporate acquisition. The takeover would make Takeda one of the world’s top 10 drugmakers. The deal, which needs to be approved by Shire’s shareholders, will also saddle the Japanese firm with debt. It follows […]


Thomas Cook shares fall nearly 60% in eight days

December 4, 2018

Thomas Cook’s shares continued to fall on Tuesday and have now plunged by nearly 60% in eight days. The travel company’s bonds also dropped in value and the cost of insuring its debt against defaulting on payments reached a record high. Concerns over its borrowings rose last week when it issued a second profit warning in […]


South Africa: Taking on a mining giant and winning

A small South African community has won a decade-long fight to prevent the construction of a titanium mine on its ancestral land, writes the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani after visiting the area. The lush fields and hillsides are dotted with huts. Clear rivers run into the sea along the breath-taking Indian Ocean coastline and just one […]


Old coal mines can be ‘perfect’ underground food farms

Abandoned coal mines across the UK could be brought back to life as huge underground farms, according to academics. Mine shafts and tunnels are seen as “the perfect environment” for growing food such as vegetables and herbs. The initiative is seen as a way of providing large-scale crop production for a growing global population. Advocates […]


Brexit: Food prices could rise 10%, says Mark Carney

Food prices could rise between 5% and 10% if there is a disorderly Brexit, the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has warned. Mr Carney told MPs that in the most “extreme” case, prices would rise by 10%, but in a less severe scenario the increase would be about 6%. The Bank of England and […]


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