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Badger cull: Vets accuse ministers of 'barefaced lies'

Badger cull: Vets accuse ministers of 'barefaced lies'

Science
A campaign group of vets has accused Defra and its ministers of telling "barefaced lies" about the effectiveness of one of its badger culls in England.The group has written to the Chief Vet, Dr Christine Middlemas, asking her to ensure that the department retracts "insupportable claims that its badger cull policy is working".A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said all statements had been "absolutely correct".Dr Iain McGill, a veterinary surgeon and director of Prion Interest Group, told BBC News that claims by Defra that the badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire were working were not supported by scientific evidence."According to Defra's figures, they claim that they calculated that the incidence [of TB in cattle]...
Ministers update powers to block foreign takeovers

Ministers update powers to block foreign takeovers

Business
Ministers will gain fresh powers to block or unwind foreign takeovers which pose a potential risk to national security, according to proposals to be unveiled on Tuesday. Sky News has learnt that a White Paper to be published by Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, will extend the Government's existing oversight of mergers and takeovers to a broader range of industries.The new rules will mean that ministers have the power to 'call in' corporate deals, block them subject to bidders meeting certain conditions or even unwind transactions which have already taken place.Sources said the National Security Investment White Paper would close a loophole which meant that the Government could only intercept corporate takeovers across the economy where there was a competition-related con...
U.K., Australian ministers review BAE ship construction at Glasgow shipyard

U.K., Australian ministers review BAE ship construction at Glasgow shipyard

Business
July 19 (UPI) -- British Secretary of State for Defense MP Gavin Williamson was joined by Australian Minister of Defense Marise Payne on a tour of BAE Systems Glasgow shipyard on Thursday. The visit concerned a discussion of the Australian SEA 5000 Future Frigates Program, and included a viewing of the new Type 26 Global Combat Ship Glasgow. Construction of the Glasgow started about a year ago, and the visit was only days after an announcement by the Australian Government that its nine anti-submarine Hunter-class frigates will be based on the U.K.'s new Type 26 design. The Hunter-class will be built by BAE in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy. "Australia's selection of the Type 26 Combat Ship for its Future Frigates program reflects the world-leading anti-submarine warfare capabili...
Ministers question 'latte levy' on cups

Ministers question 'latte levy' on cups

Science
A proposal to impose a so-called latte levy on throwaway coffee cups has been questioned by the government.MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee had suggested a charge of 25p for disposable coffee cups to reduce their use.But ministers say it is better for shops to offer voluntary discounts to customers bringing their own cups.MPs says the government's response suggests it is not serious about its promise to tackle plastic litter.Committee chairwoman Mary Creagh said: "The UK's throwaway culture is having a devastating impact on our streets, beaches and seas. Our report recommended practical solutions to the disposable packaging crisis. "The government's response shows that despite warm words they plan no real action."She said evidence to the committee showed charges work better than di...
Most new cars must be electric by 2030, ministers told

Most new cars must be electric by 2030, ministers told

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceThree-fifths of new cars must be electric by 2030 to meet greenhouse gas targets, ministers have been warned.Homes also need to be built to a higher standard, the Committee on Climate Change - the official watchdog - says.The government says the UK is cutting emissions faster than any other G7 nation - and the committee agrees there has been a big shift under Theresa May.However, it says the UK will fall short of its ambitions unless ministers do more to turn pledges into reality.The warning comes less than a week after the prime minister launched a 25-year plan to protect the environment, including eradicating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.The committee agrees the government's recently-published Clean Growth Plan is a big improvement, and ...