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Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics – but clean athletes can compete as neutrals

Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics – but clean athletes can compete as neutrals

Sports
Media playback is not supported on this device Russia has been banned from competing at next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang by the International Olympic Committee.But Russian athletes who can prove they are clean would be allowed to compete in South Korea under a neutral flag.It follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi."This should draw a line under this damaging episode," the IOC said.The decision has been widely condemned in Russia, with some politicians urging a boycott of the Games, though other officials have welcomed the chance for 'clean' athletes to take part.IOC president Thomas Bach and his board - who made the announcement in Lausanne on Tuesday - ca...
Russia barred from competing in Winter Olympics

Russia barred from competing in Winter Olympics

World
The International Olympic Committee has barred Russia from the Winter Olympics this February as punishment for its systematic doping but will allow some individual Russian athletes to take part under a neutral Olympic flag. The IOC's executive committee announced in a statement that it was barring Russia's national Olympic committee from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The punishment, which will mean that no Russian athletes will compete under the country's colors, came amid intense pressure to punish the country for its alleged state-sponsored cover-up of doping by its athletes. The penalty is unprecedented in Olympic history. In a statement released after it met in Lausanne, Switzerland, the committee said it acted on the recommendations of an IOC commission headed by fo...
No energy bill price cap this winter, Ofgem says

No energy bill price cap this winter, Ofgem says

Business
A price cap on energy bills proposed by the prime minister last week is unlikely to take effect before winter.Theresa May had vowed to revive a plan to cap charges for an extra 12 million consumers.However, Ofgem said it would have to wait for legislation to be in force before it could take action on standard variable tariffs.Until then a more limited price cap will cover another one million low income households, the regulator said.That move will, on average, save households £120 a year, the regulator said.Last week Business Secretary Greg Clark said a gas and electricity price cap could be imposed as early as this winter should Ofgem decide to use its powers.Media playback is unsupported on your deviceThe BBC understands that Ofgem is reluctant to do so because it believes energy compani
Energy prices could be capped this winter, suggests minister

Energy prices could be capped this winter, suggests minister

Business
A cap on gas and electricity prices could be introduced as early as this winter, Energy Minister Greg Clark has suggested.He told the BBC that the energy regulator Ofgem would receive legal backing from parliament for action on prices.Asked if this could mean action this winter, he replied: "Precisely."But the boss of British Gas-owner Centrica, Iain Conn, warned that price caps could mean the end of cheap deals.On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May revived plans to cap prices, something that was promised in the Conservative's election manifesto but was absent from June's Queen's Speech.Her statement was followed by sharp falls in energy company share prices. But Thursday trading saw a partial recovery, with most up by 1% or more.Mr Clark told the BBC's Today programme: "If they [Ofgem]...
High risk of 'unprecedented' winter downpours – Met Office

High risk of 'unprecedented' winter downpours – Met Office

Science
There's an increased risk of "unprecedented" winter downpours such as those that caused extensive flooding in 2014, the UK Met Office says. Their study suggests there's now a one in three chance of monthly rainfall records being broken in England and Wales in winter. The estimate reflects natural variability plus changes in the UK climate as a result of global warming. But a supercomputer was needed to understand the scale of increased risk.Across the winter of 2013-14, a series of storms hit the UK leading to extensive flooding in many parts. The amount of rain that fell in much of southern England and the Midlands was the heaviest in 100 years. Cleaning up from the resulting floods took time and money - the bill for the Thames valley alone was over £1bn. Met Office researchers say that t