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In the news today - 27th May 2008

The UK border Agency 'is likely to be swamped' by last minute applications from employers seeking to register under a new immigration based points system being introduced this autumn.

A survey of some of Britain's biggest employers, conducted by immigration consultants Sarah Butler Associates, reported that only 11% had so far applied for licenses allowing them to hire migrant labour - The Financial Times

The departure from office of US president George W. Bush will bring a much brighter outlook to international talks on global warming and the £32bn market in greenhouse gas emissions, said the United Nations' top official on climate change - The Financial Times

China has been by far the biggest winner from the Kyoto protocol, receiving tens of billions of dollars in investment to finance low-carbon technology. Last year, 73 per cent of carbon credits certified by the United Nations under the protocol were based in China - The Financial Times

More than 100 homeless people use Heathrow Airport for shelter, it has been claimed. Heathrow is seen as an attractive option because of its tube links to central London. Many pretend to be stranded or delayed to avoid eviction. Some have been there on and off for several years - The Daily Telegraph

A 135-year-old cricket club has been blocked from putting up practice nets because overzealous planners fear the crack of leather on willow may shatter the rural peace and quiet. Rushden Town Cricket Club has been in negotiation without success for three months with East Northamptonshire council over the practice area for 12 players. It has now been ordered to pay for a £2,000 noise survey before the planning application for new nets can progress - The Daily Telegraph

The business suit could be facing extinction in offices because of the rise of "smart casual" dress codes, a survey has found. A poll of business leaders concluded that just one in four office workers – 24% – is required to wear a suit at all times. The finding represents a sharp shift in attitudes from a similar survey four years ago, when 37% of companies expected staff to wear suits - The Daily Telegraph

The organisers of the London Olympics are planning to pass on more than just the Olympic flag to the next host city when the games end in September 2012. Senior officials have opened talks with Chicago, one of the early favourites to host the 2016 games, which could result in the bulk of the main stadium being dismantled and shipped across the Atlantic to be rebuilt - The Guardian

Centrica plans to disrupt a deal between French state-owned companies GDF and EDF in order to win control of Belgium's second-largest gas and electricity supplier. Officials said yesterday that Centrica, the owner of British Gas, would exercise its pre-emption rights to match the offer made by EDF for the 25.5% stake held by GDF in Liege-based SPE - The Guardian

Metronet, the failed London Underground maintenance firm, will receive £1.4bn of taxpayers' money in its first year under public ownership. The cornerstone of Gordon Brown's controversial public-private partnership programme will become a state-owned entity today when it is taken over by Transport for London - The Guardian

Chinese authorities are preparing to evacuate as many as 1.3M survivors of the Sichuan earthquake who are now threatened by flooding, the state media reported yesterday. The Tangjiashan "quake lake" is the largest of the 34 bodies of water formed by landslides that have dammed rivers - The Guardian

It will be years before the Irrawaddy delta recovers from Cyclone Nargis – but the visitor to the Sinkan refugee camp could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about. Its 39 blue tents are neat and evenly spaced and their occupants look clean and contented. A team of white uniformed doctors and nurses tend to their medical needs, white Toyota Land Cruisers of the United Nations stand in attendance and a group of Japanese diplomats inspects the camp, snapping photographs as they go – The Times

Britain pumped out more greenhouse gases last year under the EU carbon trading scheme designed to cut emissions, according to figures released in Brussels. The British increase was 2.2%. There was an overall increase across Europe of 0.68%, or 16M tonnes of CO2 – The Times

Heaps of household rubbish and clouds of industrial pollution in China could trigger a multi-billion-dollar investment rush that could rival the 2000 technology bubble. Analysts are forecasting a surge of investment in a global “muck-to-brass” portfolio - listed engineering and waste management companies in the US, China and Japan rushing to meet China's urgent need to clean up its streets and skies – The Times

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