The Information Tribunal has ruled that civil servants' advice to ministers on major planning decisions should be disclosed to anyone who asks for it once the decision is taken.
The ruling, obtained by the former Tory environment secretary Lord Baker, was hailed yesterday by Friends of the Earth as a 'significant breakthrough which means that members of the public will now have a much better understanding of why a controversial major planning decision has been made'. The Guardian
At least four people were seriously injured yesterday when a coach carrying British holidaymakers crashed into a house in Belgium. The co-driver, who lost an arm, and three passengers were taken to hospitals close to the site of the crash, near Slijpe, six miles (10 km) southwest of Oostend. At least 15 other passengers are thought to be injured as well as three people who were in the house, part of which collapsed. The Times
A 70-tonne granite sculpture carved from a single piece of rock will be shown at the Eden Project in Cornwall today. The carving, entitled Seed, is thought to be the largest freestanding stone sculpture since the last of the Easter Island heads was created in the 16th century. The Times
Floods and landslides caused by four days of torrential rain in southern China have killed at least 66 people, left 12 missing and forced nearly 600,000 from their homes. About 48,000 houses have been completely destroyed and nearly 100,000 have been damaged. The Times
The crews of Atlantis and the international space station greeted each other with hugs and handshakes yesterday after the space shuttle arrived at the orbiting outpost. But amid the smiles and salutations, questions remained unanswered about a section of peeled-back thermal blanket on the shuttle. Engineers continue to review photographs of the affected area to determine whether it could pose a problem when Atlantis returns to Earth. The Independent
Gordon Brown has warned bosses of the 2012 Olympics to keep a firm grip on construction costs. The stern warning will suggest that although the overall Olympic budget has risen from £2.375bn to £9.3bn, the Prime Minister in waiting will not tolerate further cost rises. The Daily Telegraph
Australians were braced for more atrocious weather this week after the worst storms in more than 30 years killed nine people and forced the evacuation of thousands of others in the east as swollen rivers cut off towns and farms. During three days of wild weather roads collapsed, cars were washed away with people still inside and a giant freighter was washed ashore by mountainous seas north of Sydney. The Daily Telegraph