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USA UK and Malta News
01/07/2010 - 14:47

UK & USA Today Editoweb 1 July 2010

£1.2bn Cost Of Swine Flu Pandemic Revealed - Diageo promises to plug pension deficit with whisky - Government tries to free itself from red tape - One in 10 new graduates out of work - Hague Announces New Foreign Policy Vision.

£1.2bn Cost Of Swine Flu Pandemic Revealed
The report by Dame Deirdre Hine, a former chief medical officer for Wales, concluded that the UK's response to the outbreak was "effective". However, she said Britain had been left with vaccines against the H1N1 virus which it did not need, due to the lack of flexibility in the contracts the Government signed. The review found that Britain spent £1.01bn on drugs such as anti-virals, vaccines and antibiotics. Around £654m of the total had been spent in advance, in preparation for a possible flu pandemic. A further £587m was spent reacting to the H1N1 outbreak.(skynews)

Diageo promises to plug pension deficit with whisky
Diageo, the world's biggest maker of alcoholic drinks, said on Thursday that it will transfer more than two million barrels of whisky into its UK pension fund to help plug an 862-million-pound deficit. Diageo revealed in a statement that it has reached agreement with pension fund trustees over a 10-year plan to address the deficit, which is equivalent to 1.05 billion euros or 1.3 billion dollars. The group will pay £197 million into the pension scheme, and set up an innovative partnership to hold 2.0-2.5 million barrels of maturing whisky.(AFP)

Government tries to free itself from red tape
The government invited Britons on Thursday to nominate laws for repeal via a website as part of a drive by the new coalition to protect individual freedom and reduce red tape for businesses. The move is an attempt to break with the previous Labour government which was accused by critics of trying to legislate in every area of public life and of creating what a hostile British press called a "nanny state."(reuters)

One in 10 new graduates out of work
One in ten students who graduated in Britain last year failed to find work, with computer science finalists hardest hit and medics and dentists nearly all employed or in further study, figures released on Thursday showed. Almost 20,000 graduates were still looking for a job six months after their final exams last summer, around 9.6 percent of the total, the Higher Education Statistics Agency said.. That was up from 8.4 percent in 2008 and 5.8 percent the year before. The rising level of graduate unemployment reflects difficulties elsewhere in the economy, which only staged a weak recovery from the worst recession in decades at the start of this year.(reuters)

Hague Announces New Foreign Policy Vision
He has vowed to increase the country's influence in the European Union  in a major speech at the Foreign Office which set out the new blueprint for Britain's foreign policy. "It is mystifying to us that the previous Government failed to give due weight to the exercise of British influence in the EU," he said. "They neglected to ensure that sufficient numbers of bright British officials entered EU institutions, and so we now face a generation gap developing in the British presence in parts of the EU.(skynews)

Met Office reports driest start to year since 1929
Official figures from the Met Office forecasting service showed the average rainfall across the country between January and June was 356.8 millimetres. This made it the driest start to a year since 1929, when 275.7 millimetres was recorded, and the second driest for 100 years. Rainfall for the first six months of 2010 was well below the long-term average of 511.7 millimetres for January to June. The dry conditions have been caused by a lack of Atlantic weather systems, which usually cross Britain bringing bands of rain, especially to western parts, said the Met Office. "These figures paint a graphic picture of why reservoirs in the west are so low by comparison with normal years," said Barrie Clarke, communications director at Water UK, the water industry body.(AFP)

Victor Nouioua

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