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USA UK and Malta News
06/02/2008 - 23:46

UK today Editoweb, 06 feb. 2008

U.S. and UK call for Afghanistan troops - Brown backs use of wiretap evidence - Government to spur research into climate impact on poor - BHP Billiton rebuffed after making new move for Rio Tinto - Non-EU doctors barred from UK posts.

U.S. and UK call for Afghanistan troops
The United States and Britain called on reluctant NATO allies on Wednesday to share the burden of combat against hard-line Taliban guerrillas. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in London for crisis talks with British leaders on Afghanistan, said only a small number of NATO nations had troops in the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan.

Brown backs use of wiretap evidence
Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave the green light on Wednesday for some wiretap evidence to be used in court cases, but only if strict conditions designed to protect national security can be met. Britain is one of the few countries in the world that does not allow telephone taps to be used as evidence in trials. Brown told parliament he accepted the conclusions of a cross-party committee that "it should be possible to find a way to use some intercept material as evidence".

Government to spur research into climate impact on poor
The government will increase research into the possible impacts of climate change on the world's most vulnerable people, including deeper poverty and conflict, the international development minister said. Secretary of State Douglas Alexander said his department will spend 20 million pounds a year over the next five years, a tenfold increase, to pinpoint where global warming will hit hardest and show how to proof development against more extreme weather and rising seas.

BHP Billiton rebuffed after making new move for Rio Tinto
Mining group Rio Tinto spurned an improved 147.4-billion-dollar (100.9-billion-euro) takeover offer from rival BHP Billiton on Wednesday, saying the terms of the proposed megamerger were not in the interests of shareholders. Amid speculation Rio Tinto was set to become the centre of a bidding battle, company management said the proposals from BHP "fail to recognise the underlying value of Rio Tinto's quality assets and prospects."

Non-EU doctors barred from UK posts
New immigration rules will stop doctors from outside the EU applying for postgraduate training posts in the UK, it has been announced. The Home Office has laid out new regulations to prevent overseas doctors applying for foundation and speciality training posts. It follows criticisms that homegrown doctors are unable to find jobs once they graduate from UK medical schools. The rules, which will first affect recruitment in 2009, would see a drop of between 3,000 and 5,000 overseas applications next year, official estimates suggest.

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