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Tackle climate change or face resource wars, Lord Ashdown warns

Refugee crisis is a ‘rehearsal’ for a vast humanitarian disaster that will soon unfold if we fail to act on global warming, former Lib Dem leader tells Climate News Network

The former leader of one of the UK’s main political parties says the world will undergo more resource wars and huge movements of desperate people unless it tackles climate change effectively.

Lord Ashdown, who was leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats for 11 years, describes the present flight of refugees from Syria and other conflict areas as a “rehearsal” for the vast humanitarian disaster he believes will soon unfold.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Asian and European stock markets rally on stimulus hopes – live updates

Japan’s Nikkei surges by 7.7%, its biggest gain since 2008 after China pledges new spending measure to support growth

5.04pm BST

Over in New York, hopes of Asian stimulus measures have crunched into fears of a US interest rate hike.

After that solid start, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 just dipped into negative territory.

Stocks go red.

Never before have there been so many job openings: http://t.co/aqF8dmBPK6 pic.twitter.com/Zg1t4E3qXs

Wall Street is however proving to be something of a drag on sentiment – the latest employment numbers have shown a record number of job openings state-side and this is once again throwing open the possibility of the Fed gambling on a rate hike next week.

If conviction builds further here then even talk of renewed stimulus measures from Beijing will do little to placate a market that’s worried about the wider global consequences of higher borrowing costs in the US, but for now it’s the base metals miners that are pulling through much of the upside.

4.47pm BST

The other main European markets ended the day higher too, although Germany’s rally rather fizzled out.

European Closing Prices: #FTSE 6229.01 +1.35% #DAX 10303.12 +0.31% #CAC 4664.59 +1.44% #MIB 22126.57 +0.84% #IBEX 10037.8 +1.74%

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Heavy flooding in Sicily submerges cars – video

Flash floods in eastern Sicily, caused by a Mediterranean cyclone, causes heavy flooding in towns and cities across the island. Cars were submerged and many roads and streets closed off in completely in the city of Messina as flood water rushed through. The bad weather in the region is likely to continue in the next few days

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Source: Guardian Environment

Global recession in next two years is 'most likely' scenario, says economist

Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citi and former Bank of England policymaker, warns China’s woes are set to spread

A “hard landing” for China is likely to plunge the world economy into recession in the next two years, Willem Buiter, chief global economist at Citigroup and a former Bank of England policymaker, has said.

As the Federal Reserve in Washington prepares to decide whether to defy warnings of economic fragility and push up interest rates next week, a research note by Citi’s experts warns of a 55% probability of global recession.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Israel’s Knesset wants to be the greenest parliament in the world

More ambitious than the green parliaments of Berlin or Canberra, Israel is leading the way – although we’re still waiting to hear what their UN climate pledge is, reports Le Monde

The Knesset is an imposing rectangular building standing at the top of a hill from where it looms over one side of Jerusalem. Despite the blinding summer sun, the tapestries by Marc Chagall decorating the entrance of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, are awash in a far gentler, natural light.

The bay windows on either side of the reception have recently been double glazed, designed to optimise thermal insulation, and fitted with filters to lesson the constant solar glare. The fixtures have been switched to hold energy-saving LED lighting.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Sports Direct investors revolt against chairman and pay policy

More than half of shareholders at AGM vote against company’s pay policy regarding its staff, making founder Mike Ashley get involved to pass resolutions

Sports Direct has been given a bloody nose by shareholders over pay and the future of its chairman, at a stormy annual meeting.

More than half of the company’s independent shareholders who voted were against its pay policy, while almost a third refused to back the re-election of Keith Hellawell as chairman.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Global code of conduct for currency traders by 2017, say central banks

Bank for International Settlements committee making progress on new code after scandal over price rigging at some of the world’s biggest banks

Central banks handed the task of clamping down on the scandal-hit foreign exchange markets say they are on course to publish a global code of conduct for currency traders in 2017.

The first comprehensive code covering the £3.5tn a day market is expected to be widely adopted after regulators discovered longstanding price rigging at some of the world’s biggest banks and handed out a multibillion-dollar series of fines.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

McDonald’s says it will switch to cage-free eggs in the US and Canada

The decision to switch to cage-free eggs is part of a push to reinvent the chain, and signals a growing sensitivity among customers to animal welfare issues

McDonald’s says it will switch to cage-free eggs in the US and Canada over the next decade, marking the latest push under CEO Steve Easterbrook to try and reinvent the Big Mac maker as a “modern, progressive burger company”.

Under pressure to revive slumping sales, McDonald’s has already announced a number of changes since Easterbrook stepped into his role earlier this year. In March, the Oak Brook, Illinois company said it would switch to chickens raised without most antibiotics. And in April, it said it would raise pay for workers at company-owned stores, which represent about 10% of its domestic locations.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

US private equity firm KKR takes 24.9% stake in Marshall Wace

London hedge fund hails ‘true, long-term partnership’ with KKR, which will have option to increase holding to up to 39.9%

The US private equity multinational KKR has taken a 24.9% stake and entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Marshall Wace, one of London’s best-known hedge funds.

Under the agreement, KKR – which had a big stake in Pets at Home, the pet care retailer that floated in London last year – will have the option to increase its holding in Marshall Wace to up to 39.9%.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Aviation safety advances helped stave off BA plane fire disaster

While it was terrifying for the passengers, the pilot’s quick response and Boeing 777-200’s containment systems meant the blaze was put out quickly

The escape from a dramatic blaze on a British Airways plane on take-off from Las Vegas underlines advances in aviation safety, according to experts, who note parallels to past incidents that caused widespread fatalities.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will lead an investigation into exactly how the Boeing 777-200 suffered a catastrophic failure to its left engine while accelerating down the runway, but the pilot’s response and the plane’s containment systems meant the fire was swiftly extinguished without serious harm to passengers – terrifying though it may have been for those on board.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS