BIG AREAS STILL LACK 3G, SAYS OFCOM
Nearly 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass and a quarter of buildings are unable to receive all five 3G phone networks a decade after the introduction of the mobile licences, according to the telecoms regulator. In its first report on the UK’s communications infrastructure, Ofcom said that almost 7.7m homes and workplaces did not have a choice of all five 3G networks, which allow fast internet access.
QUESTION MARK OVER SECURITY COSTS OF THE OLYMPICS
The full cost of Olympic security will not be known until after the games, a senior official has said, raising uncertainty over a key element of the London 2012 budget. Chris Allison, the national Olympic security co-ordinator, told the London Assembly: “I can’t tell you what the final costs are going to be. . . I just don’t know.”
SNP REVIVES PLAN FOR A MINIMUM ALCOHOL PRICE
A bill to set a minimum price for alcohol has been reintroduced by the Scottish government, despite warnings that the measure might breach European law. An earlier attempt by the Scottish National party government was blocked by opposition parties. Since then , in May elections, the nationalists have won an outright majority at Holyrood. The plan is likely to be passed by next summer.
JAPAN RESTARTS NUCLEAR REACTOR
Japan was due to restart its first nuclear reactor on Tuesday after the Fukushima disaster in March, a symbolically important first step before dozens of idled reactors can be brought back online. However, hopes for confidence in the sector were hit early this morning when Tokyo Electric Power warned that it had detected a possible nuclear fission at its No 2 reactor at the Fukushima plant.
FOSTER REVEALS PLAN FOR THAMES AIRPORT TO RIVAL BORIS ISLAND
Britain must capitalise on its Victorian heritage and the experience of booming Asian economies to overhaul its transport system, the architect Lord Foster of Thames Bank will argue today as he unveils plans for a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary. The four-runway airport, built partly on reclaimed land, will be served by the country’s busiest railway station with high-speed connections to London, the North and mainland Europe.
HIGH STREET COMPLAINS OF TESCO HAIRCUT
Long the scourge of corner shops, Tesco is now facing the wrath of hairdressers, who say that its move to offer £12.50 haircuts in stores could threaten their livelihoods, the Forum of Private Business warned yesterday.
The Daily Telegraph
CAMERON FACES REBELLION OVER PETROL PRICES
David Cameron is facing the prospect of a backbench rebellion over petrol prices, after more than 80 MPs supported calls for the Government to tackle rising fuel tax. The issue will be debated in parliament within two weeks, following a campaign against next year’s 3p increase in duty led by Robert Halfon, a Conservative MP.
QATAR TO HOLD NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME
The Emir of Qatar, one of the world’s few remaining absolute monarchs, announced he would allow the holding of national democratic elections for the first time. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said there would be a vote for an advisory council in 2013, in line with a constitution introduced eight years ago. The decision is another victory for the Arab Spring.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
ZIMBABWE FIELD CLEARED TO EXPORT DIAMONDS
Diamond regulator Kimberley Process has given the green light for exports of stones mined in Zimbabwe’s Marange fields, ending a standoff between supporters of the deal and critics who warned the sales could fuel human-rights abuses.
TURKISH PEASANT BANKER FACES SALE
Hakan Ates, chief executive of DenizBank AS, is proud to say he is the cost-cutting “peasant” of Turkey's banking industry; it has made his bank a winner from two economic crises. Half a dozen buyers are interested in acquiring DenizBank, one of Turkey’s fastest-growing banks, from Dexia SA, the troubled Belgian-French lender that is being broken up and nationalized, according to a person familiar with the matter.