Voices

A green, competitive Europe doesn’t need them and shouldn’t have them

Vito Nicastri, a businessman with known links to the Sicilian Mafia

Italian court orders €1.3bn in mafia assets to be seized from Sicily’s' 'Lord of the wind' Vito Nicastri

An Italian court ordered €1.3bn in mafia assets to be seized from Sicily’s “Lord of the wind” today – the largest such confiscation in the country’s history.

The Swiss-made solar-powered plane, Solar Impulse piloted by Bertrand Piccard

Around the US in 55 days: Bertrand Piccard set to cross America in his Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the solar-powered plane that flies at night

A Swiss adventurer plans to fly his featherweight jumbo jet across America fuelled only by the energy of the Sun

Costly renewable energy 'will damage UK's economy'

The energy Bill will be slammed this week by a group of business owners and consumer groups as "absurd" and potentially leading to the UK "sleepwalking into blackouts".

Sport on TV: David Lloyd's curiouser ramblings killed the duck, not the cat

There seems to be an acknowledgement that England's Test series in New Zealand isn't particularly interesting. In a double Ashes year this might be understandable. The highlights on Sky Sports are only an hour long instead of two, and in the live transmission David Lloyd is on a campaign to keep viewers awake: "What time is it now? Twenty past 11? Have some discipline. Make a cup of coffee!" He's as manic as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, but when he pops down the hole again to go Down Under next winter he won't need to keep reminding us to keep our eyes open for the Ashes.

Dead Water, By Ann Cleeves. Macmillan, £16.99

Crime fiction has a demanding convention. If the serial killer arrived recently on our gory shelves, the serial detective has been around for so long that readers expect it, and look forward to the regular appearance of their favourite sleuth. This lands the writer in a dilemma: how to maintain a character while bringing a book reasonably up-to-date? Ann Cleeves presents another adventure for her somewhat exotic Shetland detective, Inspector Jimmy Perez, but has taken a bold step with a dramatic change in his life.

US House Speaker John Boehner (right) and Vice President Joe Biden (left) stand to applaud as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech

Obama's State of the Union address: Reaction and key moments

For an hour on Tuesday evening, Barack Obama set out the policies against which the success of his second term as President will be chalked up. Gun control, climate change, equal pay for women and an end to the war in Afghanistan all featured in the State of the Union address, which also put front and centre a pledge to reignite the economy. Reaction this morning is largely favourable, if a touch mild.

The Burbo Bank off shore wind farm in Liverpool bay. More than half the public believe the UK should commit to most of its electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030

UK surge in wind turbines

Last year the number of wind farms approved by local councils went up for the first time in five years

Government attempts to 'reclaim' the green agenda by ploughing £1 billion into effort to cut Britain's overseas gas reliance

Ministers will divert money currently earmarked to build a new gas fired power station into projects to cut electricity demand

Mark Leftly: Stop dithering on this nuclear 'strike price' deal

Outlook Sticking with government and industry, I hear that the long-awaited "strike price" for nuclear power generation has basically been agreed. This is the guaranteed minimum that EDF would get for power produced at a proposed new plant at Hinkley Point, the first of the coming wave of nuclear new-build.

Wind farm PFI deals are 'shocking', the Public Accounts Committee said

MPs say wind farm contracts are 'shocking'

Families could face higher electricity bills as a result of "shocking" blunders in awarding new contracts for offshore wind farms, a group of MPs has warned.

Has Rupert Murdoch turned into a climate change sceptic?

(And, if so, his late mother wouldn’t be very pleased)

Call for a ban on ash woodchip

Imports of woodchip from foreign ash trees should be banned in an attempt to avoid the spread of the devastating ash dieback disease, a member of the Environment Select Committee has said.

What are the pros and cons of wind farms and fracking?

The big energy debate: Wind farms vs fracking

Wind farms

Wind turbines close by Mossmorran Ethleyne Plant

Argyll grandmother takes UK and EU to the United Nations over plans to turn Scotland into windfarm 'hedgehog'

Christine Metcalfe claims UK Government and the EU have breached a fundamental tenet of citizens’ rights under the UN’s Åarhus Convention

George Osborne hints at watering-down of UK's commitment to cutting carbon dioxide emissions

George Osborne gave a strong signal that he intends to water down Britain’s commitment to cutting its carbon dioxide emissions over the next 15 years, threatening tens of billions of pounds of vital investment in renewable energy generators.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve