At least one person has been killed in a multiple dwelling explosion and building collapse in New York City. WABC-TV says residents reported hearing a large explosion in an apartment building around 9am.
Footage has emerged of relatives furious at the lack of progress in the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people. Speaking at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammudin Hussein said the search had been extended to cover the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca. "Each day that passes I fear that the search and rescue becomes just a search, but we never give up hope." :: Sky News will be showing a 12-minute special report on the story so far of the missing flight MH370 at 2.30pm.
Aviation experts told Sky News pilot suicide is a possible explanation, although Malaysia Airlines chiefs say there is "no reason to believe" crew had anything to do with the Boeing 777-200's disappearance. As the mystery deepened, Australian aviation consultant Neil Hansford accused the Malaysian government of not telling the full story of what happened. He told Sky News: "I'm finding in any interviews I'm doing with Malaysians, there is a fair bit of spin, there's a fair bit of denial of the boarding procedures and the manifest checking with the stolen passport list, and inconsistencies all the time. "I think you're now finding the Malaysian authorities have got a lot to answer for."
Ed Miliband has effectively ruled out an EU in-out referendum, saying there would only be a vote in the event of a significant Brussels power grab. The key initiative from the Labour leader is what he calls a "new lock" which means no in-out referendum unless there is a transfer of powers from the UK to the EU. However, he pointed out there were no current proposals for such a transfer of powers so it is unlikely any Labour government would introduce an EU membership vote. In a speech in central London on Wednesday morning he said: "Now, there are no current proposals from other countries for such a transfer of powers.
A bill of rights should be created to govern the Internet in the wake of revelations about the depth of government surveillance, the inventor of the World Wide Web said on Wednesday.
Chinese maths teachers are to come to England to give masterclasses in the subject as part of a fresh bid to boost standards.
King Digital Entertainment, the British developer behind the wildly-addictive mobile game Candy Crush, said on Wednesday that it could be valued at up to $7.6 billion in its eagerly-awaited upcoming flotation.
Tesco, the world's third-largest retailer, expects to source more clothes from Ethiopia, but wants the nascent industry there to uphold high ethical standards as global chains seek to prevent factory disasters like those seen in Bangladesh. "Ethiopia is a very exciting potential country to grow a supply chain but needs to grow up to be a well regulated, ethical new industry," Giles Bolton, ethical trading director at Tesco, told the Retail Week Live conference on Wednesday. Hennes & Mauritz, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, said in January it saw good opportunities for producing clothing in sub-Saharan Africa, as it seeks to diversify from relying on Asian sourcing. The Swedish company is one of the biggest buyers of garments from Bangladesh, where the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory last April killed more than 1,100 people, drawing global attention to the poor conditions in many Asian factories.
Britain could face around 11.5 gigawatts (GW) of power plant capacity going off line by the end of 2023 due to tighter European Union pollution rules, Reuters calculations based on government data show. EU power plant operators have had to inform their relevant environment regulator about which stations will not install emissions-cutting technology to comply with the so-called EU Industrial Emissions Directive from 2016. Britain's Defra published a list of operators which have requested the opt-out on Wednesday, but has said they can change their minds up until January 1, 2016.
Britain's minimum wage is likely to rise faster than inflation for several years to come, so long as the economy continues to improve, the body which advises Britain's government on the topic said on Wednesday. Earlier in the day the government agreed to the Low Pay Commission's recommendation for a 3 percent increase in Britain's minimum wage this year to 6.50 pounds ($10.80), which will be the first above-inflation increase since 2008. "Provided the economy continues to improve we expect to recommend further progressive real increases in the minimum wage, so that 2014 will mark the start of a new phase of bigger increases," said David Norgrove, who chairs the commission. Finance minister George Osborne said in January that he would like to see the minimum wage rise faster than inflation, after several years in which Britons' living standards have fallen in real terms.
Publicist Max Clifford ordered a teenage girl to strip in his office telling her she could be the next Jodie Foster, a court has heard. Jurors listened as the woman described how Clifford had charmed her by telling her: "You could be the UK version of Jodie Foster." She said Clifford had spent several minutes persuading her to take her clothes off, reminding her of how he had seen her in a bikini during a recent Spanish holiday where they had first met. Initially, she had been reluctant to meet him but then she arranged to visit him at his central London office after receiving a call from a man named Terry Miller, who the prosecution say was really Clifford.
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday voiced opposition to boycotts of Israel, in an address to parliament on the first day of an official visit to the Holy Land.
By Jonathan Cable LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's economy will grow faster than any other G7 nation in coming quarters, but the Bank of England will not raise interest rates until next year to avoid choking off the recovery, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday. The poll of over 50 economists, taken this week, suggested Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow 0.6 percent per quarter through to September 2015. If those forecasts are met, Britain's economy will be back to its pre-crisis size by the end of June and be the fastest growing amongst the group of seven major industrialised nations. "The story on the UK remains very positive, with business surveys pointing to robust activity, confidence indicators bouncing strongly, credit growth strengthening and asset prices rising," said James Knightley at ING.
Billionaire financier George Soros said on Wednesday it would not be practical for an independent Scotland to keep the British pound, and warned a separate currency would be "potentially dangerous" as weak currencies can be attacked. A row over currency is heating up as Scots prepare to vote on September 18 in a referendum on whether to break away from the rest of the United Kingdom. Nationalists wanting to share the pound in a currency union with the UK and retain the services of the Bank of England. But the three main UK parties have united to reject that plan, telling Scotland if it leaves the United Kingdom, it leaves the pound.
A residential building in New York's East Harlem neighborhood exploded and collapsed on Wednesday, sparking a serious fire and engulfing the area in thick smoke, officials said.
By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - A building collapsed in Upper Manhattan on Wednesday, killing at least one person and injuring more than a dozen, setting off a search for anyone trapped in the debris, officials said. Massive clouds of smoke billowed from the charred rubble of the structure on the largely residential block at East 116th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem, which reportedly collapsed sometime after 9 a.m. (1300 GMT).
By Roberto Landucci ROME (Reuters) - Italy's lower house of parliament approved a new electoral law on Wednesday aimed at ensuring more stable governments, giving a boost to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as he prepares to unveil a package of tax cuts and economic reforms. The reform, aimed at preventing a repeat of last year's deadlocked election by favouring bigger parties and stronger coalitions, must now go to the Senate, where it is likely to face additional amendments from Renzi's own centre-left Democratic Party (PD). Replacing the widely criticised electoral system, parts of which have been ruled unconstitutional by Italy's highest court, has been seen as a test of 39-year-old Renzi's ability to pass wider reforms to help pull Italy out of its worst economic slump since World War Two. Renzi, who reached an accord with centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi before the package came to parliament, pressed hard for the bill to be approved before he presents his first concrete tax cuts since taking office.
Oscar Pistorius was on his stumps when he smashed down a locked toilet door to reach his shot girlfriend, a court has heard, contradicting his previous claims. South African police forensic expert Johannes Vermuelen knelt down in court and swung Pistorius’ cricket bat at the door as part of a reconstruction of the night in question. :: A special Sky News highlights programme will be broadcast every weekday at 9.30pm. Pistorius is charged with the murder of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, who he shot through the locked toilet door on Valentine's Day last year.
By Emma Farge BAMAKO (Reuters) - President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won power with a pledge to resurrect a "strong and united" Mali from the ashes of a war against Islamists militants yet six months later he has done little to heal the wounds of the conflict. Elected with a reputation as a strongman, Keita has focused on restoring control over Mali's army after a March 2012 coup. The putsch plunged Mali into chaos that allowed Islamists to seize the north, forcing France to intervene in its ex-colony. Restoring stability to north Mali is a crucial step in stamping out al Qaeda cells and traffickers operating in the arid Sahel belt south of the Sahara.
The Group of Seven most developed economies is calling on Russia to stop all efforts to "annex" Ukraine's Crimea region, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Wednesday.