British banks pass stress test with ease
British banks passed the European "stress test" with flying colours, emerging as the strongest in Europe.
Seven banks in Europe failed a check of the financial system, but the four biggest banks in the UK sailed through the test of how they could weather a double-dip recession and sovereign debt crisis.
Barclays had the highest ranking of the UK banks in the stress test; the other three were HSBC and the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.
The seven banks that failed were from Spain and Germany.
Scotland snubs US over Lockerbie hearing request
Scottish officials have snubbed a US request to appear before a congressional hearing on the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is examining circumstances of Scotland’s decision last year to release Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of bombing a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The committee hearing is examining whether BP had any influence on the bomber’s release.
The UK Foreign Secretary last week said that BP had had no influence on the release, although he did say that he thought the early release of the bomber was inappropriate – a view also expressed by David Cameron.
Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, has refused to attend the hearing in the United States.
BP has all along denied it pressured Scottish authorities into releasing Megrahi in 2009, and Scottish authorities have also denied there was any such contact with BP.
Former justice secretary Jack Straw has also declined an invitation to testify.
Soft drinks to carry behaviour warning
Two of the country’s most popular drinks, Lucozade and Irn-Bru, will have to carry warnings to parents that the drinks may cause hyperactivity.
A new EU law compels the makers of the drinks to display a warning that they contain artificial colours linked to behavioural problems in young children.
Following a study which found the colouring in the drinks caused the behaviour of young children to deteriorate, the manufacturers were asked to remove the colouring agents (E110 in Lucozade and E124 in Irn-Bru).
Gordon Brown’s first interview since leaving office
In his first interview since leaving Downing Street, Gordon Brown said he wasn’t bruised by losing the election.
The former prime minister told the BBC’s Zeinab Badawi he wished his government had spotted the UK’s financial crisis earlier.
He was visiting Africa to give his first major speech since losing the general election.
He denied his reputation was damaged during his time in Downing Street and also said that he had no plans to retire.