1 France to ban oil, gas production at home (San Francisco Chronicle) France’s government has unveiled a law to ban all production and exploration of oil and natural gas by 2040 on the country’s mainland and overseas territories. The move is largely symbolic, however, as France’s oil and gas production represents just 1 percent of national consumption — the rest is imported.
Current drilling permits will not be renewed, according to the bill formally presented in a Cabinet meeting. France currently has 63 oil and gas drilling projects on its territory. The ban, which the government claims is a world first, is part of a larger plan to wean the country’s economy from fossil fuels, encourage clean energy and fulfill France’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to curb global warming.
The bill, which was described by Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot, also includes a definitive ban on all shale gas exploration and extraction. Until now, only hydraulic fracturing, a process known as fracking, was banned. All other potential methods are now to be prohibited as well.
Hulot had announced in July that France will stop producing power from coal — now 5 percent of its total output — by 2022. France also wants to reduce the proportion of the power it gets from nuclear energy to 50 percent by 2025 from the current 75 percent.
2 India fears twin-front war with Pak, China (The Guardian) India’s army chief as said the country should be prepared for a potential two-front war given China is flexing its muscles and there is little hope for reconciliation with Pakistan.
General Bipin Rawat referred to a recent 10-week standoff with the Chinese army in the Himalayas that ended last week. He said the situation could gradually snowball into a larger conflict on India’s northern border. Rawat said Pakistan on the western front could take advantage of such a situation.
The Press Trust of India news agency quoted Rawat’s remarks at a seminar organised by the Center for Land Warfare Studies, a thinktank in New Delhi. India fought a war with China in 1962 and three wars with Pakistan, two of them over control of Kashmir, since securing independence from Britain in 1947. All three countries are nuclear powers.
Rawat said credible deterrence did not take away the threat of war. “Nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence. Yes, they are. But to say that they can deter war or they will not allow nations to go to war, in our context that may also not be true,” the news agency quoted him as saying.
His comments came a day after India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and China’s president, Xi Jinping, agreed on a “forward-looking” approach to Sino-India ties, putting behind the Doklam standoff.
3 Asda to axe hundreds of jobs (BBC) Asda is to axe hundreds of jobs at its West Yorkshire head office and a further site in the East Midlands as part of a major cost-cutting drive. About 300 jobs are to go at Asda House in Leeds and George House in Leicester the chain said, with job descriptions to a further 800 roles changed.
The grocery giant said its home offices needed to “adapt how they operate to support our stores”. A spokesperson for Asda said: “In recent years, the competitive landscape in retail has changed significantly and Asda has been no different.
Figures for 2016 showed like-for-like sales were down 5.7% compared with the previous year. The chain is the third-largest UK supermarket behind Tesco and Sainsbury’s according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel, but has been hurt by the rise of German discounters Aldi and Lidl.