The proportion by which Royal Dutch Shell plans to cut its spending over the next four years. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is preparing for a scenario where oil prices stay “lower forever” and plans to cancel or defer big oil projects and renegotiate contracts with suppliers. Now operating in 70 countries, Shell is planning to focus on 13 markets where it gets reliable returns, including Australia, Brazil and the US.
One estimate of the weight of plastic pollution in our oceans. This equates to around 5.25 trillion particles. Many species suffer from ingesting these microplastics – particularly corals, which are already in trouble because of rising sea temperatures.
The price private equity tycoon Daren Metropoulos has paid for Hugh Hefner’s mansion in Los Angeles. The 12-bedroom, 22,000ft2 property has been sold on condition that Playboy founder Hefner, who is 90, can spend the rest of his life there. When Playboy acquired the mansion for $1.1m in 1971, it was the most expensive real estate deal in Los Angeles’ history.
The area of British soil that is affected by the legacy of the country’s industrial past – yet local councils are finding it harder to get capital funding from central government to tackle this problem. If action isn’t taken, the Environmental Audit Committee says the government will miss its target to manage the UK’s soil sustainably by 2030.
The percentage of China’s GDP lost through shortsightedness. Research suggests that at least one in three Chinese over the age of five suffers from myopia. One explanation for the condition’s prevalence is that young Chinese spend too much time studying. The cost to the country is estimated at £72bn, more than the GDP of Myanmar.
The amount Luxembourg’s government is investing in a push to mine asteroids. Seeking to establish at the forefront of Europe’s commercial space industry, the government will use public funds, create new regulations and consider taking stakes in private companies. The Grand Duchy pursued a similar strategy in the 1980s, investing in a fledgling satellite company that is now SES SA.
The growth in the Eurozone’s GDP in the first quarter of 2016, slightly more than the forecast 0.5%. The Euro 28 economy grew by 0.5% in the same period. The best performing countries were Romania (1.6%), Cyprus (0.9%), Spain, Lithuania, Austria and Slovakia (all 0.8%).
Staff work in credit unions and co-operative high street retailers, a sector that generates revenues of around £34bn a year, according to a new report from Cooperative UK. Membership of Britain’s cooperatives has soared to 17.5m.