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England has seen a fall in the number of beaches receiving Blue Flag awards, as coastal lines faced tough new EU standards this year.
Fifty-five beaches were awarded Blue Flag status, compared to the 79-beach total for last year.
They had to meet a new "excellent" standard required under the new EU Bathing Waters Directive.
Beaches also had to provide information to beach users advising where they can obtain real time information on discharges from nearby combined sewage overflows, if that discharge could temporarily affect the bathing water quality.
Thanet in Kent had the most Blue Flags this year, receiving eight, and the Dorset regions of Poole and Bournemouth had four Blue Flags, as did Torbay in Devon and the Isle of Wight.
The funeral of Corporal William Savage from Ayrshire will take place later at the Glencorse Kirk near the Penicuik Barracks.
He was killed on 30th April along with Fusilier Samuel Flint from the Royal Highland Fusiliers and Pte Robert Hetherington when their Mastiff armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside device during a routine patrol in Helmand.
After the storms have passed residents of Moore in Oklahoma have started the task of sifting through what is left of their homes.
George Osborne is braced for the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) verdict on Britain's economic prospects.In its annual healthcheck on UK plc, the IMF is expected to suggest that deficit reduction should be slowed amid weak growth.
The IMF was previously among the strongest backers of the Chancellor's economic strategy, but has gradually changed its tone in response to dwindling growth forecasts.
The organisation's head, Christine Lagarde, has insisted she still supports the Government's policy. But she added that "should growth be particularly low... there should be consideration to adjusting by way of slowing the pace".
North Korea says that a "special envoy" for leader Kim Jong Un has left for China.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a short dispatch that the envoy was Choe Ryong Hae, but added no other details.
Choe is the North Korea military's top political officer tasked with supervising the 1.2-million-strong force.
Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne has responded to claims that many police officers in the North East have been attacked in alcohol related assaults.
He said the government's Alcohol Strategy sets out a "wide range of action" to tackle irresponsible drinking. He added:
We have already introduced early morning restriction orders to curb alcohol sales, a late night levy to ensure those selling alcohol help pay towards the costs of policing and we have made it easier for local authorities to tackle problematic licensed premises.
Our consultation on further proposals to reduce alcohol-related harm closed on 6 February. We will set out a response in due course.
David Cameron will seek full EU backing for global action to counter tax evasion at a summit today.The Prime Minister wants the summit in Brussels to bolster the plan ahead of a G8 gathering he is hosting in Northern Ireland in June.
In a letter to fellow EU leaders Mr Cameron urged European governments to act against "staggering" losses from tax evasion and "aggressive avoidance" by adopting a US system of cross-border tax information exchange.
The UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy are jointly testing a scheme and intend to implement it by the end of this year.
The Police force that spent more than £11 million on a headquarters it has never used will sell the site after it has been empty for five years, it announced today.
Alpha Park will be put up for sale by Hampshire Constabulary because it cannot afford to develop it and is unlikely to recoup the money it paid.
Bought in 2008, the building in Eastleigh was purchased at the height of the property boom for £9.6 million, the force has spent an extra £1.836 million on upkeep, security, business rates and failed plans to turn it into an HQ for its 3,400 officers.
The then chief constable Alex Marshall was warned in 2010 that the force could not afford the bill to refurbish the site.
Last year, the local police federation called the issue "expensive and embarrassing", but added that the sale of the building had the green light from the Audit Commission.
Many people retiring will do so below the poverty line, an insurer has warned, as it says one in seven people planning to retire this year has no private pension.
Prudential added that women who are set to retire in 2013 were nearly three times more likely than men to be relying on the state as their sole form of pension income.
Just under 15% of this year's retirees said they had no company or personal pension and their only form of pension income would come from the state.
Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: "The basic state pension alone is not nearly enough to provide a comfortable standard of living."
Around 600 Afghan interpreters are to be offered the chance to settle in Britain after an apparent coalition rethink.
About half the staff working with UK forces are expected to be granted visas in recognition of risks to their personal safety.
The proposals could see all interpreters who have been in the job more than 12 months and put themselves in physical danger offered a resettlement package.
They will need to have worked between December 2012 and December 2014, when troops are due to leave, to be eligible.
They could be offered a five-year visa for themselves and their family, with help relocating and finding accommodation and work in the UK.
The move comes despite David Cameron previously suggesting most Afghan interpreters should stay on in their country to help rebuild it after years of conflict.
But Liberal Democrats pushed for a similar approach to that taken with Iraqi interpreters