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Friends of the Earth: Fracking risk 'unacceptable'

Protesters demonstrated against fracking in North Yorkshire Credit: John Giles / PA Wire

Friends of the Earth has labelled North Yorkshire council's decision to allow Third Energy to frack in the area as 'unacceptable'.

Simon Bowens, Yorkshire and Humberside campaigner for Friends of the Earth said: "This is an absolute travesty of a decision but the battle is very far from over."

"Today seven out of 11 North Yorkshire county councillors voted to approve this fracking application in Ryedale, ignoring the objection of Ryedale District Council itself, as well as thousands of local residents and businesses."

"Despite this decision, public support for fracking is plummeting as Wales, Scotland and countries across Europe have suspended it. The risks to people's health and the environment are unacceptable and we will fight on."

Greenpeace: Fracking fight not over

A protester outside County Hall, Northallerton Credit: John Giles / PA Wire

Greenpeace has criticised the decision by North Yorkshire council to allow Third Energy to frack for shale gas in the near the village of Kirby Misperton.

Daisy Sands, Greenpeace's head of energy campaign said: "Given the pro-fracking bias from central government, there was an air of inevitability about this bitterly disappointing decision."

"It is striking that the overwhelming number of speakers giving evidence at the two-day hearing were against fracking and Ryedale Parish Council voted against fracking at its back door, but North Yorks Council has overlooked this and the many, many concerns that were raised locally."

"But this isn't over and people will continue to raise their very valid concerns and keep fighting against fracking because it will industrialise the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and contribute to climate change," she added.

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Austria's right-wing candidate concedes presidential defeat

Alexander Van der Bellen of the Greens has beaten right-wing Norbert Hofer. Credit: Reuters

Alexander Van der Bellen of the Greens has beaten right-wing Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party to become Austria's President.

Hofer conceded defeat on his Facebook page as officials announced that Van der Bellen won by 31,026 votes.

Defeated Norbert Hofer (right) urged his supporters not to be 'despondent'. Credit: Reuters

Thanking his supporters, Hofer said: "I will remain loyal to you and my contribution for a positive future in Austria. Please don't be despondent."

Austrians went to the polls on Sunday in a presidential contest that had migration as a key issue, highlighting how the refugee crisis is shaping the continent's politics.

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Austrian candidates split country down middle

  • ITV News Report by Europe Editor James Mates

The two Austrian candidates vying for presidency have split the country exactly in half, according to voting projections.

Most of the votes have been counted, and the projection made by the state broadcaster has the two candidates at 50% and 50% in what has been called a statistical dead heat.

Postal votes are yet to be counted, however, and the new president is now expected to be announced on Monday.

Preliminary election results show far-right candidate Hofer in lead

Alexander Van Der Bellen (L) and Norbert Hofer (R) Credit: Reuters

Austria's Ministry of the Interior has announced that the preliminary result of the presidential election shows Norbert Hofer on 51.9% of the vote, ahead of Alexander Van Der Bellen on 48.1%.

Norbert Hofer is the candidate for far-right party the Freedom Party, while Van Der Bellen is an Independent candidate.

The full result will not be known until Monday as postal votes need to be counted.

Austrian election result will not be known until Monday

The result of Austria's presidential election will not be known until Monday, said far-right Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer.

"We will have to wait until tomorrow," Hofer told broadcaster ORF.

Nearly all votes that have been cast in polling stations have been counted, with two candidates in a dead heat.

Postal ballots, which will not be counted until Monday, will determine the winner of what has been the closest race in living memory.

Exit poll suggests Austrian vote too close to call

Nobert Hofer

The far-right Austrian candidate is marginally ahead in presidential vote, exit polls suggest.

The race is too close to call with Norbert Hofer on 50.2% and former Greens leader Alexander Van der Bellen on 49.8%, according to a projection by Sora, with a margin of error of two percentage points.

Migration was a key issue in the presidential campaign, highlighting how the refugee crisis is shaping the continent's politics.

Europe Editor James Mates tweets:

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