The aptly-named Miracle Machine offers to make a 750ml bottle of wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, within three days. More »The Miracle Machine: New Device Creates Wine From Water
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Home Secretary Theresa May has ordered a public inquiry into undercover policing following a "profoundly shocking" report on alleged corruption in the Stephen Lawrence murder case. The teenager's father Neville said the findings of the review by barrister Mark Ellison were "21 years overdue". Mrs May told the House of Commons a judge-led inquiry would now examine the work of undercover officers and Scotland Yard's Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS). Mr Ellison, who successfully prosecuted two men over Mr Lawrence's 1993 murder, found that an unnamed SDS "spy" was working in the Lawrence "family camp" during an earlier judicial inquiry into the 18-year-old's death. More »Stephen Lawrence Report Sparks Public Inquiry
A letter sent to Max Clifford by a woman who accused him of assaulting her more than 35 years earlier was found by police in a cupboard next to his bed, a court has heard. The woman, who met Clifford in Spain in 1977 while she was on a family holiday, wrote the anonymous letter to him recounting his alleged assaults after she went for counselling in 2010. Prosecutor Rosina Cottage read excerpts of the letter as the trial of the 70-year-old got under way at Southwark Crown Court. The court was told the note sent to Clifford's Central London office said: "You used me, you abused me, you upset me. More »Max Clifford 'Used Me, Abused Me, Upset Me'
Legoland in Britain will close its hotel this weekend after far-right extremists made threats against the theme park for agreeing to host a Muslim family fun day. More »Britain's Legoland to shut after extremist threats
Vince Cable has been criticised after saying teachers know "absolutely nothing about the world of work". The Business Secretary was speaking to 600 representatives of the manufacturing industry when he made the comment. But the underlying problem is of course that most teachers, particularly in the secondary sector, are graduates. "This is a crass remark, which is insulting to teachers who are workers in their own right," she said. More »Cable: Teachers Know Nothing Of World Of Work
Legoland has closed its Windsor hotel for the weekend after threats were made to staff and visitors over a Muslim family fun day that had been due to be held at the theme park. More than 4,000 people were expected to attend the private event organised by the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF). But following threats from far-right groups the fun day was cancelled on February 24 and now Legoland has gone a step further and closed its hotel for the weekend. The Berkshire theme park itself is due to reopen to the public for the 2014 season on March 14. More »Legoland Closes Hotel Over Far-Right Threats
Royal Dutch Shell has become the second energy heavyweight to urge Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom as the campaign for Scottish independence battles mounting opposition from businesses. Shell is a key player in the North Sea oil and gas fields off Scotland and its Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said a vote for independence on September 18 would mean greater uncertainty for the energy industry. Last month, the boss of BP warned Scottish independence could cause "uncertainties" for his company. Other oil companies in the North Sea on Thursday stressed the importance of predictability for their operations, joining a growing number of financial services companies voicing concerns about the impact of independence but avoiding political comment. More »Shell wants Scotland to stay in UK as oil firms opt for stability
A 21-year-old man has been arrested at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of training for terrorism overseas, Scotland Yard said. Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command arrested the man after he got off a flight from Istanbul at around 2pm on Thursday. He is being held in custody at a West London police station under section six of the Terrorism Act 2006. Turkey is a well-established route for people travelling to and from Syria. More »Gatwick Airport: Man Held Over 'Terror Training'
Britain's coalition government was bitterly divided over immigration on Thursday after the Conservative minister in charge of the issue accused Business Secretary Vince Cable from the Liberal Democrats of asserting "falsehoods" about the impact of immigrant labour. More »Immigration report sparks British coalition row
Gavin And Stacey creator and star Ruth Jones has said the decision to make digital channel BBC3 an online-only service is "extreme". The channel made the sitcom an award-winning hit but it has now been confirmed by BBC director-general Tony Hall that it will be replaced with a new BBC One +1 service from next year. Jones, who stars in Sky 1 HD's Stella , told Sky News: "It's been the TV birthplace of so many great comedies and bizarre documentaries which are now going to be left homeless. The channel's programmes will move to iPlayer, with many of its shows also being shown on BBC1 and BBC2. More »End Of BBC3: Ruth Jones Slams 'Extreme' Move
The chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell has said he wants Scotland to remain part of the UK. At the company's annual reception in London, Ben van Beurden said he valued the "continuity and stability" of the UK. Mr van Beurden, who took the helm of Britain's most valuable company in January, spoke out after the oil company's chairman had previously refused to comment on Shell's views surrounding September's referendum. The chief executive told the audience: "Shell has a long history of involvement in the North Sea and therefore in Scotland - and we have continued to invest heavily there. More »Shell Boss Rejects Scottish Independence
By Nina Chestney LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's investment in low-carbon energy is running at less than half of the 200 billion pounds ($334.6 billion) needed over the next decade to meet emissions reduction targets, British lawmakers said in a report on Thursday. The European Union as a whole has to cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 under the Kyoto Protocol international climate pact. Britain set up the Green Investment Bank (GIB) in 2012 with 3.8 billion pounds ($6.3 billion) of initial capital to help spur investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency and stipulated it could turn to the debt markets for funding next year depending on the government debt burden. GIB has estimated that at least 200 billion pounds must be invested in low-carbon infrastructure over the next 10 years, including around 110 billion to replace old nuclear and coal power plants and upgrade the grid. More »UK needs 100 billion pounds more to meet 2020 carbon targets
By Andy Bruce LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices jumped sharply in February, rising at the fastest monthly pace since May 2009, mortgage lender Halifax reported on Thursday. Halifax said house prices rose 2.4 percent in February compared with a 1.1 percent rise in January, far outstripping a Reuters poll consensus for a 0.7 percent gain. House prices in the three months to January were 7.9 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with 7.2 percent in January. Halifax said an improved economic outlook, falling unemployment and better confidence had boosted demand, but pressure on household finances and below-inflation growth in earnings would constrain the rise of house prices. More »UK house prices see fastest growth in five years in Feb - Halifax
A new £20.5m action plan to protect Somerset from flooding will include "immediate" dredging of five miles of the Rivers Parrett and Tone as soon as it is "safe and practical". Announcing the measures, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the plan would support farmers to manage flood risk better and ensure new developments meet the "highest standards" for water and drainage. Some temporary flood defences and pumping sites will be made permanent and a new Somerset rivers board will be created. The plan was commissioned by Mr Paterson in January, after he visited communities on the flood-hit Somerset Levels. More »Flood-Hit Rivers To Be Dredged 'As Soon As Safe'
Developers could be blocked from building homes on flood plains under a shake-up of planning law due to be revealed today. That would mean less pressure to build on flood plains for planners, who have long been expected to help town halls meet house-building targets. Many hope the new guidelines will also ensure experts' advice plays a greater role in the planning process. Among the areas worst-hit by recent flooding was Longford, near Gloucester, where David Cameron told residents in February that expert advice was always followed during the planning process. More »Building Homes On Flood Plains 'To Be Blocked'
Simon Cowell has admitted he was worried he might like his dogs more than his son before baby Eric was born. In an interview with his ex-girlfriend Terri Seymour, the X Factor creator said he was "born to be a dad" and would consider having more children. Cowell had to make a mad dash from London, where he was filming Britain's Got Talent, to be at girlfriend Lauren Silverman's side when she gave birth to Eric in New York on Valentine's Day. More »Cowell Worried About Preferring Pets To Son
By Alexander Winning LONDON (Reuters) - Kath Caldwell worries she may have been wrong to encourage her children to go to university. "I know they gained useful experience," said Caldwell, a social worker from Warrington in northwest England. "But they have massive debts and are in jobs they could have got without studying beyond school." Of Caldwell's four children, three are graduates working in jobs that do not require a degree. They are part of a growing trend in Britain, where rising numbers of underused young workers are a reminder of the challenges of getting the country's economy onto a sounder footing and rebalancing it more towards manufacturing. More »Underused graduates add to challenges for UK recovery
The incoming head of Britain's professional vets body called Thursday for traditional Jewish and Islamic animal slaughter practices to be banned if they cannot adapt to methods deemed more humane. More »Top British vet calls for halal, kosher changes
Britain said on Thursday it was planning an unscheduled re-fuelling of one of its nuclear submarines following an investigation into a problem discovered over two years ago at a prototype reactor based permanently in Scotland. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the decision to re-fuel HMS Vanguard, the longest serving submarine in Britain's nuclear fleet, was being taken as a precautionary measure, and that the submarine's own reactor had not suffered any problems. Hammond said that a reactor based at Douneray in Scotland, which is identical to those used on board Britain's nuclear fleet and used to mimic on-board conditions, had been shut down in 2012 after a problem was detected. Britain is one of only five officially recognised nuclear-armed countries. More »Britain to refuel nuclear sub after problem with test reactor