Friday 15 December 2017

€805m gas deal in North

Northern Ireland's largest natural gas distribution and energy service has been sold in one of the biggest deals of its kind.

Some £700m (€805m) may have been paid for Phoenix Natural Gas, which has connected about 165,000 homes and businesses to its network.

The business was bought by specialist investment fund manager Hastings, whose chief executive Andrew Day said he was excited about the future.

"The outlook for the use of natural gas as a clean and efficient fuel source in Northern Ireland is compelling," he said.


The mother and stepfather of a four-year-old boy who was starved and beaten to death were yesterday sentenced in Britain to a minimum of 30 years.

Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek were convicted of murdering Daniel Pelka, who was abused and tortured in the months before his death.

The case has horrified Britain and raised questions of why teachers at Daniel's school in Coventry, central England – who had seen his bruises and emaciated frame – did not intervene.


The driver of a Spanish train that derailed, killing 79 people, ignored three warnings to reduce speed in the two minutes before the train hurtled off the tracks on a treacherous curve.

A court statement yesterday said the driver was talking on the phone to a colleague when he received the first automatic warning in his cabin of a sharply reduced speed zone ahead.

The statement said the warning was by means of an audible sound but provided no further detail.


Samantha Power is officially the new US ambassador to the UN.

Vice-President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to the 42-year-old Power yesterday, a day after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the human rights advocate by a vote of 87-10.

Power succeeds Susan Rice, now the president's national security adviser.

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