The Roundup – Tuesday 28 August 2012

Hitting the headlines today…

The armed forces were called in to make up the G4S shortfall

G4S Takes £50m Hit

Security company G4S has reported a £50m hit after the firm failed to fulfil its security contract for the Olympics.

G4S Chief Executive, Nick Buckles said he was “deeply disappointed” by the company’s failure to provide the required 10,400 guards.

Figures from the global security company confirmed the effect of the Olympic contract which will see the firm pay towards the upper end of a £35-50m estimate. This includes them paying for the deployment of troops.

G4S reported pre-tax profits of £61m were down from the £151m in the first six months of 2011 which is a result of the £50m hit as well as £24m cost of restructuring after the company cut 1,100 jobs from its global workforce.

Buckles denied that the Olympics fiasco would harm the firm’s chances of securing future government contracts.

Virgin Trains Takes Court Action Over West Coast Contract

Virgin Trains has said it has had “no choice” but to begin court proceedings over the government’s decision to award transport company FirstGroup an important contract.

FirstGroup have been given the West Coast Main Line contract, a post that Virgin Trains has held since 1997. But Richard Branson’s company has urged the government to delay the signing of the contract and review the deal.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said there would be no delay in closing the FirstGroup deal, but Virgin are now hoping that a legal challenge will bring the desired suspension.

New Report Suggests Cannabis Smokers Risk Lower IQ

New evidence reveals greater risk to cannabis smokers

Adolescents who smoke cannabis regularly are at risk of significant and permanent damage to their IQ, research suggests.

An international research team studied 1,000 people in Dunedin, New Zealand, from birth to the age of 38, and they say that their findings show cannabis use has a more damaging effect on young brains than on adults.

The study found that persistent users of cannabis – those who smoked it at least four times a week through their teens, 20s and in some cases their 30s – suffered a significant decline in their IQ.

Those who smoked the drug as adolescents for many years had an average eight point IQ decline.

Reducing or quitting cannabis use did not repair the damage.

The research was carried out by a team from King’s College and Duke University, North Carolina in the United States and published online by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

Fatal Car Bomb Blows Up at a Funeral in Damascus

Twelve people have been killed in a car bomb that exploded at a funeral in a Damascus suburb, state TV has reported.

The funeral in the Jaramana suburb was reportedly for two supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

A taxi had been used to carry the bomb to the site of the attack, according to state run news agency Sana.

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