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Secret files reveal Thatcher agreed to major review of energy during 1980s oil downturn


Margaret Thatcher agreed to a major review of energy policy at the height of the 1980s oil downturn after being warned of "daunting uncertainties" in the field, previously secret records reveal. Number 10 adviser John Wybrew told the then prime minister the review should consider how much government support should be provided to see the industry through the collapse. In a memo from July 1986, released by the National Archives today, he argues any attempt to formulate a "definitive master plan" would do "more harm than good".

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Modi seeks to curb gas subsidies to contain India budget gap


India will offer cooking gas subsidies only to citizens with taxable incomes of less than 1 million rupees ($15,000) a year, part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to sustainably curb Asia’s widest budget deficit. The more than 163 million consumers can voluntarily declare their eligibility starting Jan. 1, the Oil Ministry said in a statement on Monday. It didn’t announce steps to enforce the decision.

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Cameron in No10 talks to seal trade deals with China


David Cameron will host talks with Xi Jinping at Downing Street as he seeks to cement multi-billion trade deals during the Chinese president’s four-day state visit to the UK. Investment by Beijing in Britain’s first UK nuclear power plant in a generation is expected to be confirmed as part of what the Government hopes will amount altogether to £30 billion of agreements. But the lavish welcome given to the president was attacked as a “national humiliation” by a former close adviser to the Prime Minister, who is under pressure to raise concerns about human rights and “dumped” cheap steel blamed for the loss of thousands of British jobs.