Global habitat destruction 'causing mass extinction'

Reports that the destruction of wild habitats could help cause a 'mass extinction' of global wildlife feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The "number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends", the Guardian reports. The newspaper says that the analysis, "the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67 per cent by 2020. Researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame".

The economic benefits of expanding Heathrow airport were overstated by up to £86 billion, the Times  (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that "buried government figures" reveal that "building an extra runway at Gatwick airport would bring virtually the same benefits to the nation as expanding Heathrow".

Former planning minister Nick Boles has revealed he is fighting cancer for a second time, the Telegraph reports. The newspaper says that Boles "said doctors at King's College Hospital accident and emergency department had found a cancerous tumour in his head". He is currently undergoing treatment, the newspaper adds.

Developers "are pressing ahead with plans to build the City of London’s tallest tower, after several months of deliberating in the wake of the EU referendum", the Telegraph reports. The newspaper says that "Axa Investment Managers Real Assets, the property arm of the French insurance group, announced that it will continue building the new tower at 22 Bishopsgate, in a show of support for a patch of London that has spent a decade as a construction site".

The world’s largest offshore developer of wind energy "is considering whether to ditch its oil and gas business", the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that Dong Energy confirmed yesterday that it no longer considered oil and gas to be "a long-term strategic commitment" and said that it was "reviewing strategic options" for the future of the division.

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