Myanmar announced the release of thousands of prisoners including scores of Chinese loggers on Thursday in a mass amnesty aimed at promoting "goodwill", officials said, after a series of spats between Yangon and Beijing. Authorities acting on the instructions of President Thein Sein ordered some 6,966 detainees -- 210 of them foreigners -- to be freed across the country after they had been "well disciplined", according to a statement on the Ministry of Information website. The release included all of the 155 Chinese nationals handed long jail sentences for illegal logging in northern Myanmar near their shared border earlier this month, according to a home affairs ministry official who asked to remain anonymous because he was unauthorised to speak to the press.
Britain's largest utility Centrica will sell up to 1 billion pounds worth of upstream and wind assets by 2017 and reduce net headcount by around 4,000 staff as it looks to put more emphasis on energy supply and services. The owner of energy supplier British Gas reported a three percent fall in first-half adjusted operating profit to 1 billion pounds, meeting expectations. Centrica said cost cuts including the job losses would save around 750 million pounds a year by 2020.