The National Audit Office has been quietly investigating the subsidy deal for the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear plant for the past year, it emerged on Thursday.

In recent days both the Labour Party and the Commons Environmental Audit Committee have urged the spending watchdog to examine the deal, which commits consumers to pay up to £17bn in subsidies to developer EDF over a 35-year period.

But the NAO confirmed on Thursday night that an investigation was in fact already well underway.

Sandwell’s Mayor will join the Russian Ambassador and diplomats at a unique medal presentation in West Bromwich for war veterans.

Former Royal Navy sailors, who risked their lives in the Arctic convoys to Russia during the Second World War, will be honoured with the prestigious Ushakov medal.  

Sixteen veterans and members of their families are being invited to the awards ceremony in West Bromwich on October 8.

The men took part in the Arctic convoys, which delivered supplies to the Russians in very dangerous conditions near the Arctic Circle. More than 3,000 men lost their lives during the convoys which Winston Churchill described as “the worst journey in the world”.

Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). In past outbreaks the death percentage was 88% now it has been reduced to 53.8%, either by medical care or due to mutation. It is unclear.

The recent outbreak isn't just the worst single Ebola outbreak in history, it has now killed more than all the others combined.

Healthcare workers are visibly struggling, the response to the outbreak has been damned as "lethally inadequate" and the situation is showing signs of getting considerably worse.

The outbreak has been running all year, but the latest in a stream of worrying statistics shows 40% of all the deaths have been in just the past three weeks.

So what can we expect in the months, and possibly years, to come? The stories of healthcare workers being stretched beyond breaking point are countless. A lack of basic protective gear such as gloves has been widely reported.The charity "Médecins Sans Frontières" has an isolation facility with 160 beds in Monrovia. But it says the queues are growing and they need another 800 beds to deal with the number of people who are already sick.This is not a scenario for containing an epidemic, but fuelling one.

Dudley MP Ian Austin has invited local veterans campaigner Phyllis Coyle to visit Parliament for a commemoration of the Arctic Convoys next week.

The commemoration – which takes place at 6:30pm on Monday 24 February - will feature of screening of the documentary “Hurricanes to Murmansk” about the first Arctic Convoy dispatched in August 1941 following the German invasion of Russia.  Churchill sent a complete RAF Wing of Hurricane aircraft to secure the strategic port of Murmansk, the vital supply route for war materials to Russia during WW2.