BBC to axe 650 World Service jobs

The BBC today confirmed plans to axe 650 jobs under huge cost savings, saying it was a "painful day" for its global news service.

Around 480 of the jobs will go over the next year and the savings will amount to 46 million a year by 2014.

The BBC made it clear the cuts were as a result of changes to the funding of the World Service, which will be paid for by the licence fee from 2014 rather than by the Government.

The World Service is to close five of its language services - Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa and Serbian, as well as the English for the Caribbean regional service, which will reduce the world service's 180 million global audience by 30 million.

CHANGES: From March 1 the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving will double.

Drivers face double points for phone use