Election 2017: What if I can’t afford to pay the rent? – BBC News

May 28, 2017

… Despite claiming housing benefit, tax credits and child benefit, there is always a shortfall at the end of the month. She wants the next government to introduce significant change: rents that can only rise in line with the National Living Wage, housing benefit that covers the rent, and more security of tenure. Conservative promises Image copyright Kate Stanworth Image caption Longer leases would give tenants more security, says Tracy Strassburg Tracy Strassburg – a mother of two …


Rare cigarette paintings up for auction – BBC News

May 28, 2017

Image copyright Imperial Tobacco The rare paintings, which formed the basis of the company’s advertising campaigns, have never been on public display, the auctioneer said. The Horizon building, which was built in 1972 at a cost of 14m, was one of the most modern factories of the time. Image copyright Imperial Tobacco The oil and watercolour paintings depicting children playing with cigarettes and women gleefully smoking, were painted before awareness of smoking’s health …


Who is Nicola Sturgeon? A profile of the SNP leader – BBC News

May 26, 2017

After studying law at Glasgow University and working as a solicitor at the city’s Drumchapel Law Centre, Ms Sturgeon’s entry into full-time politics came at the age of 29, when she was elected to the new Holyrood parliament in 1999, as a Glasgow regional MSP. As a frontbench opposition spokeswoman, she sought to hold the Labour-Lib Dem coalition government to account on education, justice and health. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Salmond-Sturgeon leadership …


Debt fears remain despite manifesto ‘breathing space’ plans – BBC News

May 23, 2017

… over the levels of personal debt among working households. Warnings The City regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – has warned of an acceleration in consumer borrowing, such as loans, overdrafts, credit card debt and car finance. This echoes concerns raised by the Bank of England. Image copyright PA Image caption Car sales have boomed in recent years The FCA is already conducting is own inquiry into overdrafts, door-to-door lending and other forms of loans. …


Mental health deaths probed at Essex NHS trust – BBC News

May 22, 2017

… himself. She said he had told her in a text earlier that week he was “in hell”. Image copyright Lowe family Image caption Melanie Lowe died in 2016 At the inquest last November, the coroner heard evidence of a catalogue of mistakes. Lawyer Rachel Codd, representing Ms Lowe’s family, said she had tried to abscond twice while on constant watch, but the locum psychiatrist who reassessed her upon admission did not have access to the observation notes. She added: “It …


The Canary Girls: The workers the war turned yellow – BBC News

May 20, 2017

Those who were spared such a fate were no less safe, facing daily peril by handling explosive chemicals that carried the risk of them contracting potentially fatal diseases. And for some, the effects of their work were immediately visible; a lurid shade of yellow that stained their skin and hair and earned them a nickname – the Canary Girls. Image copyright Hulton Archive Image caption Life in munitions was “hot… sweaty… dirty – women did not want the …


Instagram ‘worst for young mental health’ – BBC News

May 19, 2017

The RSPH report warns that “social media may be fuelling a mental health crisis” in young people. It can also be used as a tool for good, the report said, and companies should be doing their best to make platforms a safe place to be. About 90% of young people use social media – more than any other age group – so they are particularly vulnerable to its effects, although it is not clear what these are on current evidence. Image copyright Isla Whateley Social media …


Girlguiding overhauls badges to help girls ‘thrive’ – BBC News

May 18, 2017

Image copyright Girlguiding Image caption Air Mechanic badge was one of the earliest available Girlguiding might be more famous for less adventurous badges like Homemaker and Hostess but they also have a long tradition of groundbreaking badges, including: Image copyright Girlguiding Image caption Gymnast Beth Tweddle and Cece, a Brownie, have different goals in terms of new badges Sophie, 20, wanted a Video Journalist badge: “It would give girls the opportunity to learn …


‘Fat but fit is a big fat myth’ – BBC News

May 17, 2017

… heart disease, strokes and heart failure than people of normal weight. Image copyright Getty Images This makes it difficult for scientists to see how clear-cut the conclusions are or gauge how big any increased risks of ill-health might be. Does everyone agree? Other studies suggest it might just be possible to be fat and have the right genes, for example, to remain fit. For example research published in 2012 appears to suggests it is possible for people to buck the trend and be …


When a lion prowled the streets of Birmingham – BBC News

May 14, 2017

Image copyright Artokoloro Quint Lox Limited / Alamy Stock Photo Image caption An illustration from The Graphic newspaper shows men pulling a lion from a sewer using a rope while two other men threaten it with guns Frank C Bostock, the owner of a menagerie, was himself responsible for fooling both the public and the police over the whole lion-in-a-sewer affair. He later described the event as “thrilling”. World-famous as a lion tamer, having discovered the beasts were …


Mental health patients forced to travel hundreds of miles – BBC News

May 12, 2017

… said: “Inevitably, recovery takes longer during out-of-area care because people are away from their home, and don’t have access to their friends and family. It can’t in any way be beneficial to your recovery.” The Government has pledged to eliminate inappropriate out of area placements by 2020-21. Image copyright Pol Hodge Image caption Chloe Hodge, 19, is being treated in a mental health unit away from her father, Pol, who lives in Cornwall Pol Hodge is from …


Welney wildfowl centre hatches 26 ‘rare’ godwit chicks – BBC News

May 12, 2017

Image copyright Will Meinderts/David Morris RSPB Image caption Most UK black-tailed godwits nest in the Fens making the area “vital to the quest to maintain and increase” numbers Between 53 and 57 pairs breed in the UK every year Most are found in the Nene and Ouse Washes, but fewer than 10 pairs breed in the north of Scotland and the Shetland Islands They died out in the UK by the mid-19th Century due to habitat loss The first breeding pair returned to the Ouse …


Lord Bird wants prevention unit for poverty – BBC News

May 11, 2017

… and the criminal justice system – would be better targeted at prevention. And if Mrs May returns to Downing Street, he will be knocking on her door “to put her money where her mouth is”. Image copyright AFP Image caption Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wants investment in education and a higher living wage He says those at the bottom of the heap have been hurt by an economy dominated by a “horrible mix of consumerism and the financial industry”. But he says the …


The Falklands penguins that would not explode – BBC News

May 7, 2017

Image copyright Peter Gibbs Fortunately, the landmines aren’t a problem for the penguins – at least, not the little Magellanics and Gentoos of Yorke Bay. “They don’t seem to be heavy enough to set them off,” says Esther Bertram, chief executive officer of Falklands Conservation. We would rather have left the minefields as they were – they are all clearly marked, clearly fenced Barry Elsby, Member of the Falklands Legislative Assembly Behind their …


George Osborne’s priorities as Evening Standard editor – BBC News

May 2, 2017

… Conservative, but always a liberal one, and now I want us to fight for the liberal mainstream majority in this city.” Since leaving No 11, Osborne has missed running things. He’ll enjoy being a boss again. Prove he knows how to do journalism Image copyright Joseph Charlton Image caption George Osborne has already met the Evening Standard staff at the paper’s offices Osborne has done this several times of course, not least at the Treasury. Newspapers are generally very …


Tony Blair’s legacy 20 years on – BBC News

May 1, 2017

… country Image copyright PA The Cabinet And on the day after their election victory, Gordon Brown surprised everyone by handing control of interest rates to the Bank of England – a move that would have far-reaching consequences for the economy. Blair was also determined, like many a prime minister before and since, to fix some of the country’s longstanding social problems. One of his top priorities was reform of the UK’s social security system to make work pay. He …


‘I have dark thoughts about my children’s autism’ – BBC News

April 29, 2017

… diagnosed with autism aged six followed by dyspraxia and a mood disorder; her 17-year-old daughter was diagnosed with autism and ADHD in 2015; and her 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed when she was eight. “For me, the diagnosis of my middle child was earth-shatteringly awful because I think, on reflection, I always had this notion that ‘one of them’s going to be alright’ and I found that crushing.” Image copyright Michael Blastland Blastland recognises what …


‘My vision is like looking through a straw’ – BBC News

April 27, 2017

… make me feel a burden.” Image copyright MOlly Watt “It’s been a rocky road of denial as it is hard to come to terms with an ever-changing progressive condition. Battling with depression and anxiety was a constant struggle as I never wanted to leave the house.” Boswell says the impact upon mental health can depend on the support offered and how open people are about the challenges they face. Those who keep quiet are more likely to become “isolated and …


NHS contaminated blood was ‘criminal cover-up’ – Burnham – BBC News

April 26, 2017

… from imported blood products. Speaking in the Commons, the Labour MP said victims were “guinea pigs”. Health minister Nicola Blackwood resisted calls for a fresh inquiry. She said thousands of documents had been released by the Department of Health in relation to the scandal, while two reviews had already been carried out. Image copyright SPL Last year, the UK government launched a consultation on the money available to to those affected by the scandal. As a result, the …


Does the Dubai Frame depict an ugly picture?

April 24, 2017

(CNN)The United Arab Emirates is an architectural playground. Its existing man-made wonders include the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, while the world’s first rotating skyscraper has been proposed here by architect David Fisher. Blink and you’ll miss the next superlative project. …


‘I ignored my mum’s death, just like Prince Harry’ – BBC News

April 19, 2017

Image copyright Kathryn Watson Image caption Kathryn (right) struggled with anger after her mum, Heather (left), died from cancer “My mum was ill for about 18 months and it was really quite sudden. She went from being an outgoing person to simply not being there. Image copyright Kathryn Watson Image caption Kathryn says counselling helped her deal with the grief of losing her mum “What really spoke to me was Prince Harry talking about his anger. I felt that a lot. I …


Shanay Walker abuse death: School and care workers criticised – BBC News

April 13, 2017

The report found in the two years leading up to her death, bruising and injuries sustained by the child were explained away by her aunt as accidental or the result of self-harm. Image copyright Family Handout Image caption Shanay’s mother Leanne Walker suffered post-natal depression after another pregnancy Chris Cook, chair of the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Whilst professionals undoubtedly had Shanay’s well-being at heart, with the benefit of …


Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey to return to Sierra Leone – BBC News

April 12, 2017

… Ms Cafferkey, 41, who lives in Glasgow, said the trip would give her “closure in a positive way”. She first went to Sierra Leone as part of a team of British volunteers at the Kerry Town Ebola treatment centre. Image copyright PA Image caption Pauline Cafferkey has survived having Ebola twice, and also contracted meningitis Now working as a health visitor support nurse in South Lanarkshire, she is returning to Sierra Leone – where Ebola has since been eradicated – …


Social care system ‘beginning to collapse’ as 900 carers quit every day – BBC News

April 11, 2017

Those who provide care to people directly in their own homes, or in nursing homes, say a growing shortage of staff means people face receiving deteriorating levels of care. Image copyright BBC News Image caption According to the latest figures there are around 84,000 vacant adult social care jobs in England The government has recently committed to spending an extra 2bn on the social care system, and allowed local authorities to raise council tax bills in order to fund social care …


Shell corruption probe: New evidence on oil payments – BBC News

April 10, 2017

… didn’t get spent on public services. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A spokesperson for Goodluck Jonathan said no charges had been brought the former President relating to the transaction Italian prosecutors allege that $466m were laundered through a network of Nigerian bureaux de change to facilitate payments to President Jonathan and other politicians. A spokesperson for Goodluck Jonathan told the BBC that no charges or indictments have been brought or secured against …