Monday , April 23 2018

PM to raise Yemen concerns in Saudi crown prince visit

Image copyright AFP Image caption The 32-year old has led a purge of corrupt officials and replaced Saudi Arabia's top army officersSaudi Arabia's crown prince is starting a three-day visit to the UK later amid protests planned against his country's role in the war in Yemen. Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is seen by some as a modernising force in the Gulf State. He is due to hold talks with Theresa May and have lunch with the Queen. The UK hopes to capitalise on the Saudi economy's opening-up but No 10 said the PM would also express "deep concern" at the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Demonstrators protesting against the Saudi-led coalition bombing of rebel Houthi forces in Yemen are expected outside Downing Street - where Mohammed bin Salman will meet Mrs May and other cabinet ministers. The crown prince, who is regarded as being heir presumptive to the 82-year old King Salman, is making his first visit to the UK since taking up the role last year. He will also h..

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Red squirrel numbers boosted by predator

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThere are an estimated 140,000 red squirrels in the UK, compared with more than two million greysThe pine marten has emerged as an unlikely ally for the beleaguered native red squirrel in its battle with the grey squirrel. This is according to scientists at the University of Aberdeen, who carried out an in-depth forensic study of the relationship between the three species. The pine marten is a predator of the reds, but in areas where it thrives, the number of grey squirrels reduces. The findings are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The journal study suggests that the pine martens reverse the "typical relationship" between red and grey squirrels, where the red always loses out, according to lead researcher Dr Emma Sheehy. "Where pine marten activity is high, grey squirrel populations are actually heavily suppressed. And that gives the competitive advantage to red squirrels," she said. "So you see lots of re..

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Five patients made 8,303 emergency calls in a year

Image caption The five most frequent emergency callers were admitted to hospital 169 times in 12 monthsAmbulances and emergency response vehicles were deployed more than 1,500 times to five patients in 12 months, the BBC has learned. A total of 8,303 emergency calls were made by the five most frequent UK callers. An NHS spokesman said the calls were often related to mental health, chronic pain and alcohol or drug dependence. Vicki Nash from mental health charity Mind said the figures show that individuals' needs were not being met. The figures were released after a Freedom of Information request to the UK's 14 ambulance trusts. The highest number of calls by a single patient were made to London's ambulance service, which was contacted 3,594 times. Other services to receive frequent calls include East Midlands Ambulance service, which was called 1,244 times by a single patient, and South West Ambulance service, which received 1,044 calls from one person. "Frequent ..

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Cars buck falling CO2 emissions trend

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Emissions from coal use are down while emissions from motor vehicles have risenBritain's carbon emissions have sunk to the level last seen in 1890 – the year before penalties were first awarded in football. In 2017, CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels fell by 2.6%. This was mainly driven by a 19% decline in coal use. It follows a 5.8% fall in 2016, which saw a record 52% drop in coal use, according to the green website Carbon Brief. The figure is doubly striking as emissions from cars have been going up. The analysis is based on government energy-use figures. The government will publish its own CO₂ estimates later in March. Last year, Carbon Brief's preliminary assessment of CO₂ proved accurate. This year’s shows that the UK's total CO₂ emissions are currently 38% below 1990 levels. They have been decreasing steadily since 2012, with big falls in 2014 and 2016. The decline continued in 2017. Oil and petroleum use increased s..

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'No exams but I got the job'

Image caption Maxine left school without qualifications but went on to become a tutorMaxine Turner left school without a single qualification. "But I knew I wasn't thick," she says. She went on to get a teaching qualification and now she's running education courses trying to help adults without qualifications, without jobs and often drained of self-confidence. Maxine is speaking at Mowbray Gardens Library in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where a group is gathering for lessons taught by the Workers Educational Association (WEA), the largest voluntary sector provider of adult education. There are ex-miners here who haven't worked since the pits closed in the 1980s. Image caption "We all need respect. Everyone should have a chance," says ShaneWhen Maxine left school in the 1970s, she says working class youngsters were expected to go straight into factories, mines or the steelworks. They didn't need to take exams. "Maths may as well have been taught in Martian langu..

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UK company linked to laundered Bitcoin billions

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Mt Gox bitcoin exchange theft is the largest in the crypto-currency's historyA UK company has been linked to the laundering of 650,000 stolen bitcoins worth £4.5bn, a BBC Radio 4 investigation has found. The coins were taken by hackers from Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, leaving tens of thousands of customers out of pocket. It's not clear who is in control of the London-based firm Always Efficient LLP. Mt Gox operator Mark Karpeles apologised to investors and said he was co-operating with the investigation. The FBI has charged a Russian national with laundering the stolen bitcoins. Mt Gox matched up those who wanted to buy the crypto-currency with dollars, pounds and other international denominations with those wanting to sell bitcoins, and handled an estimated 70% of the world's Bitcoin trade. The exchange was originally set up to trade cards from a game set in a world of wizards, spells and monsters. When it turned ..

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Smart device security guidelines 'need more teeth'

Image copyright AFP Image caption UK homes have an average of 10 smart devices, including toys such as internet-connected My Friend CaylaThe UK government has announced guidelines to make internet-connected devices safer to use following a spate of security breaches. It includes moves to make sure passwords are unique and not resettable to a factory default and that sensitive data transmitted via apps is encrypted. But the guidelines are not binding, leading some to question how effective they will be. One expert said they would not stop "irresponsible" manufacturers. As well as the stricter guidance on passwords and recommended encryption, the government's Security by Design review suggested: Device manufacturers have a point of contact so that security researchers can report issues immediately Software should be updated automatically with clear guidance for customers It should be easy for consumers to delete personal data Installation and maintenance should be easy for cons..

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