11th May 2018

Other Stories – 11th May 2018

Another busy week has passed – in case you missed them here are some of the stories that caught our eye, including Zuckerberg’s romantic new venture, a golden find in a bin and Trump and Macron’s mysterious tree.

Photo: MSN

Wiped out? As part of the government’s drive to reduce plastic and its damage on the environment, new proposals advise banishing wet wipes from the UK entirely. Despite various awareness campaigns, evidence suggests many people still flush wet wipes, and in some areas the number of wet wipes retrieved from river beds has actually increased. Ultimately, flushing wet wipes blocks sewer systems and releases chemical fibres into our waterways, which poisons fish and other marine life. It’s yet unclear whether it would be illegal to buy or sell them.  The Independent

Should 25-year-olds get a £10,000 gift? That’s what prominent think tank Resolution Foundation has proposed in a bid to close the intergenerational money gap. It suggested that every 25-year-old in the UK should be granted £10,000 to put towards a house deposit or fund “skills, entrepreneurship and pension saving”. The think tank also pointed out that today’s thirty-somethings are the first generation to see their incomes drop compared to their parents at the same age. Sky News

UK home-schooling increases by 40% in three years. In 2016-17 around 48,000 children in the UK were home-schooled. That’s compared to 34,000 in 2014-15. Parents cite mental health issues and avoiding exclusion as their rationale for removing their children from traditional schooling, among other reasons. The Isle of Wight has the highest proportion of children in home education, where almost one in 50 children is now learning at home. BBC News

Facebook moves into online dating. There are 200 million Facebook users who list themselves as ‘single’, and Mark Zuckerberg has announced plans to open new dating features on the platform. “This is going to be for building real long-term partnerships”, says Zuckerberg, “the bottom line is we want Facebook to be somewhere where you can start meaningful relationships’. Watch this space. The FT

Mental health services for new and expectant mothers will be accessible within a year. According to government estimates, between 10% and 20% of women are affected by mental health issues during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth. To ensure adequate support is available, NHS England has said that by next April it aims to ensure 100% of the country has good access to perinatal mental health care. It has committed £365m in funding to the project, which aims to provide better geographical coverage through community services and inpatient mother and baby units. The Guardian

The White House tree Macron and Trump planted is already missing. When the French President recently visited the US, he and President Trump celebrated the relationship between their two nations by planting a tree in the White House grounds. However, just days later, photographers noticed the tree had disappeared. After much mystery, it has been confirmed the tree is in quarantine while authorities check for parasites. The tree came from Belleau Wood in France, where almost 2,000 American soldiers died in World War One. According to an official in Macron’s office, it will soon be replanted. Reuters

Russia showcases robot tank at Victory Day parade. As part of its World War II Victory Day celebrations, Russia showed off a number of new weapons systems, including a remote-controlled tank. The Uran-9 tank features anti-tank rockets, a cannon and a machine gun, and Russia’s suggests it has already performed well for Russian forces fighting in Syria. It is reportedly able to locate a target itself, but the decision to fire is taken by a commander in an armoured truck up to 3km away. BBC News

Airport worker makes a golden discovery. A cleaner at South Korea’s Incheon Airport recently found what could be a life-changing piece of ‘lost property’. While emptying a rubbish bin, he came across seven gold bars worth a reported $325 million. South Korea is a common route for gold smuggling from Hong Kong to Japan, as criminals believe it’s easier to bypass custom checks that way. The cleaner will be able to claim them as his property if they are not claimed by their owner within six months – as long as they are not found to be linked to criminal activity. MSN

 Stat of the week

Around 55 million different fares exist in the UK’s rail ticketing system. So it’s no surprise that a survey by KPMG on behalf of the rail industry revealed only 34% of passengers were ‘very confident’ they bought the best value ticket for their last journey. To help simplify ticketing, Britain’s rail companies are launching a public consultation to ask commuters how they can do better. The consultation will open on June 4th with a report expected late autumn. Sky News

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