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1st December 2017



Other Stories – 1st December 2017

A Swiss village may start paying people to move in, lost teddy flown 200 miles, Jeremy Hunt in Twitter spat, royal influencers and other stories that caught our eye this week.

Brexit scuppers Dundee’s plans for European Capital of Culture. The European Commission has confirmed that Dundee will not be able to compete in the European Capital of Culture 2023 competition. The decision came just days before Dundee was due to make their final presentation to judges. MPs representing the five areas that have submitted bids have sent a letter to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker urging him to allow the process to continue. The Scotsman

Idyllic Swiss village may start paying people to move in. In recent years, the beautiful village of Albinen in southwest Switzerland has seen an exodus of residents, with many properties used only as holiday homes. As a result of the community changes, even the local school has had to close. Residents are now considering paying as much as £53,000 to families who buy or build a permanent home in the area. The Independent

Comedy actor engages Jeremy Hunt in Twitter spat over NHS stats. After Hunt asserted that the NHS had overseen “the biggest expansion of mental health provision in Europe,” actor Ralf Little took to Twitter to accuse him of knowingly lying to the public. Little went on to share a thread of tweets rebutting the health secretary’s claims, including statistics from an independent UK fact-checking charity, Full Fact. Hunt came under fire in October after retracting a claim to parliament of an increase of 30,000 mental health workers, which was 43 times the actual figure. The Guardian

Lost teddy flown 200 miles to be reunited with its four-year-old owner. It was only after four-year-old Summer boarded an Orkney-bound plane at Edinburgh airport that she realised she was missing her beloved Teddy. And when her family discovered that they faced a £50 charge to have him posted home, they took to Facebook for help. She soon received a message from a member of the cabin crew who was on the evening flight to Orkney, and kindly chaperoned Teddy back to Summer’s eager arms. Telegraph

Untaxed vehicle numbers treble in three years. The abolition of tax discs in 2014 was tipped to save the DVLA £10m in administrative costs, but it has been revealed that the Treasury could now be losing up to £107m a year in unpaid tax, according to recent government estimates. The DVLA is reported to have collected £5.87bn in duty in 2016-17, which is more than £200m less than 2013-14, before the changes. However, the fall can be partly attributed to cleaner cars, which are liable for lower tax. The Guardian

Actor offers to pay fancy dress fines for revellers. Sacha Baron Cohen (known for his leading role in comedy film, Borat) has offered to help six Czech tourists who were arrested in Kazakhstan for wearing nothing but a rather revealing Borat-inspired clothing item. Each of them had been fined 22,500 tenge (£51) for their indecent appearances. Writing on Facebook, the actor encouraged the fans to get in touch. “To my Czech mates who were arrested. Send me your details and proof that it was you, and I’ll pay your fine.” BBC News

Teen lists ‘My Dad’s House’ as address for driving licence. And unbelievably, it’s accepted. When 18-year-old Eve Paterson filled in her driving licence application, she absent-mindedly included ‘My Dad’s House’ as the first line of her address. When she posted a photo of her new licence, it instantly went viral, because more worrying than her original faux pas, is the fact that the DVLA accepted her application. In defence, a spokesperson commented that ‘House names can be a matter of personal choice’. Indy 100

The Archbishop of York reinstates his dog collar after a decade of protesting Mugabe. When Dr John Sentamu cut up his dog collar live on the Andrew Marr Show in December 2007, he promised not to wear one again until Mr Mugabe had left office. With Mugabe now gone, Marr returned the pieces of the collar to Sentamu. “I actually think the lesson for Zimbabwe is the same,” he explained “They just can’t try and stitch it up. Something more radical, something new needs to happen in terms of rule of law.” The Guardian

A right Royal influence. Within moments of Prince Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle’s first public appearance since announcing their engagement, Twitter erupted with speculation as to where her stylish white wrap coat was from. Canadian designer, Line the Label, who had made the coat saw a surge of traffic, causing their website to crash within minutes. Yahoo!

Fact of the week 

We are slowly losing our night time. A study of pictures of Earth by night has shown that between 2012 and 2016, the planet’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by more than 2% per year.

Scientists warn that this ‘loss of night’ is having a negative impact on animals, plants and human wellbeing. Prof Kevin Gaston from the University of Exeter explained that the changes could be reversed quite easily. “Usually, when we think of how humanity messes with environment, it’s a costly thing to fix or reverse. For light, it’s just a case of directing it where we need it and not wasting it where we don’t.” BBC News

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