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9 Nov

Midterm elections: Florida polls face possible recounts

Razor-thin margins in the Senate and governor’s races in Florida are raising the possibility of recounts in two of the most closely watched contests of the US midterm elections.

In the governor’s race, the campaign of the Democratic candidate, Andrew Gillum, said it was preparing for a possible recount. He conceded to his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis, on Tuesday, although the race has since tightened. As of Thursday afternoon, DeSantis led Gillum by 0.47 of a percentage point.

6 Nov

New discovery throws light on mystery of pyramids’ construction

The mystery of how, exactly, the pyramids were built may have come a step closer to being unravelled after a team of archaeologists made a chance discovery in an ancient Egyptian quarry.

Scientists researching ancient inscriptions happened upon a ramp with stairways and a series of what they believe to be postholes, which suggest that the job of hauling into place the huge blocks of stone used to build the monuments may have been completed more quickly than previously thought.

6 Nov

Universal credit leading to rise in food bank use, charity says

Britain’s biggest food bank charity has called for urgent changes to universal credit after unveiling figures that show it gave out more than 650,000 food parcels in the past six months – a year-on-year increase of 13%.

The Trussell Trust said the government’s insistence on making new claimants wait at least five weeks for their first universal credit payment was driving big increases in the numbers of benefit claimants relying on food banks.

6 Nov

Rise in women’s state pension age prompts poverty concerns

The state pension age for women will rise to 65 on Tuesday to match men for the first time, reaching a milestone that has prompted warnings from campaigners that the pace of equalisation has left some female retirees facing poverty.

The equalisation of the state pension age at 65 is the first step towards a rise to 66 for both sexes in two years (October 2020), and a planned further increase to 67 starting from 2026. Another rise to 68 from 2039 was recommended by the official Cridland review this year, which will hit workers currently in their late 30s and early 40s.

6 Nov

MPs call for review of ‘pointlessly cruel’ benefit sanctions

A cross-party group of MPs has called for a review of the government’s controversial benefit sanctions regime after concluding that it was arbitrary, punitive and at times “pointlessly cruel”.

The Commons work and pensions committee inquiry said the human cost of stopping benefit payments to claimants judged to have breached job centre rules was too high and there was scant evidence that it helped or incentivised people to get a job.

5 Nov

UK services growth hits seven-month low amid Brexit uncertainty

The risk of a disorderly Brexit and growing signs of weakness in the world economy are combining to drag several UK business sectors close to stalling point in the final months of the year.

Suggesting that the period of relatively robust economic growth over the hot summer months has begun to cool, the latest surveys of business activity for October revealed a marked slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2018

5 Nov

Two in five people with learning disabilities not diagnosed in childhood

Two out of five people with learning disabilities are not diagnosed in childhood and, even if they are, they will likely die before they collect their pension, according to a study commissioned by the NHS.

Researchers from the UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE) found that people with learning disabilities will die 15 to 20 years sooner on average than the general population. That amounts to 1,200 people each year, a figure which chimes with the government’s own estimate. The IHE says it is not a consequence of the underlying condition that led to the learning disability but because they are being “catastrophically” failed by the government.

5 Nov

Childhood obesity linked to air pollution from vehicles

Early exposure to air pollution from vehicles increases the risk of children becoming obese, new research has found.

High levels of nitrogen dioxide, which is emitted by diesel engines, in the first year of life led to significantly faster weight gain later, the scientists found. Other pollutants produced by road traffic have also been linked to obesity in children by recent studies.

31 Oct

‘There’s a lot of stigma’: why do so few care leavers go to university?

There are 72,000 children in care in England, and they face far worse life chances than their peers. They face a much higher risk of homelessness, teenage pregnancy and unemployment. And just 6% of young people with experience of the care system will attend university, compared with almost 50% in the general population.

To address this, the government announced a new care leaver covenant last week, aimed at easing the path into independent adulthood. While it acknowledges that universities already do a lot to support care leavers, it’s asking that they step up their efforts. Several universities have since signed up to the covenant.

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Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45