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  • Unexplained infant death rate falls to record low, says ONS
    by Haroon Siddique on August 19, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    England and Wales had 183 cases in 2017, though rate far higher than in other countriesThe unexplained infant death rate in England and Wales has fallen to its lowest level on record, official figures show.The number of children under one who died from sudden infant death syndrome (Sids) or without a known cause fell to 183 in 2017, down 19% on the previous. The unexplained infant mortality rate also fell to its lowest level on record, 0.27 per 1,000 live births, almost half the rate in 2004, when records began. Continue reading... […]

  • 'If Israeli soldiers start shooting, we won't stop the interview': Palestinian hip-hop crew BLTNM
    by Tom Faber on August 19, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Palestine’s rich hip-hop heritage is born out of the tension in the region, but BLTNM don’t just want to make music inspired by conflict – they want to have fun tooBefore I meet Palestinian hip-hop’s new wave, I hear them everywhere. Al Nather’s sleek productions pump out of car speakers in the Jordanian desert, and Shabjdeed’s raps tumble from the bars of Haifa in Israel. And, of course, you hear it all in their home – the tumultuous city of Ramallah.On the road to their studio, near the de facto Palestinian capital, we twist through terraced hills of olive trees. The stark wall separating Israel from the West Bank looms over the horizon. Shabjdeed’s lyrics are evidently informed by the conflict between the countries: one song expresses his fury at being held for hours at a military checkpoint. Yet, when I ask in the studio about politics, he bristles, reciting a common question he is asked: “How does it feel to live under occupation?” Continue reading... […]

  • Brexit: Boris Johnson says he is confident EU will shift backstop position - live news
    by Andrew Sparrow on August 19, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on Labour’s vision for Britain 1.14pm BSTIn an interview in Cornwall during his hospital visit, Boris Johnson also said that the EU would have to compromise for there to be a Brexit deal. Asked whether progress would be made during his talks with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron later this week, Johnson replied: Well that is, I’m afraid, very much up to our friends and I hope that they will compromise. They have seen that the UK parliament has three times rejected the withdrawal agreement, the backstop just doesn’t work, it’s not democratic and I hope that they will see fit to compromise but in the meantime we get ready to come out on October 31. 1.07pm BSTHere are the main points from this morning’s Number 10 lobby briefing.In relation to business we have been engaging widely and will continue to do so and that’s been significantly stepped up in recent weeks. We have published numerous documents on how businesses can prepare. So for example we will introduce, immediately, much tougher criminality rules for people entering the UK. Details of other changes immediately on October 31 for a new immigration system are currently being developed. The House of Commons agreed the date it would rise for summer recess, as well as its return on September 3 and this was passed by a majority of close to 200 MPs. Continue reading... […]

  • Revenge of the clothes moths: as numbers boom, can they be stopped?
    by Emine Saner on August 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    They destroy sweaters, carpets and even wall insulation – and their population has tripled in five years. But there are ways to quell these insatiable insectsWhen Janine Christley moved into her new house, she thought buying woollen carpets would be the sustainable option. She had the stairs and two floors of her cottage carpeted, at a cost of thousands of pounds. Then the moths moved in. She first noticed them about four years ago, just a few at first. But then they started devouring the carpets, creating big bare patches. Gradually, Christley has had to rip them up and replace them with synthetic carpet. “I’ve still got woollen carpet in my room and the front room, but there are big holes where they’ve eaten it away,” she says. To a family of moths, it turns out, a wool-carpeted house is essentially an all-you-can-eat restaurant.“Of course, they’re into clothes as well,” she says. They have eaten woollen jackets and gorged on the bags of wool she keeps for felting projects – as well as the finished crafts themselves. She has avoided chemical controls, but clothes regularly go into the freezer in an attempt to kill the moths’ eggs. “I’m constantly checking where they might be,” says Christley. “I go into the wardrobe and shake all my clothes regularly because they like to be dark and undisturbed. I check under furniture, swat any I can find. I’m always jumping up to try to catch them; I see them flying around. I’m encouraging spiders in my house now; they’ve got lots of cobwebs and I’m trying to get them to catch the moths.” It has been frustrating – and expensive. “And it’s all been a waste of time.” Continue reading... […]

  • Wildfire in Gran Canaria forces thousands to evacuate – video
    on August 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    About 8,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Gran Canaria as firefighters battle a wildfire. The blaze, which began on Saturday near the town of Tejeda, is advancing on several fronts, propelled by high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity. Sixteen planes and helicopters as well as more than 700 firefighters are working to contain flames of up to 50 metresGran Canaria wildfire triggers evacuation of thousands of peopleContinue reading... […]

  • This porridge is just right: homemade baby food that's big business in India | Amrita Gupta
    by Amrita Gupta on August 19, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Entrepreneurs are cooking up wholesome alternatives to sugary baby formulas in a country where only one baby in 10 gets the recommended nutritionWhen her baby was six months old, Dr Hemapriya Natesan found herself appalled by the sugary commercial baby food available. With her mother, she began to make batches of mullaikatiya sathumaavu, a traditional porridge for weaning infants in Tamil Nadu, southern India.It’s a painstaking 10-day process with more than 15 grains, lentils and nuts. Many of the ingredients are first sprouted, then sun-dried in the sweltering heat before being slow-roasted, ground and sieved. Continue reading... […]

  • Ex-Sudanese dictator 'received millions from Saudis', trial told
    by Jason Burke and Zeinab Mohammed Salih in Khartoum on August 19, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Detective tells corruption trial that Omar al-Bashir disclosed payments after he was deposedOmar al-Bashir told investigators he had received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, a detective has said in court on the first day of the deposed Sudanese president’s high-profile corruption trial.Bashir has been in detention since being forced from power in April when security forces withdrew their support for his regime after months of popular protests. Continue reading... […]

  • Afghan independence day bombings follow wedding massacre
    by Reuters in Kabul on August 19, 2019 at 11:28 am

    At least 66 people wounded in Jalalabad two days after attack on Kabul wedding killed 63A series of bombings has struck restaurants and public squares in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, wounding at least 66 people, officials said, as the country marked the 100th anniversary of its independence.No group claimed responsibility for the 10 bombs on Monday but both Islamic State and Taliban militants operate in the area. Continue reading... […]

  • Gran Canaria wildfire triggers evacuation of thousands of people
    by Stephen Burgen in Barcelona on August 19, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Firefighters on Spanish island say blaze is out of control and spreading on several frontsAbout 8,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on Gran Canaria in Spain’s Canary Islands, where firefighters are battling a wildfire that has burned more than 3,400 hectares (8,400 acres) of land.More than 700 firefighters supported by 11 helicopters and five aeroplanes are struggling to contain the fire, which began on Saturday near the town of Tejeda and is advancing on several fronts, propelled by a combination of high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity. Continue reading... […]

  • Dutch take cycling to a new level, with world's biggest multistorey bike park
    by Senay Boztas in Amsterdam on August 19, 2019 at 10:52 am

    In the Netherlands, where there are more bikes than people, serious money is being spent encouraging even more people to get on their bikesIn a nation with more bikes than people, finding a space to park can be a problem. The Dutch city of Utrecht is unveiling an answer at its railway station on Monday morning: the world’s largest multistorey parking area for bicycles.The concrete-and-glass structure holds three floors of gleaming double-decker racks with space for 12,500 bikes, from cargo bikes that hold a family to public transport bikes for rent. Continue reading... […]