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  • What are the best debit cards for your kids to spend safely?
    by Rupert Jones on July 24, 2021 at 10:00 am

    From the new HyperJar service to 1.5m member-strong gohenry, pocket money apps are booming. We assess how they stack upThe various lockdowns have meant many youngsters have had less opportunity to go out and spend their pocket money. This week it was claimed that children in the UK have “squirrelled away” £38m during the pandemic, which is waiting to be spent. The study, by the specialist consultancy Beano Brain, found that as restrictions ease, kids are keen to hit the shops and spend.With summer holidays and days out looming, there will be plenty of chances to part with their cash. Some may also have their eye on things to buy online – of the 8,000 children questioned in the survey, 41% said they preferred online shopping to the high street.The adults can set spending rules so they stay in control Continue reading... […]

  • Covid: England facing weeks of ‘pingdemic’ disruption to services and food supply
    by Rowena Mason Deputy political editor on July 24, 2021 at 9:08 am

    No 10 scrambles to extend self-isolation exemption scheme for critical workers as companies and councils warn of chaosCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEngland is facing weeks of disruption to bin collection, transport and food supply due to staff self-isolating, companies and councils have warned, amid concerns the 16 August date to lift quarantine for the double-vaccinated could be delayed.No 10 was on Friday scrambling to set up a system to let more key workers take daily tests rather than isolate for 10-days, over fears that large parts of the economy could grind to a halt over the so-called “pingdemic”. Related: ‘Pingdemic’ effect: how different sectors in England have been hit Continue reading... […]

  • Smart security: how to keep your home safe while you’re away
    by Samuel Gibbs on July 24, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Tech options to deter would-be intruders, and let you monitor your house from anywhereWith the prospect of trips out and holidays finally on the cards, over the next few weeks many of us will be leaving our houses unattended for the first time in months. So now is the time to think about making your home a bit more secure.In addition to the basics, there is a range of DIY tech that may help to deter would-be intruders and allow you to keep an eye on your home from almost anywhere in the world.It’s not sexy but leak detectors are my number one. Water escape is the biggest cause of property damage in the UKMake sure your doors and windows are secured with robust locks that are British standard or insurance approved, and always double-lock them.Keep your property visible by having one-metre high front fences to avoid providing cover for thieves. Gravel drives and paths will make intruders audible. Have two-metre high back and side fences topped with trellises or anti-climb tops, plus thorny shrubs around your borders.Make sure your valuables are out of sight and have them forensically marked and registered with a scheme.Burglaries often peak during the long nights of October to March, so put lights, the TV or a radio on timers to simulate occupancy.Secure sheds and garages, particularly those containing tools that can be used to break into your home and others nearby.Place bins and other objects that can be used as climbing aids behind gates.Ask trusted neighbours to keep an eye on your property and park on your drive if you have one.Keep electronic car keys in security pouches to stop them being scanned by thieves and used to open and steal your car if it is nearby.Never advertise on social media that you are going away – this is an easy way for burglars to know when a house is unoccupied. Continue reading... […]

  • Beware summer! As climate crisis deepens, attitudes to season shift
    by Jonathan Watts on July 24, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Season now has a health warning and people may lose associations of joy, relaxation and celebrationBeware summer! The season we used to anticipate as the lightest, brightest, balmiest time of the year now comes with a health warning.For the first time in the UK, the Met Office issued an extreme heat advisory this week. The warning was very staid, very British, but a clear shift away from the ethos of Keep Calm and Carry On. The amber alert urged precautions against adverse health effects for vulnerable populations, pressure on water resources, potential power cuts and increased likelihood of transport delays. Given the temperatures were only a little over 30C for a few days, this might seem risible to people living in far hotter parts of the world, but it is part of a growing global conversation that is fundamentally challenging how we think about summer in a climate-disrupted world. Related: World ‘must step up preparations for extreme heat’ Continue reading... […]

  • Cycling brands gear up for rapid growth in UK cargo bike market
    by Sarah Butler on July 24, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Sales are forecast to soar over the coming year with the support of government initiatives and new infrastructureWindow cleaners, milk deliverers, beer purveyors, plumbers and DJs are all getting on their bikes as UK government incentives and new infrastructure kick off a two- and three-wheel revolution.About 2,000 cargo bikes were sold in the UK for commercial use last year, according to the Bicycle Association, and a similar number were sold for use by families and individuals. Sales of the bikes, which can carry heavy or bulky loads, are expected to jump by up to 60% in the UK in the year ahead, according to the association, boosted by various initiatives at local and national level to reduce carbon emissions and congestion. Continue reading... […]

  • UK holidaymakers booked for France could lose money if they do not go
    by Miles Brignall on July 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

    Some accommodation providers refuse to defer breaks despite Covid quarantine decisionSee all our coronavirus coverageHolidaymakers who were hoping to head to France in the coming weeks are in some cases being told by accommodation providers that they will lose their money if they do not turn up.Last weekend’s surprise decision by the UK government to require travellers returning from France to quarantine for 10 days – even those doubly vaccinated against Covid-19 – has left thousands of holiday plans in tatters, and many out of pocket as a result. Related: UK’s restrictions on travellers from France excessive, says French minister Continue reading... […]

  • Inside a Tennessee hospital grappling with Delta and vaccine hesitancy
    by Oliver Laughlandin Memphis and Jessica Glenzain New York on July 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

    As the variant tears its way through the US and vaccination rates plateau in the state, hospitals are experiencing a new wave of casesNurse Matt Robinson braced himself before pushing the heavy doors to the recently reopened Covid-19 ward at Methodist University hospital in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.This hadn’t been in the script. After over a year of continuous work with Covid-19 patients throughout the pandemic, the burnout brought on by constant exposure to death and trauma, Robinson had hoped his job might return to normal. Related: Life lessons: what a doctor learned from death and dying in Covid wards Continue reading... […]

  • Boris Johnson wants to mimic Tony Blair’s project, say No 10 sources
    by Heather Stewart Political editor on July 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

    PM wants to echo Blair’s promise of an ‘opportunity society’ and energise those who feel left behindBoris Johnson intends to mimic aspects of Tony Blair’s political project in the hope of winning over more voters in former Labour heartlands, Downing Street sources have revealed.While the Conservatives’ 2019-intake MPs are more likely to model themselves on Margaret Thatcher than the former Labour prime minister, No 10 insiders said Johnson had been studying Blair’s approach. Continue reading... […]

  • Weatherwatch: Trinidad and Tobago – one nation, two very different islands
    by Stephen Moss on July 24, 2021 at 5:00 am

    Tobago’s flora and fauna are typically Caribbean but Trinidad’s are more like South AmericaAlthough commonly considered part of the Caribbean region, the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago falls into two very different zoogeographical zones.Tobago, the smaller island to the north, is indeed typically Caribbean, with a fairly limited fauna and flora, similar to other islands in the Lesser Antilles such as Grenada, Barbados and St Lucia. Trinidad, which lies much closer to the coast of Venezuela than it does to Tobago, has a more wide-ranging list of species, including many also found in the rest of South America. Continue reading... […]

  • ‘I felt I existed in this world’: TikTok gives a voice to Turkey’s labourers
    by Elif İnce in Istanbul on July 24, 2021 at 5:00 am

    Workers have become unlikely stars of the video app, while revealing harsh conditionsAgricultural workers throw their buckets into the air at the end of harvest like at a graduation ceremony. A construction site turns into a concert hall, with workers wearing strands of hemp as wigs and singing into bits of plastic piping instead of microphones. A market stall becomes a runway as fruit vendors strut their stuff: a bunch of bananas as headgear, leeks dangling from their necks.With posts from factories, fields and construction sites, workers in Turkey are going viral on TikTok. The app’s staples such as challenges, dancing and comedy abound, but amid the joy it is hard not to miss the criticism of dire working conditions. Continue reading... […]

  • Kingpins in Channel smuggling operations living freely in the UK, say migrants
    by Diane Taylor on July 24, 2021 at 5:00 am

    Migrants say the three men have evaded Home Office detection and could be laundering up to £100,000 a day eachThree of the kingpins in operations to smuggle thousands of asylum seekers across the Channel in small boats are living and working freely in the UK and have evaded detection by the Home Office and law enforcement agencies, migrants interviewed by the Guardian have claimed.Asylum seekers interviewed by the Guardian on condition of anonymity who have communicated with the three men they say are among those at the top of the cross-Channel smuggling operations estimate that during the busy summer season each of these three men could be laundering up to £100,000 a day. Related: ‘We tried to be joyful enough to deserve our new lives’: What it’s really like to be a refugee in Britain Continue reading... […]

  • All that glitters: why lab-made gems might not be an ethical alternative
    by Tess McClure in Christchurch on July 23, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Switching to synthetic gems may have environmental upsides but it could harm the very communities consumers worry aboutDiamonds have long been in the debt of marketing genius. Until the 1940s they were not a popular choice for engagement rings. Then, in 1947, a stroke of brilliance: De Beers’ “A Diamond is Forever” campaign. The slogan was a hit. The market transformed. Today diamond engagement rings are ubiquitous, winking from the windows of upmarket jewellers.Earlier this year came another glittering moment in diamond PR. Pandora, the world’s largest jewellery retailer, announced it would be switching entirely to lab-made diamonds. It generated positive headlines around the world, dubbed an “ethical stand against mined diamonds”. Continue reading... […]

  • Gareth Southgate joins campaign to encourage people to get Covid vaccine
    by Nadeem Badshah on July 23, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    No 10 releases message from England football manager urging younger people in particular to get a jabThe England manager Gareth Southgate has joined the campaign to encourage people to have their coronavirus vaccine, saying it will allow them to “get your freedom back”.Downing Street has released a message from the football manager thanking the public for their support during the team’s journey to the Euro 2020 final and urging younger people in particular to get the jab. Continue reading... […]

  • Police seek 11-year-old girl who travelled from Manchester to London
    by Nadeem Badshah on July 23, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Parents of Fatuma Kadir plead with her to let them know she’s safe as police say they are ‘extremely concerned’ for her welfarePolice are searching for a missing 11-year-old girl who travelled to London from Greater Manchester overnight.The parents of Fatuma Kadir from Bolton have urged her to let them know she is safe after she left home without their knowledge on Thursday evening before travelling on several trains to get to London Euston at 1.13am on Friday. Continue reading... […]

  • Government disability strategy risks becoming a ‘car crash’, says Tory peer
    by Kevin Rawlinson on July 23, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Lord Shinkwin warns PM he must listen more to views of people with disabilities before releasing reportThe launch of the government’s long-awaited disability strategy risks becoming a car crash if ministers do not do more to listen to the views of people with disabilities before releasing it, a Conservative peer has said.Lord Shinkwin warned the prime minister that releasing a report that is roundly rejected by people with disabilities would greatly undermine his levelling-up agenda, after campaigners complained bitterly that the consultation process that informed it was seriously flawed. Continue reading... […]

  • UK supermarkets ask suppliers for payments due to driver shortage
    by Sarah Butler on July 23, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Asda, Tesco and others forced to pay delivery drivers more because of scarcity caused by Covid and Brexit Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are asking some suppliers for extra payments to cover increased costs after being forced to raise wages for delivery drivers because of widespread shortages.In a letter seen by the Guardian, Asda wrote to suppliers that use its collection service asking for a 5% rise in payments for transport costs and blaming the national HGV driver shortage. Continue reading... […]

  • Ryan Giggs allegedly kicked ex-girlfriend in the back, court hears
    by Nadeem Badshah on July 23, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Former Manchester United player is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against Kate GrevilleFormer Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs allegedly kicked his ex-girlfriend in the back and threw her out of a hotel bedroom while she was naked, a court has heard.The former Wales player, 47, is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against Kate Greville, 36, between August 2017 and November 2020. Giggs appeared at Manchester crown court, where he entered a not guilty plea. Continue reading... […]

  • Naomi Osaka provides spark at subdued opening of Tokyo Olympics
    by Sean Ingle at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 23, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Ceremony began as the most downbeat in Olympic history but finished in spectacular fashionTokyo Olympics – live updatesAmid the darkness of the Tokyo skyline, a moment of hope and raging illumination. After nearly four hours of an opening ceremony that veered from the sombre to the spectacular, the Olympic flame was passed to the face of these Games, Naomi Osaka. As the steps of the Mount Fuji stage opened up before her, Japan’s globally recognised tennis star jogged towards the summit, nodded, and then set the cauldron – and perhaps these troubled Tokyo 2020 Olympics – alight.It was the culmination of a ceremony that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach, promised would offer a “moment of hope” in a Covid-riven world. Related: Eleven outstanding moments from the Olympic opening ceremony | Martin Belam Continue reading... […]

  • Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony: toil and mourning bloom into sparkling extravaganza
    by Arifa Akbar on July 23, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Empty seats contained potent symbolism as the sensitive and stylish ceremony focused on hard graft, failing better and trumping the oddsRather than turning its face away from the struggles of the past year to put on an all-smiling, all-dancing show, Tokyo’s delayed opening ceremony led with the theme of loss and mourning in a meditative three-hour production like no other.It began small and picked its moments of when to bloom into the big, sparkling extravaganza of cultural celebration that an opening ceremony is known to be, but judiciously shrank back to sobriety and controlled showmanship. Continue reading... […]

  • Scientists cautious over whether fall in UK Covid cases is a trend
    by Nicola Davis Science correspondent on July 23, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    New reported cases are down despite rise in ONS figures, but effects of 19 July easing and school holidays yet to be seenCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe recent drop in new daily reported Covid cases in the UK has led some scientists to hope that the country has reached the peak of this wave – but others say the dip could be something of a mirage.According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, based on swabs collected from randomly selected households, about 1 in 75 people in the community in England had Covid in the week ending 17 July, up from 1 in 95 the week before. The survey suggests infection levels have also risen in Wales and Northern Ireland, although the trend in Scotland was unclear. Continue reading... […]