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Archive for September, 2018

Tawny owl decline: Public urged to record ‘twit-twoos’

September 28, 2018

Bird lovers are being urged to give up 20 minutes every week to listen out for the “twit-twoo” call of the Tawny owl, amid concerns over its numbers. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is asking people to listen for the distinctive hoot from their garden, a local park or woodland, once every week for […]


Consumer loyalty ‘rip off’ faces probe

The accusation that loyal customers are being “ripped off” for mobile, broadband, savings, home insurance and mortgage deals is to be investigated by the competition body. It follows a super-complaint from Citizens Advice, which says customers who stick with their supplier are losing a total of ¬£4.1bn a year. That amounts to an average of […]


Head teachers protest at Downing Street funding rally

Hundreds of head teachers from England and Wales are due to attend a rally in central London later, to demand extra funding for schools. They will meet in Parliament Square before delivering a letter to No 11 Downing Street, amid concerns over work conditions and overcrowded classrooms. The heads quote the¬†Institute of Fiscal Studies’ claim […]


Sainsbury’s-Asda deal could spark sale of hundreds of stores

The merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda could damage supermarket competition in 463 areas, the competition watchdog has warned. Its initial findings raise the possibility that the grocery chains may have to sell hundreds of stores. The Competition and Markets Authority said there could be be a “substantial lessening of competition” if they were “insufficiently constrained”. […]


Refund hopes rise for push payment scam victims

More consumers who fall victim to “push” payment scams may be reimbursed by their bank under proposed new rules. A draft voluntary code for banks aims to prevent “Authorised Push Payment” (APP) scams. Such scams trick account holders into authorising a payment to another account – usually a fraudster. At the moment banks typically refund […]


Regulators accuse Tesla’s Elon Musk of securities fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit accusing Tesla boss Elon Musk of securities fraud. The US financial regulator says Mr Musk’s claims that he had secured funding to take the electric carmaker private were “false and misleading”. It is seeking to bar Mr Musk from acting as an officer or director of […]


Low-calorie soups and shakes diets ‘recommended for obese’

September 27, 2018

Diet replacement programmes made up of low-calorie soups, shakes and regular counselling should be a recommended NHS treatment for obesity, a BMJ study says. People on the diets lost three times more weight than those given standard dietary advice by their GP, University of Oxford researchers found. And their risk of developing heart disease and […]


HSBC tells Welsh singer to send letter in English

A singer has complained to the Welsh Language Commissioner after HSBC told him they could not respond to his letter because it was written in Welsh. The bank said they could not reply to Geraint Lovgreen’s note informing them of his change of address because it was “in a foreign language”. Poet and songwriter Mr […]


Ambulances not an A&E taxi service, NHS warned

An ageing fleet, high sickness rates and slow uptake of technology hampers the ability of the NHS to answer 999 calls quickly, a review says. The report produced for the regulator NHS Improvement found significant inefficiencies in England. If the problems are not addressed, it will be more difficult for ambulances to hit their targets, […]


University bosses call for ban on essay-writing companies

More than 40 university bosses have written to the education secretary calling for so-called essay mill companies to be banned. Some students pay for bespoke, original assignments – which cannot easily be detected by anti-plagiarism software. But the letter says these essay-writing services should be targeted rather than those who pay for their services. Such […]


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