Top stories 

Medicinal cannabis: Why has it taken so long to get to patients?

Image copyright Google Medicinal cannabis was legalised last year but so far, virtually no-one in the UK has been able to access it. Now, enough cannabis to treat 30 patients for a month has arrived in the UK from the Netherlands. Four patients with prescriptions, all to treat chronic pain, will receive cannabis-derived medicines immediately. Specialist doctors have been able to prescribe cannabis since 1 November – so what has taken so long? The new law The new law moved cannabis from schedule 1 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations…

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Andrea Levy: Small Island and Long Song author dies aged 62

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Levy won awards including the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Orange Prize British author Andrea Levy, whose award-winning novels captured the black British experience in the years after Windrush, has died at the age of 62. A statement released on behalf of her family said she died of cancer. Levy was born in 1956 to Jamaican parents who had travelled to England on the Empire Windrush in 1948. She was best known for the best-selling Small Island, about two Jamaicans who came…

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Sports 

Diplomatic gold? Joint North Korea-South Korea Olympic bid faces long odds

SEOUL/BERLIN (Reuters) – If North and South Korea succeed in their long-shot bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, any athletic feats at the Games may be overshadowed by the political achievements needed to make it happen. FILE PHOTO: Participants form a message during Mass Games in May Day stadium marking the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018. Picture taken September 9, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File photo Buoyed by the role the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics played in easing tensions last year, South Korean…

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St Enda’s long, dark road to Croke

Image copyright Niall Murphy Image caption St Enda’s, on a recent familiarisation tour of Croke Park, ahead of Saturday’s final Set at the end of a dark lane in Glengormley, St Enda’s GAA club was the definition of a soft target during the Troubles. Five of the men who came to know it as a home from home were killed and its north Belfast clubhouse was targeted by arsonists, gunmen and bombers dozens of times since being established by a priest in the 1950s. Back then of course, while sectarianism…

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Lifestyle 

Saudi antiquities site, long seen as haunted, tries to woo visitors

AL ULA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – In a remote northern corner of Saudi Arabia sit the relics of an ancient civilization, which the kingdom hopes to turn into a global tourism destination as it tries to open up to the world and diversify its economy away from oil. Rock shaped like an elephant is seen in the city al-Ula, Saudi Arabia January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser Backed by billions of dollars in state-led investment and a French cultural partnership, the authorities expect al-Ula and its majestic rock-hewn tombs of…

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US shutdown: ‘It’s scary, I don’t know how long we’ll last’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Despite no guarantee of pay, thousands of US government workers are still required to work As America’s longest-ever government shutdown continues, federal workers face an uncertain financial future. About 800,000 US federal staff are at home or working without pay during the political deadlock over funding for Mr Trump’s proposed border wall. While some workers are relying on yard sales, food banks and loans make ends meet, others have turned to crowdfunding – raising money through online donations. More than 1,500 crowdfunding campaigns have…

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Sports 

LPGA will play for record $70 million, but long way from parity

(Reuters) – The LPGA season kicks off on Thursday for a season that will comprise 34 events and distribute some $70 million in prize money, a record amount for the circuit although it is still barely one-fifth on offer on the PGA Tour. FILE PHOTO: Mika Miyazato of Japan tees off the 14th during the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck The discrepancy roughly parallels the difference in television ratings in the United States between the…

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Long lead in Bootle Cemetery lands dog walker with £50 fine

A dog-walking grandmother was shocked when she was issued with a £50 penalty notice for having her pet on a lead deemed too long by council enforcement officials. Maureen Sanders, 80, was given the fine as she walked in Bootle Cemetery with Soren because the dog’s lead was more than 2m (7ft) in length. She said she could not believe walking her dog could lead to a criminal record. Sefton Council has since cancelled the fine. Source link

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Science 

The best science long reads of 2018 (part two)

From the search for life in the Universe to fighting fires in Antarctica, here’s a festive selection of the best science and environment long reads published on the BBC this year. When flying to Mars is your day job By Mary Halton Image copyright Farah Alibay Image caption Nasa systems engineer Farah Alibay holding a model of a radio currently on its way to Mars Sending missions to Mars for a living sounds like a dream job. But not every day can be launch day – so what do Nasa’s…

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Science 

The best science long reads of 2018 (part one)

From a CIA mission to recover a lost Soviet submarine to the extraordinary secrets of nocturnal animals, here’s a festive selection of the best science and environment long reads published on the BBC this year. The CIA secret on the ocean floor By David Shukman Image copyright Natural History Museum In the summer of 1974, a large and highly unusual ship set sail from Long Beach in California. It was heading for the middle of the Pacific where its owners boasted it would herald a revolutionary new industry beneath the…

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