Technology 

Would you swap your smartphone with a brick phone?

A school in north-east London is selling “brick phones” to students to stop them from being distracted by the internet. Michaela Community School, in Wembley, sell the mobiles, which can send and receive texts and calls but cannot access social media, at a discounted rate. Students using the devices have reported better quality of sleep and communication with their families. Source link

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Top stories 

Paul Whelan: Russia rules out prisoner swap for ex-US Marine

Image copyright Whelan family Image caption The Whelan family released an undated photo of Paul Whelan Russia has dismissed suggestions that a former US marine accused of spying could be involved in a prisoner swap. Paul Whelan, 48, was detained in Moscow last month. His family says he was simply visiting Russia to attend a wedding. His lawyer had raised the possibility of a prisoner exchange, telling ABC News that “it is not excluded” as a means of resolving the case. But a Russian minister now says that it was…

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Growing up Afghan: ‘My parents were told to swap me for a boy’

Image copyright Nargis Taraki Image caption Nargis now campaigns for women’s education in her home country When Nargis Taraki became the fifth girl born to her parents in Afghanistan, her parents were told they should swap her with another baby in the village. Now 21, she has made it her life ambition to prove they were right to keep her. Nargis now campaigns for women’s education and empowerment in her home country, and is one of the BBC’s 2018 100 Women. In 1997 I opened my eyes to the world…

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Science 

Scientists to swap dusty old kilogram for something more stable

LONDON, (Reuters) – After years of nursing a sometimes dusty cylinder of metal in a vault outside Paris as the global reference for modern mass, scientists are updating the definition of the kilogram. FILE PHOTO: A trader weighs gold nuggets at an illegal mine-pit in Walungu territory of South-Kivu province near Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, April 5, 2014.REUTERS/Kenny Katombe/File Photo Just as the redefinition of the second in 1967 helped to ease communication across the world via technologies like GPS and the internet, experts say the change in the…

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Technology 

Mobile phone shop staff ‘enabling Sim swap scams’

Image copyright Getty Images Staff in mobile phone shops have become key to the execution of “Sim swap” scams, Watchdog Live has discovered. Undercover filming revealed that O2 and Vodafone employees are bypassing basic ID checks and handing over replacement Sim cards to potential criminals. Once fraudsters gain control of a mobile number, they can intercept SMS text messages from banks containing security codes. Scammers have drained thousands of pounds from victims’ bank accounts. O2 told the BBC it currently only asks for photo ID when replacing Sims on a…

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Lifestyle 

Paddle your own pumpkin: German racers swap boats for vegetables

LOHMAR, Germany (Reuters) – With a look of apprehension, a blond woman clad in a wetsuit wobbles her way onto a lake in western Germany in a huge, hollowed-out vegetable. A man paddles his giant pumpkin boat during the raditional pumpkin race in Lohmar, Germany October 3, 2018. Reuters/David Sahl Paddle held aloft, she’s a contestant in the Krewelshofer lake’s annual pumpkin race, held for the third time on Wednesday over a 35-meter (115-ft) course. Slideshow (2 Images) Grown specially for the race, the pumpkins must weigh at least 250…

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Salomon Rondon joins Newcastle as Dwight Gayle heads to West Brom in loan swap

Salomon Rondon scored seven Premier League goals for West Brom last season Newcastle have signed striker Salomon Rondon from West Brom on a season-long loan, with Dwight Gayle heading to the Championship side on the same deal. Venezuela international Rondon, 28, scored seven Premier League goals for the relegated Baggies last season and becomes Newcastle’s sixth signing of the transfer window. Gayle, 27, scored six league goals last season as the Magpies finished 10th. “I am delighted to sign Salomon,” said Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez. “When we were looking for…

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Labour MP Heidi Alexander to swap Commons for City Hall

Image copyright PA Labour MP Heidi Alexander is quitting Parliament to work for London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The Lewisham East MP will become the new deputy mayor for transport. It means there will be a by-election in her South London seat, where Labour won by more than 20,000 votes in last year’s general election. Announcing the appointment, Mr Khan said Ms Alexander – who replaces retiring Val Shawcross – was “respected across the political divide”. Ms Alexander said she was “really excited” at her appointment, adding: “I know just how…

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