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University of Cambridge reveals ‘changing face of UK’ in aerial photos

Image copyright University of Cambridge Image caption The archive includes this aerial image of Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire on 26 July 1948 A collection of aerial photographs described as the “historical Google Earth” has been made available online by the University of Cambridge. RAF pilots were asked to capture the bomb-scarred post-war period to the emergence of motorways and new cities. The collection dates back to 1945, with more recent images captured in 2009 for a university project. Prof Martin Millett said the images “let you travel back in time to…

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Record UK government surplus in January

Image copyright Getty Images Britain’s public finances have received a big boost ahead of the chancellor’s Spring Statement next month. Income from taxes beat public spending by £14.9bn in January, the largest monthly surplus since records began in 1993, official figures showed. The bumper surplus beat economists’ forecasts of £10bn, and was £5.6bn greater than January 2018. January is a key revenue-raising month as it is when taxpayers submit their self-assessment returns. Analysts said the reduction in borrowing should give Chancellor Philip Hammond extra money for his next economic update…

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Shamima Begum has right to return to UK – Jeremy Corbyn

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionShamima Begum: ‘I got tricked and I was hoping someone would have sympathy with me’ Shamima Begum, who left the UK to join the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, has a “right to return to Britain”, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said. Ms Begum has had her UK citizenship revoked by Home Secretary Sajid Javid – a move Mr Corbyn said was “extreme”. Mr Corbyn told ITV News the 19-year-old should return to the UK in order to face questioning.…

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UK rehomes some 100 Syria White Helmets and family members

Image copyright Getty Images Some 100 volunteers and family members from the Syria White Helmets civil defence group have been resettled in the UK, the Home Office has confirmed. The White Helmets group has saved more than 115,000 lives in Syria’s war zones, according to the UK government. The volunteers were evacuated with the help of the UK last year, when their lives were in danger. One former member told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme his life “had changed completely”. Khalil, 30, whose real name we are not using, said…

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Science 

CO2 emissions from UK housing ‘go up’

Image copyright Andrew Aitchison Greenhouse gas emissions from your heating boiler are fuelling climate change, a report by MPs has said. UK government advisers warn that emissions from housing have actually gone up last year. This is despite attempts to drive down emissions from the housing sector. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report says that all homes in future will have to virtually eliminate emissions from home heating to meet climate targets. The government said it’s committed to investing £6bn to improve the energy efficiency of lower income and…

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Technology 

UK 4G ‘slower than most of EU when busy’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Speeds vary around the world but all countries experience network congestion A study into 4G has indicated that the UK is one of a handful of European countries where download speeds fall below 20 megabits per second (Mbps) at the busiest times of day. In the table of 77 countries, the UK ranked 35th, with 4G speeds ranging from 19.7Mbps to 34.9Mbps. Most countries’ 4G networks are busiest between 20:00 and 23:00, but UK consumers were most active at 17:00. One expert said that…

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Asthma: Young people in the UK ‘more likely to die’

Image copyright Getty Images Young people in the UK are more likely to die from asthma than those in other wealthy countries, a report has found. Death rates for asthma in 10 to 24-year-olds was highest in the UK among all 14 European nations included in an analysis of 19 high-income countries. The UK also had the highest obesity rates for 15 to 19-year-olds among the European nations. The government said it had “world-leading plans” to safeguard child health. Overall, the report found the UK to be lagging behind other…

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IS teen to lose UK citizenship, says family

Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, is to lose her UK citizenship, the family’s lawyer has said. In a Twitter statement, Tasnime Akunjee said the family were “disappointed” with the decision and were considering “all legal avenues” to challenge it. The 19-year-old left Bethnal Green, east London, with two school friends. She was found in a Syrian refugee camp last week after reportedly leaving Baghuz, IS’s last stronghold. In a BBC interview, Ms Begum, who has just given birth, had said she now wants…

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Brexit: UK will apply food tariffs in case of no deal

Image copyright Getty Images Environment Secretary Michael Gove has promised that the government will apply tariffs to food imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, to provide “specific and robust protections” for farmers. His remarks come as the government is poised to release details of tariffs (taxes on imports) that would apply to thousands of products coming in from around the world, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Many supporters of Brexit argue that tariffs on food and other items should be scrapped in order to…

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UK employment hits another record high

Image copyright Getty Images The rate of employment in the UK has continued to climb, with a record 32.6 million people in work between October and December, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show. Unemployment fell by 14,000 in the three-month period to 1.35 million. Average earnings increased by 3.4% in the year to December, unchanged from the previous month. The news follows January’s inflation figures, which fell to a two-year low thanks to lower energy bills and fuel. The number of people in work between October and…

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