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BBC Front Page News

UN climate report: Scientists release 'survival guide' to avert climate disaster

Technology is providing solutions but the climate forecast is worsening, scientists say in major report.

Brexit: DUP will vote against government plans

The party's leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson says he will continue to work with the government to address "outstanding issues".

RMT members at Network Rail vote to accept pay deal

Rail workers have voted on a revised pay offer, ending walkouts for some RMT strikers.

Hampshire shark: Appeal for head to be returned

It is thought to be a smalltooth sand tiger shark but its head was removed after it was discovered.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. How to deal with Sunday night anxiety. Feel a growing sense of dread as the weekend draws to a close? You're not alone. Research has shown that two-thirds of Britons frequently suffer from anxiety on a Sunday night. A new study by Channel 4, the University of Exeter and Investors in People looked to better understand the causes of the "Sunday scaries". An initial survey found that receiving emails at the weekend and having an unfinished to-do list from the week before are among the triggers, indicating that the underlying factor lies in the blurring between work and home life. READ MORE >>

2. What the budget means to you. The Chancellor said that the resilience of the British economy was “proving the doubters wrong” as he delivered his first Budget on Wednesday. He reported that the UK is not expected to go into recession this year, and that inflation is on course to fall to 2.9% by the year-end. At the heart of his Budget were efforts to get more people back to work. He said he would be gradually extending the 30 hours of free childcare available to working parents, so that by 2025 it can be claimed for all under-fives (currently it can only be claimed for two- and three-year-olds). On pensions, he abolished entirely the cap on the amount that people can save tax free in their pension, and increased the amount people can put in their pension each year without incurring tax, from £40,000 to £60,000. BBC

3. Why the economy is flatlining. Despite the UK economy growing by 0.3% in January, it has been struggling with growth issues for over a decade, with average annual growth rates having more than halved since the 2008 financial crisis. According to economists, this decline is due to a combination of factors, including the impact of austerity measures from 2010 to 2015, a decrease in productivity, a global banking crisis, a weak North Sea oil sector, Brexit and a lack of investment in public services and infrastructure. Even with the recent marginal improvements, the Bank of England does not expect the UK economy to recover to its pre-pandemic level until 2026 at the earliest. Financial Times

4. Crisis puts rate hikes in doubt. Interest rate rises are in doubt as fear of a new global crisis “rattles central banks. The Bank of England’s “much-flagged” rate hike, due next week was considered a “nailed-on certainty” but the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the US and the rescue of Credit Suisse, have caused analysts to revise their predictions. “It is almost 50:50 between the MPC pausing or ending its series of interest rate hikes,” said one. The Observer

5. Weekend warriors are working longer. Are you a "weekend warrior"? New research shows workers put in more hours on Saturdays and Sundays last year than in 2021. Of those surveyed by ActivTrak, one in 20 people did extra work on the weekend – their time on the job increased by 18 minutes to an average of 6.6 hours, reports Fortune. The productivity behaviours of 134,260 employees were analysed over the two-year period. Tech and media workers saw the largest increase, putting in 31% and 53% more hours on the weekend respectively, compared to the previous year. Experts warn of the hazards of being a "weekend warrior", saying it contributes to burnout in the long term. Here are six perspectives we suggest  you consider [think of as a currency extra working hours charge you]; balance, creativity, health, purpose, relationships and time. Want to know more? CONTACT US >>


6. UK firms set ethnic diversity goals. The government-backed Parker Review has found that 96% of the UK's FTSE 100 companies had met the target of having at least one minority ethnic director on their boards, according to an update. The review, which was established to improve diversity in Britain's boardrooms, has now revealed new targets. Specifically, it is asking FTSE 350 companies to set a percentage target for senior management positions occupied by ethnic minority executives, by December 2027. Meanwhile, the UK's 50 largest private companies will also be asked to ensure at least one ethnic minority director is on their board by the end of 2027. The Guardian

7. Mental health behind long-term absences. Poor mental health appears to be the main cause of long-term absences from work, according to survey by professional services firm PwC for The Times Health Commission. Two-fifths of the 150 companies polled had experienced a rise in staff taking long-term sick leave due to mental ill health. In addition, two-thirds of employers had seen an increase in the uptake of counselling services since the pandemic. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that that there were a record 2.5 million people unable to work due to long-term sickness in the three months to January. In the spring budget, chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced measures to help tackle this issue, including a £400m plan to make more mental and physical health support available to workers. The Times

8. Britain's stagnating life expectancy laid bare. British life expectancy has dropped in the world rankings with only the US faring worst among advanced economies, according to new analysis. Some 70 years ago people in the UK had one of the longest life expectancies ratings in the world, ranking tenth globally behind countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark. But despite the average person now living more than 12 years longer than in 1950, progress has stalled compared to other developed nations, with the UK falling to 36 on the global standings. The average life expectancy in the UK has risen from 68.63 years in 1950 to 80.43 years in 2020, compared to 68.06 and 77.41 respectively in the US. Daily Mail

9. John Lewis could reduce staff stake. John Lewis, which has been 100% owned by its staff for more than 70 years, is considering a plan to change its mutual structure so it can try to raise between £1 billion and £2 billion of new investment. The retail company, which owns Waitrose, was put into a trust in 1950 by the founder’s son. Any change would have to be voted on by the retailers partnership council of about 60 staff, the report said. The Sunday Times

10. The bottom line. There were 19.1 million economically inactive adults (aged over 16) in England and Wales on census day 2021, equivalent to 39.4% of the adult population. That is up from 36.7% in 2011. The Times

Covid Updates for Hertfordshire

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