Paddington: Sharing childhood bears for Michael Bond

Image copyright James Stone Book and bear lovers from around the world are posting their reaction online following the death of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond.The author passed away on Tuesday following a short illness, according to his publisher Harper Collins.The first book about the marmalade-loving bear appeared in 1958.There has been a flurry of tributes across social media, including people sharing many images of their childhood bears.Alongside the picture of his teddy, above, James Stone posted on Twitter: "Safe Trip Michael Bond and thank you for Paddington". Image copyright Louise Marchal Next to her picture Louise Marchal says: "Old, ...
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No final Grenfell death toll ‘this year’

The final death toll from Grenfell Tower fire will not be known for many months, with 80 people currently presumed dead, police have said.The vast majority of those who died were said to be in 23 of the North Kensingston building's 129 flats.The 14 June fire destroyed 151 homes, most in the tower block, but also a number of surrounding properties.Det Supt Fiona McCormack said the full death toll will only be known when the search and recovery operation is over.She said: "What I can say is that we believe that around 80 people are either dead or sadly missing ...
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The strange things people put in luggage

Image copyright TSA As people jet off for their summer holidays, the question of what you can and can't carry in your luggage is more pressing than ever - especially for those attempting to carry live creatures or unexploded mementoes of war.It's the age-old problem - you're overseas on a trip, you treat yourself to that 20lb lobster you've always promised yourself, and you need to get it home. What do you do now?For one passenger at Boston's Logan International Airport, the answer was simply to check it in as part of their luggage allowance. But the crustacean wasn't allowed ...
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DUP MPs ‘worth more than Ronaldo’, Commons told

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Manchester United sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in 2009 for £80m Each Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP is now "worth more" than Cristiano Ronaldo, a Scottish National Party MP has told the House of Commons.Alison Thewliss made the remark as she questioned the Tory government about the £1bn deal they signed with the DUP.But her comparison of the 10 DUP MPs with the world's third most expensive footballer led to roars of laughter."We're now in the slightly odd position where each DUP MP is worth more than Ronaldo," Ms Thewliss said. "I don't ...
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Tax software blamed for cyber-attack spread

Image copyright Microsoft Image caption Microsoft has published some of the ransomware code A global cyber-attack that affected companies around the world may have started via corrupted updates on a piece of accountancy software. Fingers are increasingly pointing to a piece of Ukrainian tax-filing software, MEDoc, as the source of the infection, although the company denies it.Malware generally infiltrates networks via email attachments that users click on in error.Microsoft described the method as "a recent dangerous trend".The cyber-attack has caused disruption around the world and infected companies in 64 countries, including banks in Ukraine, Russian oil giant Rosneft, British advertising ...
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‘Front Defense VR’ Review – Room-scale War Will Bring You to Your Knees

Having announced ‘Vive Studios’ at the end of 2016, HTC is steadily building up its first-party VR content offering. After a number of relatively well received titles launched under the umbrella of Vive Studios, we take the latest, Front Defense VR, for a test drive.
What is it that makes the HTC Vive special and different from the other VR platforms on the market? It depends who you ask. It used to be the tracked motion controllers, but that is no longer the case. Is it the room-scale? That’s a huge plus for sure, but with a little jiggery-pokery the Rift ...
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Valve’s Knuckles Controllers Get Ergonomic Improvements, Begin Arriving at Devs’ Doorsteps

Having done the core R&D for what would become the Vive controllers, Valve is continuing to iterate on VR input. The company’s new ‘Knuckles’ controllers are not so much ‘held’ as they are ‘worn’, offering users a natural grab and release motion without dropping the controller. Since their debut toward the end of 2016 at the company’s Steam Dev Days event, a Knuckles development kit is now shipping to select developers and brings ergonomic improvements over earlier prototypes. Though there’s no open application to get your hands on the SteamVR Knuckles dev kit, the new controllers are now shipping to select ...
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Charlie Gard’s parents ‘hope to use donations to set up charity’

Image copyright PA Image caption Charlie Gard has been in intensive care since October last year The mother of Charlie Gard has suggested £1.3m donated by the public for her son to undergo experimental therapy will instead go to charity.Judges at the European Court of Human Rights have rejected Charlie's parents' plea to intervene in his case.It means Great Ormond Street can switch off the baby's life support. Previously his mother Connie Yates wrote on a fundraising website the family would create a charity to combat the condition Charlie suffers from. Image copyright PA Image caption Connie Yates and Chris ...
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Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond dies

Image copyright PA Image caption More than 35 million Paddington books have been sold worldwide Michael Bond, the creator of beloved children's character Paddington Bear, has died at the age of 91.He died at his home on Tuesday following a short illness, a statement from his publisher Harper Collins said.Bond published his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, in 1958.The character, a bear from Peru who comes to live in London, went on to inspire a series of books, an animated TV series and a successful 2014 film.This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published ...
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Tesco to axe 1,200 head office jobs

Image copyright Getty Images Tesco plans to cut 1,200 jobs at its head office as part of a major cost-cutting drive.The UK's biggest supermarket told staff on Wednesday morning about the cull, which amounts to a quarter of its workforce in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield.Tesco is implementing a turnaround plan that aims to reduce costs by £1.5bn.The cuts come after the retailer said last week it would close a call centre in Cardiff at the cost of 1,200 roles.Tesco said it was a "significant next step" in the reorganisation of the company."This new service model will simplify the way ...
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Grenfell Tower fire: More high rises fail fire safety tests

Cladding from 120 high-rise buildings in 37 local authority areas in England has now failed fire safety tests, the prime minister has said.Theresa May told the Commons it was a 100% failure rate, as all of the samples submitted so far since the Grenfell Tower fire had failed.She urged local authorities and housing associations to "get on with the fire safety checks".At least 79 people are feared to have been killed in the blaze on 14 June ...
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Co-operative Bank agrees £700m rescue package

Image copyright Getty Images The Co-operative Bank has secured a £700m rescue package to stop the lender from being wound up.Investors have agreed to swap their debt for a stake in the bank.The bank also said it would to separate its pension fund from the Co-operative Group's scheme, which has £8bn of liabilities.The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority said it had accepted the plan to return the bank to a firm footing."Supervisors will remain closely engaged with the bank while the actions announced today are taken forward. Implementation is subject to certain regulatory approvals," said the PRA, which is ...
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Grenfell Tower: Residents confront minister over issues

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionGrenfell residents hold housing minister to accountResidents affected by the Grenfell Tower fire have vented their anger and frustration at what they say is a lack of progress in dealing with problems. Some of those who escaped the burning block confronted housing minister Alok Sharma MP in tense exchanges during the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme. They demanded to know why those made homeless were still not rehoused.The minister told them people would be offered a suitable place within three weeks of the fire. Kensington and Chelsea council provided no spokesperson for the ...
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Rare bee-eater birds seen at Nottinghamshire sand quarry

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAbout a hundred people have been to the quarry since SundayBirdwatchers have rushed to a quarry to catch a glimpse of seven "exotic" birds that are usually seen in southern Europe.Bee-eaters, which are rare visitors to the UK, have been spotted at the Cemex quarry, in East Leake, Nottinghamshire.The RSPB said the birds, which feast on bees and wasps, have been seen mating and it is likely they will nest at the site.The birds may have headed north due to climate change, the charity added.Live updates from the East Midlands Image caption ...
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Arrests in UK over Microsoft scam calls

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Many victims of such IT support scams are elderly Four people have been arrested in the UK following an investigation into scams involving calls from fraudsters pretending to be IT support staff.It follows two years of work by City of London Police and Microsoft, who teamed up to tackle the problem. The perpetrators commonly pretend to be phoning on behalf of the US company.The inquiry indicated that many of the calls originated in India but two men and two women in England have been accused of involvement.They include a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old ...
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Qatar condemns Saudi refusal to negotiate over demands

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Qatar's foreign minister held talks with the US secretary of state in Washington on Tuesday Qatar's foreign minister has condemned its Gulf neighbours for refusing to negotiate over their demands for restoring air, sea and land links. Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani said the stance was "contrary to the principles" of international relations.Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Qatar of aiding terrorism - a charge it denies.It has been presented with a list of demands that the Saudi foreign minister on Tuesday called "non-negotiable".The restrictions have caused turmoil in Qatar, an ...
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Flights affected by Edinburgh Airport power cut

A power cut at Edinburgh Airport is affecting flights and terminal services.It is understood the electricity failed just before 09:00.The airport said flights have been disrupted and it's not possible to provide the usual check-in facilities.It said engineers are working on the problem and it is urging passengers to come to the airport as usual ...
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Uber to appeal against English tests for drivers

Image copyright PA Image caption Drivers previously had until 30 September to pass the written test The introduction of a written English language test for private hire drivers has been delayed after Uber won the right to appeal against the plans.Transport for London (TfL) had wanted to revoke licences if drivers had not passed the test by 30 September.Uber lost a High Court battle in March against the policy.But the Court of Appeal has said it would hear Uber's case after it argued 33,000 drivers out of 110,000 in London might not be able to renew licences. TfL will now ...
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Pound to euro exchange rate: Sterling PLUMMETS to monthly low after Bank of England report

THE POUND to euro exchange rate has plummeted to a low of one GBP to 1.13 EUR after a Bank of England report. The Tesco exchange rate is €1.11 while the exchange rate pound to dollar is US$1.28 ...
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London fire: Fire safety risk inspections pointless, says expert

Image copyright Image caption Grenfell Tower was deemed to only have a medium fire risk The system to assess fire safety of high-rise buildings in the UK is "pointless", a leading expert claims.Fire risk assessments (FRAs) carried out by councils do not consider factors such as external cladding, inspections of which are under way. It is feared cladding helped spread a blaze that killed at least 79 people at Grenfell Tower, which was not deemed a high-risk during inspections in 2016.Prof Arnold Dix said the FRA system was simply a "box-ticking exercise".Prof Dix, an independent disaster investigator who looked ...
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The Papers: ‘May’s top team split over Brexit’

Image caption The Times says splits have emerged at the top of government after Brexit Secretary David Davis and Chancellor Philip Hammond set out alternative timetables for leaving the EU, with different timings for new customs arrangements, while Mr Hammond mocked Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's claim that the UK could "have our cake and eat it" after Brexit. Image caption On the same story, the i says tensions were laid bare as senior ministers squared up in public over competing plans for the UK's future, the Brexit secretary was contradicted by Downing Street, and the chancellor warned the prime minister ...
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Stormont power-sharing talks going down to the wire

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Northern Ireland has effectively been without a devolved government for almost six months Talks to restore Northern Ireland's devolved government are going down to the wire, with just one full day left for parties to reach an agreement.Discussions have been taking place to bring back power-sharing at Stormont before Thursday afternoon's deadline.On Tuesday, Sinn Féin warned that the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had not moved on any of the main issues at the centre of the political crisis.The DUP encouraged Sinn Féin to "come back from the brink".The parties called time on negotiations shortly after ...
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