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The Papers: Budget giveaways and gloom

Image caption The Guardian says the chancellor placed a stamp duty cut for first time buyers at the heart of the Budget as he sought to mask the UK's deteriorating economic prospects by pledging to revive the homeowning dream. But the paper says the announcements struggled to lift the gloom. Image caption The Daily Mail reports Mr Hammond bowed to pressure to open the purse strings in the Budget - with younger voters, nurses and benefit claimants all set to gain. The paper adds it will no longer nickname the chancellor Eeyore, after the pessimistic Winnie-the-Pooh book character. Image caption ...
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Lancashire floods: 70 people rescued in floods

Image caption The main route through Galgate has been shut by flooding More than 70 people and 20 horses had to be rescued from floods in Lancashire overnight.Emergency services in the county received about 500 calls with Lancaster and Galgate the worst affected places. Two lanes on the M6 motorway southbound have been shut between junctions 35 and 36 and the A6 at Galgate is closed in both directions.There are currently nine flood warnings and 12 flood alerts in place across Lancashire.Are you in or have you been rescued from a ...
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Best VR Experiences to Introduce Your Family to Virtual Reality Over Thanksgiving

The turkey is in the oven, the cranberry sauce is in the can, and your VR setup is in the box ready to be shown off to the family at Thanksgiving. Since you’ll be doing a fair bit of VR evangelizing on the big day, an important question remains before you can plug your unwitting relatives into ‘the final computing platform’: what do you show off first? Assuming you aren’t actually hosting Thanksgiving, undoubtedly the easiest VR systems to lug around would be the selection of mobile VR headsets currently on offer, namely Google Daydream and Gear VR. With a little ...
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‘Dispatch’ Expertly Weaves a Tale of Grizzly Murders in VR Through the Sound of 9-1-1 Calls

Dispatch (2017), a new episodic story from VR pros Here Be Dragons, launched on Oculus Rift and Gear VR yesterday. Following a small-town emergency dispatcher named Ted (voiced by Martin Starr), you experience the story through a sort of half-imagined, half-real version of the grizzly events he’s privy to. One of the unique features in Dispatch is its minimalist art style, which leaves a lot of room for the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own imagination. After all, as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, Ted only has the sound from the phone to drawn upon, so every slam or creak of a ...
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Singapore to use driverless buses ‘from 2022’

Image copyright NTU Singapore Image caption Nanyang Technological University in Singapore already uses driverless shuttles at its campus Singapore plans to introduce driverless buses on its public roads by 2022.The government says they will be piloted in three new neighbourhoods which will have less-crowded roads designed to accommodate the buses. The buses will be used to help residents travel in their communities, and to nearby train and bus stations.Densely-populated Singapore hopes driverless technology will help the country manage its land constraints and manpower shortages. "The autonomous vehicles will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly ...
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Manus Island: Police enter former Australia-run asylum centre

Image copyright AFP PHOTO / GetUp Image caption PNG authorities have given asylum seekers a deadline to leave, the former detainees say Police in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have entered a former Australian-run detention centre in a bid to get asylum seekers who remain there to leave.Hundreds of men have refused to leave the Manus Island centre since it was shut down on 31 October, citing fears for their safety.On Thursday, men inside the camp said that PNG police had given them a one-hour deadline to leave. One refugee, a journalist, was reportedly arrested.Australia said it was a PNG operation.Under ...
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Foxconn stops interns’ illegal overtime at iPhone X factory

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Foxconn has faced several claims of poor treatment of workers at its Chinese factories Foxconn, a main supplier for Apple's iPhone, says it has stopped interns from working illegal overtime at its factory in China. It comes after a Financial Times report found at least six students worked 11-hour days at its iPhone X plant in Henan province.The practice breached Chinese laws preventing children from working more than 40 hours per week.About 3,000 students were reportedly hired to work at the Zhengzhou plant.Apple said the secondary school students worked voluntarily but they "should not ...
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‘I asked to go to jail, rather than stay homeless’

Image caption Bradley's anti-social behaviour order prevents him from "loitering" near businesses Banned from begging and sleeping in shop doorways in Middlesbrough, Bradley Grimes asked the judge in court to send him to prison rather than leave him homeless. What effect did it have?"All they've done is placed an anti-social behaviour order on me to try and stop me from begging. But I have to in order to survive," Bradley Grimes tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.He became homeless after leaving the care system aged 17.With autism and, in his own words, the mental age of a "young child", he ...
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Life on London’s first Aids ward

Image copyright Gideon Mendel Opened in 1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales, the Broderip, at the Middlesex Hospital, was the first Aids ward in London. In a time before antiretroviral medications, it was populated by patients, often young men, facing a life cut brutally - and painfully - short. Six years later, Gideon Mendel spent time documenting the lives of four patients of the Middlesex's Broderip and neighbouring Charles Bell wards - John, Steven, Ian and Andre.Mendel overrode the contemporary stigma surrounding HIV to take tender portraits of partners, friends and family comforting their loved ones.All of his subjects died ...
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Christmas fraud: Mobiles and clothes top presents targeted

Image copyright Getty Images People are being urged to beware of fake products and websites in the run-up to Christmas.Mobile phones, clothes, shoes and jewellery are the gifts most likely to be fraudulent, according to the Action Fraud group. Along with City of London police, it is appealing to people to give more thought to where they source presents.In 2016, it is estimated that nearly £16 million was lost to Christmas shopping fraud.Common items reported to the agency include fake Yeezy trainers, Kylie Jenner make-up, air dryers, drones and Fitbit watches.Latest figures suggest that Christmas fraud increased by 25% between ...
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Broadband firms must ditch ‘misleading’ speed ads

Image copyright BT Image caption ISPs will no longer be able to use the term 'up to' about speeds of service Broadband firms will no longer be able to advertise their fast net services based on the speeds just a few customers get, from May next year.Currently ISPs are allowed to use headline speeds that only 10% of customers will actually receive.In future, adverts must be based on what is available to at least half of customers at peak times.It follows research that suggested broadband advertising can be misleading for consumers.The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) looked into consumers' understanding of ...
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Budget 2017: MPs rally round Hammond after growth shock

Image copyright PA Conservative MPs have rallied round Philip Hammond despite his Budget being overshadowed by gloomy assessments of the UK's future growth prospects. The UK economy is forecast to expand by an average of just 1.4% a year by 2022 due to uncertainty over Brexit and sluggish productivity levels.Labour say the projections, the weakest for decades, risk prolonging austerity and extending the squeeze on families.But leading Tories said the chancellor had maintained his fiscal credibility.The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said while the economic reality was a country that could be "poorer for longer", Mr Hammond may have overcome ...
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Three cups of coffee a day ‘may have health benefits’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The effects of caffeine can vary from person to person Moderate coffee drinking is safe, and three to four cups a day may have some health benefits, according to a large review of previous studies, in the BMJ.It found a lower risk of liver disease and some cancers, and a lower risk of dying from stroke - but researchers could not prove coffee was the cause.Too much coffee during pregnancy could be harmful, the review confirmed.Experts said people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons or to prevent disease.The University of Southampton researchers ...
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Paloma Faith: ‘I feel less fragile’

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPaloma Faith performs Guilty for BBC Radio 2 In Concert"I feel more powerful and more capable than I was before. I feel so much less fragile, so much more resilient."Curled up on a sofa in the penthouse suite of a London hotel, Paloma Faith is in good spirits.She's two hours away from turning on Regent Street's Christmas lights - "It's one of those things I didn't know I wanted to do until I was asked" - and 10 hours away from the release of her fourth album, The Architect."It feels amazing to ...
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Analysis: Will South Africa’s ANC learn from Mugabe’s fall?

Image copyright AFP Image caption Both South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe's ex-ruler Robert Mugabe fought minority rule The silence of South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC), especially in the hours immediately after the fall of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, was deafening. It showed the enormous psychological influence the one-time revolutionary wielded over the party - and it was so stunned by his humiliating exit that it was unable to respond to the momentous developments in the neighbouring state.In contrast, the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) reacted swiftly, capturing the mood of most both black and white South ...
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When I look into my son’s eyes I see the man who raped me

Catherine became pregnant after being raped by a man she had considered her friend. She explains here why she decided to give birth to the child - and why the hardest thing for her is looking into her son's eyes. I was a single parent with two children. I knew him. We had been friends for about two years, we met through a mutual friend and just had a friendship - a normal friendship, nothing more than that.I'd been quite open with him that I wasn't looking for a relationship of any sort - I wanted to be on my ...
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The female tech bosses who want zebras not unicorns

Image copyright Tinsel Image caption Aniyia Williams is a co-founder of the so-called zebra movement Zebras fix what unicorns break. That's the motto of a new movement in the tech industry frustrated by Silicon Valley's lust for so-called unicorn companies.A unicorn is a start-up valued at more than $1bn (£750m) - Facebook is a classic unicorn. The zebra movement was launched earlier this year by four female founders who struggled to find funding for their tech start-ups.The entrepreneurs wrote a manifesto calling for Silicon Valley to invest in more female and ethnic minority founders, and to back new companies from ...
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Sparklers and snow in Maine

Devon-born photographer Cig Harvey now lives in a Maine farmhouse with her husband, Doug, daughter Scout and Scarlet, the dog. Her highly personal pictures use her family as subjects to create extraordinary images. The poetic representations focus on colour and light, and often use the snowy Maine winters as a background.Writer Jacoba Urist says that each photograph "captures the tiniest fragments in everyday life that make our breath convulse - that sharp, spontaneous inhale in our chest when we encounter something divine".Here is a selection of images from her book. Image copyright Cig Harvey Image copyright Cig Harvey Image copyright ...
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‘Sexist’ inclusive writing row riles France

Image copyright AFP Image caption The Academie française has officially pronounced on inclusive writing The French, as is well known, are obsessed by one thing - language.The latest topic to consume a nation of lexicologists is "inclusive writing".This is the attempt to erase all trace of sexism in a language where gender is a central feature - French nouns are either masculine or feminine, dictating all adjectives and some verbal forms (a point that is sometimes made painfully clear to foreigners who happen to get those wrong).In such a charged linguistic context, the fight for sex equality is not exactly ...
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Trump’s efforts to privatize veterans’…

Trump administration officials aren't just exploring privatization of veterans' care, they're also keeping many leading veterans' organizations in the dark.Read more http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-efforts-privatize-veterans-care-causes-alarm ...
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Child urges Trump to extend TPS for Haiti…

10-year-old Ronyde Pontheiux says ending temporary protected status for refugees from Haiti's 2010 earthquake will break up many families like hers.Read more http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/10-year-old-girl-urges-trump-to-leaves-haiti-tps-intact-1102014531845 ...
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Kezia Dugdale enters I’m a Celebrity jungle camp

Image copyright ITV Image caption Kezia Dugdale is one of two late entries to the jungle camp Kezia Dugdale has made her first jungle appearance on TV programme I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!The former leader of Scottish Labour was introduced as one of two late-entry campmates on Wednesday's live edition of the reality show.Presenters Ant and Dec ended the programme with a "teaser" that Ms Dugdale and comedian and broadcaster Iain Lee would be joining the line-up.They are expected to be fully unveiled on Thursday's episode.Ms Dugdale admitted some of her political colleagues will be "shocked and ...
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