Formula One celebrates the anniversary of the first Championship Grand Prix

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Formula One celebrates the anniversary of the first Championship Grand Prix The first race took place at Silverstone on the 13th of May 1950 Formula One's rich, illustrious and often controversial history began at Silverstone on this day in 1950, with the first world championship race won by Italy's Giuseppe Farina. Giuseppe Farina was the fastest of the dominant Alfa Romeo team, which took up all four berths on the front row of the starting grid. The 21-strong field was also sprinkled with royalty, as Thailand's Prince Bira lined up in his Maserati. King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret - along with 200,000 spectators - were also present for the historic occasion. The Alfa Romeo trio of Farina, Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli exchanged the lead until Fangio was forced to retire from the race with a ruptured oil pipe. Farina went on to beat Fagioli to the finish line by 2.5 seconds. Another Alfa Romeo driver, Britain's Reg Parnell, took third place despite hitting a hare during the race. Prince Bira ran out of fuel and did not finish. Title Chasers Fangio won the following race in Monaco - notable for Ferrari's debut in the competition - after nine rivals, including Farina and Fagioli crashed out on the opening lap. Fangio and Farina would split victories in the final four races of the season, with Farina's win at Monza in September enough to see him clinch the title by three points. Farina won the following year's Belgian Grand Prix, but ceded the title to Fangio, who went on to establish himself as one of the greatest racers of all time, claiming five titles, a record which has only been beaten by Michael Schumacher and last season Lewis Hamilton. Fagioli never won a title, but did achieve the honour of being the oldest winner of a Formula 1 race, at the age of 53 at the 1951 French Grand Prix. After dominating the first two Championships with Farina then Fangio, Alfa Romeo abruptly withdrew from Formula One, and would only make fleeting returns, in various different guises, over the subsequent decades. However the company took a big step when it returned to sponsor Sauber in 2018, and the following year assumed Sauber's position on the grid to mark its return almost 70 years after Farina's dramatic debut win. Published: 13/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebooks record on coronavirus misinformation

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Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook's record on coronavirus misinformation Mark Zuckerberg has defended Facebook's record of combating misinformation on the social network during the coronavirus outbreak. The Facebook founder and chief executive said the platform removed all content which "puts people in imminent risk of physical harm". But he argued that freedom of expression was a factor around other content, such as posts around the anti-vaccination movement, which he called a more "sensitive topic" and did not, therefore, need to be completely removed. Social media and internet companies have come under increased scrutiny during the Covid-19 pandemic, with platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp being criticised for allowing misleading claims to spread. "We break this (misinformation) into two categories: so there's harmful misinformation that puts people in imminent risk of physical harm, so things like saying that something is a proven cure for the virus when in fact it isn't, we will take that down," Mr Zuckerberg told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "Even if something isn't going to cause an imminent risk of physical harm, we don't want misinformation to be the content that is broadly going viral across the networks. "So if you're seeing something that's going to put people in imminent risk of harm we take that down. "If you're seeing something that is just wrong we don't take that down but we stop it from spreading generally. "That's (anti-vax content) a much more sensitive topic because there are a lot of things in society that someone thinks is bad but other people are on the other side of that issue and think it's good, and I think unless something is very clear, that is going to cause real damage to someone in the near term, I think you want generally to allow as wide an aperture of expression as possible across the internet." Instead of taking such content down, Facebook uses a warning label system which obscures a post with a label warning viewers it contains details which independent fact-checkers have found to be false. Mr Zuckerberg cited figures released by Facebook earlier this month which said the company had placed misinformation warning labels on around 50 million posts across its services, which 95% of people did not click through when they encountered them, thus slowing the spread of misinformation, he argued. The Facebook founder added that 5G misinformation, which he acknowledged had been "very prevalent" in the UK and has led to a number of phone masts been attacked, is considered an imminent threat and would be removed immediately. However, a number of anti-5G groups promoting conspiracy theories about the technology remain active on the site. Since the coronavirus outbreak, a number of online services have introduced tools to try and direct people to accurate information from official health authorities. Facebook, Twitter and Google all show links to health organisations at the top of search results linked to the virus, which WhatsApp has launched several chatbot services which can directly provide users with up-to-date health advice. Asked about combating misinformation ahead of the US Presidential election later this year, Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook was better prepared for attempts to influence voters than before the previous election, four years ago. "We've learned a lot about how politics works online since 2016, one big area that we were behind on in 2016 but now I think are quite advanced at identifying and fighting these coordinated information campaigns that come from different state actors around the world, whether it's Russia or Iran or in some cases China," he said. "Countries are going to continue to try and interfere, we're going to see issues like that, it's a little bit of an arms race in that way. "But I certainly think our systems are a lot more advanced now. "I think in many ways its more advanced than any other company or a lot of governments around the world and I feel pretty confident about our ability to help protect the integrity of the upcoming elections." Published: 21/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Harry and Meghan celebrate second wedding anniversary

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Harry and Meghan celebrate second wedding anniversary The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are celebrating their second wedding anniversary. Much has changed for Harry and Meghan since they said their vows in St George's Castle, Windsor Castle, on May 19 2018, in front of the royal family, celebrity guests and a worldwide television audience of millions. The Queen's grandson Harry and former Suits star Meghan have welcomed son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, who turned one on May 6. But they also sparked the Megxit crisis and quit as working royals just one year, 10 months and 12 days after their high-profile wedding. The couple opened up about their struggles dealing with royal life and the intense tabloid interest, in a television documentary about their Africa tour in the autumn of 2019. Harry also addressed a rift between himself and his brother the Duke of Cambridge, saying they were on "different paths" and have good and bad days in their relationship. After a six-week break in Canada, Harry and Meghan issued a bombshell statement in January this year without warning the Queen and the Prince of Wales, saying they wanted to step down as senior royals to earn their own money, while still supporting the monarch. But the Sussexes' plan was too controversial given their global profiles and was likely to have led to accusations they were cashing in on their royal status. The Queen held an emergency summit at Sandringham with Harry, the Prince of Wales and William - but it was announced a few days later there would be no dual role for the Sussexes, meaning they would have to walk away from the monarchy completely. From March 31 2020, Harry and Meghan stopped using their HRH styles and ceased to be senior working royals, in favour of a life of personal and financial freedom. The couple, now living in Los Angeles where they have been in lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, are preparing to launch their new charitable organisation Archewell - named after their son. It will replace their now-defunct Sussex Royal brand, but plans to launch the venture have been delayed while the world battles the coronavirus. American former actress Meghan became the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a senior British royal when she walked down the aisle two years ago. The Sussexes' ceremony was a romantic, star-studded affair, with the duchess dressed in an elegant, minimalist boat-necked pure white wedding gown by Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy. Her five metre-long veil featured flowers from all Commonwealth countries and was held in place by Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, loaned by the Queen. An emotional Harry was captivated by his bride as they met at the altar, telling her: "You look amazing." Crowds flocked to see the newlyweds - the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex - who kissed on the West Steps of the chapel. Guests in the gothic church included George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, Serena Williams, Carey Mulligan, James Blunt and James Corden, and a number of Meghan's Suits former co-stars. Dubbed a royal wedding like no other, the nuptials combined British traditions with diversity and modernity. Sounds of a gospel choir filled the venue, with US preacher Bishop Michael Curry delivering a lengthy, impassioned, rousing address on the power of love. Prince George and Princess Charlotte were among the pageboys and bridesmaids, and the Duke of Edinburgh, recovered from a hip operation, put in an appearance. There was drama in the run-up to the big day, with Meghan's father Thomas Markle pulling out of walking her through the Quire to the altar due to illness, and after being caught staging paparazzi photographs. But the Prince of Wales stepped in to perform the symbolic role. Thousands lined the streets of Windsor to watch Harry and Meghan as they went on a carriage procession in the Ascot Landau through the town and the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park. The black tie evening celebrations - to which Meghan wore a glamorous lily white halter neck by Stella McCartney - were staged in nearby Frogmore House where 200 close family and friends partied the night away. Second wedding anniversaries are traditionally marked with gifts of cotton. Published: 19/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Wild white storks hatch in UK for first time in centuries

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Wild white storks hatch in UK for first time in centuries White stork chicks have hatched in the wild in the UK for the first time in centuries. Eggs in one of three nests at the Knepp Estate in West Sussex have hatched, the White Stork Project announced. Observers watched as the parents incubated the nest of five eggs located in an oak tree. They were seen removing eggshells from the nest and later regurgitating food for the chicks. It comes after the same pair of white storks unsuccessfully tried to breed at Knepp last year. Lucy Groves, project officer for the White Stork Project, said it was the first time in hundreds of years that wild white stork chicks have hatched in the UK. She said: "After waiting 33 days for these eggs to hatch it was extremely exciting to see signs that the first egg had hatched on May 6. "The parents have been working hard and are doing a fantastic job, especially after their failed attempt last year. "It is incredible to have the first white stork chicks hatch in the wild for hundreds of years here at Knepp. "These are early days for the chicks, and we will be monitoring them closely, but we have great hopes for them. "This is just one step towards establishing this species in the South of England. It may be a small step, but it is an exciting one. "This stunning species has really captured people's imagination and it has been great following the sightings of birds from the project during the period of lockdown and hearing about the joy and hope they have brought to people." The project aims to restore a population of at least 50 breeding pairs of white storks in southern England by 2030. Archaeological records show white storks have bred in the UK as far back as 360,000 years ago, the White Stork Project said. The most recent record, the project claims, was in 1416 when a pair of white storks were found nesting on the roof of St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. A combination of habitat loss, over-hunting and targeted persecution are likely to have contributed to their decline. Isabella Tree, co-owner of Knepp with Charlie Burrell, said: "When I hear that clattering sound now, coming from the tops of our oak trees where they're currently nesting at Knepp, it feels like a sound from the Middle Ages has come back to life. "We watch them walking through the long grass on their long legs, kicking up insects and deftly catching them in their long beaks as they go - there's no other bird that does that in the UK. "It's walking back into a niche that has been empty for centuries." Published: 16/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Government remains confident as coronavirus R value creeps up

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Government remains confident as coronavirus 'R' value creeps up The Government remains confident that the reproductive rate of coronavirus is still under one, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, as new figures suggest it has crept up. The so-called R-number - which is the average number of people that will contract coronavirus from an infected person - is now between 0.7 and 1.0 in England, according to Government scientific advisers. The rise in the figure is thought to be driven by the virus spreading in care homes and hospitals rather than the wider community, but previous data put it at between 05 and 0.9. There is a time lag in the calculations, with the latest R value relating to what was happening two to three weeks ago. Speaking at the Number 10 daily press briefing, Mr Hancock said the R number was an "incredibly important figure", and it was important to note "we don't think that it is above one". He added: "Everybody can play their part in keeping R below one and pushing R down. "You can do that by following the social distancing rules, so if you do go outdoors, do it only with members of your household and keep two metres away from others who aren't in your household. "And those social distancing rules are incredibly clear, and they will help to keep us safe." Mr Hancock also told the press conference he supported the phased reopening of primary schools - which has been set for June 1 at the earliest. It comes after teaching unions said they were unconvinced by the "flimsy" scientific evidence on which the move has been made. Mr Hancock said: "I wouldn't support a proposal to reopen schools unless I thought it was safe to do so. It is safe to do so." But he stressed there was an "awful lot of work to do in each individual school to make sure that that is done in a way that is safe". He said the risk from coronavirus "was much, much lower (for) children than any other age group in society, certainly if you don't have underlying health conditions". Deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries said it was important to put the risks in perspective. She said: "If currently we have, say, two or three in 1,000 of our population with infection, then in the proposed time frame coming forward in the next couple of weeks that's likely to halve. "There's a lot of anxiety I think around this but people need to think through - in an average infant school with 100 children the likelihood of anybody having this disease is very small and diminishing with time, so I think we just need to keep that in perspective." Dr Harries also warned of longer-term health risks to children who do not get a good, basic education. She said: "Children who have been invited back to school are at key points of their education and their longer-term health risks of not getting good, basic education, which then takes them into work, employment in adult life and gives them a prevention opportunity from long-term conditions is really very important." Asked about personal protective equipment (PPE) for teachers, Dr Harries suggested treating teacher and pupil groups like families. She said: "It's not simply about a bit of kit - it's actually about how you manage groups. "So in many ways, managing them more as if you were a family where you wouldn't think about putting on PPE or handling in different ways, but you keep in those groups, you can distance within a school." Mr Hancock also used the briefing to address the crisis in care homes. He said every resident and staff member will have been tested by early June - despite him saying on April 28 this testing was available. He also announced a named clinical lead for every care home in England, adding: "This is the most intense support and scrutiny that care homes have ever received." In other developments: - The number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK passed 41,000, according to the latest available data. - Police chiefs and prosecutors apologised after dozens of people were wrongly charged under new coronavirus laws. - New figures show that more than 12,500 people living in care homes have now died with Covid-19, with the majority dying in their care home. - The PA news agency has verified at least 150 NHS frontline workers who have died with Covid-19. - Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford criticised Boris Johnson's Government for a lack of communication on how Britain moves together out of coronavirus lockdown. It comes after ministers came under under fresh pressure to ramp up recruitment for the Government's track-and-trace programme as it emerged that only 1,500 contact tracers out of a promised 18,000 had been appointed by the start of the week. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said while "about 15,000" applications have been received, just 1,500 people had been hired for the programme - which is seen as key to allowing the UK to lift the most stringent coronavirus lockdown measures. Downing Street later said it was still "on course" to have 18,000 contact tracers next week, and insisted "significantly more" than the 1,500 had been recruited. However, the Prime Minister's official spokesman was unable to say how many. Labour said the process was "rapidly descending into a shambles", and questioned the reported hiring of private firm Serco to put in place the manual contact-tracing team. Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves said: "This is fewer than one in 10 of the contract tracers the Government said would be in place by now and a fraction of the 50,000 some experts believe are needed to control the spread of the virus." Meanwhile, signs of regional rebellions to the Government's approach to easing the lockdown emerged as Liverpool City Council said only the children of key workers and vulnerable children will be allowed in school from June 1. And the Labour leader of Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon, said his advice continued to be "stay at home" as he called the easing of the lockdown rules "frankly madness". Published: 16/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Stephen Fry hosted virtual pub quiz raises 140000 for Alzheimers Research UK

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Stephen Fry-hosted virtual pub quiz raises £140,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK A virtual pub quiz co-hosted by Stephen Fry has raised more than £140,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK. Jay Flynn's lockdown phenomenon, which has brought together more than 180,000 keen quizzers each week, featured Fry on Thursday night. It now holds the Guinness World Record for most viewers of a quiz YouTube live stream. This week, it joined forces with Alzheimer's Research UK and Fry to raise money for dementia research and promote awareness of the condition. Quizzers were encouraged to give cash to the charity, which has experienced a drop in donations of up to 45% as a result of the pandemic. Wealth management and employee benefits company Mattioli Woods match-funded the first £15,000 of donations, with a total of £50,000 match-funded. Fry said: "Many of us have been close to someone they love very much in the grip of dementia. "I remember visiting the mother of a friend in the very severe stages of the condition and seeing her not recognise her own son. "Humans are ultimately social animals and dementia isolates you from your social networks. "That is as frightening as anything can be and sadly we know this is only exacerbated by Covid-19." He added: "The partnership between Alzheimer's Research UK and the Virtual Pub Quiz feels so perfect. "The quiz is keeping people connected, while the money raised will support research that will ultimately keep us connected to our loved ones for longer. "By supporting charities like Alzheimer's Research UK, future generations will only be reading about diseases like Alzheimer's and not experiencing it." The Virtual Pub Quiz has now raised more than £300,000 for charities over seven weeks. Mr Flynn told the PA news agency: "Once again we had over 181,000 households playing the virtual pub quiz. "I want to give a massive thanks to every single person in the community, without them none of this would be possible." He added: "So many of our community will have been touched by dementia in some way and it's a cause that's close to me and my family, too. "It's so important we don't forget about important causes like this at this time. "I'd like to thank Stephen for giving up his time to support the charity and the quiz, and I know our amazing community will get behind Alzheimer's Research UK 100%." Published: 15/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

British Airways to make 12000 workers redundant

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British Airways to make 12,000 workers redundant Most of their fleet remains grounded due to Coronavirus British Airways is set to make up to 12,000 workers redundant, parent company IAG has announced. The airline, which employs 42,000 people, has suffered from the global collapse in passenger numbers caused by the coronavirus pandemic. IAG said BA will consult on a "restructuring and redundancy programme" as it is expected to take "several years" until demand for air travel returns to 2019 levels. Published: 28/04/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Murder suspect still at large after London stabbing

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Murder suspect still at large after London stabbing Police have said a "dangerous individual" is still at large after the murder of a 23-year-old in north London. Jemal Ebrahim was found stabbed in Russell Road, Haringey, on Wednesday evening and later died in hospital. Four men, all in their 20s, were arrested on Thursday on suspicion of affray and bailed pending further enquiries. Detective Chief Inspector Simon Stancombe said the person responsible "remains in the community". He added: "It remains unclear where the attack on the victim took place. "And while our investigation is continuing at speed, I am still keen to hear from anyone who has information relating to the murder. "A life has been taken, a family is devastated, and the dangerous individual responsible remains in the community, getting on with their life." Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Published: 16/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

WH Smith sees significant coronavirus hit to high street and travel chains

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WH Smith sees 'significant' coronavirus hit to high street and travel chains Retailer WH Smith has warned over a "significant hit" since March as the coronavirus lockdown forced it to close travel outlets in railway stations and airports and many of its high street stores. The group said total revenues plunged 85% in April, with sales crashing 91% across its travel arm - which makes up more than half of its annual turnover - and 74% in its high street chain. WH Smith said it had temporarily closed the vast majority of its 1,194-strong stores in the travel business, though it kept around 130 open in UK hospitals to help serve frontline NHS staff and has extended its grocery ranges in these outlets amid the crisis. The travel arm has been a major engine for growth of the business in recent years, helping offset tough UK high street conditions. As well as a presence across Britain's travel network, WH Smith also operates in over 100 international airports and 31 countries. Carl Cowling, group chief executive of WH Smith, said: "Since March, we have seen a significant impact on our business as a result of Covid-19, with the majority of our stores closed around the world." He added: "We are a resilient and versatile business and with the operational actions we have taken including managing costs and the new financing arrangements, we are in a strong position to navigate this time of uncertainty and are well positioned to benefit in due course from the normalisation and growth of our key markets." WH Smith kept 203 of its high street stores with Post Offices open amid the lockdown, but temporarily shut the bulk of the 575-strong chain. While store sales were decimated, WH Smith noted a jump in online sales, with book sales surging 400% as Britons looked for ways to pass the time at home. It said it was working on plans for a phased reopening of stores over its second half, focusing on driving spend per passenger across its travel chain as outlets begin trading again. The group has furloughed a "significant" number of its staff across stores and head offices, while also axing its interim shareholder dividend payout amid cost-cutting efforts. The impact of coronavirus on the group came after a robust first-half performance, which saw WH Smith post a 3% fall in pre-tax profits to £63 million - up 1% at £93 million on an underlying basis. Travel stores enjoyed an 11% jump in profits at £49 million over the six months to February 29, offsetting an 8% fall for the high street business, at £44 million. "There was very little impact of Covid-19 on our first-half results, however inevitably the performance in the second half will be very different," said Mr Cowling. Published: 14/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

US Space Force flag presented to Trump

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US Space Force flag presented to Trump The US Space Force - the newest branch of the armed services - has unveiled its own flag. Defence Department officials presented President Donald Trump with the Space Force flag during a short Oval Office event on Friday. The dark blue and white flag includes elements intended to evoke the vast recesses of outer space. The Space Force, which was officially established in December, is the first new military service since the US Air Force was established in 1947. The 16,000 airmen and civilians that make up the Space Force technically remain part of the Air Force, which previously oversaw offensive operations in space. But Mr Trump has made clear he sees the newest service as critical to the future of American defence. The president said during Friday's ceremony that the US is building a "super-duper missile" that can travel "17 times faster than what we have right now". The flag includes a Delta Wing - long a symbol in the Air Force - meant to signify change and innovation. Dark and light shades of grey within the delta were incorporated in a nod to the 24/7 nature of the Space Force's work. The flag also features a globe, for the Space Force fighters' home turf, and an elliptical orbit around the globe was incorporated to signify the force's mission to defend and protect from adversaries and threats emanating in space. The flag was produced by artists and crafts people at the Defence Logistics Agency flag room in Philadelphia from a design finalised and documented by the Department's Institute of Heraldry at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Published: 16/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub