‘Smurf’ cats feline blue after ink fire

Image copyright Terry Oliver Image caption “This doesn’t seem to be doing the trick” The fire broke out in a boat and shed on Coronation Road in Clacton shortly before 21:00 GMT. Image copyright Terry Oliver Image caption This dog used to be black and white, but now it’s feeling blue all over Builder Terry Oliver, who lives close to the site told the BBC he first realised all was not quite right when he saw the first blue animal. “It’s not often you see a blue cat sitting on your driveway,” he said. “My little girl thought they looked like Smurf cats.” He added: “It’s quite blue around here and a bit strange.” A number of cats, dogs and …

Debate rages over Liam Neeson race row

The 66-year-old said he did not go through with any violence and expressed regret that he had reacted in such a “horrible” way. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionListen to Liam Neeson’s comments that sparked the outrage Speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday, Neeson denied he was racist and said he hoped his remarks would start a wider conversation about racism. That conversation shows no signs of abating and commentators had their say in the press on Wednesday. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Natasha Richardson, pictured with Neeson in 2008, died after a skiing accident in 2009 Gary Younge, The Guardian We should, at the very least, admire [Neeson] for his candour. For all …

Veganuary: What did it cost you?

“To be vegan, it helps to be rich. If you open any vegan cookbook you come across all these expensive ingredients. “Pine nuts are crazy. They’re the most expensive. There is nothing cheap about them.” According to new research shared with the BBC, Mr Carey may have found his costs went up because he was vegetarian before he tried veganism. Image copyright Rachel Tranter Image caption Rachel Tranter with a bowl of vegan pasta According to Cleo, it is difficult to say for sure whether people save money in January because they have changed their diet as many people are tightening their belts anyway. However, Rachel Tranter from Abingdon told the BBC: “I didn’t do Veganuary to save money, but …

‘Unfair’ dentist fines investigated

‘Low incomes and elderly’ Many of the people facing fines, the dentists say, are “on very low incomes, the elderly, and those with learning difficulties”. The BDA says that when these fines for wrongfully claiming free treatment are challenged, about nine in 10 are overturned. Dentists say fines deterring poor patients Go to the dentists and get fined £100 Your stories: 10 fines at the dentists… that weren’t fine But dentists are worried that many people are so worried about the risk of being fined that they do not get dental treatment.

‘Millions’ of fake cigarettes seized in UK

Mr Ahamed was ordered to do 200 hours community service and pay £5,000 in costs. The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is calling on the government to increase fines and penalties for those found guilty of trading in fake or tax-free cigarettes and tobacco. In another sentencing in Durham Crown Court last week, a 72-year-old man was ordered to pay a £35,000 fine after he tried to sell one box of 20 Brass cigarettes for £3.50 in a sting operation. He was caught with more than 100,000 illegal cigarettes.

Council’s transgender wig image ‘bigoted’

The questionnaire asks participants about their gender, with boxes for male and female. A third box, labelled transgender, has an image of a man removing a long wig. Questions transgender people hear Should the NHS pay for transgender fertility treatment? The picture was circulated on Twitter on Wednesday, with The Save Our Libraries Essex campaign describing it as “looking like institutionalised bigotry”. One Twitter user described it as a “gross misrepresentation with zero bearing on any transgender person”. Another said: “The depiction is not only awful but ‘man, woman or transgender’ is an extremely ignorant choice of genders.” ‘Negative stereotype’ Ms O’Connell, who ran for the parliamentary seat of Maldon in 2015 and 2017 for the Liberal Democrats, said: “I’m …

UK ‘could ban’ social media over suicide images

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAfter Molly Russell took her own life, her family discovered distressing material about suicide on her Instagram account Social media firms could be banned if they fail to remove harmful content, the health secretary has warned. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Matt Hancock said: “If we think they need to do things they are refusing to do, then we can and we must legislate.” But he added: “It’s not where I’d like to end up.” The minister earlier called on social media giants to “purge” material promoting self-harm and suicide in the wake of links to a teenager’s suicide. Molly Russell, 14, took her own life in 2017 after viewing …

Facebook ‘sorry’ for distressing suicide posts

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFacebook, which owns Instagram, says it is “deeply upset” by the death of Molly Russell Facebook has said it is “deeply sorry” after it emerged a teenager who took her own life had viewed disturbing content about suicide on social media. Molly Russell, 14, died in 2017. Her father Ian says he believes Instagram “helped kill my daughter”. Facebook, which owns Instagram, said graphic content which sensationalises self-harm and suicide “has no place on our platform”. Advertisers have also raised concerns over ads being next to such posts. According to a BBC investigation, adverts for some UK high street brands are appearing alongside graphic content about self-harm, depression and suicide on the …

Mental health at work: We agree with Prince William

Image copyright Joe Image caption “I thought that every decision that I made was the wrong decision,” says Joe about his OCD “It’s a very present conversation that social media can have adverse effects on mental health,” he says. Instagram ‘worst for young mental health’ Facebook ‘sorry’ for distressing suicide posts on Instagram “They work with mental health charities and some really good resources that mean that I don’t feel out of my depth if I am having a bad day – which has not happened in a long time. “There’s an on-hand therapist that we pay, that any member of staff can use at any time.” Joe’s mental health worsened after he was at the Manchester Arena in May …

When your dad decides to do the same apprenticeship as you

John first joined the company in 2017 after health issues forced an end to a 30-year career as an electrical engineer, both on the road and in technical support. He left school at 16 but picked up a string of qualifications later in life, including an HNC in electrical engineering: “I did it the hard way,” he says. So who’s doing best? “Ooh – you’re are going to open up a can of worms there, I think,” says John. Dominic admits: “Dad has the engineering background, so particularly when it comes to claims handling… he has the upper hand on me, he can identify the technical aspects of a claim.” His dad has the edge for example: “when it comes …

How diet is changing – the good and the bad

Fruit and vegetable consumption remains largely unchanged and is still under the recommended five-a-day level. The warnings appear to have had an impact. Nine years ago, two-thirds of children were drinking them. But despite this progress, sugar consumption is still too high. Official health advice recommends that no more than 5% of calories should come from sugar, but children are getting more than twice this amount. What about fruit and vegetables? The five-a-day message has been around for a long-time – the government campaign was launched in 2003. But it seems to be having little impact. Over the nine years there has been hardly any change in the amount people consume. Adults under 65 are eating around four portions a …

‘High’ survival for stage 1-3 cancers

“This research shows a mixed picture but does stress the need for awareness and early diagnosis,” she said. Late-stage drop Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer in women, 90% will survive for a year unless they are diagnosed at stage 4, when the figure drops to 66%. In men with prostate cancer, survival rates a year after diagnosis are very nearly 100% for stages 1-3, dropping to 87.6% for stage-4 diagnosis. For stage 1-4 diagnoses, skin cancer (melanoma) has the highest one-year survival rate, of 97.4% for men and 98.6% for women, pancreatic cancer has the lowest, at 23.7% and 25.3%. And 10-year survival rates are highest for skin cancer and lowest for lung cancer – …

Where not to live if you need a GP

Millions miss out on seven-day GP access Have waits for GP appointments got longer? However, RCGP chairwoman Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard said none of that addressed the urgent problems the profession was facing. She said the differences in the number of GPs was “shocking” and “surprising”. “It suggests there are areas of the country that are really struggling to get the GPs they need. “Over the past decade, general practice has not received the investment it needs.” She believes the health service in England is 6,000 doctors short of what it needs – it currently has just over 34,000 – and the problems meant care was “not safe” in some places. Patients Association chief executive Rachel Power said the findings were …

Women’s frozen eggs ‘should be stored longer’

They say the limit means a growing number of women face losing their chance of having a baby, or rushing to find a sperm donor so they can re-freeze an embryo. Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Educational Trust, which helps people with infertility issues, is one of the three experts due to meet junior health minister Jackie Doyle-Price on Monday. “There’s absolutely no biological reason for this law,” she said. “It’s discriminatory against women and removing an option for them to take charge of their reproductive system. “If you want to freeze your eggs in your late 20s, you might not then have decided you want to use them by your late 30s.” ‘It was terrible and unnecessary’ Follow …

Transplant hope for rucksack heart woman

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption‘I carry my heart in a rucksack’ A woman who carries an artificial heart in a rucksack after her own organ was removed because of cancer has been added to the transplant list. Rebecca Henderson, 24, has been given the green light to receive a donor heart after scans showed she has been clear of cancer for a year. The Oxford University post-graduate student is on the “urgent” list and could get a new heart in weeks. “At no point did it ever occur to me to give up,” she told the BBC. “No matter how hard it is for me, even if it is hard for me, it will then be …

Is there a right age to lose your virginity?

For this latest work, published in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine looked at the responses of nearly 3,000 young people who had completed the survey between 2010 and 2012. The findings The responses showed that nearly 40% of young women and 26% of young men did not feel that their first sexual experience had happened “at the right time”. When asked in more depth, most said they wished they had waited longer to lose their virginity. Few said they should have done it sooner. Most had had sex by the time they were 18 – half had done it by the time they were turning 17. Nearly a third had …