More women over 40 are getting pregnant. But is that really about their choices? | Zeynep Gurtin

Mens decisions also affect fertility patterns, says Zeynep Gurtin, lecturer in womens health at UCL The trend for later motherhood is continuing apace. This week, the Office for National Statistics released new data on Institute for Womens Health at University College London, exploring the life stories, feelings and opinions of women who are pregnant in their 40s. While the project is still in its infancy, it has already provided some key insights as to why increasing numbers of women are having children after 40, and how they feel about later motherhood. The ONS report suggests a number of drivers for later motherhood, including womens increased participation in higher education and the workforce, more labour market uncertainty and the growing costs …

Neoliberalism promised freedom instead it delivers stifling control | George Monbiot

Creeping privatisation is rolling back the state to create a new, absolutist bureaucracy that destroys efficiency, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot My life was saved last year by the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, through a skilful procedure to privatise the hospitals cancer scanning. They complained that the scanners the private company was offering were less sensitive than the hospitals own machines. Privatisation, they said, would put patients at risk. In response, neoliberalism was supposed to have allowed autonomy and creativity to flourish. Instead, it has delivered a semi-privatised authoritarianism more oppressive than the system it replaced. Workers find themselves enmeshed in a Bureaucracy, published in 1944, he argued that there could be no accommodation between capitalism and socialism. The creation …

Turns out posh boys are better bullshitters. That explains a lot | Phoebe-Jane Boyd

A new study suggests young, rich males are inclined to bluff and get away with it, says content editor Phoebe-Jane Boyd If youve ever wondered why the most overconfident embarrassments in the headlines and in your life are so frequently young, posh and male, wonder no more. Its a thing. Bullshit can be packaged in so many ways, but it frequently comes in a certain form. According to a new study from University College London, young men who come from advantaged backgrounds are Billy McFarlands Fyre festival, it can pay off big time. Self-belief, no matter how misapplied and misjudged, is a major part of success. Its what gets you to the dance, they say, even when youve got a …

Hopes rise for male contraceptive pill breakthrough

Trial of once-daily capsule appeared to reduce sperm count with few side-effects Hopes for a male contraceptive pill have increased after a trial showed a once-daily capsule appeared to work with no significant side-effects. The drug aims to suppress levels of hormones that drive the production of sperm and testosterone in the testes. In the month-long study, doctors found that levels of the hormones required for sperm production fell in men who took the daily capsule, suggesting their sperm counts had been markedly reduced. The next step will be to confirm the fall and determine if it is sufficient. Scientists have been searching for a male contraceptive pill for years, testing numerous injections and Similar side-effects have hampered other experimental …

Dirty lies: how the car industry hid the truth about diesel emissions

The long read: The Dieselgate scandal was suppressed for years while we should have been driving electric cars John German had not been looking to make a splash when he commissioned an examination of pollution from diesel cars back in 2013. The exam compared what came out of their exhaust pipes, during the lab tests that were required by law, with emissions on the road under real driving conditions. German and his colleagues at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in the US just wanted to tie up the last loose ends in a big report, and thought the research would give them something positive to say about diesel. They might even be able to offer tips to Europe …

Women with Allergan breast implants may sue over cancer link

UK women claim they were not told enough about potential risk of rare breast cancer A group of more than 200 women are considering legal action over controversial breast implants that have been linked to a rare form of cancer. The women claim they were not sufficiently informed about the risks of textured Allergan implants, Women who have the implants and capsules removed can make a full recovery, but if left untreated the disease can spread throughout the body and become life-threatening. Last year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) advised its members to stop using Allergan implants as a precaution, but said the scientific data did not suggest the need to remove or exchange any current implants. …

From casinos to cannabis: the Native Americans embracing the pot revolution

The long read: Gambling transformed reservations 40 years ago, but often only enriched a few. Could the legal marijuana business prove more broadly beneficial? In February 2015, amid the cedar masks, canoe paddles and totem poles at the Tulalip Resort Casino north of Seattle, the talk was all about pot. Indian country had been abuzz about cannabis since the previous autumn, when the Justice Department had released a memorandum which seemed to open the way for tribal cannabis as a manifestation of tribal sovereignty. (I grew up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, and I use the word Indian to refer to indigenous people within the US. I also use indigenous, Native and American Indian. These terms have come in …

Corporate-branded communities prove you cant buy taste

If you are rich enough, you can live in a home by Porsche, Armani or Bulgari. Is that really something to aspire to? I find reading about rich people very depressing. Not because I am jealous they have so much money, but because I am frustrated they have so little imagination. Take a look at the recent New York Times piece that says according to the upmarket estate agency Savills. Porsche Design Tower opened in Miami; residents of the skyscraper can drive their car Armani Residences. If you are feeling impecunious and excluded, you will be cheered to learn that corporate communities are coming to the masses. Airbnb has started to Facebook and Google have announced plans to build affordable …

You can track everything: the parents who digitise their babies lives

Socks that record heart rate and cots that mimic the womb might promise parents peace of mind but is the data given to tech firms a fair exchange? You dont need to spend much time in the presence of a small child and an iPhone to feel a little disconcerted. One-year-olds hypnotised by creepy Baby Shark ephemera on YouTube; two-year-olds who can swipe before they can talk; my own five-year-old trying to pause me when he goes to the loo. When can I get a phone? he asks. His cousin has a phone, he likes to point out. She is four. There is a small, fragile window when a child has no compulsion towards digital technology. Jenny, zero, has no …