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Category: United Kingdom (UK) (Page 1 of 3)

After 40,000 km cycling across three continents, adventurer’s cycle was stolen less than two days after returning to England

Road CC »

“I spent 835 days cycling around the world through countries people repeatedly warned were too dangerous to visit – and I was always welcomed with hospitality.

“Today in Reading, on my second day bike touring in England, I had a bike grabbed and stolen less than 5 metres from me. The bike and everything attached to it, gone in a second.

“I’m sorry not to be sharing my usual positive, restore-your-faith-in-humanity message, but I guess bad things happen everywhere and not just in countries with a bad reputation. I’m absolutely devastated.” »

Reading Chronicle »

“It was doubly painful because of all the countries that I’ve cycled through – particularly places where people had warned me that they had a bad reputation, that I was going to be a victim of theft or crime there – and you just don’t really expect it in Reading.

“Unfortunately that was the end of the tour.” »

Updated » List of diplomatic boycotts grow for 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, China due to genocide and other human rights “atrocities”

On 2021.12.06 the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, citing China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”

Countries are boycotting to send a message over to pressure Beijing over abuses against the Uyghur community (which has been declared a genocide by some), a crackdown on pro-democracy free speech protests in Hong Kong, China’s recent aggression toward Taiwan, pursuit of hypersonic weapons, and its secrecy surrounding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is looking to send a “clear message” that the human rights abuses in China mean there cannot be “business as usual.”

Athletes from these countries are free to participate in the games. But in light of China’s threat that countries will pay a price for this, athletes, journalists, tourists, and others must be hesitant about attending.

» Two-time Olympic luge champion – Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger – may skip Beijing Games over athlete mistreatment in China » CBC

The following countries have announced they will not be sending diplomats or officials to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing »

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The university lecturer who lived in a tent for two years

Anna Fazackerley, The Guardian »

Lê was awarded an annual fellowship of £16,000 for three years from Royal Holloway to do her PhD on minority ethnic groups in American literature, and won an extra scholarship from the US, where she is from, in her first year. But as an international student she had to pay £8,000 a year in fees to the university (fees that have been waived for UK fellows), leaving her with £12,000 a year to live on including her wages for teaching.

She says she was just about managing until the cheap postgraduate hall she was living in was closed for renovations at the end of her second year. She was faced with finding an extra £3,000 a year for rent, which she says she couldn’t afford. Determined not to drop out, she borrowed the tent from a friend.

Lê admits that at first “I was really scared. I found out there was a protest camp near campus so I turned up with my tent and asked if I could stay there so I wasn’t alone. And that was the start of my next two years.”

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Big Brother is in our schools » Facial recognition cameras arrive in UK school canteens

Cynthia O’Murchu, Financial Times 🔒 »

Many British schools have used other biometric systems, such as fingerprint scanners, to take payments for years, but privacy campaigners said there was little need to normalise facial recognition technology, which has been criticised for often operating without explicit consent.

“It’s normalising biometric identity checks for something that is mundane. You don’t need to resort to airport style [technology] for children getting their lunch,” said Silkie Carlo of the campaign group Big Brother Watch.

Swanston said cameras check against encrypted faceprint templates, which are stored on servers at the schools and 65 school sites had signed up.

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UK to put nuclear power at heart of net zero emissions strategy

Jim Pickard and Nathalie Thomas, FT 🔒 »

UK ministers will put nuclear power at the heart of Britain’s strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in government documents expected as early as next week, alongside fresh details of its funding model.

Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, is to unveil an overarching “Net Zero Strategy” paper as soon as Monday, along with a “Heat and Building Strategy” and a Treasury assessment of the cost of reaching the 2050 goal.

The creation of a “regulated asset base” (RAB) model will be key to delivering a future fleet of large atomic power stations. The RAB funding model is already used for other infrastructure projects, such as London’s Thames Tideway super sewer.

Under the scheme, households will be charged for the cost of the plant via an energy levy long before it begins generating electricity, which could take a decade or more from when the final investment decision is taken.

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