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BBC Front Page News

Muslim student loses school prayer ban challengeMuslim student loses school prayer ban challenge

Michaela School was entitled to enforce a ban on prayer rituals, the High Court has ruled.

Israel demands sanctions on Iranian missile projectIsrael demands sanctions on Iranian missile project

Israel's foreign minister says he has written to 32 countries calling for restrictions after Iran's attack on its territory.

MPs to vote on smoking ban for those born after 2009MPs to vote on smoking ban for those born after 2009

Rishi Sunak's bill aims to create the UK's first smoke-free generation in a major public health intervention.

Historic Copenhagen stock exchange goes up in flamesHistoric Copenhagen stock exchange goes up in flames

There was shock as the 17th Century building's spire collapsed in the fire.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. How to attract the best talent. Talented people used to want high salaries and stable career paths, but now they want work with purpose. From providing volunteering opportunities to offering tailored development training packages, there are plenty of non-financial ways to attract the best candidates. Money may make the world go round, but salary is no longer the deciding factor when accepting a job offer. READ MORE

2. Reflecting on tax year key changes. The new tax year has brought a few significant changes to the UK state pensions and benefits, which could impact many household budgets. The state pension is set to rise by a substantial 8.5% thanks to the "triple lock" system, which ensures annual increases in line with the highest out of inflation, wage growth, or 2.5%. This means the new full-state pension will be £221.20 per week, while the old basic state pension will increase to £169.50. For the 6 million people claiming universal credit, a 6.7% increase is on the horizon, in line with last September's inflation rate. Another change coming into effect in the new tax year is for families, who could expect to see a rise in child benefit and an increase in the high-income child benefit charge threshold from £50,000 to £60,000. Additionally, for those over 21, the minimum wage will also rise by 9.8% to £11.44. The Guardian

3. AI seen cutting worker numbers. From writing songs to transcribing interviews, artificial intelligence (AI) is learning how to perform an increasing number of human tasks. But will this lead to a hiring slow down? A new survey by staffing provider Adecco found that AI will lead to many companies employing fewer people in the next five years. Some 41% of senior executives across 2,000 large companies worldwide said they expected to have smaller workforces as a result of AI. The survey follows a 2023 World Economic Forum study which said 25% of companies expected AI to trigger job losses, while 50% expected the technology to create new roles. Reuters

4. Early Easter boosts March spending. Consumer spending picked up in March as early Easter bank holidays brought a spike towards the month's end, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG's sales monitor. Year-on-year sales increased by 3.5%, exceeding inflation, with key drivers including food and drink, health and beauty products and gardening supplies. However, BRC notes performance across the month in general "remained sluggish" and KPMG noted that though the Easter pickup is a positive sign of retail recovery, rising costs in April including higher minimum wage rates and increased business rates for larger high street brands could prove challenging this month. Meanwhile, a Barclays report showed non-essential spending reached its lowest level in over two years in March, attributed to poor weather and the popularity of "no-spend challenges" on social media. Financial Times

5. How to cut the risk of dementia. Scientists have identified the three most effective things people can do to cut their risk of dementia. These are: taking steps to avoid type 2 diabetes, avoiding traffic pollution, and drinking alcohol less often. The advice comes from a team at the University of Oxford who had previously identified a network of brain regions that are particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. These areas process and combine data from our different senses and deteriorate more quickly than other parts of the brain as we get older. For the new study, they examined the brain scans of 40,000 people to assess the health of these regions. They then used information about the participants’ health and habits to identify which modifiable risk factors - things we can change - had the biggest effect on these fragile areas. Also high on the “risk list” were poor sleep, excess weight, smoking and high blood pressure. Daily Mail

 

6. Have you watched Scoop? Nearly five years after Emily Maitlis grilled Prince Andrew on Newsnight, the infamous interview and events leading up to it have been dramatized by Netflix. No surprise there as everything about the royal family seems to end up on film in the end. And as one royal commentator tweeted at the time, the interview wasn't just a "train wreck": it was a "plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion". Scoop boasts a top cast: a heavily made-up Rufus Sewell plays Andrew; Gillian Anderson is Maitlis; and Sam McAlister, Newsnight's interview booker, is played, splendidly, by Billie Piper. Did you watch the drama, or do you plan to? Let us know in our latest poll. VOTE HERE

7. Swapping out red meat could save lives. Swapping red meat for "forage fish", such as herring, sardines and anchovies could save up to 750,000 lives a year globally by 2050 and help towards climate targets, according to research. Making this change could also prevent up to 15m years of life lived with a disability across populations, the authors said. Eating red and processed meats has been linked to an increased risk of serious illness, such as heart disease, bowel cancer, stroke and diabetes. Forage fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent heart disease. They also have the lowest carbon footprint of any animal food source, according to the researchers. Around three-quarters of forage fish caught are currently used in fish farming as meal or oils. The Independent

8. Seems enough is enough. The UK government has allocated £55m to combatting shoplifting, an escalating issue amidst rising living costs. Alongside proposals for tougher penalties in England and Wales, aligning with Scotland's existing laws, an amendment to the criminal justice bill could see offenders face up to six months in prison and unlimited fines. Additionally, a new standalone offence on assaulting retail workers may lead to offenders wearing electronic tags to prevent them returning to those stores. Part of this funding will support deploying vans with facial recognition technology to identify repeat offenders, building upon last year's "Project Pegasus", which implored retailers to have their CCTV footage cross-checked against police databases when pursuing a case. Forbes

9. Sliding to oblivion? Two new mega-polls have forecast that the Conservative Party won’t just lose the next election but will suffer a historic wipeout. The Survation and YouGov surveys predict the Tories will plummet to 98 and 155 seats respectively, fewer than in 1997; according to Survation. Up to 11 Cabinet members are set to lose their seats including, potentially, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, and even PM Rishi Sunak. Senior Tories are convinced Sunak has them trapped in a doom loop. The Observer

10. The bottom line. Women in the UK are paid 91p for every £1 a man earns - the smallest gender pay gap since mandatory reporting began in 2017. The Guardian

Covid Updates for Inverness-shire

Click the the latest news on Covid within Mallaig https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51768274

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