May 2017 / 31 posts found

Reality Check: What does ‘hard Brexit’ mean for UK? – BBC News

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Membership of the EU single market means there are no taxes or tariffs on trade between all the countries involved, and they abide by a common set of rules and regulations. But it also means every member country has to accept the free movement of people - something the government wants to bring to an end. In 2016, about 44% of the UK's exports in goods and services went to other countries in the EU. Membership of the customs union means all the countries involved have agreed to apply the same tariffs on goods coming from elsewhere in the world. [...]

Five questions on defence spending that won’t go away – BBC News

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Those who've signed this letter are not so sure. Brexit has already made the pound weaker. The letter says its fall "threatens the purchase of meaningful numbers of jets" for the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers. Almost $30bn (22bn) worth of foreign military purchases planned by the MOD are exposed to currency fluctuations. That said, Britain is not leaving Nato - and it remains the cornerstone of European defence. Does the UK meet the 2% Nato target? Image copyright MOD It is true that defence spending rose this year. But it follows years of cuts. Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon [...]

Eurovision Song Contest: Bluff your way through this year’s show – BBC News

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1) It's actually three events When Eurovision started in the Swiss resort of Lugano back in 1956, only seven countries took part. Each country submitted two songs each, with host country Switzerland eventually winning. But over the years there has been a steady rise in participating countries - so steady in fact, that the contest is now preceded by two semi-finals. Click to see content: eurovision_participants The first semi takes place on Tuesday, with the second following on Thursday. The aim is to whittle the semi-finalists - 36 this year - down to a more manageable 20. Those 20 progress [...]

The hospital errors leaving new parents devastated – BBC News

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Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'Our baby son died due to NHS error' More than 1,400 mistakes are being recorded by maternity staff in hospitals in England each week on average. For some families, those errors can have life-changing consequences. "Every single day we have to live with the fact that we're a victim of the NHS," Adam Asquith tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme. Adam and his fiancee, Sarah Ellis, were expecting their first child in 2014. "When I first fell pregnant, everything was amazing. We were over the Moon," Sarah says. When she went into [...]

The Amazons: Meet the band who torched their own tour bus – BBC News

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Image copyright PA "If stacking shelves doesn't make you want to be a rock star, nothing will," laughs Thomson, who worked at his local branch of Waitrose during the band's early days. However, showing entrepreneurial skills that would make Alan Sugar sweat biscuits, he used his position to win The Amazons a few new fans. "My job, personally, was about online shopping. So I'd go through someone's list, picking out the shopping, putting it in baskets, and then I would slip our little demo CD into there. "We didn't know how to get our name out there. If no-one's playing [...]

Archbishops of Canterbury and York voice election concerns – BBC News

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The letter says the election "is being contested against the backdrop of deep and profound questions of identity. "Opportunities to renew and re-imagine our shared values as a country and a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland only come around every few generations... "If our shared British values are to carry the weight of where we now stand and the challenges ahead of us, they must have at their core, cohesion, courage and stability." 'Faith not a vulnerability' The letter refers to the benefits of "education for all, the need for urgent and serious solutions to our housing [...]

Tourism hopes after Whisky Galore remake – BBC News

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'Dazzling best' The original film was shot entirely in the Outer Hebrides. Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: "Since the novel by Compton Mackenzie was published back in 1947, Whisky Galore has been raising laughs for 70 years. "Celebrating not only this nation's love for the 'Water of Life' but also demonstrating the warmth, humour and spirit of our people, this new film shows off Scotland at its dazzling best. Image copyright Graeme Hunter Pictures Image caption The film was given its premiere in Edinburgh last year "Whisky Galore has been added to the growing list [...]

General election: What you need to know – BBC News

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The UK will have a general election on 8 June. Here's what you need to know. Ask a question What has happened? UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called a general election on 8 June - three years earlier than scheduled. Why has Theresa May called an election? Mrs May's official reason for holding an election is to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations. She claims Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems will try to destabilise and frustrate the process in Parliament. But Mrs May's Conservative Party has a big opinion poll lead over Labour so she will be [...]

‘We sold our home to build a social network’ – BBC News

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Son Sam, 21, has suspended his university studies and works through the night on the project. Daughter Mollie, 18, handles the social media side. GameDay is purely for sports fans, the family say. Image copyright Gameday Xtra Image caption The website is still being tested. Perhaps unsurprisingly, financing the idea has proved to be the biggest challenge. "We went to a lot of investors. They said the scale of the project was too big," said Mr Hughes. "We sold the house, the cars, everything. We ran out of money twice. "We all gave up our jobs and committed totally to [...]

‘Why I went to court for my disability payments’ – BBC News

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Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDebbie Wilson went to court to win back her disability payments. The number of people going to court to try to win back a key disability benefit is expected to continue to rise this year, a leaked letter seen by the BBC suggests. We follow one woman who took her case to tribunal. Debbie Neal was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease 10 years ago. She takes dozens of pills each morning to manage her symptoms - sickness, high blood pressure and seizures. She may well need a transplant in future. For [...]