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Government to look at raising National Lottery age limit

The government will look at whether to prevent 16 and 17-year-olds from playing the National Lottery by raising the current age limit to 18. Culture minister Mims Davies announced a consultation on the issue in the House of Commons on Tuesday. She told MPs: "The age of 18 is widely recognised as an age one becomes an adult, gaining full citizenship rights and the responsibilities. "At present, all lotteries can be played from 16 – one of the very few age limits for gambling under-18 products." Ms Davies described how the consultation would explore three options: retaining the current minimum age of 16; raising the mimumim age to 18 for National Lottery scratchcards and online instant win games; or raising the minimum age to 18 for all National Lottery games. Advertisement "My initial view is based on the evidence reviewed so far, so it is that such a split could be the best approach," Ms Davies added. "This takes into account the risk of harm associated with playing the National Lottery is at the lowest of any form of gambling. More from Politics "But we do know the risk of harm is slightly higher for instant win games than it is for draw-based games such as Lotto. "Therefore I am keen to seek further evidence in this area and hear what others think given that the National Lottery matters so much to so many people, including hearing from the operators, distributors and retailers about any potential impacts and benefits of the change." The consultation will run until 8 October. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the action is to "ensure that young people are rightly protected from the potential risks of gambling-related harm&quoRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

‘Emergency’ as drugs deaths in Scotland reach record level

By Greg Heffer, news reporter There were almost 1,200 drugs-related deaths in Scotland last year – the highest level since current records began. Official statistics released on Tuesday reveal the drugs death rate in Scotland is higher than that reported for any other EU country. In what the Scottish government described as an "emergency", there were 1,187 drugs-related deaths in the country in 2018, an increase of 27% from the year before. This is the highest level since current records began in 1996, when 244 drugs-related deaths were recorded, and more than double the 2008 figure of 574, the National Records of Scotland figures revealed. The statistics also suggest Scotland's drugs death rate, per head of population, is almost three times that of the UK as a whole. Advertisement Most of the increase in drugs-related deaths occurred in the 35 to 44-year-old and 45 to 54-year-old age groups. Males accounted for 72% of drugs-related deaths in Scotland in 2018. More from Scotland However, comparing the percentage increase in the number of drugs-related deaths between 2014 and 2018 with that for 2004 and 2008, reveals the rise was greater for females (212%) than for males (75%). Of the 1,187 deaths in 2018, heroin and/or morphine were implicated in, or potentially contributed to, the cause of 537 deaths (45% of the total). Methadone, often prescribed as a substitute for heroin in treatment for addiction, was implicated in, or potentially contributed to, 560 deaths (47%). Benzodiazepines, sedatives used for both sleeping problems and anxiety, were implicated in, or potentially contributed to, 792 deaths (67%) – of which most involved the use of "street" benzodiazepines (such as etizolam) – while "prescribable" benzodiazepines (such as diazepam) were in a minority of cases. Cocaine, ecstasy-type drugs and amphetamines were implicated in, or potentially contributed to, 273 deaths (23%), 35 deaths (3%), and 46 deaths (4%) respectively; with alcohol a suggested factor in 156 deaths (13%). More than one drug was implicated in, or contributed to, many of the total deaths, with most drugs-related deaths relating to people who took more than one substance. One third (33%) of the drugs-related deaths last year were in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board area, where 394 died. Lothian, which saw 152 deaths, had the next highest total followed by Lanarkshire (130), Tayside (109), Grampian (92) and Ayrshire and Arran (82). Image: Heroin and/or morphine were implicated in, or potentially contributed to, the cause of 537 deaths. Pic: Twitter/@jasonfarrellsky The SNP's Joe FitzPatrick, Scotland's public health minister, said the country faced an "emergency" over the issue. "The number of people who have lost their lives because of drug use is shocking," he added. "It is vital this tragedy is treated as a public health issue, and we are prepared to take innovative and bold measures in order to save the lives of those most at risk." Mr FitzPatrick also called for help in "persuading the UK government to either act now to enable us to implement a range of public health focused responses – including the introduction of supervised drug consumption facilities – or devolve the power to the Scottish parliament so Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Archer ‘grieved during cricket World Cup’ after cousin shot dead

England bowler Jofra Archer privately grieved during the cricket World Cup after his cousin was shot dead in Barbados, his father said. Archer, 24, bowled the super over which helped England win the tournament by the slenderest of margins against New Zealand on Sunday. The victory came after a murder investigation was launched into the death of Ashantio Blackman, also 24, who was killed outside his home in St Philip, eastern Barbados, in May. Blackman was shot dead the day after England's World Cup campaign started with a 104-run win against South Africa. Archer took 20 wickets in 11 innings during the tournament despite grieving the loss of his cousin. Advertisement His father Frank Archer, 55, told the Times: "[His cousin] is the same age as Jofra and they were really close, he even messaged him in the days before he died. "Jofra was really affected by his death but had to carry on." More from Icc Cricket World Cup 2019 Image: Archer bowled in the super over that helped England secure their victory Archer: Who says we can't win again? Archer was born in Barbados but qualified for a British passport thanks to his father, who added: "People have been questioning his Britishness, but him playing for England has shown he will inspire everyone to play cricket, because it's usually seen as an elitist sport." Ben Stokes, whose 84 runs led to a player of the match award after the final, wrote in the Daily Mirror that the celebrations led to "the latest night I've had for a very, very long time". :: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker The batsman competed in the tournament after being cleared of affray in August 2018. He wrote: "After what I've been through, it does make these moments feel all the sweeter because you are going to have ups and downs, but it is how you cope with it that matters. "It was great to eventually get hold of mum and dad back in New Zealand as well, they were over the moon. "Redemption is a word that people have been using, but that is not something I'm thinking about. I certainly wasn't thinking about it while I was trying to win the game." Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Mum left stunned after cracking open 14 double-yolked eggs in a...

Emma Henry and her son Max witnessed something special (Picture: Emma Henry) Finding one double-yolked egg is weird but 14 in a row is unheard of. The odds are actually in the trillions so you could understand why mum Emma Henry was shocked when it happened to her. She was preparing breakfast at home in Tonbridge, Kent, on Sunday when she started cracking open the eggs. Mrs Henry said: So I cracked one egg which is normal, then I cracked another one and then went “oh my god its a double yolker” and said to Max to come and look because theyre really unusual. Then we cracked the next one and it was the same and then the next one and then the next one and it just went on and on. Three boxes of eggs, so 18 eggs all together. At one point I was like we have to stop cracking these eggs were never going to use them all. Advertisement Advertisement Then my son Max persuaded me to carry on in the interest of scientific experiment. Two eggs for the price of one (Picture: Emma Henry) To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Emma Henry and her son Max (Picture: BPM) Mrs Henry had bought the eggs from Tesco, in Southborough, the previous day. She said they were reduced on special offer so she bought loads A single egg in every thousand on average is double-yolked, according to The British Egg Information Service. The Tesco eggs were reduced in price (Picture: Emma Henry) METRO [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Chicken pox almost killed baby after catching it from older brother

Edward Foxall nearly died after catching chicken pox from older brother Alfie (Picture: SWNS) A baby was left fighting for his life after catching chicken pox just days after his first birthday. Edward Foxall contracted the flesh-eating illness from this older brother Alfie, three, at home in Peterborough on May 20. His parents Laura, 29, and Kieran, 28, called emergency services three days later when he became breathless. He then developed necrotising pneumonia when he arrived at hospital. Edward was in intensive care for the next five days and doctors feared he could die. But the youngster battled on and after five weeks of antibiotics he recovered and was able to go home. Edward Foxall in intensive care at Addenbrookes Hospital (Picture: SWNS) Edward was in intensive care for five days (Picture: SWNS) Mum-of-two Mrs Foxall said: The speed at which the infection took hold was terrifying. When we were told that Edward would have to go to Addenbrookes for intensive care, I hit rock bottom. That was the lowest moment. I was really upset. Advertisement Advertisement I genuinely wasnt sure if he was going to come back. We might have been telling a different story if he hadnt been in hospital the night his lung filled with fluid and the infection really took hold. Laura Foxall, 29, holding Edward Foxal during his illness (Picture: SWNS) Edward recovering in hospital (Picture: SWNS) Doctors told Edwards parents he had most likely developed a serious bacterial infection and sepsis from the rapid onset of the infection. Chest x-rays showed his right lung was filled with infected fluid. Mrs Foxall said she hadnt thought Edwards chicken was serious at first because his brother Alfies illness had cleared up quickly. (L-R) Laura Foxall, 29, Alfie Foxall, 3, Kieran Foxall, 28, and Edward Foxall, 1. Little Edward Foxall (Picture: SWNS) METRO [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Speech: PM’s words from reception held at Downing Street to celebrate...

The final was not just cricket at its best but sport at its best – courage, character, sportsmanship, drama, incredible skill and even the odd slice of luck… All combining to create a real thriller, one of the great sporting spectacles of our time. It was a fitting end to what has been a great tournament – and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in once again making our country a sporting showcase for the world. The players and coaching staff. The organisers and volunteers. The incredible spectators from 10 nations who brought such colour and passion to England and Wales this summer. The runners-up yesterday, New Zealand. Real champions show their true character not just in victory but also in defeat, and I am sure everyone here agrees that their response on the field yesterday shows what Black Caps are made of, what New Zealanders are made of. They are a credit to their team, a credit to their sport and a credit to their nation. Then of course, there is England. Or “World Cup-winning England”, as we can get used to saying. You are a team that represents modern Britain – and that plays like no other side in the world. In the group stage you responded to setbacks not by giving in but by coming back stronger than ever. And, when the odds were against you in the biggest game of your lives, you simply and stubbornly refused to lose. It is that determination, that character, that has made you world champions. But more than that you have made history. You have helped the nation fall in love with cricket once again. Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] gov uk [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Press release: PM hosts automotive leaders at Downing Street

Prime Minister Theresa May outlined the governments commitment to the UKs automotive sector and called for the UK to stay at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of electric vehicles at a roundtable held at Downing Street today (Monday 15 July). Speaking at the meeting attended by chief executives, senior leaders and experts in the car and energy industries, she emphasised that this can only be done through a strong partnership between the industry and government. The meeting is part of wider action from government to support the automotive industry, and the Prime Minister confirmed today that Jaguar Land Rover will receive a £500 million loan guarantee from government export credit agency UK Export Finance. This will support the companys design and manufacture of the next generation of electric vehicles and its export activities. The representatives discussed with the Prime Minister that as well as having long term consistent incentives and the right charging infrastructure in place to drive up demand for electric vehicles, the UK should build on its strengths in the development of next generation battery technology. The UK has already made a major commitment to becoming a world leader in the industry through its £274 million investment in the Faraday Battery Challenge and earlier investments through the Automotive Propulsion Centre. Attendees spoke about how best to build on this and work more closely together to develop the next generation of battery technology, including by supporting small businesses in the electrified supply chain and the building of a Gigafactory – a large-scale battery technology factory for electric vehicles. Attendees also agreed to establish a Green Mobility Transition Board which for the first time will formally bring together government, industry and environmental groups to coordinate efforts to speed up the adoption of ultra low emission vehicles while making progress on our ambitions to tackle climate change and further improve air quality. The Prime Ministers Industrial, Manufacturing and Infrastructure Business Council will work closely with representatives across the relevant sectors to scope out the exact terms of reference and members over the coming weeks. The Prime Minister also set out a number of new commitments aimed at making electric vehicles more convenient than ever before to own, which were welcomed by attendees including: making England the first place in the world where every new-build home will be fitted with an electric car chargepoint, under a consultation launched today bringing forward plans to regulate chargepoints so that they use smart technology which will send signals to electric vehicles to charge them at different times of the day, encouraging off-peak charging to keep costs down for consumers and helping prepare the energy system for mass uptake of electric vehicles all new rapid and higher powered chargepoints to provide pay as you go debit or credit card payment options by spring 2020 – ending the current wide variety of payment systems which is a source of frustration for drivers The Prime Minister reaffirmed the governments ambition for better access to rapid chargepoints by 2030, following her recent announcement that the Office of Low Emission Vehicles will undertake a review to develop a vision for a core network of rapid chargepoints along Englands key roadways. This would allow drivers to access them in a range of locations across the road netwRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] gov uk [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

PM candidates set high bar for Brexit talks: no Irish backstop

LONDON (Reuters) – The two candidates vying to be Britains next prime minister set a high bar on Monday for success in Brexit negotiations, saying that even a significant concession from the European Union on the Irish border would be insufficient. FILE PHOTO: Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Party, attends a hustings event in Colchester, Britain July 13, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls Both frontrunner Boris Johnson and underdog Jeremy Hunt said on Monday that they would not be willing to accept the so-called Northern Irish backstop element of Theresa Mays Brexit deal, even if a time limit was set. Britains next leader will be announced next week, and has to persuade the EU to restart talks that other EU leaders have been adamant cannot be re-opened, or else lead Britain into the economic uncertainty of an unmanaged exit. Now it is clear the winner must also persuade Brussels to drop one of its most steadfast demands – an insurance policy designed to prevent the return of a hard border between EU-member Ireland and British province Northern Ireland. Asked during a leadership debate whether the backstop would be acceptable if a time limit could be agreed, both Johnson and Hunt said it would not. “Im not attracted to time limits or unilateral escape hatches or all these elaborate devices, glosses, codicils and so on that you could apply to the backstop,” Johnson said during a leadership debate organised by the Sun newspaper and TalkRadio. Hunt agreed, adding: “The backstop, as it is, is dead … I dont think tweaking it with a time limit will do the trick, weve got to find a new way.” Opposition to the backstop within Britains deeply divided parliament was one of the key reasons outgoing Prime Minister Mays deal was rejected three times by lawmakers – losses that ultimately forced her to resign. But a senior lawmaker from Northern Irelands Democratic Unionist Party, which props up the Conservatives in parliament and opposed Mays deal, said last month the party was not looking for “earth-shattering” changes to the backstop. Eliminating a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and providing frictionless trade was a crucial part of a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of sectarian violence. The two candidates positions set out on Monday go far beyond what May managed to negotiate with the EU. NEW DEAL The European Union has said it is not prepared to renegotiate the deal, but both Hunt and Johnson are promising to do so, and want to take Britain out of the EU by the current deadline of Oct. 31. Johnson has the more hardline stance and refuses to countenance any further delay to Brexit after Mays government was forced to delay it twice beyond its original date of March 29. When it was put to Johnson that it was completely unrealistic to get the deal renegotiated and passed by Oct. 31, he said: “I dont think it is remotely unrealistic.” FRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] RT [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

PM hails World Cup as ‘one of great sporting spectacles of...

By Chris Robertson, news reporter Theresa May lifted the cricket World Cup with skipper Eoin Morgan as she welcomed England's heroes to Downing Street. The victorious team posed with the beaming prime minister before heading to the No 10 garden for a celebratory drinks reception after Sunday's historic World Cup win. And addressing the England players and staff, she told them: "The final was not just cricket at its best but sport at its best – courage, character, sportsmanship, drama, incredible skill and even the odd slice of luck… "All combining to create a real thriller, one of the great sporting spectacles of our time. "It was a fitting end to what has been a great tournament – and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in once again making our country a sporting showcase for the world." Advertisement Earlier they met fans at The Oval to hail "one of the best games of all time". Image: Morgan's men show off the silverware at The Oval The squad showed off their new silverware as they walked out at the central London ground in front of hundreds of fans. More from UK England won the World Cup in stunning fashion, taking it to the last ball of a super over to snatch victory from the Black Caps. Speaking to Sky News, England captain Joe Root said the drama of the finale made it "one of the best games of cricket of all time". He said: "We just wanted to enjoy the moment… it was so much hard work and you go through so much as a group, you've got to make sure you enjoy the experience." Archer: 'Who says we can't win again?' :: Aussie ex-umpire questions England's World Cup win Root added that he hoped the triumph would inspire a new generation of cricketers. "You can't ask for a better advert than yesterday's game, it's probably the most exciting game that I've ever been involved in or witnessed… it is a great way to inspire a nation," he said. Jofra Archer was entrusted to bowl in the super over that sealed the win for England, and the 24-year-old said he was grateful that captain Eoin Morgan put his trust in him for the last six balls. Root: 'A great way to inspire a nation' "He (Eoin Morgan) knew, even without me saying – I had to go and double check and say 'Morgs, am I bowling?' and he was like 'yeah yeah yeah' so its nice to know that he trusts me when there's so much riding on it," he said. :: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Grindr serial killer’s dealer guilty of Bond actor’s murder

By Lucia Binding, news reporter A drug dealer who targeted victims on Grindr has been found guilty of murdering a Bond actor with a fatal dose of chemsex drug GHB. Gerald Matovu, a 26-year-old fraudster, was found guilty of murdering Eric Michels, who had an uncredited role in Skyfall, at his home in Chessington, Surrey, last August. Matovu injected Mr Michels, 54, with a fatal dose of GHB, then made off with the actor's mobile phone, MacBook, American driving licence and various cards, the court heard. Image: Eric Michels died in August last year Mr Michels was one of 12 men targeted by Matovu and his lover Brandon Dunbar, 24, over a 19-month period. Following an Old Bailey trial, Matovu, of Southwark, south London, was also found guilty of a string of other offences. Advertisement Matovu was also the drug dealer of serial killer Stephen Port, a chef who was sentenced to a whole life term for the rapes and murders of four men between 2014 and 2015. Jurors at Matovu's trial were not told of his past connection to the serial killer. Port sought his victims on dating websites including Grindr and dumped their bodies within 500m of his flat in Barking, east London. More from UK Like Matovu, he used GHB, a sedative known as a date rape drug, spiking their drinks or injecting it into his victims before they realised what he was doing. They died of a fatal overdose. Image: Stephen Port was found guilty of killing four young men Following Port's 2016 trial, Matovu pleaded guilty to supplying mephedrone and GHB and offering to supply GHB, but denied knowing what Port planned to do. In April 2017, Matovu was sentenced to 12 months community service, 150 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of drug rehabilitation. At Matovu's murder trial, prosecutors said the defendants took advantage of Grindr hook-ups to steal property and bank details. The court heard how divorced father-of-three Mr Michels, 54, invited Matovu to his home in southwest London for sex after visiting Ku Bar and G-A-Y Bar in Soho on the evening of 16 August last year. It is claimed Matovu then drugged Mr Michels and took photographs of his bank cards, driver's licence and other personal information while he was dead or unconscious. Matovu then took a taxi to Dunbar's address with a suitcase and bottles of alcohol. Family members discovered Mr Michels' body in his bed the following day and an emptyRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] Sky News [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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