Couple’s 48-year-old boiler finally packs up

Image copyright Rob Braddick Image caption The boiler was installed in the home of Mr and Mrs Braddick in 1971 The Hotspur oil-fired boiler, made by Harford-Unical Limited, has been serviced by the same man every year since they bought it. Image copyright Rob Braddick Image caption “The only old appliances left in the house are us,” Mr Braddick said “This one was made in England – that’s quite rare now,” Mr Braddick said. “I even remember the man who came here to fit it and he was called Mr Grant. He put it all in for us when we bought the house. “We had to keep warm with the boiler in those days. I don’t know what we would …

Annie Lennox drawing for FM’s Christmas card

“Annie Lennox has done a fantastic job at making the card feel festive while also reinforcing an extremely important message which is relevant all year round. “We must continue to live up to our responsibility to tackle the global climate emergency. It is not too late to turn things around, but to do so will require transformative, collective change.” Melting glacier Ms Lennox, who is best known as one half of pop duo Eurythmics, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to have been invited to design the 2019 Christmas card for Scotland’s first minister. “Climate emergency is the most prescient issue for the sustainability of our planet so I wanted to use the image of a stranded polar bear balancing …

‘Perfect’ whisky collection could be worth 8m

World’s most valuable whisky collection revealed Bottle of The Macallan 1926 sells for record £1.5m The collection has been put up for sale by the family of an American businessman who died in 2014. Colorado-based Richard Gooding, who once owned one of the largest soft-drink distributors in the US, spent more than 20 years amassing his collection. Image copyright Whisky Auctioneer Other stars of the auction include a Springbank 1919 50-year-old (estimated hammer price: £180,000-£220,000) and The Macallan 50-year-old Lalique Six Pillars Collection (£90,000-£100,000) Until recently, the collection was housed in what Mr Gooding called his “pub” – a dedicated room in his Colorado family home that was specially designed to showcase his whiskies. Image copyright Nancy Gooding Mr Gooding’s …

Elon Musk wins ‘pedo guy’ defamation case

The full story of Thailand’s extraordinary cave rescue Achieving the impossible: Thai cave rescue a year on Mr Unsworth’s lawyer Lin Wood said their side would leave the court “with our heads held high” but that the decision was “not a good verdict for society”. “This verdict sends a signal, and one signal only – that you can make any accusation you want to, as vile as it may be and as untrue as it may be, and somebody can get away with it,” he said. What else was said at court? Testifying over two days on Tuesday and Wednesday, Mr Musk told the court he did not expect the “pedo” tweet to be taken literally. He said that at …

Just 30 taxi drivers get clean air zone loans

Certain vehicles entering the city centre would have to pay a charge under the scheme. ‘On track’ The government gave the council £29m to implement the zone, with £23m earmarked to help businesses adapt and get greener vehicles. From 1 April, taxi and private hire drivers in the city were invited to apply for interest-free loans of up to £10,000 or non-repayable grants worth up to £1,500. By June, two months after launching the scheme, the authority’s documents showed it had received more than 2,000 loan applications. Documents seen by the BBC suggested the government had instructed the council to reach a decision on these by September. But by that time, according to a council report, just £20,000 had been …

Tory candidate in learning difficulties pay row

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSally-Ann Hart was appearing at a hustings in Hastings on Thursday A Tory candidate has been filmed saying some people with learning difficulties “don’t understand about money”. Sally-Ann Hart was defending sharing an article that said disabled people could be paid less than the minimum wage. She told the audience at an election hustings for the Hastings and Rye seat on Thursday: “It’s to do with the happiness they have about working.” Ms Hart later said her comments had been taken out of context but apologised for any offence caused. She had posted “This is so right” in response to a story in The Spectator in 2017 titled “Why people with learning …

Footballer ‘feels done’ over mental health taunts

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFans have said to me ‘go and hang yourself’ A footballer who previously urged clubs to crack down on mental health abuse says the taunts he receives are driving him out of the game. David Cox, who plays for Scottish League Two side Cowdenbeath, has taken several weeks off while he considers his future. Cox was targeted after speaking about mental health issues and revealing he tried to take his life five years ago. The club has promised to walk off the pitch if he suffers further abuse. Cox said the abuse he receives was having an impact not just on himself but was also affecting his family. Related Topics Cowdenbeath Original …

Jewish schools ‘ask parents to help stop sex ed’

“The problem is the government is making the subject mandatory in September 2020. However, parents have the right to opt out,” it reads. “Please exercise your right to prevent it being taught by responding to this email and saying that you do not wish your daughters to receive lessons in RSE.” The woman told the BBC she was “disgusted”. “I thought that my kids’ school was pretty open as Orthodox schools go,” she added. Image caption The Liberal Democrats’ Layla Moran said the schools were running “counter to the spirit of the Equality Act” Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrats’ education spokesperson, called for the Department for Education to “have its own investigation into these schools”. “They clearly don’t want to …

Ulster Unionists ‘want hung parliament’

However, the party has rejected the Brexit deal negotiated by Mr Johnson and claimed it creates “a border down the Irish Sea”, meaning Northern Ireland would become “a place apart”. ‘No unionist could support Johnson’ Launching the manifesto, Mr Aiken described the decision to leave the EU as “the biggest political earthquake” the UK has experienced since World War Two. He added that, faced with Mr Johnson’s deal, the party would prefer to remain in the EU than leave under his agreement. What are your questions about the general election? You can let us know by completing the form below. In some cases your question will be published, displaying your name and location as you provide it, unless you state …

The metal workers who became cowboy film stars

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe unlikely tale of the Westerns made by British Aluminium factory workers in the 1970s The men of metal who worked in Falkirk’s huge aluminium factory in the 1970s would often spend their spare time playing darts or snooker but one group did something very different – they made cowboy films. Grown men reliving their childhood by running about the woods playing Cowboys and Indians was originally seen by many as a joke. But the man behind the idea was deadly serious and over the next few years fork-lift truck driver Rab Harvey assembled a cast who made a string of increasingly ambitious films. The men, who all worked at the British …

How could French strikes affect UK travellers?

How are flights affected? Some air traffic controllers and Air France workers have said they will take part in the strike – in a bid to cause disruption to air travel. As a result: EasyJet said 70 flights flying in and out of the UK had been cancelled on Thursday, and it expects other flights to experience delays. It has urged passengers to use its online flight tracker to check the status of their flight Flybe said 10 flights to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport had been cancelled on Thursday, but its 16 remaining flights operated, albeit with some delays British Airways said a “handful” of flights had been cancelled on the first day of the strike but …

London Bridge: What we know so far

Image caption Messages of condolences left at London Bridge The victims Jack Merritt, studied law at the University of Manchester before going to Cambridge to continue his studies. A former female student was also killed and a member of staff was among the three people injured. Image copyright Geograph/N Chadwick Image caption Fishmongers Hall, below London Bridge What happened? Khan’s attack began at 13:58 GMT inside Fishmongers’ Hall and continued on to London Bridge. It is understood people at the conference tried to stop him, giving chase onto the bridge. Image copyright West Midlands Police Image caption Usman Khan, 28, was jailed in 2012 over a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange Mr Basu said Khan was released …

The ‘warrior’ tennis star who battled severe illness

Image copyright Baltacha family Image caption Elena Baltacha with a tennis medal in 1991 Image copyright BBC Alba Image caption Elena’s father Sergei played football for St Johnstone In 2002, when she was 19, Baltacha reached the third round of Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Her career was taking off but she was struggling with illness. She was eventually diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a liver condition that caused extreme lethargy and fatigue. Severino says it was a horrendous disease but Baltacha “fought like hell” to retain her place on the tennis world tour, training hard despite the extreme tiredness. Her determination saw her make it into the top 50 ranking players in the world, beating three top 10 players. …

Young people ‘panicky’ when denied mobile phones

The study found 23% had behaviour that was consistent with an addiction – such as anxiety over not being able to use their phone, not being able to moderate the time spent and using mobiles so much that it was detrimental to other activities. Confessions of a smartphone addict ‘Phone-free Fridays’ to keep young off mobiles Half of parents want mobile phones banned in school ‘Here to stay’ Such addictive behaviour could be linked to other problems, says the study, such as stress, a depressed mood, lack of sleep and reduced achievement in school. “Smartphones are here to stay and there is a need to understand the prevalence of problematic smartphone usage,” says one of the report’s authors, Nicola Kalk, …

Boys found dead ‘were holding hands’

Mr Stokes was later found dead from a single stab wound. A medical cause of death for both boys has been given as “unascertained” but a pathologist said it could have been a result of drowning or pressure to the neck. Dr Frances Hollingbury added that “it is likely they were unconscious or already dead when they were positioned where they were found”. Latest news and stories from the East Midlands Mrs Stokes told the court she and Mr Stokes had been married since 2011 and separated three months before the deaths. In addition to problems in the marriage, Mrs Stokes said she discovered Mr Stokes had searched online for escorts and a date rape drug. She said she confronted …