Gender-neutral emoji are now available on your iPhone

Apple has released a set of gender-neutral emoji in its latest software update for iPhones and iPads.

The update also features people with disability emoji and the option to select the ethnicity of each person in the ‘holding hands’ emoji.

A drop of blood designed to represent menstruation has also been introduced following a campaign to fight period stigma.

The new designs are part of more than 350 emoji approved earlier this year which have now been released to iPhone users as part of the iOS 13.2 update. Many of the character-based emoji now also include a gender-neutral option alongside a male or female version.

Icons showing hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and guide dogs are also among the latest set of emoji from the Unicode Consortium, the body which maintains and regulates the library of characters.

Website Emojipedia, which is part of the Unicode Consortium and details icons found in updates, posted images online of the new gender-neutral emoji choices.

MORE: Google releases 53 gender-neutral emojis to challenge ‘man-centered culture’

Last year, Apple said it wanted to improve the representation of those with disabilities, submitting a number of designs to Unicode after consulting a number of campaigns and charities on the issue.

In response to the introduction of the icons, Plan International UK’s chief executive Rose Caldwell said: ‘We are thrilled to see the arrival of this long-awaited blood drop emoji, which signals a real breakthrough in the fight against period stigma. Girls, women and other menstruators told us this emoji would help them talk more freely about their periods, which is why we campaigned so hard to make it a reality.

‘But this is only one part of the solution.

‘We know that girls around the world are being held back because of their periods, whether that’s the one in five girls here in the UK who are bullied and teased, girls in Zimbabwe who have dropped out of school because the recent cyclone destroyed their period-friendly toilets, or those living in refugee camps in Bangladesh who can’t access period products since fleeing their homes.

‘Period poverty will not stop until we fix the toxic trio of affordability of products, lack of education and period shame. We hope this emoji helps to keep the conversation going.’

iPhone and iPad users can access the new emoji by opening their Settings app, selecting General and then Software Update before confirming the installation of iOS 13.2.

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CBD is now 'insanely popular' in the US and UK, health experts reveal

The cannabis extract CBD has become ‘insanely popular’ and is generating more online interest than many traditional health products and alternative therapies, health experts have revealed.

Scientists analysed Google search data and found the number of people looking for more information on the legal, non-psychoactive substance.has skyrocketed over the past year.

Just five years ago, barely anyone was Googling the term CBD.

But in the US, the number of searches for CBD or cannabidiol have ‘eclipsed’ those for acupuncture by 749%, apple cider vinegar by 517%, meditation by 338%, vaccination by 63%, exercise by 59%, marijuana by 13%, and veganism by 12 %.

We examined British data from Google Trends to find a similar pattern, with CBD overtaking ‘meditation’ at the beginning of 2018, ‘apple cider vinegar’ in 2017 and ‘acupuncture’ the same year.

We’re glad to report Britons are still more likely to look for ‘exercise’ or ‘fitness’, but the gap is closing fast as more and more people looking for info about the cannabis derivative.

Searches for CBD are even catching up to queries about ‘weed’ and even ‘drugs’ here in the UK.

‘CBD has become insanely popular,’ said study co-author Dr. John W. Ayers, vice chief of innovation in the division of infectious disease and global public health at University of California San Diego.

‘Three years ago, there was essentially no one searching about CBD online, but now there are an estimated 6.4 million unique searches each month.’

CBD is often touted as a ‘cure-all’ which can treat acne, anxiety, opioid addiction, pain, and menstrual problems. It can bought as droplets, massage oils, gummies, or even CBD ice cream.

But scientists fear the health benefits are unproven.

‘At this time there are no known benefits for taking CBD over-the-counter,’ said Dr Davey Smith, a physician and Chief of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego. “CBD is this generation’s snake oil, where millions are engaging with the product without evidence of any benefit.’

He said some CBD products might even contain harmful substances due to poor regulation.

‘There are already documented cases of CBD products unknowingly containing potential poisons, because there are no government regulations that oversee the manufacturing of CBD,’ he continued.

‘Moreover, some consumers might forgo seeing a physician or taking medications with known, tested and approved therapeutic benefits in favour of CBD and thereby become sicker or succumb to their illness.’

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Victoria Beckham feels 'more confident' now that she's older

Victoria Beckham reveals she feels ‘more confident’ now that she’s older and used to have ‘little paranoias’ about herself in her younger days

Victoria Beckham has revealed she has become more confident in herself as she has got older.

The fashion designer, 45, appeared on Wednesday’s edition of This Morning where she told how she used to have ‘little paranoias’ when she was younger.  

She said: ‘[I] definitely feel more confident now. Definitely. There were things that I used to, little paranoias that I used to have when I was younger about myself that I just don’t care so much about now that I’m older. 

Interview: Victoria Beckham, 45, has revealed she has become more confident in herself as she has got older 

‘You know, I think it’s about focusing on the good bits and just being kind to yourself, you know. I mean, I think everybody should be kind to themselves and kind to each other.’

The former Spice Girl also discussed her dedication to fitness, putting her physique down to her exercise regime. 

She said: ‘I exercise a lot. I used to be a dancer before I was in the Spice Girls. My plan was to be a dancer and then everything changed. 

‘So exercise and dance has always been key to me. But I enjoy it. I put on my own playlist and I dance and it makes me feel good. 

Memories: The fashion designer appeared on Wednesday’s edition of This Morning where she told how she used to have ‘little paranoias’ when she was younger (pictured in 1997)

‘It makes me feel happy and I think it’s finding a form of fitness that you enjoy ultimately. I think you have to enjoy it.’

It comes after Victoria previously told how she also keeps healthy by drinking a lot of water and by telling herself that red wine is good for her. 

‘Lots and lots of water,’ she said. And I tell myself that it’s healthy to drink red wine, I heard that once! 

‘And I think that it was probably the wine industry that said that, but I like it so I kind of throw that into the conversation as well.’

Victoria said: ‘There were things that I used to, little paranoias that I used to have when I was younger about myself that I just don’t care so much about now that I’m older’

She added: ‘I think it’s about focusing on the good bits and just being kind to yourself, you know. I mean, I think everybody should be kind to themselves and kind to each other’

Health: The former Spice Girl also discussed her dedication to fitness, putting her physique down to her exercise regime 

Victoria was recently quizzed by Hoda Kotb on NBC’s Today show about the ‘secret sauce’ that has kept her and husband David, 44, together for so long.

Admitting they always put their four children first, she said: ‘The kids are our priority, everything we do revolves around the children. We both work really hard, we love what we do professionally.

‘We support each other, we’re very lucky to have found each other and lucky that we’re growing together.’

The pair tied the knot in July 1999 and have children Brooklyn, 20, Romeo, 17, Cruz, 14, and Harper, eight, together.

Relationship: It comes after Victoria revealed she and husband David always put their children first in their relationship (pictured in November 2015) 

Family: Victoria and David are parents to (L-R) Romeo, 17, Brooklyn, 20,Cruz, 14, and Harper, eight, together

Reminiscing about their first encounter two years prior to their wedding, Victoria admitted: ‘It was love at first sight.’

Quizzed about how they make their family unit work despite their busy schedules, Victoria said ‘communication is key’.

‘We’re very present in the kids’ lives. We love our family, everything we do revolves around them’, she added. 

‘I think it’s just being focused, working hard, having a great support team around us. And both of our parents help out with the kids.’

This Morning airs weekdays at 10:30am on ITV.

She said: ‘The kids are our priority, everything we do revolves around the children. We both work really hard, we love what we do professionally’

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You can now buy a Friends jewellery advent calendar complete with a You’re My Lobster keyring – The Sun

CALLING all Friends fans – you can now get an advent calendar filled with jewellery featuring all your favourite catchphrases and moments from the iconic series.

The sitcom recently celebrated its 25th birthday, but despite ending decades ago it’s still as popular as ever.

And you can now add some Friends-themed magic to Christmas with a new advent calender for December.

Costing £17, the calendar is full of jewellery referencing our favourite characters, such as Marcel the moneky, and catchphrases – including Phoebe's infamous 'You’re My Lobster'.

Made by Truffle Shuffle, the makers described it as: “Could this advent calendar BE any cooler?

“Chock full of charms and badges celebrating the most iconic Friends moments and motifs.

  • Friends Jewellery Advent Calendar, Truffle Shuffle, £17 – buy now

“From Marcel to the lobster; the turkey to Regina Phalange! – count down to Christmas with pal-themed pieces!”

The calendar holds a T-bar charm bracelet, five bag charms, four pin badges and 15 hanging charms.

Could we BE more excited for Christmas?

Meanwhile a Primark shopper spotted awkward spelling mistake on Friends T-shirt.

And they’re selling matching BFF Rachel Green and Monica Geller PJs for Friends’ 25th anniversary.

For more throwback Friends stories, fans can't stop Googling Phoebe Buffay to hear her singing Smelly Cat to celebrate 25 years of the show.

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Now and Then! See the Gosselin Family Album

Life has changed a lot for the Gosselin family since 2007, when they landed their own reality television show, Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Jon and Kate divorced in 2009 after 10 years of marriage and their kids —  sextuplets Collin, Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Aaden and Joel and twins Cara and Made — no longer all live under one roof.

In December 2018, the DJ was awarded sole custody of Collin, who was previously attending a program for children with special needs. Hannah also resides with her dad, while the rest of siblings are with Kate. 

Click through the photos to see how the Gosselins’ reality has changed since they first soared to fame. 

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Wild whales can now be weighed with DRONE footage

Wild whales can now be ‘weighed’ with DRONE footage: Scientists use flying cameras to measure the ocean giants to study their health and diets

  • Researchers from Denmark tested their methods on whales near Argentina
  • Aerial pictures of the animals reveal their length, width and height
  • Experts can then compare this to density measurements from past specimens
  • Previously, scientists had only been able to weigh wild whales after they’d died 

Scientists can now weigh wild whales using remote-controlled drones hovering above them.

In the past it has only been possible to measure the weight of free-living whales if they were dead and out of the water or stranded on a beach.

But researchers have released aerial footage of them flying a drone over a mother and baby southern right whale, near Argentina, to work out how much they weigh.

They can do this by taking photographs to work out the length, width and height of the animal.

This can then be compared to past measurements of the density of that particular species of whale’s body, to estimate its volume and weight.

Doing this makes scientists more able to study what the ocean giants eat, how their bodies change over time and how certain stresses affect their health.

Scientists from Denmark managed to use a drone (pictured, hovering over two southern right whales) to estimate the weights of whales in the wild – they can weigh up to 200,000lbs

‘Knowing the body mass of free-living whales opens up new avenues of research,’ said Assistant Professor Fredrik Christiansen, from Aarhus University in Denmark.

‘We will now be able to look at the growth of known aged individuals to calculate their body mass increase over time and the energy requirements for growth.

‘We will also be able to look at the daily energy requirements of whales and calculate how much prey they need to consume.’

Professor Christiansen and his colleagues tested their technology on 86 different whales off the coast of Península Valdés, a nature reserve in Patagonia.

They used a DJI Inspire 1 Pro, a drone worth about £3,500 and capable of flying more than three miles away from its controller.

The southern right whale is a species of baleen whale which was once hunted to the brink of extinction by humans.

Hunting of the ocean giants was banned in 1935 but illegal Russian whaling operations continued until the late 1970s.

Southern right whales are huge, measuring up to 56 feet (17m) long for a fully-grown female or 49 feet (15m) for a male.

They can weigh up to 198,000lbs (90,000kg; 90 tonnes).

The whales are slow swimmers and naturally full of blubber, oil, meat and baleen (whalebone), all of which combined to make them prime targets for whalers.

Southern right whales live all over the southern hemisphere of the Earth and migrate every year to warmer waters to breed, often off the coast of South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Their bodies are mostly black with patches of white on their underbelly and chin, and they lift their huge tails out of the water when starting to dive beneath the surface.

Source: Whale and Dolphin Conservation 

The area had ideal conditions for taking photographs of the animals because the seawater is so clear and big groups of southern right whales travel there to breed.

Southern right whales are huge and can reach up to 56 feet (17m) in length and weigh almost 200,000lbs (90,000kg; 90 tonnes). 

Images taken of them from the sky were analysed to work out the exact dimensions of both the top and the bottom of the whale, so the scientists could work out its volume.

Being able to take multiple measurements of living whales and track them over time added another element of the work marine biologists do.

When they were mostly limited to dead samples, measurements may have been distorted by the bloating or deflation which happens to carcasses.

And accuracy could help with other, less obvious, problems, like working out how much medication to give an injured animal.

Co-author of the study, Dr Michael Moore, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, said: ‘Weight measurements of live whales at sea inform how chronic stressors affect their survival and fecundity, as well as enabling accurate sedative dosing of animals entangled in fishing gear that are aversive to disentanglement attempts.’

Professor Christiansen added: ‘The difficulty in measuring body mass reliably in free-living whales, has prevented the inclusion of body mass in many studies in ecology, physiology and bioenergetics.

‘This novel approach will now make it possible to finally include this central variable into future studies of free-living whales.’

The team hope their method will be applicable to other species of whale and potentially other marine animals. 

Their research was published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

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Scientists can now PROVE if nuclear bombs have been dismantled

Scientists can now PROVE if nuclear bombs have been properly dismantled by shooting a ‘neutron beam’ at the warhead to scan for plutonium

  • Plutonium isotopes are unique and were used in the bombing of Hiroshima 
  • Many nations are going through a process of giving up their nuclear weapons 
  • But proving these warheads have been fully taken offline has been impossible 
  • Researchers have bow created a way to test a warhead to see if it active while not giving away any confidential military secrets  

Scientists believe they have created a way to detect if a nuclear warhead has been successfully deactivated. 

Currently, it is almost impossible to tell if the weapon itself has been dismantled.

Experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a neutron beam which detects the telltale presence of a specific type of plutonium used in weapons.

Nuclear warheads have a distinctive material layout as well as the giveaway presence of the plutonium which is responsible for the weapon’s destructive power. 

A plutonium bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in 1945 and killed thousands of people instantly.

Experts say that this method of detection to prove if bombs have been dismantled could be used to ensure nations are not secretly stockpiling nuclear weapons.

Scroll down for video 

But experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a neutron beam which can detect the telltale presence of a specific type of plutonium in a warhead.  A plutonium bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in 1945 and killed thousands of people instantly (pictured)


Under  current guidelines and with existing technologies, weapons inspectors rarely know when a warhead has been dismantled.

Inspectors rarely get full access to arsenals over concerns around military secrets.   

During military treaties, to keep both sides happy, nations are willing to prove they have destroyed the weapons. 

But, the destruction is often dealt to delivery systems (such as missiles or planes) and not to the warheads themselves. 

For example, the U.S. cut the wings off B-52 bombers and left them in the Arizona desert, where Russia could visually confirm the airplanes’ dismemberment. 

But the warheads, where the bulk of the damage is done and the plutonium is stored, may still be active and waiting for detonation. 

There is currently no independent way of detecting if these have been dismantled or not.  

‘There’s a real need to preempt these kinds of dangerous scenarios and go after these stockpiles,’ says Areg Danagoulian, an MIT nuclear scientist. ‘And that really means a verified dismantlement of the weapons themselves.’

Stored nuclear warheads that have not been properly dismantled could pose extreme danger if they are sold, stolen or accidentally detonated. 

‘There’s a real need to preempt these kinds of dangerous scenarios and go after these stockpiles,’ says Areg Danagoulian, an MIT nuclear scientist who led the project.

‘And that really means a verified dismantlement of the weapons themselves.’ 

The method developed to stop these issues uses what researchers call an isotopic filter to physically encrypt the information unearthed in the analysis. 

‘This encrypting filter basically covers up the intrinsic properties of the actual classified object itself,’ Dr Danagoulian explains. 

The experiments that led to the breakthrough involved sending a horizontal neutron beam through a warhead.

To avoid the use of the highly-restricted plutonium, researchers instead opted to use molybdenum and tungsten substitutes as they behave similarly.  

The beam’s signal is sent to a glass detector, where the data is recorded.  

The test works, because the neutron beam can identify the isotope in question.

‘At the low energy range, the neutrons’ interactions are extremely isotope-specific,’ Dr Danagoulian says. 

An isotope is a variation of the normal state of an element, and can become unstable due to the presence of various amounts of neutrons.  

‘So you do a measurement where you have an isotopic tag, a signal which itself embeds information about the isotopes and the geometry. 

‘But you do an additional step which physically encrypts it.’

The encryption process stores the data but alters some exact data, to protect any military secrets while revealing the weapon has been dismantled.

This is key in getting countries on board to willingly subject themselves to tests, the researchers say.   

‘This encrypting filter basically covers up the intrinsic properties of the actual classified object itself,’ Dr Danagoulian explains.

They chose to change the physical data itself because using the laws of physics as an encryption method is more robust than that of computer, which can be fallible and fooled by hackers. 

To avid the use of the highly-restricted plutonium, which was used in the ‘Little Boy’ bomb of Hiroshima (pictured) researchers instead opted to use molybdenum and tungsten substitutes as they behave similarly

Dr Danagoulian notes: ‘You could, in principle, do it with computers, but computers are unreliable. They can be hacked, while the laws of physics are immutable.’

Researchers tested the encryption to make sure the process could not be reverse engineered to undo the protection and unpick another nation’s military secrets. 

His prototype is currently (15metres) long and, in future, Dr Danagoulian wants to miniaturise the apparatus and install one at all weapons sites.

The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Communications and say far more protocols are needed to be put in place to aid the technique.


The first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 by an American B-29 bomber dubbed the Enola Gay.

The mushroom cloud over Nagasaki, Japan is shown

The 9,000lb uranium-235 bomb exploded 1,900 feet (580 metres) above the ground, killing between 60,000 and 80,000 people instantly, some vanishing instantly from the heat of the vast explosion.

Others died as fire ripped through the city and some 135,000 people in total are thought to have perished from radiation sickness.

The blast flattened more than six square miles (10 square km) of the city, with fires burning for three days, leaving thousands of survivors burnt and homeless.

With major buildings like hospitals destroyed and more than 90 per cent of the city’s doctors and nurses killed in the blast, there was little help available to the injured.

 Three days later, a second US atomic bomb killed 70,000 people in Nagasaki.

Japan surrendered six days after that, ending the Second World War.

Ten years later, the longer-term effects of the bombs were being noticed, including a rise in leukaemia – a blood cancer not included in the study. 

The first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 by an American B-29 bomber dubbed the Enola Gay. Three days later, a second US atomic bomb killed 70,000 people in Nagasaki

The cancer was said to disproportionately affect children, with cases appearing two years after the bomb and peaking four to six years later, The IBT reported.

The Radiation Effects Research Foundation estimates 46 per cent of leukaemia deaths at the bomb sites from 1950 to 2000 were due to radiation from the bombs, with 1,900 cancer deaths linked to the atomic bomb, in total. 

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You can now get Harry Potter wallpaper to transform your bedroom… and fans have gone wild with excitement – The Sun

CALLING all Harry Potter fans! You can now get wallpaper themed on the famous wizard to bring a magical touch to your bedroom.

The spellbinding options include sheets themed on the Golden Snitch, the Black family tapestry and the famous Marauder’s Map.

You can also turn your home into a mini Hogwarts with a roll that looks like the library from the wizarding school.

The incredible wallpaper has been created by the official graphic designers from the Harry Potter films, Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.

The Mina Lima studio was responsible for the creation of film props like the Daily Prophet newspaper, sweet labels at Honeydukes and Quidditch World Cup posters.

Sadly, you’ll need to start saving your galleons if you wish to spruce up your walls, as it costs £89 per roll.

  • Marauder's map wallpaper, £89 from Mina Lima – buy now

  • Golden Snitch wallpaper, £89 from Mina Lima – buy now

Unsurprisingly, Harry Potter fans couldn’t contain their excitement when photos of the wallpaper were posted online.

One muggle gushed: “I love it all”.

And another added: “Definitely want it!”

  • Black family tapestry wallpaper, £89 from Mina Lima – buy now

While adults may love spending hours reading the labels on the Marauder’s Map design, the playful baby blue Snitch wallpaper looks ideal for a colourful children’s room.

Take a browse at the full collection for yourself…

Fans can also buy a Harry Potter advent calendar full of Hogwarts toys – and it’s a must for muggles.

In other news, we told you muggles can have Christmas dinner in Hogwarts’ Great Hall again this year.

We also revealed you can now buy a £25 Harry Potter Lego advent calendar – and muggles are going mad for it.



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Now Ryanair pilots have cancelled their upcoming strike – just after British Airways walkouts were axed – The Sun

RYANAIR pilots have called off their five days of strikes.

The news comes just hours after British Airways pilots also called off their strike which was due to take place on September 27.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) who represent Ryanair pilots confirmed they would not be striking later this month.

The strikes were due to take place on September 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29.

However, they have called it off so that "meaningful negotiations" could take place between the union and the airline.

A statement from Ryanair said: "Ryanair welcomes this initiative and has invited BALPA to resume talks in East Midlands or in Dublin, at BALPA’s convenience, next week."

The pilots announced their intention to strike earlier this month due to a number of issues.

A statement from the union explained: "Our claim includes many issues including pensions; loss-of-licence insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure."

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You can now buy a sexy Mister Rogers Halloween costume from Yandy based on the late children’s TV presenter – The Sun

IT MAY be the spookiest time of the year, but if you're after a sexy Halloween costume, you'll be spoilt for choice – perhaps too much.

In amongst the saucy maids, Playboy bunnies and nuns, there is now also the opportunity to get your hands on a sexy Mister Rogers get-up.

The late American children's TV presenter Fred Rogers has inspired Yandy's latest controversial costume.

On its website, the lingerie brand is selling its own version of his trademark red sweater, white shirt and tie combo.

However, the 'Nicest Neighbour' outfit is designed as a tighter and shorter female version of the ensemble that Rogers, who died in 2003, wore to appear on his educational Mister Rogers' Neighborhood programme which ran from 1968 to 2001.

It comes with a low-cut red cardigan, detachable white collar with a mini black tie, and a pair of high-waisted grey hot pants.

The get-up – which comes in small, medium and large sizes – will cost you around £47.

Some of the promotional images show the model wearing a grey wig and holding hand puppets – however these are not included in the costume.

To purchase these, you'll need to buy the 'Be My Neighbor' costume kit for £10.34.

Yandy doesn't shy away from controversial costumes.

Last year, it launched a Meghan Markle costume for Halloween featuring a bodycon white "bridal" dress and Deal Or No Deal suitcase for £38.

However, the 'American Princess' ensemble is now in the sale, and available for just under £20.

The US online retailer is also responsible for last year's controversial sexy Handmaid's Tale costume for Halloween.

However, the outfit was ditched following a furious backlash.

Earlier today, we told you how naked swimwear is the daring trend for those not afraid to flash the flesh.

We also revealed how a TV reporter made an awkward outfit blunder at a glitzy ball.

And Fashion Nova's extreme cut-out mini dress that you can’t wear any underwear with is mocked by shoppers.

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Now we see if Daniel Jones is ready for this

The transfer of power came not with a profane sideline rant, nor in the terrible moment of a broken bone or a blown-out knee or a ruined shoulder, but via gentle whisper, offered to the team website. That’s how one era ends and another begins. A simple announcement. A peaceful proclamation.

“We are making a change,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said, “and going with Daniel as the starter.”

So Daniel Jones’ apprenticeship lasts two games. The Giants got hammered by the Cowboys and humbled by the Bills, and suddenly the future is at hand. The Giants’ present predicament isn’t all Eli Manning’s doing but he will be the one to pay the steepest public price.

And now we see what the kid can do.

You up for this, kid?

You ready?

“My job is to learn, to absorb everything I can. That’s the opportunity I’ve been given and I’m going to make the most of that opportunity,” Jones said just over a week ago, in front of his locker inside AT&T Stadium, after making a brief late-game cameo against the Cowboys.

“I’m the backup quarterback. And I want to be the best backup quarterback I can be.”

He had no inkling that a battlefield promotion could happen so quickly because nobody did. That wasn’t the plan. If it were, Manning wouldn’t have been brought back at such a steep number this year. In March, the Giants committed to a $5 million bonus and a $12 million salary, even as it seemed to run so counter to the rest of the operation, which was all about rebuilding, reloading, retooling, reorganizing.

In the summer, John Mara, one of the team’s owners, had said, “I hope Eli has a great year and Daniel never sees the field. That would be in an ideal world, you’d like to see that. At the end of the day it’s going to be a decision by the head coach as to when, or if, Daniel ends up playing this year.”

If has become when awfully quickly, and where is Raymond James Stadium in Tampa this Sunday. It was assumed that if the Giants switched quarterbacks this year it would come under similar circumstance as when Manning replaced Kurt Warner 15 years ago, when the team determined it wasn’t in a title hunt (despite being 5-4 at the time) and opted to fully embrace the future.

No such lead time this time. Teams have recovered from 0-2 starts before (nobody can tell that tale better than Eli, after all), so the stakes are far different than they were in 2004, and far greater. The Giants won’t say they’re hoping Jones can provide a spark to turn the season around, but that’s clearly on the table now, making the switch as early as they have.

You up for this, kid?

You ready?

“Daniel understands the challenge at hand,” Shurmur said, “and he will be ready to play on Sunday.”

He was ready all summer, when his snaps were the most-anticipated of any in town. Maybe there is no value to those practice games but SOMEONE has to play quarterback during them, and Jones was terrific, completing 29 of his 34 pass attempts for 416 yards and two touchdowns. It was enough to change the perception a lot of people had about Jones, whom the Giants took with the No. 6 pick in the draft rather than trying to strengthen their defense, who may or may not have still been available when they picked again at 17.

Ultimately, as much as this move is an opportunity for Jones to grab his star, it is a critical moment in time to determine what kind of GM Dave Gettleman is. Gettleman puzzled many when he bypassed a quarterback in the QB-rich draft of 2018 in order to draft Saquon Barkley, who was a dazzling star from the moment he first touched an NFL football but seemed destined to languish in a Barry Sanders-like fugue without a sidekick to work with. Gettleman insisted his choice was made easier because he wasn’t blown away by the Class of ‘18 QBs, then doubled down on that by identifying Jones as his guy.

Now, he has his guy, same as George Young had Phil Simms, same as Ernie Accorsi had Manning, choices that filled the trophy cases at 1925 Giants Drive with four Lombardi trophies. If Gettleman is right, it’ll go a long way toward determining his legacy.

And also if he’s wrong.

“Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time,” Shurmur said. “This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli.”

So nothing much is riding on this. You up for this, kid?

You ready?

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You can now stay in a dreamy igloo hotel in the North Pole for £84,000 a night

Well, this certainly gives a whole new meaning to the word luxury.

For those who dream of taking a trip beyond the wall (the one about to surround post-Brexit Britain) to experience the grandeur, wilderness, mystery and beauty of the North Pole, you’re in luck, because new luxury pods are about to pop up right in the middle of the planet.

The only bad news is the price: they cost $105,000 (£83,959) per night to stay in. Advice: start saving.

Ten heated (thank god!) Igloo hotels will pop up for one month in April next year. All come fitted with glass dome roofs so you can watch the wonders of the Northern Lights from the comfort of the sack.

Janne Honkanen, founder and CEO of travel company Luxury Action, told CNN Travel: ‘I wanted to create a more comfortable way to experience the North Pole as it is, by bringing cozy facilities to extreme conditions.”

At present, roughly only 1,000 brave the spine chilling -45 degree temperatures of the deep north. Under usual circumstances, trekkers would need to pack everything from a tent to the most advanced adventure kit on sale.

‘We provide all of the equipment,’ Honkanen says. ‘But you definitely need to have the spirit of an explorer or scientist.’

In addition to all the equipment, anyone who forks out the hefty price tag will be awarded the added luxuries of an en-suite bathroom, an-on site manager (just in case), a wilderness survival guide, chef and top notch security.

If you are remotely concerned for your safety, don’t be. Honkanen knows the weather in the North Pole can turn very bad, and very quickly, and in anticipation has built his little luxe pods to be portable.

With threats such as climate change so drastically changing the face of the earth, his team hopes that those who do visit will be able to share with others just how we are all affecting global weather patterns.

‘We’re not just providing the experience, we want to spread the word on what’s happening: How the climate crisis affects local culture, local food and the Arctic animals,’ Honkanen says. ‘It’s transformative travel.’

So what are you getting for your money? Aside from the experience of a lifetime, the super expensive package includes a two-night stay in Svalbard, Norway before you head up to the pole.

Flights, all transfers, meals and tours are also provided.

If everything you’ve just read sounds a little bit too intense, the company has another five-star lodge called Octola.

Here, you can enjoy the perks of Finnish Lapland (think hot mugs of cocoa and reindeer) and if you decide to go full steam on one of the pods at a later date, take part in a training session for your upcoming journey.

Whatever you choose, good luck.

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Food & Drink

M&S Percy Pigs are now available with 36% less sugar

Good news, Percy Pig fans. You can now get your favourite pig-shaped sweets with 36% less sugar.

M&S has launched the reduced sugar version for people who are keen to cut down a little but still want to enjoy a treat.

The bags promise they still have the same fruity flavour of original Percy.

They’ve spent 18 months developing the new addition to the line, which is still made with real fruit juice and no artificial colours or flavourings.

M&S Percy Product Developer Natalie Tate says: ‘As customers are increasingly aware of their sugar intake, our new Reduced Sugar Percy Pigs are perfect for any Percy Pigs fans who love the fruity flavour but are looking to cut down their sugar a little.’

The original bags contain 58.8g of sugar per 100g, while the new reduced-sugar version contains 37.5g of sugar per 100g.

The reduction in sugar also means the new sweets are lower in calories – 320 per 100g, compared to the original’s 346.

Both bags are on sale for £1.65 so less sugar doesn’t mean a reduction in price.

The sweets are, of course, gelatine free after M&S made the entire Percy Pig range completely vegetarian in April this year.

Back then, people were outraged by the change to the recipe, so much so, the supermarket even held a public tasting to decide whether to keep the gelatine free version or return to the original recipe for all the sweets.

Even Piers Morgan got involved telling people to ‘leave our pig sweets alone’ on TV.

In the end, the vegetarian recipe won and now it’s here to stay. The entire range is now vegetarian (but not vegan as all the sweets contain beeswax).

What do the reduced sugar Percy Pigs taste like?

We picked up a packet of original (well new recipe gelatine-free original) and reduced sugar Percy Pigs to compare.


On the left, the reduced sugar Percy and on the right, the original Percy (Picture: Laura Abernethy)

On first look, the reduced sugar Percy Pigs look similar but side by side, you can see they are darker in colour, flatter and quite stiff.


While they don’t taste bad, they don’t taste the same. The fruit flavour is still there but it doesn’t seem as strong and the taste is just slightly different.


The biggest difference is the texture – they are harder, chewier and the face just isn’t as soft as the original.

All in all, they taste nice but if you’ve tried the original they’re just too different to give you that same experience. Great for those cutting down on sugar but Percy Pig stans beware.

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World News

Hurricane Dorian is now the second strongest Atlantic storm in HISTORY… as 225mph killer edges towards Florida

HURRICANE Dorian is now the second strongest Atlantic storm in history as the 225mph killer edges towards Florida.

The category 5 monster made landfall in the Bahamas with devastating force on Sunday, reportedly killing a seven-year-old boy.

More deaths are feared from the mega-storm – which is now officially the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, bar one.

On Sunday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 225mph – tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall.

That equalled the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were even named.

The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980 – which had sustained 190mph winds but didn't make landfall at that strength.

Darren Henfield, Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “From all accounts, we have received catastrophic damage.

“We have reports of casualties. We have reports of bodies being seen.

“We cannot confirm those reports until we go out and see for ourselves.”


But the people of the Caribbean nation received no respite today as the storm continued to pummel the islands after slowing to almost a complete stop.

Deadly Dorian hovered over the country, shredding roofs, hurling cars and forcing rescue crews to halt their searches to seek cover.

The system crawled along Grand Bahama Island at just 1mph, as it creeps towards the US mainland.

Kwasi Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama, warned locals: “We need you to bunker down.

“It's going to be another 10-12 hours that we're going to be bombarded with this.”

Officials revealed they were getting desperate calls for help but rescuers can’t go out themselves in the violent weather.

Thompson said: “They are ready to get into those areas as soon as the weather subsides.”

As many as 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed, according to a statement from the Red Cross.

The storm is now heading straight for Florida, sparking fears for thousands of holidaymakers.

Dorian is due to strike Orlando on Wednesday morning and skirt up the Florida coast, according to current predictions.

Most theme parks there including Disney were this weekend still operating normally, but are monitoring the storm's path.

Around 1.5million people have been evacuated from South Carolina, Georgia and Florida as the monster storm approaches.

Residents were pictured stocking up on emergency supplies like food, water and batteries, while others boarded up homes and businesses to protect them as best they could.

More than 1,000 flights within, into, or out of the US have also been cancelled today, according to the aviation tracking website FlightAware.

As Dorian bears down, pilots from the US Air Force have taken incredible photos of the eerily calm conditions inside the eye of the hurricane.

One image shows a phenomenon known as the “stadium effect” in the centre of the storm, which makes the clouds around the eye rise up on all sides until it looks like a giant sports arena.

Winds in the wall of clouds closest to the middle are the strongest – at a massive 225mph in the case of category 5 Dorian.

But in the centre the sky above is clear and the air is eerily still, creating the illusion that the storm has passed.

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Grapes for Burgundy wines now ripen TWO WEEKS earlier than in the 80s

Grapes for Burgundy red wines now ripen TWO WEEKS earlier than they did in the 80s as climate change continues to cause soaring global temperatures

  • Researchers collated archival records of wine harvests going back 664 years
  • Since 1988 grapes in Beaune, in France’s Burgundy region, have ripened early 
  • Harvest dates advanced by 13 days on the norm for the previous six centuries
  • The data shows clearly the impact of climate change, the researchers said

Grapes from the vineyards of Burgundy have been ripening over two weeks earlier since the late eighties than was normal across the last six centuries.

The shift in the grape’s development on the vine is down to the increase in hotter and drier climates during the growing season brought about by climate change.

A team of French, German and Swiss experts had painstakingly collated archival data on historical wine harvest dates going back 664 years in total. 

As grapes are highly sensitive to temperature and rainfall conditions, the date on which vines are harvested can serve as an indicator of the corresponding climate.

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Grapes from the vineyards of Burgundy have been ripening over two weeks earlier since the late eighties than was normal across the last six centuries (stock image)

Climate scientist Thomas Labbé of Leipzig University in Germany, environmental historian Christian Pfister of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues collated and analysed vineyard harvest records dating back as far as 1354. 

To assemble harvest dates for Beaune — the wine capital of Burgundy —the team painstakingly scoured assorted unedited archival sources, including newspaper reports, city council records and information of wages paid to grape pickers.

The result is the longest record of grape harvests ever reconstructed.

The researchers found that, since 1988, grapes in Burgundy have been picked an average of 13 days early than they had been in the previous six centuries.

Burgundy’s hotter and drier climate in recent years is at the root of this advancement, the researchers said. 

‘We did not anticipate that the accelerated warming trend since the mid-1980s would stand out so clearly in the series,’ said Professor Pfister. 

‘The record is clearly divided in two parts,’ said Dr Labbé. 

Before 1987, vineyards in Beaune were typically picked from around September 28 inwards each year — however, harvests are now begging from around September 15.

The results suggest that hot and dry years were uncommon in the past, but in the last three decades have switching to being the norm.

In those years in which the spring–summer growing season is hot and dry, grapes end up ready to be harvested earlier than in colder years.

To assemble harvest dates for Beaune — the wine capital of Burgundy —the team painstakingly scoured assorted unedited archival sources. Pictured, a page from the accounting books of the Church of Notre-Dame of Beaune, dating back to the year 1385

As grapes are highly sensitive to temperature and rainfall conditions, the date on which vines are harvested can serve as an indicator of the corresponding climate

Finally, the team compared the most recent 360 years of their harvest data with detailed temperature record taken in Paris over the same period.

From this, they could estimate Beaune’s April–July temperatures across the entire 664 years covered by their grape harvest records.

‘The transition to a rapid global warming period after 1988 stands out very clearly,’ said Professor Pfister.

‘The exceptional character of the last 30 years becomes apparent to everybody.’

‘We hope people start to realistically consider the climate situation in which the planet is at present,’ he concluded. 

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Climate of the Past.

To assemble harvest dates for Beaune — the wine capital of Burgundy —the team painstakingly scoured assorted unedited archival sources, including newspaper reports, city council records and information of wages paid to grape pickers

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World News

Now eco-anarchists say they’ll fly toy drones over Heathrow next month

Now eco-anarchists say they’ll fly toy drones over Heathrow next month to bring chaos and cancellations to Britain’s busiest airport

  • Heathrow Pause activist group claims it will fly drones from September 13 
  • Eco-campaigners are a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion supporters
  • They say they will fly drones within restricted zone but outside flight paths
  • Police say anyone illegally using drone will ‘be dealt with in line with the law’

Climate change activists are set to bring chaos to passengers at London Heathrow next month by flying toy drones over the airport.

The Heathrow Pause group has claimed it will fly the drones from September 13 in a move that could cancel all flights at Europe’s largest airport.

The activists, who are a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion supporters, said they would fly toy drones within the restricted zone but outside the flight paths.

About 219,000 passengers use London Heathrow Airport on an average day (file picture)

Flying a drone within 3.1 miles of an airport could result in a five-year jail sentence (file image) 

Heathrow Pause said the action would force the airport to ground planes and put pressure on the government to take tougher steps to reduce greenhouse gases.

The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this month that the action is scheduled to last for a week – but activists warn that it could go on for even longer.

They plan to launch drones at 3am each day. More than 1.5 million people could be affected, with about 219,000 passengers using Heathrow on an average day.

The organisers include Left-wing academic Roger Hallam, a co-founder of XR, who helped plan the two weeks of chaos organised in London by the group in April.

The organisers include Left-wing academic Roger Hallam, a co-founder of XR, pictured in April

Heathrow Pause said it would fly drones at no higher than head level and give the airport one hour’s advance notice. 

Government advice for people flying drones 

The Ministry of Defence and Military Aviation Authority have issued this advice for people flying drones:

  • Drones are subject to the law through the Air Navigation Order
  • It is a criminal offence to endanger the safety of aircraft in flight 
  • Keep your drone in sight and below 400ft 
  • Do not fly over congested areas or within 165ft of a person, vehicle or building not under your control 
  • You need to have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to use a drone for commercial purposes

Flying a drone within 3.1 miles of an airport carries a jail sentence of up to five years.

A Heathrow Pause spokesman said: ‘This is a symbolic action, using a legal loophole and participants’ self-sacrifice to draw attention to the most serious and urgent crisis humanity has ever faced.

‘The government’s inaction on climate change, and the looming catastrophe of airport expansion, gives us no choice, and compels us to act.’

Earlier this month, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘We are aware of reports of a protest planned at Heathrow. Anyone caught illegally using a drone within the proximity of an airport can expect to be dealt with in line with the law.’

A Heathrow spokesman added: ‘We agree with the need to act on climate change. 

‘This is a global issue that requires constructive engagement and action. Committing criminal offences and disrupting passengers is counterproductive.

Mr Hallam helped plan the two weeks of chaos organised in London by the XR group in April

‘The act of flying drones within 5km (3.1 miles) of an airfield is illegal because it carries risk. We will be working closely with the Met Police and other authorities to manage and mitigate any impacts this may cause.’

A spokesman for the activists added: ‘Our lives are in the Government’s hands and if they are not doing anything to save this planet, we have to make them understand.’

A drone caused chaos when it was flown around London Gatwick Airport last December, with 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights affected by the action.

More than 1,150 people were arrested in April in a huge Extinction Rebellion protest in London that blocked off major routes and caused major disruption to travel.

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Amazon Is Now Selling a Solar-Powered 'Studio Cube' Tiny Home

Watch enough episodes of Tiny House Hunters and you might think you’ve seen just about everything. Well, allow me to introduce—drum roll please—the Smart Solar Studio Cube, a modular, prefab tiny home of sorts that you can transform into any type of space you desire.

The possibilities are endless: You could plop this Studio Cube in your backyard, where it could serve as an office, decked-out gym, or even a greenhouse. (There’s no kitchen or bathroom so, sorry, but you probably can’t make your in-laws stay there—nice try, though.)

It comes equipped with a solar panel, a glass wall that can slide open for open-air living, and an LED lighting package.

The best part: It only takes two hours to set up. The compact white box comes ready-to-use from the folks at PLACES Modular, a company specializing in prefab and modular creations ranging from large commercial and residential buildings to smaller “atmospheres” (a.k.a. the Studio Cube).

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Fully solar powered smart CUBE with a 4 day battery supply keeping your CUBE glowing in the dark! • • #placesmodular #thecube #ecofriendly #modularmansions #modular #prefab #modern #future #luxury #solarpower #netzero

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Measuring 12 feet by 12 feet, each square solar-powered structure lets in plenty of natural light. And if you really want to take this indoor-outdoor living situation to a whole new level, you can even add a deck.

From: Women’s Health US

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You can now buy your man freezable pants to keep his privates cool during the hot weather – The Sun

FROM setting sprays to chafing balm, us ladies have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to handling the hot weather this weekend.

Now we've found something to help your man out on boiling hot days – freezable pants.

  • Snowballs Cooling Underwear For Men, £59 from Amazon – buy now

Over on Amazon, a brand called Snowballs Underwear is selling "scientifically backed cooling underwear".

These pants come with ice packs – dubbed "SnowWedges" – that your man freezes before popping into a pouch over the groin.

According to SnowBalls, the "SnowWedges" are ready for use after less than an hour in the freezer.

After that, they'll keep him cool for 30 minutes.

At £59, they're not exactly the cheapest of items.

But for the price, customers get two pairs of cotton boxer briefs and three freezable inserts.

Reviews are a little mixed on Amazon, with one person praising: "This underwear works great, providing extra support and it feels really comfortable.

"Cooling packs help too, especially on a hot day."

Another said: "Kept area cool when needed."

However, others don't think they kept them cool for long enough.

"The ice packets stay cold for about 15 minutes. You're almost better off holding a cold drink with ice between your legs if you're trying to be inconspicuous," read one message.

Another added: "The underwear makes sense, though the ice packets don't maintain temperature well."

We'll leave your man to decide whether they're worth it – but you'd probably try anything in this weather, wouldn't you?

Still struggling in the heat? This is how to dress, from floaty cotton dresses to light linen trousers

Amazon is selling freezable ice slippers for £15 that promise to keep you cool.

And freezable bra inserts are here to stop your boobs sweating.

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You Can Now Get Affordable Used Kids Fashion Shipped to Your Door

We’re so fed up with paying high prices for kids’ clothes — clothes that they grow out of in a hot second and require replacing. It’s just so much money and so much waste. Did you know that the U.S. will produce 34.5 billions — yes, billions — of textile waste by the end of 2019? That’s a staggering number, and not one that we’re proud to contribute to as parents.

So how’s a parent supposed to keep kids clothed — inexpensively — while being gentle on the planet at the same time? This was a conundrum in the past, but we’re over the moon to learn about Kids on 45th, a company founded by eco-passionate mothers that curates boxes of gently used kids’ clothes and sends them to your front door. No dragging kicking, screaming toddlers or sullen preteens through the local mall. Plus, you’ll save a bunch (and we mean a bunch) while saving the planet from gagging on yet more textile waste that had plenty of life left in it. Win-win-win!

Here’s how Kids on 45th works: More than 600 brands you already know and trust are offered by the company (Gap, Nike, Carters, etc.). But instead of paying top dollar, you’ll be paying less than you would thrift shopping. Occasionally Kids on 45th will add a new item to your box, too — no complaining here.

Prices are super sweet: think $1.49 for baby items, maxing out at $12.99 for, say, outerwear for big kids. The average item price tends to fall in that $3–$8 range. With prices like that, you could be saving up to 90 percent (!!!) on clothes for your family. Imagine scoring 20 items for $60. It’s almost unthinkable, right? Plus shipping is just $2.99. Spend more than $65, and shipping is free, people. And? They have a super cute Instagram account that alerts you to sales and encourages customer interaction. Love.

We can so get behind this mission (and its adorable aesthetics):

Now, there is a subscription service, but that’s an option, not a must. One of the cool features of Kids on 45th is that you can make a style profile and request clothes your kid will actually wear. So no unpleasant surprises like a box full of dresses for a little girl who only wears leggings and her brother’s t-shirts.

Where do the clothes come from? Great question. Kids on 45th says the company sources clothing from all over the country. Stylists employed by the company sniff out fab finds and snatch them up to be divvied up into customer boxes. Plus that “gently used” thing really means just that: “gently.” Each piece of clothing gets checked by five quality managers before it’s allowed into a client’s box, so don’t fear your kids looking shabby with pilling or missing buttons.

Kids on 45th is also celebrating the back-to-school season with donations made to Donors Choose. For every Kids on 45th box they sell online, the company will donate five bucks to classrooms and teachers desperately in need of supplies. How fab is that?

The company also has a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the area.

Want other ways to avoid buying new? This guide for new parents will tell you which secondhand supplies are just fine for your newborn. And there are plenty of back-to-school items you can also skip dropping a fortune on.

We’re all for saving money — especially when it means the planet’s a little happier too.

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Amazon now lets you change the talking speed of Alexa

Alexa, hurry up! Amazon now lets you change the talking speed of the smart speaker to make it quicker or slower

  • Bosses at the online company have now created seven different Alexa settings
  • These include the standard speaking rate, four faster options and two slower
  • It’s believed this will help elderly people, plus those with hearing impairments 

Amazon customers can now adjust the speed of Alexa’s voice to make the virtual assistant speak quicker or slower. 

Beginning today, customers in the US can ask the voice-activated smart speaker to converse slower or faster, depending on their needs. 

Bosses at the online company have created seven different settings – the standard speaking rate, four faster options and two slower modes. 

Users can simply simply say ‘Alexa, speak slower,’ or ‘Alexa, speak faster’ to adjust these. They can also reset it by asking it to respond at the default rate.

Speed selection: Bosses at the online company have now created seven different settings – the standard speaking rate, four faster options and two slower modes


US users can ask the voice-activated smart speaker to converse slower or faster, depending on their needs.

Amazon has rolled out seven different settings – the standard speaking rate, four faster options and two slower modes.

Users can simply simply say ‘Alexa, speak slower,’ or ‘Alexa, speak faster’ to adjust these.

To reset to the standard speed, simply say ‘Alexa, speak at your default rate.’ 

If popular, the option will be broadened out to other territories, including the UK. 

It is estimated that Amazon’s Echo and Echo dot smart speakers — on which Alexa operates — can be found in around 6.5 million homes in the UK alone.

‘We heard from customers that they would like the ability to change Alexa’s speaking rate for a variety of reasons,’ said Sarah Caplener, head of Alexa for Everyone.

‘Some of our hard of hearing and older customers shared how they love talking to Alexa and how she has become a companion but sometimes they would like her to slow down so they can better understand her responses.

‘On the other hand, some of our customers who are blind or low vision are used to consuming audio content and want to be able to listen more quickly.

‘We’re thrilled to introduce this feature to help customers further personalise their interactions with Alexa, and adapt the experience to best fit their individual needs. 

‘We’re humbled by the initial response to this feature from customers who helped us build this and look forward to continuing to deliver impactful features for all our customers.’

So far, the company say they’ve had positive feedback from the function. 

‘There are many people, including myself, who are hard of hearing and the ability to slow Alexa down changes the way we use and understand her,’ said Jerry, a 97 year-old customer. 

‘Sometimes, I’d ask about the cast of a movie and she would go way too fast… even when I say ‘good morning’ to her, she talks way too fast. 

‘When I ask questions where she has to list things, I would try to avoid those questions. I would consider this new feature of adjusting the speed a real bonus for me.’ 


Amazon devices have previously been activated when they’re not wanted – meaning the devices could be listening.

Millions are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that their conversations are being heard.

Amazon devices rely on microphones listening out for a key word, which can be triggered by accident and without their owner’s realisation. 

The camera on the £119.99 ($129) Echo Spot, which doubles up as a ‘smart alarm’, will also probably be facing directly at the user’s bed. 

The device has such sophisticated microphones it can hear people talking from across the room – even if music is playing. 

Last month a hack by British security researcher Mark Barnes saw 2015 and 2016 versions of the Echo turned into a live microphone.

Fraudsters could then use this live audio feed to collect sensitive information from the device.   



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Instagram will now let you donate to charities directly through Stories

Instagram users can now raise awareness of and donate directly to charities following the introduction of a donation sticker to the Stories section of the social media app.

The sticker is placed over a photo or video uploaded to a user’s Instagram Story and enables those who view and then tap it to donate to the associated cause.

The Facebook-owned social media platform will allow anyone who taps on the sticker to make a donation directly to the charity without leaving Instagram, with the social networks confirming 100% of all donations will go to the non-profit.

Aibhinn Kelleher, strategic partnerships manager on the social impact team at Facebook in Europe said: ‘All over the world people are using Instagram to raise awareness of the causes that matter to them. Now with donation stickers for Instagram Stories, people have a really easy way to support these causes, while also directly raising money.

‘As well as helping organisations reach new audiences, with 100% of all money raised going straight to the organisation, the Instagram donation sticker should be a valuable tool for the charity sector. We can’t wait to see the creative ways that people use Instagram to support the causes they care about.’

Selecting the donation sticker inside the Instagram Story section of the app displays a list of the charities which can be linked to the new feature.

The feature builds on existing technology used on Facebook, which enables users to add donate buttons to pages on the social network.

A number of celebrities, including Fearne Cotton, Zoe Sugg and Olympic diver Tom Daley are among the first UK Instagram users of the new feature to mark its launch, each raising awareness for a different cause.

Cotton is promoting breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel!, Daley is backing The Brain Tumour Charity and Sugg is raising awareness for mental health charity Mind.

Instagram said that in order for charities and non-profits to be eligible to raise funds in this way on the platform, they must sign up for Facebook’s Charitable Giving Tools, link their Instagram profile to their organisation’s Facebook page and convert their Instagram profile to a business profile.

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Food & Drink

M&S now lets you bring your own reusable containers for food-to-go

Marks and Spencer now let’s you bring your own lunchbox to store to pick up food-to-go.

Yes, you if you haven’t managed to make that homemade salad again, at least you won’t feel guilty about all the plastic packaging around the one you bought.

From today, you can bring your reusable container to store, head to the Market place counter and fill it with whatever you want to eat.

And you’ll get 25p off for using your own container – an offer that is already in place for bringing your own cup for hot drinks.

M&S said it’s the first major retailer to introduce a scheme like this.

It is only available for food from the Market Place counter, where you can pick up a range of hot and cold lunch-to-go options including rotisserie chicken, fish and salads.

According to M&S, over 70,000 people pick up lunch from Market Place each week, which is currently available in 23 stores including London Pantheon on Oxford Street, Newcastle, Norwich and Manchester.

Don’t worry if you don’t already have a suitable container – you can get a clip storage containers for £4 from the Market Place counters, then take them home and wash them thoroughly, ready for the next day.

Paul Willgoss, Director of Food Technology at M&S, said: ‘Our priority is to reduce single-use packaging and ensure any we do use can be reused or recycled, as we work towards our 2022 target for all our packaging to be widely recyclable.

‘Food-to-go is a growing market; so finding solutions in this space is an important part of our wider plan. Our Market Place containers are already widely recyclable, but we want to go a step further with the introduction of an incentive to encourage customers to switch to reusable containers.’

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of environmental charity Hubbub, commented: ‘People are rightly concerned about the environmental impact of single-use packaging. It is massively encouraging to see M&S become the first major retailer to offer customers a financial saving encouraging them to make an important change to their shopping habits.

‘We hope customers will respond positively and other retailers will follow this lead.’

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World News

Now it’s Extinction Rebellion, the exhibition and the V&A Museum

Now it’s Extinction Rebellion, the exhibition: V&A Museum puts flags, pamphlets and logos of the climate change campaign group on show

  • London’s prestigious design museum in Knightsbridge launched exhibit today
  • The Rapid Response gallery will showcase ‘digital files’, flags and pamphlets
  • The gallery compared XR’s recognisable visual symbols to the suffragettes   

The country’s most prestigious design museum today launches an exhibition of the logos and placards of eco-protestors Extinction Rebellion.

The Victoria and Albert museum’s Rapid Response collection Gallery is showcasing the Extinction Symbol symbol, the so-called ‘Declaration’ that accompanied an early demonstration, and flags carried during mass protests this spring.

The museum said the objects ‘reveal how XR has harnessed the power of open-source design to develop a coherent and impactful visual identity’.

It added that the designers ‘sought to foster a collaborative ‘do-it-together’ movement recognisable across the globe.’

Victoria & Albert Museum photograph of objects from the Extinction Rebellion movement on display as evidence of how the climate activist group has used art and design to galvanise public concern for the planet

A museum curator’s gloved hands hold a printing block used by XR protesters to make signs

The exhibition features the ‘declaration of rebellion’ and a wooden block with the symbol

The V&A said the bright coloured signs used by XR protestors bore comparison to the suffragettes green and purple trademark branding

The V&A’s Rapid Response Collecting programme that enables the acquisition and immediate display of design objects that address questions of social, political, technological and economic change and since 2014 has grown to over thirty objects that chart the impact of contemporary design on the world today.

Corinna Gardner, Senior Curator of Design and Digital at the V&A, said: ‘Design has been key to Extinction Rebellion’s demands for urgent action on climate change.

‘The strong graphic impact of the Extinction Symbol alongside a clear set of design principles have ensured that their acts of rebellion are immediately recognisable. 

‘Punchy colours, woodblock prints, and carefully worded slogans available for download empower members of the public to produce their own creative responses that collectively amplify the XR’s call to action.’

She added that Extinction Rebellion’s design approach ‘stands in relation to earlier protest movements such as the Suffragettes who encouraged the wearing of purple, green and white to visually communicate their cause.’

A samba band drumming anything they could lay their hands on arrived to augment the Oxford Circus protest after police moved in in April

The crowd at Oxford Circus around a pink boat erected by climate change protesters swelled after officers poured into the area in April

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators at Oxford Circus on the fourth day of disruption in the capital

Clive Russell, Extinction Rebellion Arts Group, said: ‘The climate and ecological emergency is the issue of our time and art and design is crucial to our non-violent actions and communication. We call on all artists and designers to think beyond the bullying constraints of commercial drudgery and join us in rebellion.’

The museum described XR graphics as a balance of ‘joy and menace’ noting they often juxtaposed imagery of the natural world with more sinister images of skulls and bones.

The display will include a digital file of the Extinction Symbol, the first printed pamphlet issued by XR outlining its ‘Declaration of Rebellion’, and two printing blocks of the symbols used by protestors to make their own protest flags, posters and banners.

It will also feature six brightly coloured screen-printed patches bearing the group’s slogans including ‘Tell the Truth’, Rebel for Life’ and ‘Beyond Politics’. 

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Now the internet wants to ‘Storm Loch Ness’

First, they came for the aliens. Then, they came for the Bermuda Triangle. Now, they’re coming for the Loch Ness Monster.

Following in the footsteps of the “Storm Area 51” and “Storm the Bermuda Triangle” events, a Facebook group has been created in an attempt to find the legendary creature known as “Nessie”. More than 21,000 people have signed up for the “Storm Loch Ness” event, created by Bryan Richards.

An additional 43,000 people have replied they are “interested” in the event.

News of the event was first reported by the BBC. The news outlet said that volunteer Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which monitors Loch Ness, does not have the resources to handle the mass of people, if they all show up.

“With no US Army involved, Loch Ness looks a little less hazardous than storming Area 51, but here we have our own set of problems,” a spokesman told the BBC. “Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat has an impressive survivor-carrying capacity, but even that will be stretched by the ‘attendees’ of this event.”

People have been searching for the legendary Loch Ness Monster with no concrete results. However, the loch itself is very real and can be dangerous, depending on weather conditions, the spokesman added.

It would be a momentous occasion if any of the 21,000 strong group did find evidence of a creature that has evaded Nessie hunters for years. Reports of a creature living in the loch first surfaced nearly 1,500 years ago, in the sixth century.

A new study published in April in the scientific journal Earth Sciences History theorizes that the sea serpent reports of the early 19th century were heavily influenced by early dinosaur fossil discovery.

The legend of the Loch Ness monster has commonly been attributed to a plesiosaur that somehow managed to survive the mass extinction event that killed off the dinosaurs.

In May 2018, researchers said they would investigate the waters of Loch Ness in Scotland and use environmental DNA sampling of the waters to try and identify everything that swims in it.

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You can now buy a Bluetooth cassette player for all your old mix tapes

It might be time to dig out those old mix tapes because the ultimate 1980s music accessory is making a comeback.

Yes, we’re talking about cassette tapes.

That’s because a Kickstarter project launched by a company called NINM Lab is attempting to fund the revival of the iconic 80’s gadget. The company claims it has built the ‘world’s first Bluetooth portable cassette player,’ and has already more than tripled its £10,243 funding target.

The IT’S OK cassette player is modeled on the famous Sony Walkman (which turned 40 years old last week) and has Bluetooth on board so you can listen to those scratchy Guns N’ Roses albums through wireless headphones.

And because the casing is transparent (albeit in a choice of three colours: cloud white, sakura pink and evening blue) you can show off your precise labeling. Even though it supports wireless headphones, you can still plug in a regular pair if you want to go truly old school.

‘This is a generation in which almost everyone owns a pair of Bluetooth headphones. IT’S OK allows you to wear your most comfortable and familiar pair of headphones and to enjoy the sound of the ‘80s in times when you need to be alone,’ NINM Lab writes on its Kickstarter page.

‘You will no longer be limited by the 3.5mm wire. Whether you are on bus, brewing coffee, or at work, you can listen on-the-go freely and unrestrained. Especially those who love cassettes, you no longer need to bring two pairs of headphones out.’

‘Time in a cassette tape can be measured; time in reality can be fully filled and time can be possessed. We learned slowly to anticipate as waiting is elegant, and hope is romantic. The cassette tape not only records music, but also the weight of time.’

The only pricing tier left is for £60, which gets you the player and a blank cassette tape.

The Kickstarter is due to run until August 5 and the Hong Kong-based company states deliveries will be fulfilled by December 2019. Which should give you plenty of time to dig out all your old tapes from the back of the attic.

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Now and Then! See the Gosselin Family Album

Life has changed a lot for the Gosselin family since 2007, when they landed their own reality television show, Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Jon and Kate divorced in 2009 after 10 years of marriage and their kids —  sextuplets Collin, Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Aaden and Joel and twins Cara and Made — no longer all live under one roof.

In December 2018, the DJ was awarded sole custody of Collin, who was previously attending a program for children with special needs. Hannah also resides with her dad, while the rest of siblings are with Kate. 

Click through the photos to see how the Gosselins’ reality has changed since they first soared to fame. 

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The Girlguides now have badges for cyber skills

Girlguides in South West England can now earn new badges by completing activities in cyber skills and demonstrating awareness of safety online.

Covering all ages within Guiding, from Rainbows to Rangers, girls can complete an activity pack devised in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to show they understand how the internet works and how devices talk to one another.

It is also hoped that the “On the Net” resource will inspire more young women to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

‘As we look to the future, the world is becoming increasingly digital,’ said Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ. ‘Protecting the UK’s digital homeland is as critical as our intelligence mission.’

‘I hope some of the girls who complete these new Girlguiding cyber activities will be inspired to become part of the next generation of experts our country needs to face the challenge of the next 100 years.’

The tech-themed badges can be collected without the requirement of computers or an internet connection, and can be completed wherever Girlguiding groups meet.

‘I am delighted that Girlguiding South West England has been working with GCHQ, NCSC and CyberFirst to produce the latest resource in our SWEBOTS series ‘On the net’,’ said Carole Pennington, Girlguiding South West chief commissioner.

‘Awareness of cyber security is vital for all our members, and the activities in the resource have been designed to provide fun ways of learning about computer systems and cyber security.’

‘Because many of our units meet in locations with no internet or computer access, the activities are not reliant on their use and can be enjoyed by everyone wherever they meet.’

‘I am sure that this resource and the related badges will prove to be popular throughout the region.’

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The Coast Guard Will Now Ship Your Breast Milk

If you’ve ever breastfed a newborn babe, you know it is hard work. From supply and latch issues to discomfort and pain, breastfeeding can be super challenging — and returning to work only complicates the matter. But one employer is hoping to make the transition a bit easier. The U.S. Coast Guard will now cover the cost of shipping breast milk back home, and the effort is designed to relieve some of the stress — and financial burden — new moms face.

The change came about after a RAND Corporation study revealed women leave active-duty positions at higher rates than men.

“Although the Coast Guard enjoys one of the highest retention rates among the five military branches, we must do better,” Admiral Charles W. Ray, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, said. “This study is an important element in our broader effort to recruit and retain an inclusive and diverse workforce that reflects the American public we serve. It is every leader’s responsibility to identify and eliminate elements of our culture that may inhibit equal participation and opportunity in our Service.”

The program covers up to $750 a year in shipping costs and is available to all active duty members, including public health service officers, US Navy chaplains, reservists on active duty and civilian employees, the Coast Guard said. Those who are away from home 72 hours or more can file for a reimbursement, and members who are deployed over 60 days can have a family member apply on their behalf.

No word on how long reimbursement will take.

Of course, the move — in and of itself — will not guarantee an increase in Coast Guard employee retention rates. The report found there were various factors affecting a woman’s decision to stay in the Coast Guard or leave, including the frequency and duration of deployments and possibility of transfer. Other barriers included concerns about sexual harassment and/or the scarcity of female role models. Still, the policy change is a step in the right direction for new and breastfeeding parents — one we hope other branches of the military (and other employers) will soon adopt.

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Now is the summer of the discount dress

Now is the summer of the discount dress: FEMAIL reveals the perfect last-minute bargains from the overflowing sale rails

  • The weeks of endless rain this spring have certainly had one unexpected benefit 
  • Many shops have been left with lots of summer dresses on their rails 
  • So the sale rails are overflowing with smart styles at hugely discounted prices

Every cloud has a silver lining, they say — well, weeks of endless rain have certainly had one unexpected benefit.

Shops have been left with lots of summer dresses — it’s hardly been the weather for them so far.

As a result, sale rails are overflowing with smart styles at hugely discounted prices — there are reductions of as much as 60 per cent.

Long, flowing dresses in sunny colours or feminine florals are this season’s must-haves, flattering and easy to wear. Team with white trainers by day, heeled mules by night.

From ditsy midis to floral maxis and prairie frocks, the choices are endless — and as our sale guide proves, it’s the perfect time to pick up a last-minute bargain…

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 was £38 now £15,

 was £179 now £115,

 was £715 now £360 at

 was £58 now £35,

 was £29.99 now £15,

was £340 now £135, 

 was £29.99 now £19.99, Zara (in stores only)

 was £295 now £180,

was £59.99 now £29.99,

 was £395 now £197, Preen at

 was £315 now £220, RIXO at

 was £42 now £20,

was £99 now £69,

 was £200 now £120,

 was £95 now £47.50,

was £299 now £199,

 was £290 now £174,

was £220 now £132,

 was £110 now £77,


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Beloved family pets can now be turned into PEARLS after they die

Beloved family pets can now be immortalised after they die with bereaved owners turning them into PEARLS

  • Japanese cosmetics firm WBE uses bone fragments and turns them into pearls 
  • The Nagasaki-based firm can produce a pearl in a year and for a cost of £3,300 
  • Intended to offer a unique way of preserving the memory of a beloved pet  

People mourning the loss of a pet can now have their remains turned into a pearl necklace to immortalise their beloved companion. 

Japanese cosmetics firm WBE, based in Nagasaki, has developed a novel method to grow a cultured pearl from a bone fragment. 

It takes a year of slow growth to fully develop and costs a total of £3,300. 

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Japanese cosmetics firm WBE, based in Nagasaki, has developed a novel method to grow a cultured pearl from a dog’s bone fragment (stock)

‘If we can soothe the grief of the owners who have lost their pets, we will be glad,’ Tomoe Masuda, head of the cosmetics company WBE, told Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

There are many ways to immortalise a pet, with some owners even cloning their deceased animals. 

A facility in Seoul, South Korea offers the ability to clone a dog for a total of £77,000 on a ‘no dog-no fee’ basis.   

Other bizarre burial rituals have spread to humans, with some people now opting to be turned into a gemstone or a plant. 

Some firms are also offering the ability to have remains scattered in space. 

Commercial culturing of pearls is nothing new to Japan, where the method was first developed a century ago. 

The Nagasaki-based firm can produce a pearl in a year and for a cost of £3,300 and says it is intended to offer a unique way of preserving the memory of a beloved pet (stock)


Pearls are the result of a biological process which sees oysters protect themselves from foreign substances.

Clams and mussels have the same process, but finding pearls in them is much rarer. 

When a foreign invader penetrates between the layers of an oyster, it irritates the inner layer of its shell. 

This causes the oyster to produce nacre, which lines the inside of the shell in order to cover it up and stop the irritation.  

This process eventually forms a large enough deposit to form a pearl. 

They can be spherical or uneven, depending on how the nacre is layered. 

But the emergence of technology allowing a pet to be turned into a pearl for a fraction of the cost of other burial rituals could see more owners immortalise their animal companions.  

It was a scheme spearheaded by Yoshiki Matsushita, a professor at Nagasaki University’s graduate school of fisheries and environmental sciences, who was left devastated when his own dog passed away. 

The grief left from the departure of ten-year old dog, a jack Russel named Ran, inspired the project. 

A bone fragment from the pet is included in a ball of resin, as it is less likely to be rejected by the oyster. 

These are then slowly cared for by the oyster until it is sufficiently large enough to be used as jewellery.   

‘Each pearl has its own character, as my dog Ran had his own character. He has become a unique treasure,’ he said.

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