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Science Attenborough warns of climate ‘crisis moment’
When it comes to climate change, “we’re refusing to take steps that we know have to be taken”. That’s the damning verdict of naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who declares “the moment of crisis has come”, in a BBC News interview to launch a year of special coverage on the subject of climate change. The Our Planet Matters project – across digital, TV and radio – includes a new monthly Climate Check video feature from BBC Weather, and coverage of debates and events around the globe.
As part of it, Sir David plans a new hour-long documentary – Extinction: The Facts – to examine the fragile state of the natural world. On Radio 4’s PM programme, Rianna Croxford will look at how we can respond to the climate crisis at home by examining the environmental impact of individual household items. And our coverage goes back to basics, with global science correspondent Rebecca Morelle explaining what we mean when we talk about climate change. We have also produced seven charts to help you visualise the problem and understand how aspects such as the places we live and the food we eat affect the situation.
Science The £1bn hidden cost of High Street closures
You might find empty shop units a depressing sight when you’re walking through your local centre. But BBC News analysis reveals the extent of the financial cost to taxpayers in terms of the potential business rates lost. A three-month relief on the tax – ordinarily paid by businesses, or landlords of empty properties – whenever businesses close or move on means councils miss out on as much as £1bn a year in total. Businesses and local government both say they need a fairer system, which one academic says creates a “perverse situation” where councils need more tax income and companies lobby for a reduction in rates. The government is promising to review the rates “in due course”.
Science Unseen David Bowie footage released
Previously unseen footage of David Bowie recovered from a university archive shows the singer performing stage moves to create a hologram used on artwork for the album Hours. The 30 minutes of experimental film, shot by friend and collaborator Prof Martin Richardson, has been in storage at Leicester’s De Montfort University. Watch some of the footage and hear how the filming unfolded.
Science The ordinary people who will determine Weinstein’s fate
By Helier Cheung, BBC News, Washington DC
Harvey Weinstein is about to go on trial and jury selection is under way, with the former Hollywood producer facing five charges, including rape and predatory sexual assault relating to two alleged victims. But finding impartial juries for such a high-profile case – one that galvanised the #MeToo movement across the world – could be difficult.
The court has summoned 2,000 potential jurors – about five times more than normal – just to find 12 suitable regular jurors and six alternate jurors. On the first day of selection, a third of them were dismissed outright, after telling the judge they did not think they could be impartial. “The first few days of jury selection has already underscored just how challenging it’s going to be,” Valerie Hans, a law professor at Cornell University says.
Science What the papers say
No single story dominates the front pages but some papers lead on NHS-related issues. The Guardian reports a “furious backlash” from doctors and nurses over apparent government plans to scrap the four-hour waiting target for A&E units in England. The Daily Mail features a call from NHS England’s mental health chief for betting firms to end promotional “bribes” that fuel gambling addiction. Meanwhile, the Times says tens of thousands of high-earners will benefit from a pension tax windfall designed to solve an NHS staffing crisis caused by doctors turning down extra work to avoid huge tax bills.
Science Daily digest
Gambling NHS tells betting firms to stop ‘vicious cycle’
Crown courts TV cameras to be allowed in
Harry Duke to carry out first royal duties since announcement
Football Scottish FA to ban children heading balls ‘within weeks’
Stormont Northern Ireland Executive to get extra £1bn from Westminster
Science If you see one thing today
Science If you listen to one thing today
Science If you read one thing today
Today BBC Radio 2 launches 500 Words, its annual short-story writing competition for children aged five to 13, in association with Oxford University Press.
09:30 The Ministry of Justice releases statistics on knife and offensive weapon sentencing in England and Wales for the 12 months to the end of September 2019.
Science On this day
1979 The Shah of Iran flees the country following months of increasingly violent protests against his regime.
Science From elsewhere