CategoriesUK News

EU prepares to cut amount of British TV and film shown post-Brexit

Exclusive: number of UK productions seen as ‘disproportionate’ and threat to Europe’s cultural diversity

The EU is preparing to act against the “disproportionate” amount of British television and film content shown in Europe in the wake of Brexit, in a blow to the UK entertainment industry and the country’s “soft power” abroad.

The UK is Europe’s biggest producer of film and TV programming, buoyed up by £1.4bn from the sale of international rights, but its dominance has been described as a threat to Europe’s “cultural diversity” in an internal EU document seen by the Guardian.

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CategoriesUK News

Morrisons shares leap more than 30% as it rejects £5.5bn offer

Sainsbury’s and Ocado shares also rise as Morrisons says private equity firm’s bid undervalues the business

Shares in Morrisons surged more than 30% on Monday, after the supermarket giant rebuffed a £5.5bn takeover offer from a US private equity firm, potentially sparking a bidding war.

Investor demand was spurred by news over the weekend that Morrisons, which employs about 120,000 people in the UK, had become a takeover target, making the Bradford-based chain the top FTSE 250 riser on Monday morning, the first opportunity to trade shares after the approach was made public.

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CategoriesUK News

Medical leaders urge Boris Johnson to bring air pollution below WHO limit

Alliance of doctors and nurses calls for environment bill to include reduction in small particle pollution limits

Medical leaders are urging Boris Johnson to cut legal levels of air pollution in the UK to below World Health Organization limits in response to the death of the schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah from toxic air.

Members of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change are calling for the reduction in limits of PM2.5 to be included in the environment bill, which returns to parliament this week.

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CategoriesUK News

Flexible rail season tickets in England criticised over savings claims

Government scheme aims to suit ‘modern working habits’ amid Covid-19 pandemic

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage

New flexible rail season tickets will disappoint passengers and fail to bring them back to the railway, passenger groups and campaigners have said as the tickets went on sale in England on Monday.

The government scheme is designed to make rail travel cheaper for part-time workers, with more splitting their time between the home and office since the coronavirus pandemic.

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CategoriesUK News

Selfridges launches gardening centres as interest grows during Covid crisis

Centres in London, Manchester and Birmingham will offer exclusive themed Prada clothes

Selfridges has launched garden centres at its stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham stores, capitalising on the gardening boom that accelerated during the pandemic.

The retailer said the new centres feature its own-label compost and an exclusive themed clothing range from Prada, and form part of a creative theme for the year called Good Nature.

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CategoriesTech NewsUK News

Robots may soon be able to reproduce – will this change how we think about evolution? | Emma Hart

Nature is full of examples of biology adapting to its surroundings. Technology may just be about to catch up

From the bottom of the oceans to the skies above us, natural evolution has filled our planet with a vast and diverse array of lifeforms, with approximately 8 million species adapted to their surroundings in a myriad of ways. Yet 100 years after Karel Čapek coined the term robot, the functional abilities of many species still surpass the capabilities of current human engineering, which has yet to convincingly develop methods of producing robots that demonstrate human-level intelligence, move and operate seamlessly in challenging environments, and are capable of robust self-reproduction.

But could robots ever reproduce? This, undoubtedly, forms a pillar of “life” as shared by all natural organisms. A team of researchers from the UK and the Netherlands have recently demonstrated a fully automated technology to allow physical robots to repeatedly breed, evolving their artificial genetic code over time to better adapt to their environment. Arguably, this amounts to artificial evolution. Child robots are created by mixing the digital “DNA” from two parent robots on a computer.

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