Iran ‘tried to get jailed mum to spy on UK’

Mr Hunt tweeted: “Her ongoing detention is totally unacceptable and her treatment at the hands of Iranian authorities is a fundamental breach of human rights.” He said it was “a truly terrible indictment of Iran’s approach” that the aid worker felt the need to go on hunger strike, adding: “Iran must take action now.” However, the Iranian ambassador criticised the UK’s “interference” in the case following his meeting with the foreign secretary, according to IRNA news agency. Skip Twitter post …

Some HRT tablets ‘higher clot risk’ link

HRT is used to relive symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats, by replacing hormones that are at a lower level. The treatments come in a number of different forms, including tablets, gels, cream and patches. Most experts agree that HRT is a good and safe treatment – but there are some small potential risks, as NHS UK advice explains. These include a small increased risk of certain serious health problems, such as blood clots and …

Councils spend 5.4m on paupers’ funerals

Image caption Public health funerals take place without flowers or transport What are public health funerals? Local authorities are required by law to arrange a public health funeral when no suitable arrangements have been made for a deceased person in their area. The services, known as a “pauper’s funeral”, typically include a coffin and the services of a funeral director. Family and friends can attend but the “no frills” service does not include flowers or transport for family, and some …

Village pays for local man’s funeral

Image copyright Praze Village Shop Image caption Tom Kitto, 73, died in December after a period of ill health Mr Blewett and his wife Sandra Muriel began a campaign to raise funds for the other funeral costs. She set up a crowdfunding page and the original target of £1,400 was reached within two days. “It was remarkable that people were so generous just before Christmas,” Mrs Muriel said. “We contacted the coffin supplier, the church, the organist, the printer and …

I tried to kill myself three times by 17

His parents’ divorce led to his father moving out of the family home, leaving Ajuub caring for a mother suffering from ill health. By the time he started secondary school, he had “a lot of stress and anxiety”. He became “associated” with gangs, he says – adding he was involved in criminal activity, but does not elaborate. “I ended up in a position where I was taken advantage of and manipulated and that gave me a really bad view of …

New NHS plan ‘to save 500,000 lives’

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPrime Minister Theresa May launched the plan in Liverpool NHS bosses in England say a new 10-year plan could save up to 500,000 lives by focusing on prevention and early detection. GPs, mental health and community care will get the biggest funding increases to shift the focus away from hospitals. Prime Minister Theresa May hailed the launch of the plan as a “truly historic moment”. But unions are concerned that staffing shortages …

‘They took her teeth without telling me’

Image copyright Elizabeth Palmer Image caption Julie Lake is severely autistic Elizabeth Palmer’s daughter Julie Lake, who has severe autism, was seen by a hospital dentist for a check-up, but ended up having 17 teeth out under general anaesthetic. While her carers were within the hospital building, they and her family did not learn the extent of the treatment until the work had been completed. Image copyright Charlotte Lees Image caption Wendy Lees was a textile artist and had written …

UK can ‘turn corner’ with Brexit, says May

Corbyn warns of ‘complete Brexit mess’ Sturgeon: EU migrants welcome in Scotland US ambassador issues trade deal warning MPs are due to vote in the Commons in mid-January on the proposals reached with the EU. Downing Street has said there is “still work to do” – as the PM seeks to persuade sceptical Conservative MPs, some of whom believe the agreement does not represent the Brexit the country voted for in 2016. The prime minister is continuing to seek further …

Huge fire at health complex ‘arson’

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMore than 60 firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control A fire which ravaged part of a derelict NHS health complex is being treated as a possible arson attack. The blaze broke out at Bedford Health Village on Kimbolton Road, Bedford, at about 18:07 GMT on Thursday. Police believe the fire, which was tackled by dozens of firefighters at its height, was started deliberately. Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said there …

Children ‘exceed sugar limit by age 10’

Choosing lower-sugar foods and drinks can make a difference. The recommended daily maximum of sugar for children aged four to six is five cubes or 19g. For children aged seven to 10 this rises to six cubes (24g) and up to seven cubes (30g) for those aged 11 and over. However, UK children are consuming around 13 cubes or 52g of sugar a day, says PHE, based on results from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Half of the sugar …

The English comedy spicing up Germany’s New Year

As evening falls, people gather round their televisions. Once again, the titles roll – to the sound of a sweet violin – on a fond, familiar scene. A dining room, the table set elegantly for four, candelabra lit, a tiger-skin rug spread over the tiled floor. Enter a butler, James – and then 90-year-old Miss Sophie. She’s quite forgotten that the friends she’s invited to this annual birthday dinner have all long since died. So it falls to James to …

Terror attack police and medics honoured

Palin, Twiggy and Southgate among honours He has now been made an OBE for services to healthcare. ‘Flabbergasted’ Acting Detective Sergeant Zac Idun from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, who led the family liaison response for victims following the Westminster and London Bridge attacks told BBC News he was “flabbergasted” when he found out he had been nominated for an OBE. “The letter dropped through my letter box, and I was at home and opened it,” he said. “I …

Why are more boys than girls born every single year?

In fact, a ratio of roughly 105 male births for every 100 female ones is generally seen as natural and normal. It is fairly consistent around the world, although in some countries like China and India the gap is wider because male offspring are more desirable. More surprisingly, it is a ratio that has been known about since the 17th Century. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Male sperm are the best swimmers but female sperm live longer Conversely, if …

Royal Family attend Christmas service

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMembers of the Royal Family greeted well-wishers after attending the Christmas Day church service The Royal Family have greeted hundreds of well-wishers after attending the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were all smiles as they left the service on the Queen’s estate in Norfolk. Prince Charles attended but the Duchess of Cornwall missed church due to a heavy …

TV art historian Wendy Beckett dies

BBC director of arts Jonty Claypole paid tribute, saying Sister Wendy had “a unique presentation style, a deep knowledge of and passion for the arts”. He added: “She was a hugely popular BBC presenter and will be fondly remembered by us all.” In 1950 Sister Wendy’s order sent her to Oxford University, where she lodged in a convent, and was awarded a Congratulatory First Class degree in English literature. She returned to South Africa in 1954 to teach, but in …

Princess Louise died leaving cigarettes debt

Princess Louise’s estate According to the death duties file, Princess Louise left £239,260, 18 shillings and sixpence, worth more than £70m today. However, the 15 shilling cigarette bill remained unpaid. The debt would have bought 300 Players or Woodbines, the popular cigarette brands of the time – however, the documents don’t say which one the princess smoked. Louise’s biographer, Lucinda Hawksley said the princess was an “inveterate” smoker. But she had to keep it hidden from her mother, who hated …