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BBC Front Page News

Extra measures 'to ensure fair exams next summer'

There will be more generous grading in next year's GCSEs and A-levels in England to help those age groups.

Live animal exports to be banned in England and Wales

The environment secretary says the ban could be in place by the end of 2021 in a move away from EU rules.

Chinese step up attempts to 'influence' Biden team - US official

A US intelligence official says Beijing is targeting people close to the incoming US president.

'Ditch high definition and new tech to fight climate change'

Scientists are urging people and firms to change the way they use technology to reduce emissions.

BBC news for Buckinghamshire

Roy Curtis inquest: Nine-month delay in finding body 'an indictment'

Roy Curtis's body remained undetected in his flat for nine months, an inquest hears.

Covid-19: St Albans school closes after staff and pupils test positive

The state secondary had a attendance rate of 40% just ahead of its closure.

Debenhams closure: Norwich and Stevenage shoppers tell of 'huge loss'

At two stores 100 miles apart, customers share their sadness at the loss of a high street giant.

Milton Keynes warehouse: Thames Valley Police could probe planning decision

People say their homes have been dwarfed by a warehouse that was granted council approval.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. Spending Review 2020. Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out what the UK government will spend on health, education, transport and other public services next year. In a statement in Parliament, he also briefed MPs about the state of the UK economy and the latest forecasts for the UK's public finances, which have been battered by the Covid pandemic. Here are my main takeways: An estimated 1.3 million public sector workers will see their pay frozen in 2021-22. Most NHS workers and those earning less than £24,000 will still get an increase. The UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3% this year. Unemployment is expected to reach 7.5% next spring, with 2.6 million people out of work. Overseas aid budget is to be cut by about £4bn. A new £4bn "levelling up" fund will pay for upgrading local infrastructure across UK. Editor

2. Pandemic shines a light on equality. Diverse employees have long faced an uphill battle in the workplace. The pandemic has simply made the situation that much harder, according to new global research from McKinsey. Across geographies, women are struggling more than men, both personally and professionally. They are 1.5 times more likely to say they are experiencing challenges with mental health and increased household responsibility than their male peers. On average, people of colour are 2.2 times more likely to have concerns about their career progression than their white male peers. Starting in January 2021, our 10-part, government supported, live and online, leadership development and mentoring programme will include a brand new lesson on inclusion, incorporating diversity and equality. [READ MORE]

3. Domestic violence victims told to take civil action. Victims of domestic abuse have been encouraged by the police to take civil action, rather than pursuing a criminal prosecution, because the system is clogged up, a new report claims. Victim Support’s study found that some victims had tried to kill themselves because of court delays, adding: “Many victims with delayed cases have already waited a long time for the court date, which has been cancelled.” The Guardian

4. Career advice to carry with you. Career advice comes in many forms - from lessons found in articles to suggestions from friends and family, for example. Some advice is better than others, however. A one-off and complimentary "live and online" class will explain the best career advice some of our mentoring and coaching clients have learned and taught to others. It ranges from being your own best advocate to safeguarding your mental health. Also, knowing that opportunities arise throughout a person’s career, making it okay to miss one or two along the way. If this is class is of interest too you, and you team, please contact us for further details. [CONTACT]

 

5. No deal is ‘underpriced’ warns Downing Street. Downing Street warned that Britain could be just days away from leaving the European Union without a trade deal. In a statement “at the start of what may be the final week of trade negotiations”, Number 10 warned that a “significant gap” still exists on fisheries, adding: “No deal is arguably underpriced.” EU sources also say there is growing scepticism that any further progress will be made. BBC

6. Netflix doubles UK production budget. Netflix will spend $1bn (£750m) on British-made film and TV this year as the coronavirus pandemic fails to dent the streaming giant’s production pipeline. The maker of The Crown, which has reported that viewing figures for season four of have already reached 29 million in the UK alone, has increased its UK budget by 50% from £500m last year, second only to its investment in its US home market. The BBC’s total annual content budget was £2.3bn in the year to March-end while ITV spends some £1.1bn annually across its channels. Daily Mail

7. Three households allowed to mix over Christmas. The leaders of the four UK nations have agreed that up to three households will be able to meet during a five-day Christmas period of 23 to 27 December. People will also be allowed to mix in places of worship and outdoor spaces, and travel restrictions will be eased. However, the leaders have urged people to “think carefully about what they do” to keep the risk of increased transmission of Covid-19 low. The Telegraph

8. Over-55s losing trust in the BBC. Older, more well-off viewers are slowly falling out of love with the BBC, Ofcom has revealed. The regulator said Britons spent an average of two hours and 22 minutes a day with the national broadcaster’s television, radio and digital services last year, down 19 minutes since 2017. The proportion of over-55s with a positive impression of the BBC, however, has slipped from 64% to 62% in two years. The Times

9. The bottom line. The total value of contracts issued by the government to private companies to tackle the coronavirus crisis without being put out to competitive tender is £17.3bn. A former neighbour of the Health Secretary’s, who ran the local pub, was awarded once such contract via WhatsApp. Daily Mail

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