Society The number of people killed or injured on Scotland’s roads is at an all-time low. Last year, road accidents claimed 146 lives. In 2016, there were 181 deaths, and in 2007, 281 deaths. Source: Transport Scotland.
Rape crisis centres across Scotland are to receive £1.5m to expand their support services. Fourteen units, including those in Glasgow, Dundee and Shetland, will share the additional funding. Source: Scottish Government.
64% of women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment in public places. Source: YouGov.
The UK has seen a 34% increase in fast food outlets from 2010 and 2018. There are now 61 outlets for every 100,000 of the population. Source: Office for National Statistics.
Every 11 minutes someone in the US dies of an opioid overdose. Source: Center for Disease Control.
More than 70,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2017. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Source: BBC.
If they could choose one era to go back to, most people would choose to relive the swinging sixties – particularly when England won the World Cup in 1966 and when the Beatles were topping the charts. Source: Compare Cover.
Economy Debenhams suffered a loss of £491.5m in the year up to September. 4,000 jobs are at risk, with plans to close around 50 stores in the UK. Source: Debenhams.
In spite of Brexit concerns, Barclays enjoyed a rise in third-quarter pre-tax profits this year from £1.11bn to £1.46bn. Source: Barclays.
Education The number of university students in Scotland needing support for mental health issues has increased from 7,000 in 2012/13 to 11,700 in 2016/17. Source: BBC.
370,000 children in England and Wales have gambled before, with many learning to bet through social media and computer games. Up to 25,000 11-16-year-olds are considered to be 'problem gamblers.' Source: Gambling Commission.
Science A rectangular iceberg has been spotted in the Weddell Sea, near Antarctica. Researchers believe that it broke away from an ice-shelf, explaining its sharp edges and flat surface. Source: NASA.
The world’s oldest known intact shipwreck has been found in the Black Sea. The Greek merchant ship is thought to date back some 2,400 years. Source: BBC.
Clever New Caledonian crows have surprised scientists with their problem-solving skills. During a task, the crows spontaneously put together two short combinable sticks in order to make a longer ‘fishing rod’ to reach a piece of food. Source: Max Planck Institute for Ornithology/Oxford University.
Smoke alarms which use a recording of a mother’s voice are more effective than traditional high-pitched alarms in waking children. Children can be resistant to being woken up by sounds because they have longer and deeper sleep than adults. Source: Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Trains powered by hydrogen could be used in the UK by the early 2020s. They are already used in Germany and, although more expensive to run, they are better for the environment, with exhaust emissions consisting of pure water. Source: UK Government.
Around 150,000 voles live in Guernsey – including the world’s largest living one which measures 5.4 inches. Island voles – found only in Guernsey and Orkney – are 10% bigger than those elsewhere. No-one knows why. Source: Imperial College.
Health 78% of Scots are satisfied with the NHS, and 61% would be willing to pay more in tax to fund it. Only 13% said they were dissatisfied with it. Source: Scotpulse.
Almost 2,500 GP surgeries and hospitals in the UK are in areas which breach the World Health Organisation’s safe pollution limits. Source: British Lung Foundation.
A study which tested 157 meat substitute products found that 28% of them exceeded maximum recommended salt levels. The worst were 'saltier than Atlantic seawater.' Source: Action on Salt.
Women over the age of 34 in 12 NHS areas in England are being automatically refused IVF treatment. It is recommended that IVF should be offered to all women up to the age of 42. Source: BBC.
33% of pregnant women in England are having labour induced – up from 20% 10 years ago. Source: NHS Digital.
Recreation A coffee shop in Swansea is adding cannabidiol (CBD) oil to its drinks. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant. While it doesn’t alter mood or perception, it can provide relief from pain, anxiety and inflammation. Source: Bogarts.
The Musee d’Orsay in Paris has been voted the best museum in the world, followed by the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the British Museum. Source: tripadvisor.
A study has found that High Street sales staff are more likely to encourage heavier customers to purchase round items. For slender people, they are likely to recommend narrow and rectangular items. Source: Villanova University.
Oddities A study on self-driving cars involving 40m people, asked the question: 'If forced to choose, who should a self-driving car kill in an unavoidable crash?’ The results suggested that people preferred to save humans rather than animals, spare as many lives as possible, and tended to save young over elderly people. Source: MIT Media Lab.
The UK’s most bashed bridge – found in Stonea, Cambridgeshire – has already been hit 15 times this year. Source: Network Rail.