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BBC Front Page News

Sunak announces UK general election for 4 JulySunak announces UK general election for 4 July

The PM calls an early summer poll in a rain-soaked speech outside 10 Downing Street.

Sunak calls election as he vows 'to fight for every vote'Sunak calls election as he vows 'to fight for every vote'

The prime minister had to contend with pouring rain while announcing the General Election outside No 10.

UK's future in your hands, Starmer tells votersUK's future in your hands, Starmer tells voters

The Labour leader says the general election would be an opportunity to "change the country".

July election date disrespectful to Scotland, says SNP's SwinneyJuly election date disrespectful to Scotland, says SNP's Swinney

The first minister criticised holding a UK election on the first week of Scotland's school holidays.

Local BBC news for Devon

Passenger dies and driver in hospital after crashPassenger dies and driver in hospital after crash

The B3417 near Plymouth was closed for a number of hours for investigation and recovery work.

Exeter's Slade named Premiership player of seasonExeter's Slade named Premiership player of season

Exeter Chiefs and England centre Henry Slade is named as the Premiership's player of the 2023-24 season.

MPs to grill water firm boss on parasite outbreakMPs to grill water firm boss on parasite outbreak

Susan Davy has been asked to appear in front of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

Woman suffers life-changing injuries in crashWoman suffers life-changing injuries in crash

Devon and Cornwall Police said a man is in custody after being arrested in relation to the crash.

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

1. How to lead in a crisis. When leading through a crisis, most leaders are forced to think and behave in ways that feel unfamiliar. In a time-pressured, make-or-break situation, you might wonder if you should take charge and command action or take the time to enable the innovation of others. You can do both. READ MORE

2. Wages complicate rate decisions. Stubbornly high wage growth in the UK and Eurozone has central banks on edge as they grapple with the decision to cut interest rates this summer amid market expectations. The UK's 5.7% wage growth in the first three months of 2024 and robust pay gains in major Eurozone economies like Germany starkly contrast the hiring slowdown and rising unemployment. This dilemma complicates the Bank of England's and European Central Bank's plans to lower rates, as the tight labour market and potential for companies to pass rising costs onto consumers threaten inflation targets. While France, Italy and Spain have seen some moderation, Germany's strong wage growth remains a significant concern. Bloomberg

3. Record numbers not working due to ill health. The number of people not working in the UK due to long-term sickness has risen to a new record, official figures show. More than two and a half million are not working due to health problems, the Office for National Statistics said. It blamed an increase in mental health issues in younger people and people suffering back and neck pain, possibly due to home working, for the rise. Typically, for every 13 people currently working, one person is long-term sick. One of the reasons why the UK economy has been doing less well than other developed nations has been the case of the missing workers, after millions stopped working during the pandemic. BBC

4. How emotionally intelligent are you? Emotional intelligence is a concept that describes a person’s ability to recognise, understand, manage and effectively use their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Do you believe that emotional intelligence is an essential skill for personal and professional success? Share your thoughts in our latest poll and we’ll send you a complimentary questionnaire that you can use yourself and/or share with your team. VOTE HERE

5.  Surge in ultra-long mortgages among under-30s. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have taken out mortgages in the last three years that they will still be paying off into retirement, estimates suggest. A surge in mortgage terms beyond state pension age has been seen, particularly in new home loans made to the under-30s. Figures from the Bank of England show how the share of new mortgages with a later end date has increased. Higher mortgage rates have led many people to choose an extended repayment period to control costs. The Bank of England's data shows that in the final three months of 2021, some 31% of new mortgages had an end date beyond state pension age. Two years later, some 42% of new mortgages had this end date during retirement, suggesting a rise in popularity of longer-term loans. BBC

  

6. 'Swiftonomics' hits Europe. Taylor Swift's Eras tour has finally touched down this side of the pond, and with it comes the economic boost it brought to cities during its US leg. Not only did Swift's four sold-out Paris shows attract US "tour tourists" – with Americans making up 20% of ticket holders – but short-term rental and hotel room prices also spiked in the French capital. Stockholm's chamber of commerce is anticipating a $43.5m (£34.4m, €40m) injection into the city when the Eras tour arrives. In the UK, where Swift concludes the European leg, a new consumer trend report from Barclays estimates a nearly £1bn economic boost, with attendees predicted to each spend £848 on tickets, travel, accommodation, outfits and other expenses. One night at the Eras tour, according to the "Swiftonomics" report, will cost a ticket holder more than 12 times the average cost of a night out. AP News

7. Internet is good for you. While many studies have highlighted the negative impacts of spending time online, new research suggests that using the internet has a strong link to positive wellbeing, unless you're a young woman. Academics at the University of Oxford and Tilburg University in the Netherlands looked at data on 2.4 million people aged 15 to 99 over 16 years in 168 countries and modelled this against eight wellbeing indicators, including life satisfaction, daily experiences, and social and physical wellbeing. They found that those who used the internet had better physical and mental health than those who avoided it. "Internet access correlated with higher life satisfaction and other wellbeing measures across global regions," the lead author said. The negative link for women aged 15 to 24 was consistent with other research on cyberbullying and linking social media to depression, the researchers said. The Times

8. Europe’s best countries for parental work-life balance. Norway, Sweden and Denmark led a 20-country review of parental work life balance by Remote, a recruitment tech firm. It looked at leave, costs of living and childcare and healthcare systems. Norway spends the most on family  benefits and has the most generous maternity leave. Spain, Italy  France and the UK were in the top 10. With an index score of 60.06 out of 100, the United Kingdom narrowly misses the top 10, with the country’s high childcare costs contributing to the drop. The United States is the lowest-ranking country in the index, with a lack of statutory leave and a complex healthcare system that often penalises low-income families. CN Traveller

9. Majority of British voters now believe Brexit was a mistake. Polls from YouGov, Ipsos and NatCen Social Research all find that sizeable majorities of Britons now regret the decision to leave the European Union. The latest numbers show a margin as wide as 60-40% for those wishing that Britain had remained in the EU, compared with the 52-48% vote to leave in June 2016. What explains it? Demography is one: older people mostly backed leave while younger ones preferred remain, so the passage of time tilts against Brexit. Those who did not vote in 2016 now break strongly against leaving the EU. Remain supporters are almost all still convinced they were right. But the most significant change is that as many as 20% of those who backed leave in 2016 now say they would support remain instead. The Economist

10. The bottom line. The UK's FTSE 100 index, which tracks the share price of some of the biggest companies listed in London, closed at a record high last week. It has gained 8.9% this year and set 12 all-time highs in May, a record since the FTSE's creation in 1984. The Independent

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