Keyhole surgery repairs baby spine in womb

Gaps in the developing spine meant the cord was bulging out of his back and was left exposed to the amniotic fluid in the womb. This damages the crucial nerves in the spinal cord and could lead to paralysis, a loss of sensation in the legs and problems controlling the bladder and bowels. The longer the spinal cord is left exposed, the greater the damage. Sherrie, 29, and from West Sussex, said the news was a shock, but an abortion was a “definite no”. Baby Jaxson arrived early, at 33 weeks, and was looked after in neonatal intensive care at King’s. But Sherrie hopes the operation has given Jaxson the best start in life. She said: “He’s got movements in …

Cinema seat crush man ‘looking for phone’

Jurors heard the footrest was initially in a raised position but started to come down “very quickly”. ‘He was blue’ Mrs Sardar noticed it descended and tried unsuccessfully to hold it up before running for help. Cinema staff then attempted to release Mr Rafiq for 15 minutes while she was taken outside, she said. Staff eventually managed to free Mr Rafiq by removing a bolt from the seat, which had trapped either the back or right side of his neck, the inquest was told. Mrs Sardar said she “ran back in” when she heard he was not breathing, and “saw that he was blue”. Mr Rafiq, from Aston, Birmingham, died in hospital a week later. His cause of death was …

Election risks ‘killing Brexit’ – Hancock

He added: “We need to take responsibility for delivering on the referendum result.” Why PM’s Brexit plan may not be dead yet Brexit: What happens next? A really simple guide to Brexit “Who knows what the outcome of a general election would be under these circumstances? A general election before that not only risks Jeremy Corbyn, but it risks killing Brexit altogether.” Mrs May has promised to set a timetable for leaving Downing Street following a House of Commons vote on her EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning 3 June. Brexit had been due to take place on 29 March – but after MPs voted down the deal Mrs May had negotiated with the bloc three times, the …

How crickets have hit the high street

Image copyright Eat Grub Image caption Sushi chain Abokado has started selling grubs to top up its poke bowls “In a few years insects will be a normalised food in our everyday diet,” Abokado’s managing director Kara Alderin says. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Could you be tempted by a scorpion on a stick? ‘Enormous environmental benefits’ Many insects are eaten completely whole – wings and all – whereas we only consume around 40% of a cow. A 2013 UN report suggested that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution. UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger “I hope that eating insects will become more normalised because they have such enormous environmental benefits,” Dr …

Tobacco display ban ‘safeguards young’

What is the law on tobacco displays? Image copyright Stirling University Image caption Dr Allison Ford led the research into the impact of the tobacco display ban What’s the reaction to the findings? The research, which has been published in the British Medical Journal’s Tobacco Control, was funded by Cancer Research UK. Its tobacco control manager, Kruti Shrotri, said the findings proved the laws had made a difference to public health. She said: “Glitzy displays and glamorous packaging helped the tobacco industry to lure the next generation of smokers into taking up a deadly addiction. “But contrary to Big Tobacco’s belief that banning displays would make no difference this study shows that by putting cigarettes out of sight and out …

Cleaner trapped in lift for two days

‘Stressful ordeal’ A spokesman said: “KCC and Kier have launched an immediate investigation into the events, which is currently progressing. “We are unable to comment further until the investigation is complete. “We are assured that Kier is providing support to the individual for what must have been a stressful ordeal.” The council said it would be working with Kier to ensure “any lessons are learnt from the incident”. The Health and Safety Executive has been made aware. You may also be interested in: Crane topples on to house roof Benali reaches £1m fundraising goal ‘My university doesn’t have enough money’

‘Growing inequality threatens democracy’

That will be chaired by Nobel Prize-winning economist Prof Sir Angus Deaton. ‘Taking rather than making’ He said “people were troubled by inequality” more than at any time since the 1940s – and the impact was so serious that it suggested “democratic capitalism is broken”. As well as inequality in income, the think tank highlights divergence in health. It says there is almost a 10-year gap in male life expectancy between the richest and poorest areas – and the IFS warns of “deaths of despair”, with a rise in early deaths from drug and alcohol abuse and suicide being linked to factors such as poverty, social isolation and mental health problems. Patterns of relationship are also affected by inequality, the …

‘Our school, the fourth emergency service’

Coastal Britain ‘I can’t live in a home like this’ How wind power is re-energising Great Yarmouth ‘From benefits to a job earning £40k’ ‘I’d be stealing without this school’ Just yards from the dunes of Norfolk’s east coast, North Denes is a growing 370-pupil school serving one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. Nearly half of the school’s pupils are eligible for the pupil premium, a financial top-up for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. At its site on the northern fringes of the town, behind a derelict pub and beside a caravan park, the challenges facing modern coastal communities are being played out. Like many seaside towns, Great Yarmouth has suffered from the loss of jobs in traditional …

British people ‘having less sex’

Reality Check: Are teenagers really having less sex? ‘We’re in love but never have sex’ BBC Three: Sex on the Couch The data the researchers looked at came from three successive waves of the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles carried out in 1991, 2001, and 2012. They give a snapshot of sexual behaviour among Britons. According to the most recent survey: Less than half (41%) of people aged 16 to 44 have had sex at least once a week in the last month The proportion reporting no sex in the past month has increased – from 23% to 29.3% among women and from 26% to 29.2% among men between 2001 and 2012 The proportion reporting sex 10 …

Beach art memorial to D-Day disaster

“Our Tommy campaign captured the hearts of the nation, whilst giving a substantial boost to the mental health and wellbeing of veterans,” he said. “We’re hoping the public will get behind our D-Day 75 campaign by purchasing their own bootprints to mark the great sacrifice of our WW2 heroes, in particular those who helped kick-start the liberation of Europe with the invasion of Normandy on D-Day.” Image caption A Sherman tank raised from the seabed in 1984 has served a permanent memorial to the dead ever since Commemorative bootprints and special plaques made by veterans to represent each of the 22,763 British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who were killed on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy in the …

New warnings for opioid painkillers

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWarnings are “tip of the iceberg”, says addiction counsellor Nicki Hari All opioid medicines in the UK will carry prominent warnings on their labels saying they can cause addiction, the health secretary has announced. Matt Hancock acted after figures in England and Wales revealed a-more-than 60% increase in prescriptions for opioid painkillers in the last decade. People needed protection “from the darker side to painkillers,” he said. Health experts welcomed the move, saying opioids can cause “life-altering and sometimes fatal addictions”. NHS accused of fuelling rise in opioid addiction What are opioids and what are the risks? Illicit and prescription drugs ‘played role in 10 deaths’ in NI Opioids, such as morphine …

How a missed tax bill of 167 can cost 2,065

‘It became very stressful’ The calculations by Citizens Advice were based on a resident missing the very first bill of the financial year, which typically cost £167 in England. As a result, the full bill of £1,671 could be levied. This outstanding bill would be lower if a payment was missed later in the year. Mark, who is unemployed and has mental health problems, is one of those who has faced such a situation. “Last year was not a good year in terms of my health or finances. I had so many debts that it became very stressful and hard to find a way to make my money stretch to cover them all,” the 53-year-old told Citizens Advice. “In August, …

Stress-busting dogs on university staff

Image caption The dogs have been given their own identity cards “It’s amazing and we’re very keen to continue and expand what we’re doing. Image caption There are five canine assistants, with another three to join the staff Last month, University of Buckingham vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon backed the use of dogs as a way of reducing stress in schools and universities. “The quickest and biggest hit that we can make to improve mental health in our schools and to make them feel safe for children is to have at least one dog in every single school in the country,” said Sir Anthony. Education Secretary Damian Hinds backed his call, saying more schools seemed to have “wellbeing dogs” and “the …

Obesity and depression linked in children

The researchers analysed information on more than 17,000 children born in the UK between 2000 and 2002, using statistical modelling to measure the link between obesity and emotional problems. They had information on children’s height and weight (BMI) as well as reports on their emotional problems, provided by their parents, at ages three, five, seven, 11 and 14 years old. From the age of seven, the study found obesity and emotional problems were closely linked. But the link wasn’t apparent in younger children. ‘Not as simple as eating less’ Dr Charlotte Hardman, senior psychology lecturer at the University of Liverpool, said the findings showed obesity and emotional problems were likely to develop hand-in-hand in childhood. She said that was important …

‘A lot of people think influencers are obnoxious’

Huda Kattan, for example, has been described as “the Bill Gates of beauty influencers” for quitting her job and, with the help of social media, launching her own company, which is now valued at more than $1bn (£760m). So how should an influencer be defined? “It’s someone who has some influence which they can monetise,” explains SJ Nooth-Cooper, a senior manager at Models 1 Talent – an agency which now signs influencers as well as models. “And they have a USP. So whether it’s beauty, fashion, cooking, mental health, being a chef, they can use that to make a business out of it. Skip Instagram post by natashandlovu View this post on Instagram Report End of Instagram post by natashandlovu …

Missed measles jabs ‘public health time bomb’

Health experts say children should have two doses of the vaccine to fully protect against the disease. Figures for the second dose of the measles vaccine “were even more alarming”, Unicef said. It found 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa had not introduced a second dose, putting more than 17 million infants a year at a greater risk of getting measles as a child. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption“My daughter’s life was destroyed by measles” ‘Wake-up call’ Henrietta Fore, executive director at Unicef, said: “The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children. “If we are serious about averting the spread of this dangerous but preventable disease, we need to vaccinate every child, in rich and poor countries …