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BBC Front Page News

Spending Review: Chancellor to set out government spending plans

Rishi Sunak's spending review comes amid a difficult economic backdrop caused by the pandemic.

Duchess of Sussex tells of miscarriage 'pain and grief'

"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," Meghan writes in an article.

Covid Christmas rules: UK leaders urge caution over household mixing

The UK's five-day relaxation of rules will throw "fuel on the Covid fire", scientists warn.

Covid: Call for UK-wide rules after Christmas

Mark Drakeford says restrictions brought in after Christmas should be agreed by the four nations.

BBC news for Devon

Drink-driver jailed for Lands End cyclist hit-and-run

Stephen Evans drove on after injuring professional rider Jean-Pierre de Villiers, a court hears.

Missing fishermen: Body of Adam Harper found

Another fisherman is still missing after the Joanna C capsized off the Sussex coast.

Bookstagram: Influencers sharing their passion for reading

Reading influencers grew in popularity during lockdown as people fell back in love with books.

Exeter man aged 97 ‘sexually assaulted five women’

Former Royal Marine Richard Staves abused the sympathy of five women, a court hears.

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

1. How to thrive when WFH. Even before the new abnormal of lockdown, most of us were tired most days of the week. Now we are juggling the demands of family, school and work from our homes. Life got a whole lot more exhausting. Here are some tips for recharging. READ MORE

2. Economic rebound set to reverse. The UK economy rebounded strongly from July to September, growing 15.5%, but economists warn it is likely to shrink again due to the reimposition of lockdowns. In July and August, GDP grew due to loosening restrictions and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. However, the economy is still smaller than pre-pandemic, with the services sector hardest hit and construction not yet recovered. ONS research for October also highlighted sectors struggling, with 72% of businesses in food and accommodation and 69% in arts, entertainment and recreation experiencing lower turnover than usual. Financial Times

3. Redundancies reach record high. Redundancies reached a record high of 314,000 in the three months to September, with the unemployment rate rising to 4.8%, official data shows. Analysts suggested that many redundancies were made as the furlough scheme tapered down and that the October extension “came too late” to save some jobs. The data showed a particular rise in 16-24-year-olds losing their jobs, with unemployment rate in this group at 14.6%. Unemployment rose across the UK, with the highest rate in the north east (6.7%) and Wales seeing the largest rise since the previous quarter. BBC

4. Is COVID curbing entrepreneurship. One in five self-employed workers anticipates switching to other forms of employment, in a sign that the pandemic is reversing the long-term trend of growth in numbers of people working for themselves. According to a survey by the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, more than half of self-employed workers said they had less work than usual in August. In the gig economy, more than a quarter using apps to find work said they’d had more work; however, 78% said they felt their health was at risk while working. The Times

5. Building resilience during lockdown. Lockdowns at the start of the pandemic contributed to increased levels of anxiety, depression and sleeplessness. As many places re-enter restrictions, psychologists say it’s important to make a conscious effort to look after your mental wellbeing as everyday activities become less accessible. Planning your time, scheduling in leisure and exercise and even just deciding when you’ll stop work can give back a sense of autonomy. We recommend setting small goals to give yourself successes to celebrate and spending time alone getting to know your strengths. See item one above for further ideas. Editor

 

6. Lockdown’ named the word of 2020. Perhaps not a surprise, but "lockdown" has been declared the word of the year for 2020 by Collins Dictionary. It "encapsulates the shared experience of billions of people", Collins said. Other pandemic-linked terms in the top 10 are "furlough", "key worker", "self-isolate" and "social distancing", as well as "coronavirus".  The abbreviation "BLM", for the Black Lives Matter movement, also features. BBC

7. Brexit defeat in the Lords. The Government suffered a heavy defeat in the House of Lords last Monday when peers voted by 433 to 165 to remove clauses in the Internal Market Bill designed to allow ministers to overrule parts of the EU Withdrawal Agreement. However, Boris Johnson vowed to reinstate them when the bill returns to the Commons next month. Labour has warned that the bill risks making the UK an “international pariah” – and that it will undermine UK relations with the new US president-elect, Joe Biden. The Guardian

8. Drowning in the flow of the mighty Amazon. Every second, its customers spend some $11,000 on its products; in the year of Covid, its value peaked at $1.6trn. Already the world’s richest man before Covid struck, founder Jeff Bezos has seen his personal fortune grow to $178.1bn. Yet even as Amazon puts countless small firms out of business, it continues – thanks to its complex offshore billing structure – to pay a derisory amount of tax: 2.1% last year on UK sales of £13.7bn. The Independent

9. Quote of the week. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” Charles Bukowski quoted in the Daily Mail

10. The bottom line. Only 7% of British workers want to return to the office full-time after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. 18% say they would now choose to work from home every day, and 32% say they’d like to be at home most days. The Times

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