BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry dies aged 51 – BBC News
BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry dies aged 51 11 January 2019 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image caption Dianne Oxberry was BBC North West Tonight’s weather presenter for more than 20 years Award-winning BBC television and radio presenter Dianne Oxberry has died from cancer aged 51, her family has confirmed.
She died at the Christie hospital in Manchester on Thursday morning.
Oxberry became well-known nationally on Radio 1, working alongside Simon Mayo and Steve Wright, during the 1980s.
After studying meteorology, she joined BBC North West Tonight in 1994 as a weather presenter and fronted Inside Out North West’s current affairs show.
BBC North West Tonight (NWT) presenters Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin said they were “heartbroken”. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption The BBC television and radio presenter died from cancer
Former presenter Gordon Burns, who worked with Oxberry on NWT after leaving The Krypton Factor, posted a tribute on Twitter. Report
After her time at Radio 1 in London, Sunderland-born Oxberry returned north to Greater Manchester in 1993 with her husband, cameraman Ian Hindle.
The couple, who have two young children, met in Manchester while she was co-presenting the Saturday morning children’s television show, The 8:15 From Manchester. Report
Broadcaster Clare Balding said Oxberry was “a courageous warrior on behalf of women fighting for equality”, adding: “Her star will shine on”.
In an emotional interview on BBC Radio Manchester, Johnson quoted comedian Peter Kay, who invaded her live forecasts on a few occasions, once hugging her and telling her: “God love Dianne Oxberry – you made the sun shine for everybody!”
Johnson said: “For me, those words are Dianne’s epitaph: ‘God Love Dianne Oxberry – she made the sun shine for everybody.'”
Aziz Rashid, head of BBC North West, said: “We are all devastated by this dreadful news. The coming days will be difficult but we will do our best to pay tribute to someone who meant so much to us all and made such an enormous contribution to broadcasting in the North West.” Image caption Radio 1 DJs, including Dianne Oxberry, gathered for the station’s 25th birthday in 1992
In a long career, Oxberry interviewed a young Take That for their first major network appearance on The 8:15 from Manchester.
She also worked with BBC Sport, covering the Great North Run and the Manchester 10k.
In 2002, she was asked to present BBC Radio Manchester’s lunchtime show. She then co-hosted the station’s breakfast show with Eamonn O’Neal between 2006 and 2008.
She loved spending time with animals, in particular her beloved horses, and described herself on Twitter as a “full-time pet-collector”.
What are your memories of Dianne? How did she make an impact on your life? Share your stories by emailing
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The lifesaving food 90% aren’t eating enough of – BBC News
The lifesaving food 90% aren’t eating enough of By James Gallagher Health and science correspondent, BBC News 11 January 2019 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Is there something in your cupboard that could extend your life? If I offered you a superfood that would make you live longer, would you be interested?
Naturally it reduces the chances of debilitating heart attacks and strokes as well as life-long diseases such as type-2 diabetes.
And it helps keep your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.
I should mention it’s cheap and widely available in the supermarket. What is it?
Fibre – it’s not the sexiest thing in the world but a major study has been investigating how much fibre we really need to be eating and found there are huge health benefits.
“The evidence is now overwhelming and this is a game-changer that people have to start doing something about it,” one of the researchers, Prof John Cummings, tells BBC News.
It’s well known for stopping constipation – but its health benefits are much broader than that. How much fibre do we need?
The researchers, at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, and the University of Dundee say people should be eating a minimum of 25g of fibre per day.
But they call this an “adequate” amount for improving health and say there are benefits for pushing past 30g (1oz). Is that all?
Well, a banana on its own weighs about 120g but that’s not pure fibre. Strip out everything else including all the natural sugars and water, and you’re left with only about 3g of fibre.
Most people around the world are eating less than 20g of fibre a day.
And in the UK, fewer than one in 10 adults eats 30g of fibre daily.
On average, women consume about 17g, and men 21g, a day. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Fibre is present in fruit, vegetables, wholegrain bread, pasta and lentils What other foods have more fibre in them?
You find it in fruit and vegetables, some breakfast cereals, breads and pasta that use whole-grains, pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, as well as nuts and seeds.
BBC Food: How carb-clever are you? What does 30g look like?
Elaine Rush, a professor of nutrition at Auckland University of Technology, has put together this example for getting into the 25-30g camp: half a cup of rolled oats – 9g fibre | two Weetabix – 3g fibre | a thick slice of brown bread – 2g fibre | a cup of cooked lentils – 4g fibre | a potato cooked with the skin on – 2g fibre | half a cup of chard (or silverbeet in New Zealand) – 1g fibre | a carrot – 3g fibre | an apple with the skin on – 4g fibre
But she says: “It is not easy to increase fibre in the diet.”
Prof Cummings agrees. “It’s a big change for people,” he says. “It’s quite a challenge.” Are there any quick and easy tips?
The UK’s National Health Service has a page full of them .
They include: cooking potatoes with the skin on | swapping white bread, pasta and rice for wholemeal versions | choosing high-fibre breakfast cereals such as porridge oats | chucking some chickpeas, beans or lentils in a curry or over a salad | having nuts or fresh fruit for snacks or dessert | consuming at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day
BBC Food: High fibre breakfasts What will the benefit be?
Well, after analysing 185 studies and 58 clinical trials, the results are in and have been published in the Lancet medical journal .
It suggests if you shifted 1,000 people from a low fibre diet (less than 15g) to a high-fibre one (25-29g), then it would prevent 13 deaths and six cases of heart disease.
That’s during the course of these studies, which tended to follow people for one to two decades.
It also showed lower levels of type-2 diabetes and bowel cancer as well as lower weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
And the more fibre people ate, the better. What is fibre doing in the body?
There used to be a view that fibre didn’t do much at all – that the human body could not digest it and it just sailed through.
But fibre makes us feel full and affects the way fat is absorbed in the small intestine – and things really become interesting in the large intestines, when your gut bacteria get to have their dinner.
The large intestines are home to billions of bacteria – and fibre is their food.
It’s a bit like a brewery down there, admittedly one you wouldn’t want a pint from, where bacteria are fermenting fibre to make a whole load of chemicals.
This includes short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed and have effects throughout the body.
“We have this organ set up to digest fibre, which a lot of people just don’t use very much,” says Prof Cummings.
Single mums win universal credit challenge – BBC News
These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The women say the “rigid” system has left them unable to make ends meet (illustrated by models) Four working single mothers have won a High Court challenge over the government’s universal credit scheme.
They argued a “fundamental problem” with the system meant their monthly payments varied “enormously”, leaving them out of pocket and struggling financially.
Lawyers for the women said the problem was likely to affect “tens of thousands of people” claiming the benefit.
A DWP spokesman said: “We are carefully considering the court’s judgement.”
It comes as Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd announced a raft of changes to the government’s flagship scheme .
She also confirmed she would delay asking Parliament to authorise the transfer of three million people on to universal credit until next year, after a pilot of the transfer from existing benefits has been completed.
Universal credit is a means-tested benefit, rolling six separate benefits into one payment.
It has proved controversial almost from its inception, with reports of IT issues, massive overspends, administrative problems and delays to the scheme’s rollout. Universal Credit: Will benefit changes affect you?
On Friday, it was announced that Danielle Johnson, Claire Woods, Erin Barrett and Katie Stewart had succeeded in a judicial review action against the government over the method used to calculate payments.
It followed a hearing in November when the court was told the women were struggling financially, with some falling into debt or relying on food banks . ‘Untold hardship’
Tessa Gregory, a solicitor from law firm Leigh Day, who represented part-time dinner lady Danielle Johnson from Keighley, West Yorkshire, said her client was “a hard-working single mum” and “precisely the kind of person universal credit was supposed to help”.
But Ms Gregory said the “rigid income assessment system” had left her £500 out of pocket over the year and spiralling into debt.
Solicitor Carla Clarke, of the Child Poverty Action Group, which also brought the case on behalf of the mothers, said the universal credit system was “out of step with both actual reality and the law”, and had caused them “untold hardship, stress and misery”. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption What’s the problem with universal credit?
When calculating universal credit, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sets assessment periods for each person to look at how much they earn – from the 1st of the month to the end of the month, for example.
But lawyers for the mothers said a problem arises when claimants are paid by employers on a date which “clashes” with their assessment period.
For example, they pointed out that if a claimant is paid early because of a weekend or bank holiday, the system counts them as having been paid twice in one month and they receive a “vastly reduced” universal credit payment. Analysis: ‘Important decision’
By Michael Buchanan, BBC social affairs correspondent
This is an important and potentially hugely expensive decision.
The barrister for the DWP told the High Court in November that if they lost the case it would cost them hundreds of millions of pounds to change the system.
Leaked documents that I saw in October showed officials discussing the problem but concluding that “there is nothing we can do to mitigate this issue”.
At the heart of the problem is a design fault with universal credit that cuts the entitlement of tens of thousands of claimants each month, sometimes by hundreds of pounds.
The court’s decision was published just minutes before Amber Rudd started her speech today, billed as a reset of the beleaguered benefit.
She didn’t mention this particular problem, but it highlights that Ms Rudd’s remarks can only be the starting point in dealing with Universal Credit’s ongoing problems. Quick guide: What is universal credit?
Universal credit merges six older benefits into one new one, and is being introduced gradually across the UK.
Instead of applying for lots of different payments, for different things, one payment is calculated based on all of someone’s circumstances, like:
• being unemployed
• working on a low income
• needing help with housing costs
• having children
• having an illness or disability
It can be claimed by people both in and out of work.
How much someone in work claiming universal credit receives each month is based on how much they earned in the previous month.
And unlike with some old benefits, there’s no limit to the hours someone can work per week and still claim.
But as they earn more, their benefit payment reduces gradually. This is designed to mean “work always pays” – that is, in theory someone never loses more in benefits than they have gained through taking extra hours of work.
Some households will receive less money from universal credit than they would have done under the old system, while others will receive more.
This is partly down to the intentional design of the system and partly a side-effect of cuts that have been made as the benefit was introduced. ‘Fairly compensated’
The two judges in London concluded the work and pensions secretary had “wrongly interpreted” the relevant regulations.
Ms Gregory called for Ms Rudd to take “immediate steps to ensure that no other claimants are adversely affected” and “ensure all those who have suffered because of this unlawful conduct are swiftly and fairly compensated”.
The leader of the trade union Unison, Dave Prentis, also called for the government to “compensate those who have lost out substantially”.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood said the High Court’s ruling “confirms once again that universal credit is failing people on low pay”, and called for a stop to the rollout.
On Friday Ms Rudd promised to make the universal credit system more “individual” and tailor it to claimants needs, for example by making payments more regular.
Changes will also see more money go directly to women who are the “main carer” in a family, in response to criticism that the “one payment per household” system penalised women.
Charities have argued a whole family’s benefit payments often go to the man’s account and women, particularly victims of domestic violence, have little or no access to it.
Ms Rudd also announced a U-turn on plans to extend a benefits cap on families with more than two children.
The cap will no longer apply to about 15,000 families, who had their children before the two-child limit was introduced in 2017. Related Topics
Hungry children ‘eating from school bins’ in Morecambe – BBC News
Hungry children ‘eating from school bins’ in Morecambe 10 January 2019 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image caption Siobhan Collingwood said children are arriving at school with empty lunchboxes Children are arriving at a school so hungry they are searching the bins for food, its head teacher has said.
A cross-party group of MPs has called on the government to appoint a Minister for Hunger to deal with “food insecurity” especially among children.
Siobhan Collingwood, head teacher of the school in Morecambe, Lancashire, said one in 10 of its pupils came from families using foodbanks.
“Unfortunately I’ve got the faces behind the statistics,” she added.
The Environmental Audit Committee highlighted 2017 Unicef figures showing 19% of children under 15 in the UK live with adults who struggle to buy food.
The government said the number of children living in workless households is at a record low. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption MPs have called on the government to appoint a Minister for Hunger
Ms Collingwood said there were currently 35 children at her school whose families are supported by foodbanks, adding: “It’s probably higher because they are the ones we know about.”
“When children are food deprived it alters their behaviour and they do become quite food obsessed, so we have some children who will be stealing fruit cores from the bins,” she added.
“We have children who have nothing in their lunch boxes and children who are just fixated upon food.”
Elderly, Conservatives Spread The Most Fake News During 2016 Election
U.S. NEWS 01/09/2019 08:34 pm ET Elderly, Conservatives Spread The Most Fake News During 2016 Election New study finds these Americans shared more false information during Trump’s presidential campaign than other demographics. Seth Borenstein 1.2k WASHINGTON (AP) — Sharing false information on Facebook is old.
People over 65 and ultra conservatives shared about seven times more fake information masquerading as news on the social media site than younger adults, moderates and super liberals during the 2016 election season, a new study finds.
The first major study to look at who is sharing links from debunked sites finds that not many people are doing it. On average only 8.5 percent of those studied — about 1 person out of 12 — shared false information during the 2016 campaign, according to the study in Wednesday’s journal Science Advances . But those doing it tend to be older and more conservative.
“For something to be viral you’ve got to know who shares it,” said study co-author Jonathan Nagler, a politics professor and co-director of the Social Media and Political Participation Lab at New York University. “Wow, old people are much more likely than young people to do this.”
Facebook and other social media companies were caught off guard in 2016 when Russian agents exploited their platforms to meddle with the U.S. presidential election by spreading fake news, impersonating Americans and running targeted advertisements to try to sway votes. Since then, the companies have thrown millions of dollars and thousands of people into fighting false information.
Researchers at Princeton University and NYU in 2016 interviewed 2,711 people who used Facebook. Of those, nearly half agreed to share all their postings with the professors.
ASSOCIATED PRESS The simplest theory for why older people share more false information is a lack of “digital literacy,” said study co-author Joshua Tucker. The researchers used three different lists of false information sites — one compiled by BuzzFeed and two others from academic research teams — and counted how often people shared from those sites. Then to double check, they looked at 897 specific articles that had been found false by fact checkers and saw how often those were spread.
All those lists showed similar trends.
When other demographic factors and overall posting tendencies are factored in, the average person older than 65 shared seven times more false information than those between 18 and 29. The seniors shared more than twice as many fake stories as people between 45 and 64 and more than three times that of people in the 30- to 44-year-old range, said lead study author Andrew Guess, a politics professor at Princeton.
The simplest theory for why older people share more false information is a lack of “digital literacy,” said study co-author Joshua Tucker, also co-director of the NYU social media political lab. Senior citizens may not tell truth from lies on social networks as easily as others, the researchers said.
Harvard public policy and communication professor Matthew Baum, who was not part of the study but praised it, said he thinks sharing false information is “less about beliefs in the facts of a story than about signaling one’s partisan identity.” That’s why efforts to correct fakery don’t really change attitudes and one reason why few people share false information, he said.
When other demographics and posting practices are factored in, people who called themselves very conservative shared the most false information, a bit more than those who identify themselves as conservative. The very conservatives shared misinformation 6.8 times more often than the very liberals and 6.7 times more than moderates. People who called themselves liberals essentially shared no fake stories, Guess said.
Nagler said he was not surprised that conservatives in 2016 shared more fake information, but he and his colleagues said that does not necessarily mean that conservatives are by nature more gullible when it comes to false stories. It could simply reflect that there was much more pro-Trump and anti-Clinton false information in circulation in 2016 that it drove the numbers for sharing, they said.
However, Baum said in an email that conservatives post more false information because they tend to be more extreme, with less ideological variation than their liberal counterparts and they take their lead from President Trump, who “advocates, supports, shares and produces fake news/misinformation on a regular basis.”
The researchers looked at differences in gender, race and income but could not find any statistically significant differences in sharing of false information.
After much criticism, Facebook made changes to fight false information, including de-emphasizing proven false stories in people’s feeds so others are less likely to see them. It seems to be working, Guess said. Facebook officials declined to comment.
“I think if we were to run this study again, we might not get the same results,” Guess said.
MIT’s Deb Roy, a former Twitter chief media scientist, said the problem is that the American news diet is “full of balkanized narratives” with people seeking information that they agree with and calling true news that they don’t agree with fake.
“What a mess,” Roy said.
AP Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay in New York contributed to this report.