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Nuisance call bosses could be fined up to £500,000
Bosses of firms which bombard people with nuisance calls could be fined up to £500,000 under government proposals to make them personally liable. A consultation is being launched about the plan – although the idea was first unveiled by government in 2016 and was meant to be in force by spring 2017. Consumers received 3.9 billion nuisance phone calls and texts last year. At the moment, only the companies themselves are liable for fines of up to £500,000 if they break the law. Since 2010, the data protection watchdog has struggled to recover fines because some firms have gone into liquidation to avoid paying.
Wythenshawe cars vandalised near Manchester Airport
Cars parked on streets close to Manchester Airport have been vandalised amid recent complaints about drivers leaving vehicles for long periods. Two cars on Lownorth Road in Wythenshawe had their tyres let down and “No Parking” daubed across their side panels in white paint. Residents have recently complained about owners leaving cars parked in the area for weeks at a time. Greater Manchester Police described the vandalism as “completely unacceptable”. The force also said officers would take “positive action” against anyone found to have been involved.
Caroline Lucas to step down as Green Party co-leader
Caroline Lucas is to step down as the co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales in September. The party’s first and only MP – for Brighton Pavilion – has shared the role with Jonathan Bartley since 2016. In an article for the Guardian, Ms Lucas said Greens “must always be an insurgent force for good, consistently asking the big questions that matter”. She said a new leadership team “will step up to the challenge that our increasingly febrile times present”. Ms Lucas, 57, said she would be “focusing even more” on her work in Parliament and in her constituency, rather than standing for re-election.
UK drone users face safety tests and flight restrictions
UK drone users may have to pass online safety tests under legislation being introduced to the Commons on Wednesday. Restrictions around airport boundaries have also been clarified stopping any drone flying within 1km of them. The changes, which are set to come into effect between 30 July and 30 November, follow a rise in the number of drone near-misses with aircrafts. Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said the measures were needed to “protect” aircraft and their passengers. In addition to the safety tests, people who own drones weighing 250g or more will have to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Brazil Senate passes bill that includes tax exemption for diesel
Brazil’s Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that includes an exemption of diesel from the PIS/Cofins payroll and social security tax, a pledge made by the government to striking truckers to lower the price of the fuel. President Michel Temer, however, is expected to line veto the diesel provision inserted by the lower chamber because it did not cut the price by the 46 cents per litre agreed upon. The government will still have to find a way to deliver the price reduction.
Mamils are a turn-off, says cycling supremo
Cycling is being undermined by an image problem, with too many people perceiving it as the domain of white, middle-aged men, according to London’s cycling tsar. Will Norman, the city’s first walking and cycling commissioner, said that riders in the capital were over-represented by “mamils” — middle-aged man in Lycra. In an interview, he said that millions of pounds invested in segregated bike lanes in the city had failed to trigger a growth in cycling among women and people from ethnic minorities. He said that he was considering setting diversity targets to ensure greater progress was made to improve the range of people taking to two wheels.
Stricter drinking and driving policies could save 800 lives a year in the US, study reveals
Tougher legal restrictions on drinking and driving effectively reduce the number of fatal car crashes in the US, a first-of-its-kind report reveals. In 2016, more than 2,000 Americans died in car crashes that involved alcohol, accounting for about a third of all fatal accidents. To try to limit the number of such tragic events, the US has long had limits in place on how much alcohol a person can have in their blood while driving as well as speed limits, but little research has been done to quantify their benefits for public health. New research from Boston Medical Center confirms that stricter policies do work: when anti-drunk driving policies were just 10 percent tougher, there were 800 fewer related deaths a year.