4th May 2018

Other Stories - 4th May 2018

Photo: Leanda Mason/AFP/Getty Images

Sainsbury’s and Asda could be set to join forces. The supermarket chains have confirmed plans to merge with one another, with grocery prices set to fall in both chains as a result. Combined, the two chains represent 31.4% of the UK’s total grocery market share. The deal would reportedly see Walmart, Asda’s US-based owner retain a 42% stake in the new company. Sainsbury’s has claimed that the merger would result in no job losses or store closures. BBC News

A Spanish city has banned holiday rental apartments. Palma on the island of Majorca is set to become the first city to impose a ban after residents were increasingly faced with rising rents caused by homes and flats being rented out to tourists. Palma mayor, Antoni Noguera, explained that "there is nothing worse than having residents who can't live in their city nor afford a rent". The decision follows an increase in rent by as much as 40% since 2013. Evening Standard

A Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner was disqualified for staging a photo. Photographer Marcio Cabral’s photo of an anteater moving towards a termite mound in a Brazilian reserve. However, concerns were raised that Cabral may have staged the shot after similarities were reported between the subject of his photo and a taxidermy specimen located at the entrance of the park. For his part, Cabral has insisted the photo was the result of good timing, but five scientists each independently echoed the view that the taxidermy anteater was used. Sky News

The BBC is waiving the TV licence fee for the royal wedding. Those without a TV licence will be able to screen Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on 19th May. It’s rare that the BBC grant special dispensation for temporary viewing, but exceptions are occasionally made if the event being screened is deemed to be of national importance. The decision will no doubt be a boon for the hundreds of street parties due to take place in celebration of the ceremony. BBC News

A replica elephant bird egg transpired to be real. The giant egg, which had been hidden away in the archives of the Buffalo Museum of Science, was discovered during the process of cataloguing the museum’s collection. Weighing 1.4kg with a length of 30cm, the egg had originally been labelled a replica before being reappraised. Originally natives of Madagascar, elephant birds went extinct during the 17th century. They could reach up to three metres in height with a weight of up to 500kg. The Independent

A cat decided to hide out in New York airport for a week. Pepper the cat had originally intended to travel with her owner, who was relocating to China, but when her carrier sprung open during check-in, it seemed she had other plans. Pepper managed to elude capture for several days, repeatedly being spotted by bemused airport staff who noted that she usually appeared in the early hours in search of food. Pepper has now been rescued and is set to be reunited with her owner soon. Huffington Post

A mum used YouTube tutorials to deliver her own baby. The video sharing website has a wealth of handy how-to guides, but this one is particularly novel. When Nashville resident Tia Freeman unexpectedly went into labour in a Turkish hotel she immediately turned to YouTube for guidance. "It's weird how focused a person becomes when their adrenaline starts going,” she stated. “At no point did I freak out… I just did what I had to do." BBC Newsbeat

The world’s oldest spider has died. Having been monitored for years during a population study in Australia, the trapdoor spider known as ‘Number 16’ passed away last week at the ripe old age of 43. She lived a sedentary life, never venturing far from her burrow and reportedly passed away due to a wasp sting, rather than old age. Her lengthy lifespan comfortably outshines that of the previous record holder – a 28-year-old Mexican tarantula. The Guardian

Porridge is no longer on the menu at a Welsh prison. The breakfast staple has reportedly been banned having been deemed a security risk by staff at HMC Parc. They reportedly took the decision based on concerns that it could be used to block up door locks. Prisoners are still able to purchase Ready Brek from the canteen tuck shop, but for now it seems that porridge is off the breakfast menu. The Guardian

Statistic of the week

893 quadrillion to one. Those are the combined odds of what happened to a man bitten by a shark, a bear and a snake over the course of the past three years. Colorado native Dylan McWilliams had previously been bitten on the head by a black bear while backpacking across the US and Canada in July 2017 and a rattlesnake while hiking in Utah in 2015. His spell of bad luck was rounded off last week when he was bitten by what is thought to have been a tiger shark while bodyboarding in Hawaii. McWilliams has casually chalked all three incidents up to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. National Geographic


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