6th July 2018

Other Stories - 6th July 2018

Photo: ZSL Jonathan Kemeys

Spanish is quickly becoming our second language. As numbers of teenagers taking French and German GCSEs dwindle, Spanish has enjoyed a big boost. Between 1995 and 2015, the number of children taking GCSE Spanish leaped from 29,000 to 85,000. A-Level Spanish has also seen a big increase in students. Although French is still the most chosen language for UK teens to study, if the current trend continues, we’ll soon be saying ‘hola’ to more Spanish speakers. The Telegraph

The NHS is giving us all a ‘birthday present’. That’s how Jeremy Hunt describes a new NHS app that will allow patients to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and see their own medical files. If the app’s tests go well, we could be using it as early as December this year. It’s thought that the app will encourage more people to use online services, rather than relying on their GP practice staff. According to the government, the security of the app will be at least as resilient as online banking. BBC News

Akon has plans to build his own city. The Grammy-nominated music artist and producer has plans to change the lives of people in Senegal, West Africa, by building a new city that will have its own crypto-currency called ‘Akoin’. He revealed his ambitious plans at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and has apparently already been granted 2,000 sq ft of land from Senegalese President, Macky Sall. Just a short drive from the capital Dakar, it would have its own homes, schools, universities, shops and stadium. Sky News

We could have two more weeks with little CO2. The UK has experienced a serious CO2 drought after lots of the gas-producing factories closed. And according to the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), CO2 levels could remain low for another two weeks while factories work hard to quickly produce the gas. It is used to stun animals before slaughter, add bubbles to drinks and extend the shelf life of products. BBC News

A ‘Podi’ could save surfers from shark attacks. A father and son team are currently developing a shark deterrent using the manufactured scent of dead sharks. The scent will be released from a small device, named Podi, attached to the bottom of surfboards. If all goes to plan, sharks will smell the scent, believe danger is close by and quickly swim away. Podis could be available to buy in as little as 18 months. Metro

Paramedics could soon be wearing body cameras. This news comes in a bid to curb violence from patients and bring attackers to justice. One in seven NHS staff have experienced violence from patients or their families in the past year yet there have only been 354 prosecutions. This initiative is part of a package to better support healthcare staff, and it joins other schemes such as quicker access to physiotherapy and mental health services. The Telegraph

Don’t worry – we don’t need to mourn Fanta Lemon yet. Fears recently spread that we would be deprived of consumer favourite Fanta Lemon after Fanta announced plans to cut the flavour from its range. The soft drink producer quickly stepped in and clarified that it’s only being discontinued in the US due to a lack of demand. Owned by Coca Cola, Fanta is currently available in 12 flavours, including mango, grapefruit and green apple, as well as the classic, orange. Express

Plastic cutlery next to get the chop. As the government pledges to tackle plastic pollution, it is offering a £19,000 contract to experts to investigate the affects that cutting plastic cutlery and plates will have on the environment and economy. Plastic drinks stirrers, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds are also likely to disappear. It is estimated that half of all plastic is used only once before being thrown away. The Independent

Seal population bouncing back in the Thames. After fears that the Thames Estuary was ‘biologically dead’, seals have made a comeback and are showing signs of sticking around. For the first time in 60 years, seal pups have been spotted in the area, suggesting that the population is thriving with plenty of food to eat. Just last year, 3,500 seals were spotted in the estuary. BBC News

Stat of the week

John Lewis has reported that TV sales have doubled thanks to the World Cup. The retailer sold twice as many TVs as it did in the same period last year. 70-inch screen sales increased by 150% in just one week. The Guardian

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