A new "Towfish" black box tracker can find downed planes at the bottom of British waters, the Air Accident Investigation Branch has announced. The Towfish Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB) detection system can operate down to 1km below sea level. For the first time it will be possible to cover all UK coastal waters. The new equipment has been designed specifically for use in the shallower continental shelf surrounding Britain, rather than the deep ocean. The Towfish is dragged behind a surface vessel and ‘flies’ just below the waves, searching for downed aircraft. As the mother ship moves along predetermined tracks in a search area, the towfish listens for the tell-tale ‘pings' of the ULB. The level of the ‘ping’ increases the nearer the Towfish is to the ULB. Once a search area is narrowed, divers or Remotely Operated Vehicles are used to locate the black boxes and wreckage. Commercial airliners have carried ULBs since the 1970s. On contact with … [Read more...] about New ‘Towfish’ Black Box tracker can find submerged aircraft in all UK waters
All UK festivals should provide drug-testing facilities, experts and campaigners have urged, following the deaths of two young people believed to have taken high-strength ecstasy at a festival over the bank holiday weekend. Five people have been arrested for drug-related offences after Georgia Jones, 18, and Tommy Cowan, 20, died at Mutiny Festival in Hampshire. Thirteen other people were taken to hospital, with one remaining critically ill. Reports said high-strength ecstasy tablets called Silver Audis, which are three times as potent as normal doses of the drug, were in circulation. The pills are known to have been present at the Love Saves the Day Festival in Bristol the same weekend. The tragic events prompted renewed calls for drug testing, which is provided at a limited number of festivals but was not available at Mutiny, to be rolled out more widely. Read more Portsmouth music festival cancelled after two young people die Fiona Measham is … [Read more...] about Drug-testing facilities should be used at all UK festivals after Mutiny deaths, urge experts
British consumers who use supermarket petrol pumps and choose to pay at the pump rather than at the kiosk now have to pay a £99 "pre-authorisation charge" under new rules introduced last year by Visa and Mastercard. In order that customers don't fill up with more fuel than they can afford, the fee, equivalent to the cost of a full tank of petrol, is being gradually rolled out by UK supermarkets, with Asda the first to introduce the charge at three stores last month. The budget chain has since faced a backlash from furious motorists, some of whom say they did not receive their money back for more than two days. What is a pre-authorisation charge? A pre-authorisation charge is temporary hold of... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles Subscriber-only events Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per week Try Premium Access one Premium article per week … [Read more...] about What is a pre-authorisation charge, and will all UK supermarkets introduce it?
Britain’s aviation authorities hope to restart scheduled services this evening; but safety comes first and volcanic ash is particularly dangerous to aeroplane engines and can cause them to stop working altogether. Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport remains open as it is not in the path of the dust cloud – but services to northern Europe are not running. The RAF will maintain full search and rescue capability over the whole UK. Photo: Árni Sæbergg / mbl.is … [Read more...] about Iceland volcano grounds all UK flights
All UK-born citizens should be given £10,000 as a “universal minimum inheritance” when they turn 25 to help address growing wealth inequality, a thinktank has proposed. Tax reforms and a selloff of assets including the government’s stake in Royal Bank of Scotland could help create a citizens’ wealth fund worth £186bn by 2029/30, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said. Such a fund would give everyone a stake in the economy and help young people invest in their futures, for example through buying a property, investing in education or starting a business, according to a report for the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice. The fund could be large enough to pay all 25-year-olds a one-off capital dividend of £10,000 from 2030. The report proposes capitalising the fund using a mixture of asset sales, capital transfers, new revenue streams, a small amount of borrowing and returns reinvested through the decade. These could include reformed … [Read more...] about Pay all UK 25-year-olds a £10,000 inheritance, says thinktank