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The Your Local Information Microportal not only gives you instant access to live national and local news but local information, services and reviews around Your Local. There is also everything 'you didn't know you didn't know'!

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BBC Front Page News

Afghanistan: MoD shared more than 250 Afghan interpreters' details on email

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has launched an investigation, while the MoD has apologised for the breach.

Canada election: Trudeau stays in power but Liberals fall short of majority

The Canadian prime minister's Liberal Party is projected to form another minority government.

Gas crisis: Energy price cap will stay, say Kwasi Kwarteng and Ofgem

Price rises will be limited to 12% as Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng rejects fears of power cuts.

Children face 'agonising' waits for mental health care

Data from half England's specialist services found a fifth have waited more than 12 weeks in the pandemic.

BBC news for Berkshire

Coronavirus: Case rates in Berkshire

The latest number of cases of Covid-19 across the county.

Reading murder probe: Man charged with Duane Denny murder

The body of Duane Denny, who had been reported missing from his Reading home, was found in London.

Wokingham private school teacher jailed for abusing pupils

Stuart Woods plied pupils at Reddam House Berkshire with alcohol to aid his abuse, a court hears.

M4 closed at Slough for weekend smart motorway works

Both carriageways will be closed between junction 5 and 6 as part of ongoing works.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. How to embrace your creative spark. An Open University survey shows that 61% of people lucky enough to have some free time during 2020 took up creative pursuits, such as reading, knitting, photography or cooking. I discovered a love of gardening. Now that life is getting busier, is it possible to balance so-called “normality” with the creativity some were able to embrace in lockdown? READ MORE >>

2. NI rise could cost jobs. Business leaders have warned that the government’s plan to increase National Insurance could lead to thousands of job losses. The Federation of Small Businesses estimated the tax rise would cost small businesses £5.7bn a year and could put 50,000 jobs at risk, particularly after the furlough scheme ends. Other industry bodies including the British Chambers of Commerce, Make UK and the Confederation of British Industry also warned of the potential impact on jobs and economic recovery as businesses came out of the difficult pandemic period. The Independent

3. Johnson says Taliban has changed. Boris Johnson has told MPs he believes the Taliban has changed. The prime minister said: “What we need to do is to make sure that those elements of the Taliban who are different - and I believe different from the Taliban of 1996 - are encouraged and we put the maximum pressure on them not to allow the more retrograde elements to have the upper hand.” In another softening of rhetoric, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said there was a “clear difference” between the Taliban and terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. The notion the Taliban has “changed its spots” is for the birds. The Spectator

4. Climate crisis costs hit global GDP. A study from Cambridge University, University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London reports that the climate crisis could cut global GDP by 37% in the next 100 years. Researchers estimate that every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted will knock around £2,170 ($3,000 USD) off the global economy by the end of the century. The study contradicts the widely held belief that climate disasters like floods, droughts and fires do not affect long-term economic growth. A researcher from UCL said: “If we stop assuming that economies recover from such events within months, the costs of warming look much higher than usually stated.” The Guardian

5. Parents say childcare is failing. A survey of more than 20,000 working parents found that 96% believed the government was not doing enough to support parents with the cost and availability of childcare while 97% said childcare in the UK was too expensive. One-third of parents said they paid more for childcare than their rent or mortgage – a proportion that rose to 47% of respondents from a black ethnic background. The House of Commons will hold a debate on childcare today. The Guardian

 
 

6. Oxford retains its global status. University of Oxford has retained the top spot on the 2022 Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for the sixth year in a row, with traditional rival the University of Cambridge moving up from sixth to fifth. The remainder of the top 10 were rounded out by US-based institutions, but 28 UK universities made it into the top 200, 19 of which improved or maintained their position, with Manchester breaking into the top 50 for the first time. The Times

7. KPMG sets working-class quota. KPMG has become the first big business in Britain to set a target for the number of working-class staff. The accounting and consulting firm is aiming for 29% of its partners and directors to be working class by 2030. It defined working class as having parents with “routine and manual” jobs, such as plumbers, electricians, butchers and van drivers. In Britain, people who come from a privileged rather than a working-class background are 60% more likely to be in a professional job. BBC

8. Why we should not longer see our careers as ladders. The how, why and where we work has changed considerably over the past year for many. So too has the notion of a career and its once-linear trajectory. Careers are less like ladders and more like lattices of vertical and horizontal opportunities. Many in the workforce decided to embrace the changes brought on by the pandemic to acquire new skills or pursue new paths altogether. To support the modern career, encourage employee-led learning and making sure workers are engaged, no matter where they sit. Editor

9. Fairytale of New York. The delightful Emma Raducanu pulled off the fairytale feat of winning the US Open. She becomes the first qualifier in the Open era to win a Slam and is elevated to British number one. At the start of the year, this inspirational young woman was ranked number 345 in the world and less than three months ago was sitting her A Levels. She has raised all our spirits and is a wonderful British story. Editor

10. The bottom line. Changes to how social care is funded should be welcomed but the system is being exploited by “rapacious” private care providers. The latest accounts for Runwood Homes show the firm tripled dividend payouts and handed one director £3m last year, while recruiting staff “on 9p above the minimum wage to look after people with dementia at night”. The i Paper