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A welcome advancement to enhance performance and rehabilitation as baseball season heats up.
Source: science daily

If you've ever dreamed about getting a good night's sleep, your answer may someday lie in data generated by your sleepwear. Researchers have developed pajamas embedded with self-powered sensors that provide unobtrusive and continuous monitoring of heartbeat, breathing and sleep posture -- all factors that play a role in how well a person slumbers.
Source: science daily

The potential for wearable electronics goes far beyond smart watches, but our current options for battery packs and circuit boards don't make for the most comfortable E-socks. One solution, being developed by scientists in China, is to simply print flexible fibers on to transitional textiles or clothes. For example, they printed patterns that can harvest and store electricity onto fabrics.
Source: science daily

When we think about clothes, they are usually formed with textiles and have to be both wearable and washable for daily use; however, smart clothing has had a problem with its power sources and moisture permeability, which causes the devices to malfunction. This problem has now been overcome by a research team, who developed a textile-based wearable display module technology that is washable and does not require an external power source.
Source: science daily

A clip of Theresa May playing pool with the Italian prime minister has been posted on social media, which includes her chief advisor explaining to her how to play the game.

As the PM attended an EU-League of Arab States summit in Egypt, rumours started to emerge of a face-off on the green baize with her Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte. It’s all set against the backdrop of May’s struggles to get her Brexit deal through parliament.

But what could have been an apocryphal tale was swiftly confirmed on Conte’s Instagram and Twitter accounts with the teaser: “Let’s play pool.”

In the footage, the British Prime Minister admits she’ll be “hopeless” as she’s handed the cue. “You’ll have to show me how,” she adds, unsure of the mechanics of the game.

Conte lets May onto the table after failing to pocket. Clearly hoping to help his boss while she’s caught in a tricky situation, Gavin Barwell, her chief of staff, shows her how to use her hand as a bridge and how to hold the cue.

“Put your thumb and finger like that,” he suggests. Sadly, the video cuts out just after she hits the cue ball, so we’ll probably never know if she’s a natural.

In any case, social media feasted in the footage.

Retweeting the video, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, joked: “Pleased to see nothing’s been taken off the table.”

Source: huffingtonpost

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Shangela has discussed the importance of her appearance on this year’s Oscars red carpet.

Shangela was a guest at the Academy Awards following her small role in A Star Is Born, which received multiple nominations, including a coveted Best Picture nod.

Serving it on the red carpet in full drag, Shangela took a moment to speak about what it meant for her to be at the event.

Shangela

“Honestly, I’m just so grateful to be here,” she told Variety. “And I think I might be one of the first, if not the first, drag queens, in drag, to ever walk down the red carpet at the Oscars.

“And I hope that means something to somebody out there, because it means something to me.”

When asked whether she had anything big planned to surprise fans during the ceremony, she joked: “You never know where I’ll pop up, I’m Shangela, OK?”

At the Spirit Awards earlier in the week, Shangela made a hilarious appearance on stage, where she performed made-up songs based on the nominated films.

 

Shangela first appeared on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she was the first contestant to be eliminated.

The following year, RuPaul made the decision to bring Shangela back to the competition, surprising the other queens in the competition by jumping out of an oversized gift box.

More recently, Shangela returned to the competition for a the third series of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, making it further than her previous two attempts, though many fans were left disappointed when she failed to make the top two, due to a twist in the final episode that led the decision in the hands of the eliminated contestants.

Source: huffingtonpost

Julien Baptiste had his work cut out in the latest instalment of Baptiste on Sunday night, as he tried to work out exactly who Edward Stratton really is. 

With a game of cat and mouse unfolding, there were plenty of questions (and indeed theories) that arose... 

Was there more to Natalie’s version of events?

Having been tracked down at the end of the last episode, Natalie explained to Baptiste that Edward was a client of hers who had become obsessive and abusive. Revealing Edward was in cahoots with the Romanians, she told of how he worked for a tracking company that he was using to help the Romanians move things around without people asking. 

While her claims certainly seemed to check out, there were things Natalie was definitely holding back, with Constantin and Edward agreeing that there was no way she’d have told Baptiste the full truth. But what is that? Which brings us to...

Why in particular was Edward obsessed with Natalie?

As we’ve already said, there has to be more to their relationship than purely sex worker and obsessed client. But with her now dead, we’re going to have to wait to find out more. 

What was Natalie’s ex really doing in the hospital toilet?

Neils and his colleague tracked down Natalie’s next of kin to identify her body, who was revealed as an ex-boyfriend who now has a son. But when they located him at a hospital while waiting for his child to have an operation, he made a suspicious trip to the toilet, just moments after having already been in there. 

Neils brushed it off as just getting rid of drugs, but perhaps he was sending some sort of text message to someone? We’re not sure who, but the moment spiked our attention. 

Why can’t the police find a link between Edward and the Romanians?

Martha’s son said he’s been working on the Romanian gang case for a while, yet they had never established a link between them and Edward. Is this because Niels is one of the officers Edward is paying to stay quiet, in order to keep his operation running?

Does Niels’ cancer bear relevance elsewhere in the story?

Forgive us for being suspicious, but there is definitely a reason why the pre-titles segment was dedicated to Niels visiting his consultant to talk about reconstructive surgery, having previously been diagnosed with cancer – something his mother later admitted to Baptiste. 

Who does the money in the bag belong to, and was it Natalie who put it there?

Remember when the dog on the tulip farm dug something up on the last episode? Well, it turned out to be a massive bag full fo cash. If it was Natalie who put it there (which the discovery of the N necklace seemed to suggest) why did she have it in the first place? Could that be the reason she was being pursued by Edward and the gang?

How did the farmer know Natalie?

Further suggesting it was Natalie who buried the money was the revelation the farmer somehow knew her, as when he decided to take the newly-found money to the police station, he was stopped in his tracks when news of her death flashed up on the TV. The pair are obviously linked, but how?

What was in the letter?

After finding out about Natalie’s fate, the shaken farmer rushed home and opened a letter that had been posted to him but seemingly left unopened. As the contents weren’t written in English, we couldn’t read not what the letter said, but the next thing we knew, the farmer was at the hospital taking Natalie’s ex’s son. Was the letter from Natalie, and could the sick child actually be hers? 

Why did Edward want his relative dead?

After Baptiste was sent a report from a UK colleague about the man Constantin killed at the start of episode one, he was revealed as an apparent relative of Edward’s, Richard Stratton. With his severed head now holed up in Edward’s basement, it’s suggested he had a hand in his killing, but why? That is unless it was sent to him as a threat by the Romanians.

Will Baptiste make it out of Edward’s basement unscathed?

Having made his way to Edward’s house following the revelation about his relative, Baptiste found himself in a rather sticky situation when Edward caught him in his basement having just discovered Richard’s head. With Edward brandishing a gun, it appeared Baptiste was going to have a lot of talking to do to get himself out of this one. 

Will Baptiste’s wife be killed?

Things are certainly not looking good for Celia after the ‘gas man’ decided to pay another visit... 

Baptiste continues next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

Source: huffingtonpost

Chancellor Philip Hammond 

Philip Hammond must deliver a “rescue package” in the Spring Statement for millions of low-income families left worse-off by a decade-long squeeze on benefits, welfare campaigner Frank Field has demanded.

The call from the independent MP – who launched an anti-austerity tour of the UK with Independent Group MP Heidi Allen earlier this year – comes after research from the House of Commons Library revealed that two-child families with one parent in work would be £132 worse off in real terms next year compared with 2010.

Meanwhile, families out of work face real terms cuts to their income ranging from £491 to £723.

“There is an overwhelming precariousness that has engulfed families in low-waged work, all too many of whom are vulnerable to hunger because their incomes will not stretch to the end of the month,” Field said.

The research found that six successive benefits caps and freezes had wiped out any gains associated with the introduction of the national living wage and increases to personal allowances.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Field – who resigned from the Labour Party last year – said that if benefits and tax credits had been “inflation-proofed”, single parents and single-earner couples with two children would have been more than £1,400 better off in real terms.

Frank Field embarked on an anti-austerity tour of the UK earlier this year 

However, he said that while inflation next year was forecast to be around 20% higher than in 2010, child benefit and the basic 30-hour elements of working tax credit would be only 2% higher.

“I very much hope that, having considered these new data, the Chancellor will begin setting out, in the Spring Statement, a rescue package for the living standards of families with children whose incomes have been wrecked by successive waves of caps and freezes,” Field said.

The MP, who is the chair of parliament’s work and pensions committee, said he was compelled to call on Hammond after witnessing the “horror” of his Birkenhead constituents being forced to rely on food projects to survive.

“In the light of these trends, it is not difficult to see why so many families, reliant on low-waged jobs, now seek help from their local food bank,” he said.

A spokesperson for the government said that it’s priority was to support people to improve their lives.

“Last week’s figures show the unemployment rate is the joint lowest since 1975 and wages are growing at the fastest rate in over a decade, outpacing inflation for nearly a year,” they said.

“We know that some people need more support. That’s why we’re spending £90 billion to support families who need it, and by 2022 we will be spending £28 billion more on welfare than we do now.”

Source: huffingtonpost

MPs and business leaders have reacted with fury as Theresa May revealed she will not get a Brexit deal in time for MPs to hold a “meaningful vote” this week.

Critics warned the Prime Minister’s decision meant no-deal Brexit was “hurtling closer”, while one industry group said businesses have “lost all faith in the political process”, amid fears time is running out for an agreement before Britain quits the bloc.

It came as reports on Sunday night hinted a delay to quitting the EU is being considered in London and Brussels. The Telegraph reported Downing Street officials have drawn up a series of options to quell a Tory mutiny, including a delay for up to two months.

Meanwhile, the Guardian suggested Brexit could be delayed until 2021 under plans being examined by senior EU officials.

On Sunday, May pledged that MPs would be given a final say on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU by March 12 at the latest - just 17 days before so-called Brexit Day on March 29.

A cross-party group of MPs seeking to block a no-deal break immediately confirmed they would be tabling an amendment giving the House of Commons the power to demand a delay to Brexit if an agreement is not in place by mid-March.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who has drawn up the plan with Conservative former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, said it would now become the “real meaningful vote” on the Brexit deal.

“The Prime Minister isn’t acting responsibly in the national interest, but MPs from all sides need to do so,” she said.

Speaking to reporters on the flight out to an EU-League of Arab States summit, May insisted she was sticking to her timetable for the UK to leave in less than five weeks’ time.

“It is still within our grasp to leave the European Union with a deal on March 29,” she said.

However, her acknowledgement that she cannot get a deal to put to MPs this week, means there will now be a further series of votes in the Commons on an amendable Government motion on Wednesday.

Theresa May meets European Council president Donald Tusk in Sharm el-Sheikh

May denied collective Cabinet responsibility had broken down after three pro-EU ministers signalled that they could vote for the Cooper amendment.

Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke said there was now a clear Commons majority in favour of extending the Article 50 withdrawal process rather than see a “disastrous” no-deal break.

The Prime Minister said it was “not a surprise to anybody” that there were strong views around the Cabinet table on the issue.

But with reports that up 100 Tory MPs could be prepared to defy the whips and back the amendment – with up to 20 ministerial resignations – May said a delay would not resolve the deadlock.

“Now, often people talk about the extension of Article 50 as if that will actually solve the issue. Of course it won’t. It defers the point of decision,” she said.

“There will always come a point where we have to decide whether we accept the deal that’s been negotiated or not. And that will be a decision for every member of Parliament across the House.”

Business leaders reacted with dismay to the latest Brexit delay.

Edwin Morgan, interim director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “There appears to be little realistic chance of a deal being agreed and the necessary legislation getting through by 29 March.

“Businesses do not want to drag out the uncertainty and would much prefer to reach a deal by the end of next month.

“However, it now seems hard to envisage an exit without a limited, technical extension to allow time for parliament to finalise our exit.”

He added: “Businesses have lost all faith in the political process and as those first in the firing line of no-deal, they deserve to know more.”

Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director general, said: “This is the latest signal to businesses that no-deal is hurtling closer. It must be averted.

“Every day without a deal means less investment and fewer jobs created.

“That’s the cost of running down the clock, and it’s irresponsible to treat that as a price worth paying.”

The intervention of the three ministers infuriated some Tory Brexiteers, who demanded they were sacked – a call reportedly echoed by some ministers in private.

However Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who was one of the leaders of the official Leave campaign in the referendum cautioned against a “heresy hunt”.

“They are good colleagues,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.

“I think it would be completely inappropriate, given the nature of the conversations that the country is having about Brexit, to try to strike macho postures when what we really need is unity.”

May is using her attendance at the summit to hold a series of one-to-one meetings with key EU figures, including European Council president Donald Tusk who she met on Sunday.

Talks are due to resume in Brussels on Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the impasse over the backstop, with the Government seeking legally binding assurances it will not leave Britain tied to EU rules indefinitely.

“We are still in that negotiation. We are still talking to the EU about various ways in which we can find a resolution to the issue that Parliament raised,” May said.

Downing Street has been at pains to play down the prospect of any breakthrough at Sharm el-Sheikh.

However Labour said the latest delay to the meaningful vote was “the height of irresponsibility and an admission of failure”.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: “Theresa May is recklessly running down the clock in a desperate attempt to force MPs to choose between her deal and no-deal.

“Parliament cannot stand by and allow this to happen.”

Source: huffingtonpost

MPs will “kill off” any prospect of a no-deal Brexit in crucial House of Commons votes next week, the Liberal Democrat leader has predicted.

Sir Vince Cable said he believed there was now a “sufficient number” of members opposed to  remove this as a prospect.

Leaving the European Union on March 29 without a formal deal in place would be “wickedly irresponsible”, he insisted, as he hit out at Theresa May for attempting to “blackmail” MPs into backing her.

And as well as making plain he believed a no-deal Brexit could be stopped, he said he was “optimistic” that there would be a second referendum.

Cable told the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Hamilton: “I personally don’t believe that no-deal Brexit is remotely likely, but it is absolutely scaring the wits out of people who have to trade across frontiers.”

But he also told activists:  “The positive thing is it can be stopped, and I think there is now a route map as to how we deal with Brexit in the next few weeks and months.

“Next week the priority will be stopping this no-deal nonsense, taking it off the table, removing it, taking away the fear, letting people get on with their lives.

“And I think there is now a sufficient number, reinforced by the cabinet threat this morning, to make sure that we kill this. That is our first priority.”

After that, he said, the prospect of a People’s Vote on the terms of the Brexit deal was now “in sight” – although he warned supporters this could come in an “uncomfortable form”.

Speaking about a second referendum he told the conference: “We must keep fighting to the end. I think we will get it.

“It may come in an uncomfortable form, let’s be prepared for that. We may find that at the very last minute the Government turns around and says ‘OK, you approve my deal subject to a people’s vote’. That may be the way it happens.

“That’s something we have to do and we have to give the public the opportunity to vote on this issue and we will be out there campaigning to keep our membership of the European Union.”

MPs from the Independent Group.

He added: “That’s the way forward. I’m optimistic in the next few weeks we will resolve this issue.”

With Brexit looming, and with several Labour and Tory MPs having quit their parties to set up Westminster’s new Independent Group, Sir Vince said British politics had been “shaken to the foundations” over recent weeks and months.

And he said this “very turbulent” period could provide a “big opportunity”.

In Scotland he said the party was “rebuilding support”, insisting that increasing the number of Lib Dem MPs from north of the border from four to seven was a “realistic prospect”.

And while he warned against an early general election, he said the party was prepared to fight one if necessary.

Cable said: “The country needs an early election like a hole in the head. It would just add to the turbulence, the instability, the ill will which is all around us.

“But if you were Theresa May and you had a bit more oomph and you hadn’t made a complete  mess of the last one, there would be strong temptation to have an early general election.

“The Labour Party are all over the place, you’ve got a new group of independent members who haven’t yet built up defences for their seats, you could kill them off.

“It must be very tempting for her and her people to think in these terms.

“So I think we have to be ready, we are ready.”

 

Source: huffingtonpost