Does a milk advert show Harry and Meghan's future?


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Bright Dairy

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The Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips is shown endorsing Jersey milk in a series of adverts in China

It evokes a quintessentially English image of lush green fields and grand stately homes and ends with the Queen’s grandson taking a satisfying sip of fresh milk.A Chinese television advertisement, unearthed by the Daily Mail this week, shows Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, endorsing milk from Jersey cows and comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex prepare for a new life of greater financial independence.Despite not having a royal title and never having been a working royal, Mr Phillips, 42, is introduced to viewers as a “British Royal Family member” while he is pictured in various regal settings in the campaign, which aired on Shanghai television. At one point he says of the milk, via a Chinese voiceover translated by BBC Monitoring: “It’s fresh, and it’s what I want”.The Mail revealed on Wednesday that another of Prince Harry’s cousins, Lady Kitty Spencer, 29, has also worked with a separate Chinese milk brand on a campaign partly filmed at the British Museum.It raises the question of whether Prince Harry and Meghan might pursue similar work as they take more control over their finances.For royal biographer Penny Junor, the sight of a person with royal connections using their status for financial gain “always looks bad”.”It does not reflect well on the monarchy,” she told the BBC – though she adds there is an attraction to such deals. “It is difficult,” she said. “I understand the need to feed a family.”

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PA Media

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Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn Kelly sold pictures of their 2008 wedding at Windsor to Hello! magazine

Royal observers said that, in reality, there is little to stop those born into the ancestral Royal Family – but who have not taken official working royal roles – from pursuing commercial opportunities.”Peter Phillips was absolutely entitled to do what he likes because he is not a member of the Royal Family,” royal commentator Ingrid Seward told the BBC’s PM programme.”He is by blood but he doesn’t ever represent the Queen, he doesn’t represent the Crown, he has never taken public funds and he doesn’t do any royal duties and therefore he can do what he likes.”While this may be the case, Buckingham Palace suggests on its website that the use of Royal Family members – including Peter Phillips – for commercial purposes should be approved beforehand.

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Getty Images

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Lady Kitty Spencer has also appeared in a Chinese milk campaign – although she is not a member of the Royal Family by blood, she is Prince Harry’s cousin

Former Home Office minister Norman Baker said strict rules governing royal endorsements have been broken and has written to the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill to express his concern. In the letter, seen by the BBC, Mr Baker wrote: “The word ‘royal’ is of course strictly controlled by the royal names team in the Cabinet Office. “Can I ask whether permission was sought and given for the use of the word ‘royal’ to sell milk? Assuming it was not, what steps do you and your colleagues intend to take to end this use immediately?”A Cabinet Office source said the matter was not one for the department.’Uphold Queen’s values”In a statement from Buckingham Palace last week, Prince Harry and Meghan are described as making clear “everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty”.And a palace source told the Times: “The values we usually talk about are the Nolan principles of public life. But obviously the view was taken within the family that those sorts of things will be discussed”.The Royal Household said in its latest annual report that it endorses the so-called Nolan principles of public life when it comes to the declaration of interests and that it is “active in maintaining high standards of conduct in relation to its employees and officials”.The seven principles were first set out by the late Lord Nolan in 1995 and are included in the Ministerial code for elected officials.

What are the Nolan principles of public life?
Selflessness
Integrity
Objectivity
Accountability
Openness
Honesty
Leadership
Source: Gov.uk

Those who are royal by blood rather than by title – as the Sussexes will soon be – are unlikely to have to seek permission from Buckingham Palace before endorsing products or appearing in advertisements, according to Ingrid Seward.”I think they have to be sensible and maybe ask advice,” she added. “It is a very difficult tightrope to walk and basically you have to run everything you want to do by a committee of people.”Yet Penny Junor said that approach might not work for Prince Harry and Meghan – who are set to gain as much freedom as Peter Phillips by setting aside their official royal status later this year.Meghan has already secured work with entertainment giant Disney in return for a donation to an elephant conservation charity, while Harry’s sports’ links could be attractive to potential sponsors.

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EPA

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Meghan’s acting skills could see her secure further work for entertainment companies like Disney

“With Harry and Meghan, everyone knows who they are. They do not need their royal titles to make money,” Ms Junor said.”The spirit of the agreement seems to be that they won’t use their royal status for financial gain.”But I’m not sure their American advisors are in tune with the subtleties of the British Royal Family.”The couple have also placed an application to trademark their Sussex Royal moniker, covering merchandise including books, clothing and calendars. In his letter to the cabinet secretary, Norman Baker asked what guidance was sought prior to the Sussexes’ application.Buckingham Palace said it does not speak on behalf of Mr Phillips and did not respond to the BBC’s broader questions about protocols and procedures regarding commercial deals.



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Coronavirus: UK 'to monitor flights from China' as precaution


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Media captionThe BBC’s online health editor talks us through what we know about the virus
The UK is expected to begin monitoring flights arriving from China, as part of a series of precautionary measures after the spread of a new coronavirus.The measures, set to be announced later, will apply to flights from Wuhan to London Heathrow. According to government sources, Public Health England will upgrade the risk to the UK population from very low to low.Chinese authorities have advised people to stop travel into and out of Wuhan, the city at the heart of the outbreak. They also admitted the country is now at the “most critical stage” of prevention and control. So far, there have been 440 confirmed cases and nine people have died.Most cases have been in Wuhan but the virus has also spread to other Chinese cities. A handful of cases have also been identified abroad, including in Japan and the United States. There have been no cases in Britain.

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Reuters

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At least 15 medical workers in Wuhan have also been infected with the virus

On Tuesday, authorities in China confirmed for the first time that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place.Health team at airportIn its most recent update on Monday, the UK government said the risk to the population was “very low” while the risk to travellers to Wuhan was “low”. The situation was “under constant review”, it said.A government source has now told the BBC that Public Health England and the chief medical officer are expected to increase the risk level to the population to “low”.And on Wednesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is also expected to put in place a series of “port measures” as a precaution which include:
A health team to meet each direct flight from Wuhan to London Heathrow
Passengers on flights will hear an announcement and be given a leaflet to encourage them to report if they are ill
Aircraft will land in an isolated area of Heathrow Terminal 4 that “better lends itself to any health contingencies”
There are currently three direct flights a week from Wuhan to London Heathrow. It comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) will also consider on Wednesday whether to declare an international public health emergency over the virus – as it did with swine flu and Ebola.

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Matt Hancock is expected to implement the precautionary measures on Wednesday

Authorities in several countries, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan. US authorities last week announced similar measures at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. They have now announced plans to introduce similar measures at airports in Chicago and Atlanta this week.The UK’s expected measures do not appear to include a medical screening of passengers at the airport for signs of the virus, as the UK did in 2014 following the Ebola outbreak.Then, screening involved taking people’s temperatures to check whether they have a fever and asking several questions to assess their risk.New China virus ‘could mutate and spread further’China – which is stepping up containment measures – has still not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus.But the country’s National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said there was evidence that the disease was “mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract”.A National Health Commission official admitted that the country was now at the “most critical stage” of prevention and control.

What we know so far about the Chinese coronavirusThis type of coronavirus is a new strain that hasn’t been seen in humans before, which means doctors still have lots to learn about it.The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. There have not been any other suspected human cases reported prior to this.The incubation period (how long it takes for symptoms to appear after catching the infection) is days, rather than weeks.It is not yet known how or when the virus became infectious to people. Experts believe the first cases were transmitted by an animal.Other coronaviruses, such as Sars and Mers, came from civet cats and camels respectively.At the moment, there is no vaccine that can protect people against it, but researchers are looking to develop one.



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Orlando Bloom to voice Prince Harry in animated series


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The man who brought us Family Guy is now making an animated series about the Royal Family.Inspired by a popular Instagram account, The Prince will tell the story of the Windsors through the eyes of six-year-old Prince George.The HBO Max show will poke fun at the UK’s most famous family, with Orlando Bloom set to voice Prince Harry.The Royal Family have dominated the headlines in recent weeks with the speculation over Prince Harry and Meghan’s future. The couple are now due to step back from their royal duties and start a new life in Canada.

HBO Max tweeted about the series saying, “The Prince, which follows an animated Prince George spilling all that British Royal Tea.”As well as Family Guy, writer Gary Janetti also produced the sitcom Will & Grace.He’ll now write and executive produce The Prince.

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Getty Images

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The Royal Family

Dropping a Game of Thrones reference, he said in a statement: “I’m thrilled to be working at HBO Max and bringing them yet another series about a family ruthlessly fighting for the throne,”Gary’s satirical Instagram account has almost 900,000 followers and includes a lot of posts with one-liners from Prince George.

The fictional George often aims barbed comments at his sibling – Charlotte and Louis – his uncle Harry and aunt Meghan, their son Archie, and other members of his family.

It’s thought the show could be similar and there’s speculation about what will be covered.Will it be about the fight for the throne? Meghan and Harry moving to Canada? Sibling rivalry between the children of Prince William and Kate?Not everyone is impressed with the announcement.

Other people reported as being part of the show include, US actress Condola Rashad voicing Meghan Markle.Lucy Punch will play Kate Middleton, Tom Hollander will voice both Prince Philip and Prince Charles, Frances De La Tour will be Queen Elizabeth, and Iwan Rheon as Prince William.Alan Cumming will voice George’s butler, Owen.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.



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Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe in surprise exit


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Sainsbury’s has announced its chief executive Mike Coupe will retire from the supermarket group in May.Mr Coupe has led Sainsbury’s for almost six years, during which he oversaw a failed attempt to merge with rival supermarket Asda.The head of Sainsbury’s retail and operations, Simon Roberts, will take over from Mr Coupe.”This has been a very difficult decision for me personally,” Mr Coupe said. “There is never a good time to move on, but as we and the industry continue to evolve, I believe now is the right time for me to hand over to my successor.”Mr Coupe’s departure is a surprise after he said last May he would be “sticking to the company” when asked whether he had been asked to step down after the failed merger.”I’m planning to stay,” he said at the time.Mr Coupe’s departure was announced a day after Sainsbury’s said it was cutting “hundreds” of management roles to reduce costs. It said the cuts were largely due to its integration of Argos, which it bought in 2016 into the business.Mr Roberts, who is due to take over on 1 June, has been involved in integrating Sainsbury’s and Argos. He was also the former president of retailer Boot UK.



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Gauff sets up another Osaka meeting in last 32




Coco Gauff is making her first appearance at the Australian Open2020 Australian OpenVenue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 FebruaryCoverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.American teenager Coco Gauff recovered from a set down to set up a meeting with defending champion Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open last 32. World number one Ashleigh Barty also reached the third round on Wednesday.Japanese third seed Osaka put a “childish” outburst behind her to beat Saisai Zheng 6-2 6-4 before 15-year-old Gauff saw off Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.The world number 67 was 3-0 down in the deciding set but fought back to win 4-6 6-3 7-5 in two hours and six minutes.”It’s amazing,” said Gauff. “Honestly, I didn’t think I would get so much support in Australia. I was down 3-0 and you really made me believe.”Osaka, 22, went through in straight sets but threw her racquet on the floor and kicked it after China’s Zheng broke her serve in the second.”My racquet just magically flew out of my hand,” joked Osaka, who won in one hour and 20 minutes. “I couldn’t control it, I think that’s how I dealt with my frustration.”It was a bit childish. I just want to play one match without throwing my racquet or kicking it. That’s all I want.”Gauff v Osaka – part twoIt is the second Grand Slam in a row where Gauff will play Osaka, who was also the defending champion when the pair met in the US Open third round in September.The Japanese triumphed 6-3 6-0 that day but it was the way she consoled the American youngster that stole the headlines.Osaka gave Gauff a big hug at the net before inviting her tearful opponent to stay on the court with her to speak to the crowd. The Japanese even apologised for playing so well against her.Gauff is looking forward to the re-match.”She’s a great competitor so I think it’s going to be a good match,” said the American, who is playing in just her third Grand Slam and making her debut at the Australian Open .Barty, Wozniacki & Kvitova throughAustralian Barty, who reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park last year, eased to a 6-1 6-4 victory against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in just over an hour.Caroline Wozniacki recovered from going 5-1 down in the opening set to win 7-5 7-5 and put off her impending retirement for at least another match.The 2018 champion won six games in a row to clinch the opening set and also went 3-0 down in the second before mounting a comeback against Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska.The Dane, 29, will face Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who beat British number one Johanna Konta in her opening match, in the third round.Meanwhile, Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova, who was beaten by Osaka in last year’s final, progressed with a 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain’s Paula Badosa.American 14th seed Sofia Kenin saw off compatriot and wildcard Ann Li 6-1 6-3, while Germany’s Julia Goerges knocked out Croatia’s 13th seed Petra Martic in a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory.In her final season before retirement, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro won her first-round match against Belarusian 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (8-6) to set up a meeting with Polish 18-year-old Iga Swiatek.



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Kate launches childhood survey to help under-fives


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REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

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The Duchess of Cambridge visited Thinktank, a science museum in Birmingham, as part of the launch

The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a UK-wide survey to help improve early childhood.The five-question online survey aims to “spark a national conversation” to help create “lasting change for generations to come”, Kensington Palace said.Catherine is marking its launch with visits to a museum in Birmingham and a baby sensory class in Cardiff.The NSPCC said the project would be a “vital source of information”.In the survey, called Five Big Questions, participants are asked for their opinion on what influences development and what period of childhood is most important for children’s happiness.

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Matt Porteous

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Catherine, pictured with her son Prince Louis in May last year, has often voiced her support for early years initiatives

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REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

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Children helped to show the duchess around MiniBrum, an interactive exhibition, on Tuesday

On Tuesday the duchess visited Thinktank, a science museum in Birmingham.She was shown around an interactive mini city inside the museum and spoke to parents and carers about her survey.

Business as usualAnalysis by Daniela Relph, BBC royal correspondent It is stating the obvious to say it has been a difficult week for the Royal Family.But with Harry and Meghan now back in Canada and big decisions made about their future there is a sense of returning to business as usual… at least for now.For the Duchess of Cambridge that means an even sharper focus on one particular area – the problems of early childhood.Royal engagements can cover a vast number of areas but for the duchess an increasing amount of her work is targeted at early years.This new survey will ultimately help provide important data for all those working in the area of early years, and will also inform the kind of work the Duchess of Cambridge gets involved with in the future.Those who have worked with her in this area say she is totally committed and isn’t just a figurehead.She has built up an expertise and wants to prevent the same problems affecting the same families generation after generation.

On Wednesday Catherine will attend a baby sensory class at the Ely and Caerau Children’s Centre in Cardiff to hear about the support parents receive there.

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Kensington Palace/Duchess of Cambridge

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have three children under the age of seven

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Matt Porteous

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The duchess has spoken before about the importance of encouraging children and families to get outdoors

Catherine and her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, have three children – six-year-old Prince George, four-year-old Princess Charlotte, and 21-month-old Prince Louis.Princess Charlotte and Prince George both attend the lower school at Thomas’s Battersea, while Prince Louis has not yet started nursery.The Royal Foundation website says Catherine believes “many of society’s greatest social and health challenges” could be “mitigated or entirely avoided” if young children are given “the right support”.Kate Stanley, from the NSPCC, says the duchess’s survey will “provide fascinating insight into how we think about the early years and it will be a vital source of information for the sector”.

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Media caption2015: The duchess says early action “can prevent problems in childhood from turning into larger ones later in life”
Ipsos Mori, which is conducting the survey on behalf of the Royal Foundation, said it was a “fantastic way for the British public to share their views”.The company’s Kelly Beaver added: “Whilst many studies have been conducted to generate evidence of the importance of the early years, there is a real lack of evidence to understand whether this is understood by the British public.”The survey will be open until 21 February.

The ‘five big questions’

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REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

1. What do you believe is most important for children growing up in the UK today to live a happy adult life? Rank from most important to least important:
Good physical and mental health
Good friendships and relationships
Access to opportunities
Access to a good education
2. Which of these statements is closest to your opinion?
It is primarily the responsibility of parents to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness
It is primarily the responsibility of others in society to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness
It is the shared responsibility of parents and others in society to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness
Don’t know
3. How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? The mental health and wellbeing of parents and carers has a great impact on the development of their child(ren)
Strongly agree
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree
Strongly disagree
4. Which of the following is closest to your opinion of what influences how children develop from the start of pregnancy to age five?
Mostly the traits a child is born with (i.e. nature)
Mostly the experiences of a child in the early years (i.e. nurture)
Both nature and nurture equally
Don’t know
5. Which period of a child and young person’s life do you think is the most important for health and happiness in adulthood?
Start of pregnancy to five years
5-11 years (primary school)
11-16 years (secondary school)
16-18 years (further education)
18-24 years (young adulthood)
Don’t know
All equally important



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New China virus: Officials warn it 'could mutate and spread further'


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Kevin Frayer

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Authorities confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus took place

A new virus that has killed nine people could mutate and spread further, Chinese health officials have warned, as they step up containment measures.There are now 440 confirmed cases of the outbreak that originated from a market with illegal wildlife in Wuhan.It has now spread to several Chinese provinces as well as overseas including to the US, Thailand and South Korea.Authorities admitted that the country was now at the “most critical stage” of prevention and control. On Tuesday, it was confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place.’Increased risk’In one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak, National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said there was evidence that the disease was “mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract”. But China has still not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus.”Though the transmission route of the virus is yet to be fully understood, there is a possibility of virus mutation and a risk of further spread of the epidemic,” said Mr Li. The warning comes as millions of people across China are travelling within the country for the Lunar New Year week-long holiday. Thousands are also travelling abroad.Mr Li added that the festival would “increase the risk of the disease spreading and the difficulty of prevention and control”. He said strict measures to control the disease would be put in place. He also called for those in Wuhan to “avoid crowds and minimise public gatherings”. A ban on the trade of live poultry and wild animals has also been implemented in the city.



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Earth's oldest asteroid impact 'may have ended ice age'


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INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

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An image of the Yarrabubba area taken from the International Space Station

Scientists have identified the world’s oldest asteroid crater in Australia, adding it may explain how the planet was lifted from an ice age.The asteroid hit Yarrabubba in Western Australia about 2.2 billion years ago – making the crater about half the age of Earth, researchers say.Their conclusion was reached by testing minerals found in rocks at the site.The scientists say the find is exciting because it could account for a warming event during that era.The Curtin University research was published in the journal Nature Communications on Wednesday.How did they date it?The crater was discovered in the dry outback in 1979, but geologists had not previously tested how old it was.
Dinosaur extinction: ‘Asteroid strike was culprit’
Splosh! How to make a giant impact crater
Due to billions of years of erosion, the crater is not visible to the eye. Scientists mapped scars in the area’s magnetic field to determine its 70km (43 miles) diameter.

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CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Yarrabubba is located about 600km north-east of the city of Perth

“The landscape is actually very flat because it’s so old, but the rocks there are distinctive,” researcher Prof Chris Kirkland told the BBC.To determine when the asteroid hit Earth, the team examined tiny zircon and monazite crystals in the rocks. They were “shocked” in the strike and now can be read like “tree rings”, Prof Kirkland said.These crystals hold tiny amounts of uranium. Because uranium decays into lead at a consistent pace, the researchers were able to calculate how much time had passed.

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CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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A zircon crystal used to date the impact Yarrabubba

It is at least 200 million years older than the next most ancient impact structure – the Vredefort Dome in South Africa. “We were interested in the area because the Western Australian landscape is very old but we didn’t expected [the crater] to be as old as this,” Prof Kirkland said.”It’s absolutely possible that there’s an older crater out there just waiting to be discovered, but the difficulty is in finding the crust before it erodes and you lose that early Earth history”.Could it have ended an ice age?The timing of the impact could also explain why the world warmed around this time, according to the researchers.Scientists believe the planet was previously in one of its “Snowball Earth” periods, when it was largely covered in ice. At some point, the ice sheets melted and the planet began to rapidly warm.The ancient memories trapped in the world’s glaciers”The age of the [crater] corresponds pretty precisely with the end of a potential global glacial period,” Prof Kirkland said. “So the impact may have had significant changes to our planetary climate.”Using computer modelling, the team calculated that the asteroid struck a kilometres-thick ice sheet covering the Earth. The event would have released huge volumes of water vapour, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.This could have helped the planet’s warming during the Proterozoic era – a stage when oxygen had just appeared in the atmosphere and complex life had not yet formed.

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TIMMONS ERICKSON

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The crater as seen from Barlangi Rock, with an outcrop in its centre

“Obviously we were very excited just with the age itself,” Prof Kirkland said. “But placing that right with the context of Earth’s other events makes it become really very interesting.”There is not enough modelling from the time to comprehensively test the theory, but “the rocks tell a story about the massive impact into the planet”.Another theory for the warming event is that volcanic eruptions may have pushed carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.



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Watson fights back to reach Australian Open second round




Heather Watson reached the third round of the Australian Open in 20132020 Australian OpenVenue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 FebruaryCoverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.Britain’s Heather Watson showed tremendous fight in blustery conditions to win her Australian Open first-round match against Czech Kristyna Pliskova.Watson, ranked 75th, won 4-6 6-3 6-1 at Melbourne Park.The conditions made for a scrappy match which the 27-year-old battled back to win in one hour and 58 minutes.Watson, who is one of three Britons to reach the second round in the singles, could face Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens next.Mertens faces Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic later on Wednesday as, like Watson, she had to come back a day later as a consequence of the backlog of matches caused by Monday’s rain washout.Watson joins compatriots Harriet Dart and Dan Evans in winning their openers.Evans, seeded 30th, plays his second-round match against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka later on Wednesday.The British number one knows there is a strong possibility that Serbia’s defending champion Novak Djokovic awaits him in the third round if he beats world number 71 Nishioka.Watson has not enjoyed many victories in the Grand Slams recently, showing her pleasure at digging in and beating 65th-ranked Pliskova with a wide smile and tight clenched fist towards her box.The Guernsey player had won only one match in her last six appearances in the main draw in Melbourne but had come here in good form after reaching the semi-finals of the Hobart International earlier this month. In difficult conditions in which both players struggled at times with their ball toss, Watson eventually dealt with them better as Pliskova – twin sister of second seed Karolina – began to show her frustration.Watson’s service game improved as the match wore on and she continued to hit a steady stream of winners to clinch only her third win at a Grand Slam in the past two years.



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Trump impeachment trial opens as senators clash over rules


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EPA

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Mitch McConnell (C) wants to block subpoenaing key witnesses or documents

The US Senate has rejected repeated Democratic attempts to secure new evidence in President Donald Trump’s impeachment as his trial began.Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell meanwhile backed off on a plan to fast-track the hearings after coming under pressure from fellow Republicans.Democrats said this would have been no less than a cover-up.Mr Trump is charged with abuse of power and obstructing the congressional inquiry. He denies wrongdoing.At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Mr Trump dismissed the accusations against him as “just a hoax”.Senators have taken oaths to act as impartial jurors, hearing arguments for six hours a day, six days a week in a trial presided over by the US Chief Justice, John Roberts.
‘No crime, no impeachment’ – is that true?
Trump impeachment trial: All you need to know
It is only the third time in US history that a president is facing an impeachment trial and it is unclear how long it will last.Mr Trump was impeached last month by the Democratic-led House of Representatives. But the Senate, which is controlled by his fellow Republicans, is not expected to convict the president and remove him from office.How were Democrats blocked?By party-line votes of 53-47, the Senate rejected three Democratic bids on Tuesday to obtain documents and evidence in the impeachment trial.Senators blocked a motion from Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to subpoena White House files related to Mr Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.They also rejected follow-up motions demanding a subpoena of records and documents from the state department and White House budget office. In his opening statement, Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment case, said most Americans “do not believe there will be a fair trial”. “They don’t believe the Senate will be impartial,” he added. “They believe the result is pre-cooked.”The president’s legal team had earlier demanded he be immediately acquitted, calling the trial “a dangerous perversion of the constitution”.

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Media captionA beginner’s guide to impeachment and Trump
How did Mitch McConnell come under pressure?Backed by the president’s lawyers, Mr McConnell had initially planned to condense the opening arguments from three days to two.But after a meeting with senators, including some Republicans, Mr McConnell agreed on Tuesday to three days for opening arguments.The senators had expressed concern about how middle-of-the-night sessions would look to US voters.White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the president’s lead lawyer, said: “It’s a fair process. There is absolutely no case.”Several more days of procedural tangles are expected.Democrats want current and former Trump administration officials such as ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify.But Republicans are postponing debate over witnesses and documents until later in the trial.
The Trump impeachment story explained
Trump impeachment – your questions answered
What are the charges?First, the president is accused of seeking help from Ukraine’s government to help himself get re-elected in November. It is claimed that, during a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he held back military aid as he sought an anti-corruption investigation into Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden, whose son, Hunter, held a board position with a Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma.The second allegation is that, by refusing to allow White House staff to testify at the impeachment hearings last year, Mr Trump obstructed Congress.The Senate is hearing the case as the Democratic-led House voted to impeach Mr Trump on 18 December.



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