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HS2 station plans unveiled

Plans for the £1 billion "super hub" station of Old Oak Common Station for the HS2 rail line were revealed on 5 February 2019. Work is expected to start later in 2019. When operational, it will handle 250,000 passengers a day, which would make it the country's second busiest station behind Waterloo. It is built in Acton near to Watford Junction. It is expected to be opened in 2026. The stati...
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Obituary: Evelyn Berezin

Evelyn Berezin, American word processing pioneer, died on 8 December 2018, aged 93. Berezin developed the world's first commercial word processor to avoid the need for retyping documents. In 1960 IBM marketed it as the Data Secretary. She also developed software in many other areas such as airline reservations. Her life was blighted by prejudice against women engineers. She started her ow...
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Cryptocurrency failure

Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange has unexpectedly closed when the only person who knew its password died at the age of 30. Gerald Cotten, co-founded Quadriga CX. He died in December 2018 from complications related to Crohn's disease while travelling to India. He did not leave any details or hints of the password for the digital wallet containing C$250 million (about £145 million) of ...
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Record £100 million university donation

Billionaire hedge fund billionaire David Harding has donated £100 million to Cambridge University, the largest donation to a British educational establishment. Harding studied physics at the university in the 1970s. The donation comprises £79 million to boost postgraduate numbers, £20 million to support debt-free degrees, and £1 million to encourage black students and those from poor background...
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Presumption of innocence not relevant for civil proceedings

The presumption of innocence only applies to criminal proceedings. The fact that a conviction was quashed on appeal does not stop civil proceedings for compensation. The Supreme Court so ruled on 30 January 2019. The case concerned a claim for murder and attempted rape when new evidence was discovered after the accused had spent many years in prison. The case revolved round the meaning of wo...
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Paying tax keeps brothel owner out of jail

Brothel owner Sandra Hankin avoided a prison sentence on 3 February 2019 when the court was told that she paid taxes on her £3.8 million business empire, and was tacitly allowed to operate by police for 14 years. Hankin openly ran two brothels in Wales which openly advertised on a website. The police ignored it because she did not use under-age girls, trafficked women, ensured they had regular ...
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Opera ticket for £3,435

A seat in the stalls for a performance of Verdi's opera The Force of Destiny costs £3,435, it was revealed in February 2019. Its face value is £125. Another £570 ticket is believed to have sold for £6,869. The performance features the German tenor Jonas Kaufman and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. The performances are at the Royal Opera House, which receives a government subsidy of £24 million a ...
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First male cheerleader at Super Bowl

Two male cheerleaders appeared at the US Super Bowl on 3 February 2019 for the first time. They are Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies. They have already made history by becoming the first male cheerleaders recognised by NFL. Their outfit comprises white trousers and a blue sweat shirt. Their female colleagues wear white hot pants and blue crop tops. [19.02]
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First FGM prosecution

On 1 February 2019, an unnamed Ugandan woman became the first person in the UK to be prosecuted for female genital mutilation (FGM). She and her partner cut their daughter in 2017. The mother has previously been convicted of benefits fraud. [19.02]
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Ken Dodd funds church work

Sir Ken Dodd left an undisclosed large sum to St John's church in Knotty Ash, Liverpool. His wife Lady Anne Dodd remains a regular attender. Dodd was famously charged and acquitted with tax evasion. This became the subject of many jokes, such as saying that he did not think he owed anything to Inland Revenue as he lived by the sea. According to the Christian news media, Premier, the sum is s...
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