<![CDATA[Pressat Main Newswire]]> https://pressat.co.uk/ https://pressat.co.uk/media/site/logo.png https://pressat.co.uk/category/main-news/ en-gb Copyright: (C) Pressat Pressat <![CDATA[ The “Robin Hood” of energy suppliers is urging Southampton-based residents to switch and save ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/the-robin-hood-of-energy-suppliers-is-urging-southampton-based-residents-to-switch-and-save-7ec8a862bf917d7effa81e89d8cea3e3 https://pressat.co.uk/releases/the-robin-hood-of-energy-suppliers-is-urging-southampton-based-residents-to-switch-and-save-7ec8a862bf917d7effa81e89d8cea3e3 Thursday 25 April, 2019

An ethical energy brand developed by Southampton City Council is urging residents to switch their gas and energy supplier.

Dubbed as the “Robin Hood” of the energy industry, CitizEn Energy’s main aim is to provide residents within the Southampton area with competitively priced electricity and gas products that are fairer for consumers. CitizEN is operated as a not-for-profit so all surplus revenue will be reinvested back into energy savings initiatives that help the consumers.

CitizEN Energy is targeting the thousands of residents who are struggling to keep their home warm otherwise known as “fuel poverty”, the initiative is not their for making shareholders richer, it solely exists to help residents get fairer, cheaper priced fuel.

“For years the UK gas and electric industry has been dominated by “the big six” (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, scottish Power and SSE plc.) that solely exist to make a profit for their shareholders, CitizEN has already started to change the industry with twenty one councils already on-board providing cheaper, greener and ethical sourced energy to consumers" said Mike Mills co-founder of Energy Switching

CitizEn Energy is already breaking the status quo in the consumer energy market with twenty one other councils across the UK using the firm to provide competitively and ethically sourced gas and electric to residents. These include: Stoke-on-trent, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Worcester, Hereford, Swindon, Oxford, Bristol, Bath, Reading, Basingstoke, Winchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Weymouth, Exeter, Torquay, Plymouth, Bodmin, Barnstable,

The green electricity tariffs are certified as being sourced from wind and solar generators based in the UK.

The new energy tariff will hopefully save residents hundreds of pounds on their gas and electric bill and is urging customers to switch to avoid the squeezing price increases of the "Big Six".

Southampton City Council is urging residents to see if they could save hundreds on their energy bills following the launch of CitizEn Energy's new gas and electricity tariff.

"Whether you are finding money a challenge, or you just want a better deal, this is a great tariff available to all our Southampton households.

"Many could see savings of hundreds of pounds, especially if they’ve not switched for a while.

"Another important factor is that the electricity supplied is from sustainable sources, so there is a good reason for all to get involved.”

Only 18 per cent of British households changed energy suppliers with more than 50% of them never having switched, this means that consumers are often stuck on old tariffs or not taking advantage of new energy firms like CitizEN who are bucking the industry with a not-for-profit setup.

Often many new energy suppliers are initially noted as good companies but as they grow customer service often lacks, but CitizEn Energy’s was recently voted the 2nd best in the UK.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Jenny Bond.

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25 Apr 2019 07:16:58 GMT
<![CDATA[ Danger on two wheels: Cyclist deaths are on the rise in Germany ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/danger-on-two-wheels-cyclist-deaths-are-on-the-rise-in-germany-ea3c63ddf10b364f97156e37f91f705b https://pressat.co.uk/releases/danger-on-two-wheels-cyclist-deaths-are-on-the-rise-in-germany-ea3c63ddf10b364f97156e37f91f705b Thursday 4 April, 2019

Newly-released figures are sure to prove a cause for concern for Germany’s avid cyclists. According to provisional data from the Federal Statistical Office, deaths on the roads in 2018 were up 15% from the previous year across all forms of bicycles, with 445 losing their lives. That worrying figure increases to as much as 27% when looking at the numbers killed riding partially motorised ‘e-bikes’, with 89 of them killed in traffic accidents.

Not only has this number increased in 2018, experts shockingly predict that even more will die this year. Siegfried Brockman, head of accident research in the insurance sector for the UDV Institute, has a sobering forecast for 2019.

"There are more and more cyclists, more e-bikes and soon there will be e-scooters as well. You would expect infrastructure would get ahead of the new developments, and not merely follow them, but we are far from this."

With more people choosing two wheels over the safety of a car or simply walking, more bikes on the roads equals more deaths on them too according to Brockman. Plus, he says hot weather plays a part, with the upward trend set to continue "unless we have a truly terrible summer, and nobody gets on their bicycle."

As 2018’s summer was long and hot, currently the only thing that may prevent another increase is a cool wet summer, not an ideal scenario in most people’s minds, but it may quell the numbers.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Jenny Bond.

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04 Apr 2019 07:49:17 GMT
<![CDATA[ Chiang Mai has the world’s worst air pollution, but Thailand says it’s ready to act. ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/chiang-mai-has-the-worlds-worst-air-pollution-but-thailand-says-its-ready-to-act-0cfc339a2794087c266b2e4229ec482a https://pressat.co.uk/releases/chiang-mai-has-the-worlds-worst-air-pollution-but-thailand-says-its-ready-to-act-0cfc339a2794087c266b2e4229ec482a Monday 1 April, 2019

It’s an undoubtedly a regrettable position to be in: ranked as the city with the most-polluted air in the entire planet, and no doubt Chiang Mai’s residents can attest to this. Thankfully for them, it now seems their government has recognised the problem and is prepared to do something about it.

The Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visited the northern city on Tuesday, with the leader’s presence showing how seriously the matter is now being taken, and his words suggest they’ll act quickly: "The government will try to tackle this within seven days."

Prayut met with local officials to converse with them over the different ways to solve the problem that’s proving a real health hazard for both residents and tourists alike. In face, the situation has now become so serious that even the head of the monarchy has voiced his concerns, with King Maha Vajiralongkorn telling the authorities in no uncertain terms that the putrid air needs to be tackled head on right away.

The website airvisual.com, where users can explore air quality levels across the world, has placed Chiang Mai at the very bottom of the charts worldwide for more than a week, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 409, which equates to a “hazardous level”.

And smog-filled photos posted online certainly seem to prove the case that Chiang Mai is heavily polluted. Some residents say they cannot see more than a few hundred metres, and that they cannot go outdoors until there has been an improvement in air quality.

Richard Barrow, an online travel blogger, has been tweeting about the effects, saying the map of the polluted areas "makes it look like Northern Thailand is on fire” and that “it would be stupid not to wear smog masks”.

Greenpeace as well as academics have also entered the debate surrounding the pollution, with them laying a portion of the blame at the feet of those burning agriculture in the region, and have stressed to authorities the importance of enforcing environmental laws.

With the now world watching, and both Thailand’s government and monarchy now voicing their desire to do something about it, hopefully Chiang Mai’s residents will soon be able to breathe easier.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Mike Armstrong.

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01 Apr 2019 07:49:17 GMT
<![CDATA[ £1 MegaBus ads banned by UK advertising regulator ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/1-megabus-ads-banned-by-uk-advertising-regulator-789a32f4c74f1d267fcd414f90c7007b https://pressat.co.uk/releases/1-megabus-ads-banned-by-uk-advertising-regulator-789a32f4c74f1d267fcd414f90c7007b Thursday 14 February, 2019

The UK’s advertising regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned MegaBus from advertising £1 fares across it’s bus/ coach operations..

MegaBus was found to be advertising tickets for routes such as Manchester to London but admitted that they were only allocating just one seat on the entire service for £1.

The public which complained to the ASA claimed that they felt MegaBus was misleading them with the £1 fares.

MegaBus is well known in the UK for providing £1 bus and coach tickets for budget savvy travellers with just a 50p booking fee.

The ASA felt that MegaBus were over promoting the £1 tickets, in September 2017 the firm pushed an advertisement on Facebook that with all intent and purpose advertised to the customer that several £1 tickets were available to purchase on the Aberystwyth to Birmingham route but the firm admitted that just 1 single coach ticket was buyable at £1.

The ASA said in its ruling that MegaBus could not make the same advertisement again in the future unless a significant number of coach fares were genuinely available to the customer.A spokesperson for MegaBus said: "We have always provided clear and transparent pricing for all of our customers, including the many thousands who have taken advantage of our great £1 seat offer."While we will continue to offer seats from £1, in line with recommendations from the ASA, we have decided to focus our marketing on the great value that all Megabus fares offer, along with welcome extras such as on board Wi-Fi and charging points."

Two main ASA complainants, stated they searched for coach tickets and genuinely believed that fares were not available at the £1 price, then challenged whether the claim “fares are from £1* advert” was misleading them could be substantiated by MegaBus.

Some industry commentators have said that the ruling could set precedent for future companies advertising goods and services at low prices but where only a very small number of items were available at the cheaper price. These advertising tactics are not news, many supermarkets and travel agencies have deployed this to lure customers into buying with them under the veil of cheaper prices.

A MegaBus spokesperson told the BBC that futureadverts would take a different approach.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Greg Bush.

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14 Feb 2019 07:49:17 GMT
<![CDATA[ Major iPhone bug lets you snoop on iPhone users ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/major-iphone-bug-lets-you-snoop-on-iphone-users-331ce4c749da307863abc02bde4a7076 https://pressat.co.uk/releases/major-iphone-bug-lets-you-snoop-on-iphone-users-331ce4c749da307863abc02bde4a7076 Tuesday 29 January, 2019

A major bug has been discovered in the Apple iPhone FaceTime app which allows anyone to listen into the person their calling even if don’t actually accept the incoming call.

The original bug was reported by Twitter user Benji Mobb which was then covered by Mac news website 9to5Mac.

The bug works when you place a video call to another person from the FaceTime app but then add a 3rd party to the call before the recipient pickups up the call, the original caller is then able to listen in even though they haven't actually answered the call.

The bug was also verified and tested by two other publications the Verge and CNBC who successfully exploited the scenario first outlined by Benji Mobb.

This bug only appears to to rely on the fairly new FaceTime Group Call feature.

The bug is a major privacy problem for iPhone users with the ability to listen into and record conversations it poses a risk to governments, security services, police but the possibilities are endless.

Apple said an update is currently being worked on and will be pushed to users later this week, stating to CNBC:

"We're aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week,".There's one quick way to make sure you are not vulnerable to the bug and that's turn off the feature ASAP.

It’s not yet clear how long the bug has been in the public domain for and if it's been exploited by rogue intelligence agencies, often bugs such as this open many other hole in the software to gain access to the users smartphone.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Jenny Bond.

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29 Jan 2019 07:49:17 GMT
<![CDATA[ Suicide rate plummets after Japan installs blue lights at Tokyo train stations ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/suicide-rate-plummets-after-japan-installs-blue-lights-at-tokyo-train-stations-46cebeac0b141f58ddfa9ff7b6b616a5 https://pressat.co.uk/releases/suicide-rate-plummets-after-japan-installs-blue-lights-at-tokyo-train-stations-46cebeac0b141f58ddfa9ff7b6b616a5 Monday 28 January, 2019

Across train stations in Japan, various rail companies have been installing blue lights to prevent suicide. It undoubtedly seems strange, but they have reason to believe that it really does work.

A scientific paper published back in 2013 claimed that blue lights in stations reduced the level of suicides up to a staggering 84%. Since the paper was released, many other countries in the world have now adopted similar measures, but are the results really what they appear to be? Just how effective could a simple blue light be when it comes to preventing unnecessary deaths?

It’s known as what’s called a “nudge” technique, which is a subtle, passive way to influence people’s behaviour that has the potential to have a huge impact. Areas lit with blue light were said to help alleviate the feelings of psychological stress and give people a calmer disposition.

Michiko Ueda, conducting research at Waseda University, studied what may be influencing Japan’s suicide rate, and was initially skeptical when she heard railway companies stating blue led to vastly decreased rates, “I thought we should follow up and I decided to contact the railway company to ask if they could provide data.”

Ueda then proceeded to analyse a decade of data on dozens of suicides across train stations in Japan, and did indeed find there was evidence of a large effect, with an 84% reduction in suicides. This figure was then widely reported by the media, and led to a flurry of excitement about the method.

However, when it hit the news, Masao Ichikawa at the University of Tsukuba decided to look at the data in more depth stressing that it needed to be analysed to distinguish night from day at the train stations, as blue light would likely not have as much of an effect during the day.

Ichikawa was also skeptical that the confidence in Ueda’s paper varied from 14-97%, which meant the actual effect of the lights may have only been 14% - nowhere near as impressive as all the media had been reporting.

He responded by publishing his own paper to show is that blue light is not the miracle many claim, and that there were more effective methods such as protective barriers. Of course, this ends up being much more expensive, but if it saves lives then there’s a strong argument for it being worth it.

Even though light therapy is now well established when it comes to Seasonal Affective Disorder, the jury is still out on whether it has any discernible effect when it comes to preventing suicides. Even Michiko Ueda—despite publishing the data that led to all the hype—recommends that people should try a range of options in their attempts to bring the numbers down, “I really don’t want people to think that blue lights are the solution. People should use multiple measures. Platform screen doors are probably the most effective one.”

There are signs of hope, with the overall number of suicides falling since 2003, when 34,500 suicides were reported, down to 21,000 in 2017, a reduction of almost 40%. However, the number has been rising among young people, which shows there’s still a great need to look at a range of solutions that will combat a tremendously sad loss of life.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Greg Bush.

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28 Jan 2019 10:10:16 GMT
<![CDATA[ You can now skate at Europe's most iconic nightclub ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/you-can-now-skate-at-europes-most-iconic-nightclub-cfc6c88c8f5c10dd42f8b96792c3f5a8 https://pressat.co.uk/releases/you-can-now-skate-at-europes-most-iconic-nightclub-cfc6c88c8f5c10dd42f8b96792c3f5a8 Friday 25 January, 2019
You can now Skate and dance the night away at Berlin's exclusive Berghain club

It’s one of Berlin's most iconic nightclubs with a status across Europe as the epicentre of techno but that’s not the only claim to fame for this exclusive club, the notoriously strict door policy has attracted world wide media coverage and guides claiming to have cracked the process of getting in trouble free.

Housed in a former power plant in the east of Berlin, the Berghain is now catering for more than party goes with the introduction of an ice rink of all things.

The 18 x 7 metre ice rink is a temporary installation as part of the Festival for Adventurous Music and Art, the CMT.

The rink can hold a maximum of 40 skaters with prices starting at 5 euros per person, skates are for high for just 2 euros.

The event is designed for everyone, families included but after 9pm the club will return to its techno roots.

Famous techno artists such as Skatebard, Kyoka, Robert Lippok and DJ Occult are planned to perform with light artist Christopher Bauder visually accompanying with the light installation.

So if you’ve never managed to get past the Berghain doorman, head over to the ice rink between January 25th and February 10th, you can then claim to have entered the legendary nightclub.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Stephen Fry.

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25 Jan 2019 07:49:17 GMT
<![CDATA[ Australia’s recording breaking heatwave is bad news for wildlife ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/australias-recording-breaking-heatwave-is-bad-news-for-wildlife-06c5de493997a6842afe6e48b67d91a9 https://pressat.co.uk/releases/australias-recording-breaking-heatwave-is-bad-news-for-wildlife-06c5de493997a6842afe6e48b67d91a9 Thursday 24 January, 2019

After a several days of milder weather the sweltering heat wave has quickly returned breaking records across eastern and central Australia with devastating effects on the wildlife.

The population is currently celebrating Australia day with the rising temperature reaching 45 degree Celsius, but experts have predicted the mercury will rise even further.

Wildlife has been affected mainly by the intense heat and lack of water as dozens of wild horses were found deceased due to dehydration in dried out waterholes not far from Alice Springs on Wednesday. Park Rangers reported that they shot 55 wild horses who were seriously ill with no hope of recovering as all water supplies in the area dissipated

Only last month in Western Australia around 2,500 feral camels were killed as they were damaging local property seeking out water. Farmer Les Smith from Lake Wells Station, north-west of Perth, told the national ABC news that thousands of wild camels have come out of the Gibson Desert seeking water.

Railway builders and early explorers introduced camels into Australia in the early 1800’s, the wild population is now in the millions.

Temperatures soared to 50 degrees according to Tim Carmody, grazier from Prenti Downs in Western Australia who said more than a 1,000 camels had to be killed since Christmas.Other wildlife such as birds have flocked East in search of water.

Desalination plants are expected to be set to work for the first time due to dam levels dramatically dropping.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Simon Mills.

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24 Jan 2019 10:10:16 GMT
<![CDATA[ The Louvre crowned as France’s top tourist spot ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/the-louvre-crowned-as-frances-top-tourist-spot-c060b9f3a6968d19b0a1d964e0d7f5cb https://pressat.co.uk/releases/the-louvre-crowned-as-frances-top-tourist-spot-c060b9f3a6968d19b0a1d964e0d7f5cb Thursday 3 January, 2019

The world’s largest art museum the Louvre hosted a record breaking 10.2 million visitors in 2018, up from 25% the previous year.

The historic museum is home to many renowned pieces such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Théodore Géricault's 19th century masterpiece the Raft of the Medusa, not forgetting many antiquities and sculptures.

Frances’ tourism industry took a sharp decline after terrorist attacks claimed 230 lives between 2015 and 2016, but figures have recently increased, with Paris once again becoming a European hotspot for tourists.

According to authorities, The Louvre was France's most visited museum in 2018, with the Eiffel Tower coming in second place..

The Louvre is a tourist magnet for none-French tourists, with over three quarters visiting from outside France and under 30 years old.

A single adult ticket to the Louvre costs 15 euros.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Mike Armstrong.

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03 Jan 2019 15:25:28 GMT
<![CDATA[ Mexico’s most lucrative fruit has a dark side ]]> https://pressat.co.uk/releases/mexicos-most-lucrative-fruit-has-a-dark-side-1b985eb4efb3d37c791e3462717a83eb https://pressat.co.uk/releases/mexicos-most-lucrative-fruit-has-a-dark-side-1b985eb4efb3d37c791e3462717a83eb Monday 3 December, 2018

Avocados have made world headlines for many reasons over the last decade. From millennials spending more because of their penchant need for avocado and poached egg on toast to the vast amount of rainforest being destroyed due to farming the crop.

Michaocan is probably the biggest avocado growing region across the whole of Mexico, it brings a vast amount of employment opportunities and money to the region but it comes with a high price, mainly the increasing environmental destruction.

Since 2016 the agricultural land used to farm avocados has almost doubled from 381,000 hectares to 564,000. According to the United Nations, it's also stretching from traditional cultivation areas into mountain ranges and forests with roughly 1,000 hectares of rainforest is being destroyed in the region a year.

The growing need for cultivation of avocados is creating a diversity problem in the rainforest and contributing to large scale environmental pollution which in turn is also damaging the water cycle in the area with endemic species on the decline.

Avocados are grown by farmers instead of other more less destructive crops due to the increased demand and money they can generate on the international fruit market but this has caused a spark in illegal felling of trees by small time farmers looking to make a living wage.

The Avocado craze is not over yet with estimates by the Mexican authorities pointing towards a 50% increase by 2030, that's around double the current 4.24 million tons per year.

Environmental issues are not the only worries for Mexico. Where there's money the cartel are not far behind. This has already been the case with producers being kidnapped.

Despite all the negative impacts the solution to Mexico’s Avocado problem is unfortunately not simple, millions live on low income wages which means out right banning the production would only increase poverty and abuse, whilst policing this would also be a colossal task.

* For more information regarding media usage, ownership and rights please contact Jenny Bond.

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03 Dec 2018 11:46:40 GMT