daily: handbag
Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Daily: February 19

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Helena Gumley - Mason
Britain's butterfly population is blooming
Thanks to the hot summer of last year, farmland butterflies are thriving (according to The Butterfly Conservation.) Following the annual WCBS (Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey) it was revealed that the number of butterflies had doubled since last year. Dr Zoe Randle from the Butterfly Conservation co-ordinated the survey and said that the results were some of the best ever recorded for 'common and widespread species.' However experts have warned that after this mild winter, the butterflies could reduce again if they emerge too early in spring. Dr Randle said 'We're at the mercy of the weather to be honest. One good summer doesn't ensure it's going to be good in the future.'

'You are in the danger zone!' says...handbag
The time of the shopaholic is over. The iBag, which has been invented by the Australian comparison website Creditcardfinder, utilises radio-frequency identification technology to monitor your spending. When the allure of the shopping spree beckons, the handbag can be programmed to lock you out prohibit you from giving into temptation. What is more, a GPS chip can be installed and send message alerts to your better (stingy) half who in turn can call you and dissuade you from overspending. Creditcardfinder's Head of Publishing – Jeremy Cabral says that 'the core function of the iBag centres on teaching people to be aware of their spending urges and help them monitor when they are using their credit cards.'

New estate of wooden houses unveiled
The Accord Group - a housing association in the Midlands, has revealed a new estate which was designed and built by its own staff (instead of outside contractors.) The group is one of the largest housing associations in the West Midlands and, as part of the Matrix Housing Partnership, intends to build 1, 500 new homes by 2015. The new homes feature some of the group's more environmentally -friendly carbon, timber-frames. The group believes that conducting everything 'in-house' might have saved them about half a million pounds. The £2.5 million project took place on the outskirts of Wolverhampton. 19 homes will be let to people on housing waiting lists and three of those will be made available for shared ownership for first time buyers.

Landgirl's memorial plans can proceed
The fundraising campaigners, who needed to raise £100, 000 so that a Land Girl Memorial could be erected, have met their target. The monument will commemorate the women who served in the Land Army during the Second World War. Julie Scott from the Women's Food and Farming Union said 'They fed Britain throughout the war and they deserve the tribute of a permanent memorial to acknowledge this.' The campaign was launched by the Staffordshire Women's Food and Farming Union in 2011 and the organisers hope to erect the monument at the National Memorial Arboretum later on this year. The memorial is to be crafted in clay before being officially cast in bronze.

Charles takes to the dance-floor with a sword
Prince Charles took part in a ceremony as part of a festival of culture and heritage in Saudi Arabia. He is currently touring the Middle East – visiting Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This is the second time the Prince has visited the two nations in the last twelve months and marks his tenth official trip to Saudi. Wearing traditional uniform (including the traditional ankle length 'thobe') the Prince joined members of the Saudi royal family for the sword dance (or Ardah) in the capital Riyadh. The Ardah features hundreds of Saudi Arabian men and boys singing and dancing whilst holding swords – it is an all-male event and usually takes place at events such as weddings.

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