The Daily: June 18
Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Daily: June 18

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Sarah Pratley
Goodbye to Blackpool's deckchairs
Blackpool council have sold off the holiday resort's iconic deckchairs, after saying the 6,000 chairs had been mothballed for the past three years. The council added that the resort's remodelled sea front will have more places for people to sit than previously. Holidaymakers, it is said, now prefer to sit on benches than the traditional deckchair. Blackpool council cabinet member for tourism, Graham Cain, said: "For decades the deckchairs were a familiar sight along Blackpool's seafront. However, over time they were used less and less until the service ceased in 2011". The deckchairs have been sold to Deckchairstripes, a Cheshire company which will hire out the refurbished chairs to events such as weddings, outdoor concerts and festivals. The company also bought 1,000 windbreaks and 120 ticket machines and is set to spend £25,000 on their refurbishment.

Auction Round-Up
A very rare 19th Century postage stamp has sold for a record $9.5m (£5.6m) at auction in New York. The stamp is originally from a former British colony in South America and is printed on magenta paper, bearing a three-mastered ship and the colony's motto, "We give and expect in return". The stamp has been sold three times before and set an auction record each time, and it is now the most expensive item by weight and size ever sold.

In Dorchester a miniature portrait has sold for £30,000. The painting, measuring 3.5 inches, is by John Smart and of a Regency woman, 19-year-old Annie Chambers, youngest daughter of Sir Robert Chambers, the chief justice of Bengal, India. Auctioneer Amy Brenan, explaining why the miniature is particularly special, said: "It is often really difficult to know who has painted and miniature and who it is of."

Jeremy Paxman and Boris Johnson reunited in broadcaster's final Newsnight
Jeremy Paxman is set to present his final edition of BBC programme Newsnight tonight after 25 year at the show's helm. As a final send-off the Newsnight team are reuniting him with old adversary the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Tonight's edition will show the pair cycling across London on a tandem bike, as both are keen cyclists. Paxman and Johnson have provided some of the shows most memorable and comical interviews over the years. In 2007 Johnson mocked Paxman's "elephantine" salary, asking: "Why don't you get yourself a proper job instead of just sitting around telling politicians what to do all the time?" to which Paxman replied, "The usual convention, Boris, is that I ask the questions". A BBC spokesman has said that tonight's edition of Newsnight will not become a tribute show, but instead include "a nod" to the broadcaster's exit. Paxman will continue presenting University Challenge, as well as other occasional projects for the BBC.

11-year-old schoolgirl invents the 'unbreakable cup'
11-year-old Lily Born from Chicago has invented an unbreakable cup. This has come after seeing her grandfather develop Parkinson's disease, leaving him unable to use normal cups and mugs without spilling his drink. This generated the Kangaroo Cup's first design, a three-legged, easily stackable cup that doesn't need a coaster and, because of its gently inward curving rim, doesn't splash when carried. However, Lily has now redesigned the cup to be made of plastic, so as not to break, making it appropriate for young children as well. She went to Kickstarter, a crowdsourcing site, which she used to launch the original design, to raise funds for the project which is set to cost $25,000 (£14,740). With less than three weeks to go before the funding closes, Lily has raised over $45,000 (£26,500). Lily's father, also an inventor, said: "What started out a simple weekend project has become almost an obsession to build the world's best cup".

Bear attempts to join baseball game
A teenage baseball game in Juneau, Alaska, was brought to a halt at the weekend when a wild bear turned up to watch. The bear turned up beside outfield and all the players remained calm while the bear moved about beside a flimsy fence separating it from the outfield. The interrupted game was the fifth inning of an American Legion match between West Post 1 and Juneau Post 25. This is not the first baseball game to be interrupted by a wild creature in Alaska, however it is not usually something as frightening as a bear. In April, a Major League game was stopped after a squirrel managed to get onto the field.

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