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Uber for bikes: how ‘dockless’ cycles flooded China – and are heading overseas

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

New cycle-share firms in China allow you to simply drop your bike wherever you want. They have caused colourful chaos – and world cities could be next

On a 30ft-wide screen in Hangzhou’s public bike share office, the counter ticks up relentlessly: 278,812 … 278,847 … 278,883 … Another 40 cycle rentals every couple of seconds. The system will easily top 350,000 before this bitterly cold winter day is out.

On the left of the giant screen, the world’s 15 biggest public bike shares are ranked. Thirteen of them are in China. (Paris is No 5 with 21,000 bikes, and London No 12, with 16,500). Hangzhou – an hour west of Shanghai by bullet train – is slightly larger than London by population, but its share system is five times the size. It comfortably tops the table with 84,100 cycles, almost twice as many as its nearest rival.

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Interplanetary running – a 10k with a science spin

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

At the Run the Solar System 10k, runners started at the Sun and ran out to Neptune, passing planets at distances relative to their real positions. It was fun and surprisingly satisfying

The minds of Nasa engineers and sci-fi writers have spent decades dreaming up ways of crossing the vastness of outer space: ion thrusters, warp drives, gravitational slingshots, the Infinite Improbability Drive and dozens more. The list is already so long that it seems unlikely humanity needs to add to it any time soon. But as of 2017, there’s a new kid on the block: running. And this new addition was launched with enthusiasm recently at the Olympic Park in London, when 600 of us crossed the start line of the Run the Solar System 10k race.

It’s a brilliantly simple idea. You start at the Sun, and the race takes you outwards through the solar system, passing the planets at appropriate distances as you go. The race ends at the planet Neptune, 2.7bn miles out (or 10km along the race course).

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Picture of the day: Get off the road

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Longing picturing yourself bounding across Lake District trails with the grace of a mountain goat? Trail running brand inov-8 has launched a competition in which seven winners could scoop a five day trip to the Lake District. They’ll learn trips and tricks about trail running, and test new gear, as well as taking part in the classic nine mile Skiddaw Fell Race. Enter at inov-8.com/GetAGrip

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NHS ‘waving white flag’ as it axes 18-week waiting time operation target

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

New plan abandons target for hospitals to carry out 92% of non-urgent operations within 18 weeks and cuts surgery of ‘limited clinical value’

Patients will face longer delays for operations after the NHS decided to shelve one of its most important waiting time targets as part of its ambitious survival plan, which will also result in hundreds of thousands of people being denied surgery.

Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, has announced that the NHS is significantly relaxing the requirement on hospitals to treat, within 18 weeks, 92% of all patients in England who are waiting for a hip or knee replacement, cataract removal, hernia repair or other non-urgent operation.

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Simon Stevens’ delivery plan for the NHS explained

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

With the health service under unprecedented pressures of both finance and demand, the NHS England chief has outlined proposals to safeguard its future

The chief of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has pledged to make an array of changes to benefit patients in his proposals for the future of the health service.

In the delivery plan for his Five-Year Forward View, he sets out the way in which providers of NHS care must overhaul their working practices, despite the unprecedented pressures they are facing and the service having less money than he believes it needs to do its job properly.

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Quarter of adults in England ‘exercise for less than half hour a week’

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

NHS review finds high levels of obesity and inactivity in England, with minority eating five portions of fruit and vegetables

One in four adults in England get less than 30 minutes of exercise a week, with women more likely to be inactive, a report shows.

NHS Digital’s annual review of obesity in England also found high levels of obesity among adults and children, with only around a quarter of adults eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

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Children struggling to concentrate at school due to lack of sleep, MPs told

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Sleep deprivation highlighted in inquiry into role of education in preventing mental health problems in children

Sleep deprivation is a growing problem in schools, with pupils struggling to concentrate in lessons due to lack of sleep, MPs have been told.

Edward Timpson, minister for children and families, highlighted the issue while being questioned by MPs who are investigating the role of education in preventing mental health problems in children and young people.

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Joanna Cannon vows to keep working in NHS after £300,000 book deal

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Novelist who began writing to relieve the stress of her psychiatry job says literary success will not stop her listening to ‘real voices’ in hospital

A bestselling debut novelist who wrote her book in a hospital car park as stress release from her job as a psychiatrist is to return to the NHS. Her decision comes despite a £300,000 deal for her second book and a contract for two more novels.

Joanna Cannon, whose first book The Trouble With Goats and Sheep has now sold more than 100,000 copies in paperback in the UK and has been optioned for film by the makers of the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, said she was returning to the health service because she missed her patients.

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Several home pregnancy tests recalled after false negative results reported

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Family planning clinic alerts regulator to product’s deficiencies, leading to market sweep exposing more faulty devices

A commercially available, home-use pregnancy test has been recalled in Australia after producing false negative results, prompting a sweep of the market that led to a further nine products being removed and more subjected to regulatory action.

The One Step HCG urine pregnancy test was recalled after a family planning clinic alerted the Therapeutic Goods Administration to three instances of false negative results.

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Step aside Denmark. Norway takes world’s happiest nation crown

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Knocking their Scandi neighbours off the top of the happiness index, Norwegians put their joyful outlook down to shared experiences, the great outdoors – and lots of country cabins

This week five million Norwegians woke to happy news. Our country now comes top in the World Happiness Report, having leapfrogged several countries. We celebrated our official happiness with an extra piece of brown cheese on our breakfast bread. Best of all, we’re above Sweden, the neighbour we love to beat in skiing, football – and euphoria. And we’ve knocked Denmark, three-time world champion, into second place. How did we do it?

Related: ‘As countries go it really is the golden ticket’: readers on living in Norway

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