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Vast sand scheme to protect Norfolk coast

Vast sand scheme to protect Norfolk coast

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Nearly two million cubic metres of sand are being shifted to a stretch of eroding Norfolk coastline in a radical plan to save it from the sea.The 6km-long dune will protect Bacton Terminal, which supplies one third of the UK's gas, but is teetering just metres from a cliff edge.The £20m project should also act as a defence for two nearby villages - Bacton and Walcott.It is the first "sandscaping" scheme on this scale to be carried out in the UK.It has been designed by Dutch engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV. Once the sand has been shifted, a combination of wind, waves and tides will "move the sands to where it needs to be," said the firm's coastal management adviser Jaap Flikweert. This will "p
Government looks to protect votes from risk of foreign interference

Government looks to protect votes from risk of foreign interference

Technology
By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter The government wants to introduce new laws to protect elections and referendums in the UK from the risk of interference by foreign powers.Announcing the move, the minister for the constitution Kevin Foster MP stated: "There is no evidence that British elections or referendums have been compromised." However, he added: "But we need to review and refresh our analogue laws for a digital age, and ensure there are robust safeguards against hostile states, foreign lobbyists and shadowy third parties."According to the government's announcement, the new plans could tackle these potential agents of influence by::: Barring people from running for office if found guilty of abusive behaviour;:: Requiring online election material ...
Climate change: 'Future proofing' forests to protect orangutans

Climate change: 'Future proofing' forests to protect orangutans

Science
A study has identified key tree species that are resilient to climate change and support critically endangered apes.Planting them could help future proof rainforests, which are a key habitat for orangutans, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN.Researchers surveyed 250 plants in Indonesia's Kutai National Park.Over 1,000 orangutans are thought to inhabit the park, as well as other rare animals such as the Malayan sun bear."Selecting which species to plant is a significant contribution to restoring the health of this ecosystem," said study co-author Douglas Sheil."Of course, the reasons why forest cover was lost in the first place must also be addressed for reforestation efforts to succeed." ...
Regulate social media to protect children, MPs urge

Regulate social media to protect children, MPs urge

Technology
Social media companies should have a legal "duty of care" to children, the UK Parliament's Science and Technology Committee has recommended.The group's report said social media had helped facilitate bullying and online grooming of children.It called for a regulator to be established to take "enforcement action" if apps broke the law.A number of privacy and data scandals have led to calls for social media companies to be regulated.Facebook's new vice-president Sir Nick Clegg has already pledged to do "whatever it takes" to make the company's platforms safer for young people.Sir Nick was responding to the case of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who took her own life after viewing distressing self-harm images on Instagram in 2017. ...