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Who will be Premier League champions? – 40 BBC experts have their say

Who will be Premier League champions? – 40 BBC experts have their say

Sports
We have seen six different champions since the Premier League started 25 years ago, but will someone different win it this time?Liverpool and Tottenham are among the teams hoping that will be the case or, at the very least, that they can finish in the top four.But will Chelsea defend their title? Can Pep Guardiola conquer England with Manchester City? Are Arsenal contenders... or will Manchester United come good?We asked 40 BBC TV and radio pundits, presenters, journalists and commentators for their one-two-three-four and an explanation of their selection.The predictions were made on the basis of how each squad shaped up on Friday, 11 August, before the opening weekend but with three weeks to go before the transfer window shuts on Friday 1 September, and the potential of further signings -...
Who should — and shouldn't — consider making variable annuities part of their retirement portfolio

Who should — and shouldn't — consider making variable annuities part of their retirement portfolio

Finance
When it comes to variable annuities, many financial pros offer a few words of advice: Use with caution.Indeed, as complex investments that are tricky to understand, variable annuities come with risks that sometimes can outweigh the expected rewards."The plain-vanilla ones aren't necessarily a bad deal if they're used the right way," said certified financial planner Colby Winslow, a senior wealth planner with WaterOak Advisors. "But sometimes the fees are so prohibitive that they don't justify using one."Nevertheless, advisors say that in some cases a variable annuity ends up being the best option for a portion of an investors' retirement money.In simple terms, these annuities are a type of investment that offers some income-stream guarantees in retirement. You give an insurance company you...
Why dogs are friendly – it's written in their genes

Why dogs are friendly – it's written in their genes

Science
Being friendly is in dogs' nature and could be key to how they came to share our lives, say US scientists.Dogs evolved from wolves tens of thousands of years ago.During this time, certain genes that make dogs particularly gregarious have been selected for, according to research.This may give dogs their distinctive personalities, including a craving for human company."Our finding of genetic variation in both dogs and wolves provides a possible insight into animal personality, and may even suggest similar genes may have roles in other domestic species (maybe cats even)," said Dr Bridgett vonHoldt of Princeton University.The researchers studied the behaviour of domestic dogs, and grey wolves living in captivity. They carried out a number of tests of the animals' skills at problem-solving and ...
The boss of Qatar Airways ridicules American carriers for their aged flight attendants

The boss of Qatar Airways ridicules American carriers for their aged flight attendants

Finance
GULLIVER is rarely fazed by what happens below the line of his posts. Receiving the occasional shoeing from readers—sometimes insightful, sometimes not—goes with the job. And he has certainly found his views swayed by well-reasoned arguments he finds there.But he was truly gobsmacked at the discussion that ensued from a piece last year about the sexualisation of flight attendants. The post noted a few of the seedier airline hiring practices, such as asking potential recruits, some just 15, to take part in a bikini competition, or carriers refusing to employ married women. It then concluded with what seemed to be an uncontroversial suggestion: female cabin crew should be chosen for their abilities, not for their allure.It turns out that such woolly liberal thinking is merely the product of
Cave painting sites may have been chosen for their acoustics, scientists argue

Cave painting sites may have been chosen for their acoustics, scientists argue

Science
June 29 (UPI) -- New research suggests the sites of cave paintings created by Paleolithic peoples many have been chosen for their acoustic qualities.Such a connection would suggest cave paintings held a religious or spiritual significance and were the site of rituals featuring chants and music.Scientists found that "points of resonance" in three French caves correspond with the placement of cave paintings. The three sites produce strong low frequency resonances.While the correlation is intriguing, researchers say their analysis is speculative. The connection isn't conclusive."Many structures throughout history featured reverberant spaces because reverberant sound can be awe-inspiring," David Lubman, an acoustic scientist and fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, said in a news relea...