News That Matters

Tag: years

Mystery ‘tequila plant’ agave to flower in Cambridge after 57 years

Mystery ‘tequila plant’ agave to flower in Cambridge after 57 years

Science
A giant "tequila plant" is set to flower for the first - and only - time after more than half a century.The flower spike appeared a month ago at Cambridge University Botanic Garden and is now three metres (10ft) tall.Staff have been tending the agave, part of a family of plants from which tequila is made, since 1962 but cannot confirm its species until it flowers.They will soon have to remove the roof of the glasshouse as it continues to grow, but once it flowers, it will die.Experts at the garden were delighted when the plant's spike began to grow, indicating it will finally bloom. The succulent resembles a gi...
Greek debt crisis: ‘I wasn’t paid for two years’

Greek debt crisis: ‘I wasn’t paid for two years’

Business
Setting up a business in a country that is struggling to recover from a severe economic crisis is hardly the most ideal of circumstances.So Greek entrepreneurs Dimitris Kokkinakis and Sophie Lamprou faced an uphill struggle when they set up their business in 2013.Greece was beginning the long trek back from its debt crisis, which at one point looked like it might force the country out of the eurozone. It had imposed drastic austerity measures in response to bailouts starting in 2010.Then in 2015, the government announced capital controls, meaning the amount of money people could withdraw from banks was restricted."It was a very big shock, not just for us, but for everybody in Greece," says Sophie.Both entrepreneurs went without p...
Manufacturing in worst decline for six years as economy fears deepen

Manufacturing in worst decline for six years as economy fears deepen

Business
By John-Paul Ford Rojas, business reporter Britain's manufacturing sector suffered its worst month since 2013 in June as it endured a hangover from Brexit stockpiling earlier in the year, according to new figures.The downturn - also blamed on reduced exports amid a global slowdown - prompted factory employers to cut jobs for the third month in a row and added to fears over the wider economy. It comes after the Bank of England recently cut its UK growth forecast for the second quarter to zero, as no-deal Brexit fears and the US-China trade war weigh on demand.Other forecasters think UK GDP is likely to have shrunk in the April-June period.The latest reading of 48.0 from the closely-watched IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) ...
Michael Jackson: The story of the troubled star’s final day, 10 years on

Michael Jackson: The story of the troubled star’s final day, 10 years on

Entertainment
News of a medical emergency involving Michael Jackson started filtering through at around 22:00 BST on Thursday 25 June 2009.I know because I was on my way to watch cheesy 90s boy band East 17 in the Dance Tent at the Glastonbury Festival. They were a warm-up act the day before the event properly began.My editor called. Michael Jackson might have been rushed to hospital. He might be in a coma. That was according to TMZ, which was gaining a reputation for celebrity scoops.But no-one knew if it was true. Strange stories about the King of Pop often bubbled up. A few weeks earlier, it had been reported that he had skin cancer, which was later denied.Even so, I turned around and headed back to the dusty backstage cabin I had just been...
The people of Central Asia smoke marijuana during rituals 2,500 years ago

The people of Central Asia smoke marijuana during rituals 2,500 years ago

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- Today, marijuana is the most popular drug in the world, but little is known about when and how humans first began taking advantage of its psychoactive properties. New research suggests the people of Central Asia were smoking marijuana as early as the first millennium B.C. Scientists were able to identify THC preserved in funerary incense burners recovered from an ancient cemetery in the Eastern Pamirs, an extension of the Himalayas. Researchers didn't set out to study early cannabis use. Instead, they were interested in analyzing the early use of wooden burners in funeral rituals by the ancient inhabitants of the Pamir Mountains. But spectral analysis of chemicals on the burners matched the signature of cannabis. What's more, the ancient marijuana remains featured elevat...