Norway Oil Fund Tapped For The Firs...

The world's largest sovereign wealth fund sees its first few withdrawals for the first time in decades. Norway's Oil Fund, which amounts to $890bn ...

UK Design Education Needs More Supp...

UK's architectural design education is weaker according to leading designers. Speaking during the Brexit design summit, Michael Mariott, a well-kno...

Teens Find Financial Security A Big...

Fears about a possible nuclear war and environmental destruction are waning among teenagers across Europe. Money troubles had kept most teenagers awak...

Pessimism Invades Businesses After ...

Upon voting exit, it would seem businesses and investors have lost confidence in the economy and the UK's current stature. According to researc...

Norway Oil Fund Tapped For The First Time

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund sees its first few withdrawals for the first time in decades.

Norway’s Oil Fund, which amounts to $890bn (£682bn), has seen some relatively small withdrawals.

Despite the small amount withdrawn, Norwegian investment officials and concerned political figures debate on the future of the fund. It has been used beyond the time intended.

“This fund is meant to last generations and yet we are tapping it already — many, many years before we were meant to. If we keep on spending as we are and the fund can’t earn decent returns then we could end up eating into it,” says one of Norway’s leading businessman, who did not want to be named.

Fund was made through surpluses from Norway’s Petroleum Industry

The Oil Fund was made out of Norway’s surplus in the petroleum industry for a time. It had also become one of the world’s largest investors in different trades and serves as a buffer for Norway’s possible future economic troubles particularly interest rates affecting future returns.

BI Norwegian Business School Professor Espen Henriksen said the withdrawals should be seen dramatically. However, he argues that low oil prices in the world and lower expected return of profit for investors may affect the future of the fund directly.

Higher government spending is also affecting the life of fund. Norway’s government is allowed to spend up to 4 per cent of the fund each year in its budget. Due to the profit of oil and gas with the former being generated through production tax and state company dividends, the fund may see lower income than it usually has.

UK Design Education Needs More Support

UK’s architectural design education is weaker according to leading designers.

Speaking during the Brexit design summit, Michael Mariott, a well-known industrial designer, said that the British educational system is incapable of handling the situation as is.

“Funding is being stripped and there are less facilities,” he added, saying that UK students were being forced to study overseas, where facilities are better.

“I had a young English guy working for me,” Marriott said. “He looked at a couple of British universities and for a quarter of the price he’s gone to Amsterdam to study in way better facilities that are beyond anything we have in this country.”

Architect Amanda Levete agreed, saying she had to employ architects trained overseas because they are better than home-grown ones.

“The reason that so many of the young architects we employ come from outside of the UK is because the architectural education in Europe is frankly better,” she said.

Half of Levete’s 50 employees are from overseas.

“Conceptually the architectural education here is very strong, but technically it’s very weak,” she added. “So architects who have been educated outside of the UK are kind of office-ready.”

The UK vote to leave the European Union could exclude the UK from the Erasmus student exchange programme, and make it harder for UK studios to hire EU staff.

Teens Find Financial Security A Bigger Issue Than Environment

Fears about a possible nuclear war and environmental destruction are waning among teenagers across Europe. Money troubles had kept most teenagers awake at night.

According to a 28-year study, teenagers from the 80s said the issues that kept them awake at night included climate change and the threat of global conflict. Today, 92% of teenagers are troubled about money, personal accidents, bullying and terrorist attacks. This is in stark contrast to the nuclear threat and environmental destruction worries from more than two decades ago.

Lead author Dr Nanette Danielsson, of Karlstad University in Sweden, said:

“Many adolescents have sleep disturbances, and this is associated with adverse consequences.

“Sleep disturbance was strongly associated with worry for the family’s financial situation, followed by worry about illness or accidents.

“Relationships between sleep disturbance and worry for environmental destruction and nuclear war were weaker.

“Concerns closely tied to one’s personal life, as well as current political threats, may have stronger associations with sleep disturbance than global threats due to a closer proximity to one’s own life situation.”

Between 1988 and 2011, more than 20,000 Swedish teenagers were asked to complete a questionnaire about living conditions and their health. Sleep disturbance was reported by 24 per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys.

Pessimism Invades Businesses After Brexit Vote Decision

Upon voting exit, it would seem businesses and investors have lost confidence in the economy and the UK’s current stature.

According to research from YouGov at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, pessimism had increased about 25% the week before the referendum to 49%. This would mean companies and investors are pulling back or scaling down their activities in the United Kingdom.

Scott Corfe, director at the CEBR, said that the figures indicated a “significant shock reaction” among UK businesses following the vote last month.

He said:

“Businesses are clearly spooked by the referendum result and they’ve reined in their intentions for capital spending. They’ve reined in their expectations for exports and domestic sales growth.

“And business confidence is a leading indicator for where the economy is heading over the coming quarters. What it suggests is that the economy is in for quite a significant slowdown over the next three to six months.”

As the pound took a beating after the initial Brexit shock, global markets are also destabilising. Japan’s Yen had increased after investors sought safety with the pound’s devaluation.

As uncertainty looms over the United Kingdom, several figures see positivity in the ‘brave new world.’

Former Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund Ashoka Mody believes the Remain campaign’s message to stay echoes much about establishment of certain parties’ interests that they are left to defend such.

Mody said the idea of new deals and the deliberate reduction of value for re-negotiating terms are flaws in a system that could open new doors of possibilities for the country.

Seven Million Diseases Can Happen In The UK Due to Overweight and Obesity

According to the Obesity Health Alliance, a unity of Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and Cancer Research UK, about seven million diseases would be caused by obesity and being overweight in the next 20 years.

The diseases include about 4.62 million cases of Type 2 Diabetes, 1.63 million cases of coronary heart diseases, 680,000 cases of stroke and 670,000 new cases of cancer.

The Alliance predicts that about 76 per cent of men and 69 per cent of women would reach overweight and obese levels by 2035. About three out of 10 adults in the UK are currently obese. The number would rise to 4 out of 10 by 2035 should the trend continue.

The Alliance is asking the government to publish a childhood obesity strategy as soon as possible. The government has kept delaying the publication since the previous year.

It also called on the government to restrict junk food TV advertising before 9pm, tightening online marketing rules to force industries to lower the amount of sugar and fat in food.

Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of prevention and member the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “These numbers are shocking. And it’s difficult to think of the impact this will have on public health and an already strained NHS. Without bold action, the next generation will face more disease and live shorter lives.

“Kids are bombarded with advertisements for unhealthy food and if we are to give our children the chance for better and healthier lives, it’s vital the Government’s childhood obesity strategy restricts this kind of marketing.”

Modi Mwatsama, Director of Policy and Global Health at the UK Health Forum and member of the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “This study is a wakeup call for the Government and shows a daunting future if no strong action is taken against the obesity epidemic.

“We can’t expect industry to make changes on their own and people need help making healthier choices. Companies will have to be held accountable by Government. The Government must lead the way by creating a level playing field with independent, regulated targets for reducing the amount of sugar, fat and salt in food. Without Government action, our children face a life of disease and early death.”

Mediterranean Singkings in the Atlantic Kills 700 Migrants

said that it estimates about 700 migrants killed during the three consecutive sinkings of three sea vessels from different conflicted areas. The incident was the deadliest since April 2015.

According to rescue teams said the incident was “pretty gruesome.”

Giorgia Linardi, a rescue team member from the German NGO Sea Watch who arrived on Friday, many dead bodies had already been floating in the sea. Some of them were still breathing but not reacting.

The rescue teams could not ascertain the faith of the migrants because crew from Italian warships had taken the migrants off their hands as they continue to find more survivors.

Giorgia said they found couples hugging each other until death, a little child of few months dead in the sea. She said most of the dead were young people.

Giorgia said they also used a net to extract people and belongings from the water. She said hands, heads and feet kept coming out of the net.

“They were watching a shipwreck at the same time as having themselves been rescued an hour before,” said Linardi. “There were dolphins jumping in the waves, as well as bodies in the water. It was a very weird situation.”

Prominent Names in the UK Back Staying in EU

About 300 actors, musicians, writers and artists have backed the call of the UK government to stay in the European Union.

The artists said remaining in the EU allows the UK to flourish with vital EU funding that allows them to work across borders in different projects from galleries to blockbusters.

The letter was organised by Britain Stronger in Europe Campaign. It said:

“Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.”

It adds: “Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s cultural sector.”

“We believe that being part of the EU bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage. Let’s not become an outsider shouting from the wings.”

According to Conservative Peer and Author Lord Dobbs

“Our creative industries are booming because of the talent that is in Britain’s DNA.

“We are world leaders in so many creative areas. From theatre to literature, video games, feature films, fashion, music and so much else, British artists lead the way and are celebrated around the globe.

“It’s a success that has been created by the dedication, hard work and extraordinary creative abilities of our artists, it’s not because of the EU.”

Among others backing the letter are actors Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sir John Hurt, Sir Patrick Stewart and Thandie Newton, architect Richard Rogers, artist Tracey Emin, author John le Carre, comedian Jo Brand, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, director Richard Curtis and writer Philip Pullman.

UK Arts Education “Sidelined”

According to the Government’s ‘Culture White Paper’ study, arts should be an essential part of every UK child’s education. However, analysts see that the UK’s ‘enviable’ arts education is being sidelined by its own educational system.

According to the UK Government’s curriculum, there should be a balance between literacy, numeracy and creativity for every UK citizen.

Figures resulting from the CWP study show that creative arts subjects have increased number of GCSE entries in the last five years. Meanwhile, Drama, Music, Design and Technology, Expressive and Performing arts are down by 30 per cent in the number of students.

According to the Cultural Learning Alliance, the decline, including a 10 per cent decrease in students taking English literature, a cornerstone towards appreciating great literature and national identity, can be reversed if the Office for Standards in Education or Ofsted could give good provisions for cultural education.

UK schools, both public and private, have focused their curriculum around EBacc. These include business and mathematical subjects, but except arts and expression subjects. This is a clear indicator that the arts is increasingly shunned throughout the UK’s educational system.

According to analysts, the arts are critical to maintaining a balanced intellect, to developing the ability to think creatively in future roles, to encourage risk taking.

The Ramifications Of A Brexit

Financial Times Writers Emily Cadman and Shawn Donnan had imagined an end scenario wherein the United Kingdom had voted for an exit from the European Union.

While Vote Leave is rejoicing, the two writers believe that Europe would assert itself in the European Economic Area. Now, it is a European country that is not in the bloc. Along with others in the same market, it avoids being bound by agriculture, fisheries, judicial and foreign affairs policies. But it must cut through with unique deals.

Which might face difficulty. The two writers iterate that Europe may deliver a ‘hard bargain’ against a “Brexited” Britain when it comes to lowering tariffs and striking deals.

Despite having exited Europe, the United Kingdom still has to deal with European countries. But without its European Union leverage as it had in the past, it would mean huge penalties to the country if it were to leave.

While many say that the UK’s economic deficit to the EU would give it enough leverage, it isn’t enough to recompense the lost profits it could have by losing about half of the UK’s exports.

Britain’s services sector would also suffer. The financial markets would also face bigger challenges upon entry. About a tenth of the UK’s services industry the financial industry makes up. The lack of access to European Union markets, and even the absence of fluid passage as it does now, would hurt the country’s GDP.

Walnuts Can Keep Old Age And Ailments Away

It would seem walnuts have those great fats that keep you healthy.

The best thing about them is it could improve your elderly health.

According to San Diego Researchers, which include the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona and Loma Linda University, the elderly including walnuts as part of their 15pc calorie intake improve their health further.

The study used about 707 older adults. The group was split in two.

Test partition A included walnuts as part of their calorie diet daily. The other half had none.

The results were tremendous.

The first group showed significant improvement of weight reduction and HDL levels or ‘good’ fat levels. However, the first group exhibited improved LDL levels with immense reduction. The second group had none.

Researcher Emilio Ross said that good fats from walnuts keep adiposity levels low while maintaining or greatly improving blood cholesterol levels to improve ageing adults.

The teams hope that further studies can shed light to their discoveries.

Earlier studies conducted by the Experimental Biology Conference indicated that walnuts helped improve other aspects of the body. Walnuts contained the nutrients that helped improve the situation of most elders’ gut and metabolism. Many who undertook the 15pc calorie diet made of walnuts also felt satiated.