NEWS DIGEST 24.10.2020: Free Mauritian meals for Southampton kids, other stories

Good morning!. Today’s News Digest is from Facebook. In light of politicians in the British parliament rejecting a motion for free school meals for all children this past week, Southampton based UK-Mauritian chef and business owner Shelina Permalloo has begun offering homemade Mauritian meals to local children from poorer families during the half-term break next week. In a social media post released by Permalloo’s company Lakaz Maman – Mauritian Street Kitchen, she wrote: “We don’t want to stand with the 322 MPS that voted no to extending free school meals we want to stand with @marcusrashford – and so Lakaz Maman wants to do our part to make sure no kids go hungry during half term in Southampton. So for those of you that usually get a free school meal come and get your free meal from us totally free, no questions and no judgement.” The Masterchef television cookshow winner will offer Mauritian-style curries with rice and wraps to children who are experiencing food poverty in Southampton – FREE MEALS FOR UNDER 16s ALL OF NEXT WEEK DURING HALF TERM. (Lakaz Maman – Mauritian Street Kitchen/Facebook)

Cybersecurity issues magazine Cybernews asks if it is now time to ditch passwords as the means of securing our accounts and whether we should boldly leap into the future by adopting biometrics as a security standard. Journalists interviewed cybersecurity professionals who said that biometrics would help minimise a lot of the security issues that come with using passwords, such as sharing logins with friends and hacking by ‘bad actors’ – The Achilles’ heel of biometrics: is it safe to ditch passwords? (Cybernews)

Researchers last month uncovered traces of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of our neighbouring planet Venus, suggesting the normally biologically produced gas could indicate signs of microbial life dwelling in the planet’s thick clouds. However an article by Forbes claims that analysis of atmospheric data gathered from earlier space missions to Venus suggests that evidence of the presence of alleged phosphine may have been incorrectly interpreted and overestimated based on naturally occurring traces of the common substance phosphorus – Venus Is Dead! New Analysis Shows Phosphine, A Possible Biosignature, Is Absent (Forbes)

Ninety wastewater and sewage treatments across Great Britain will begin testing effluent for signs of coronavirus, BBC News announced. The aim of the tests is to set up an early warning system for local outbreaks of the virus by detecting traces of the pathogen in human faecal matter. An initial testing trial in the southern English town of Plymouth has proved successful, with similar testing strategies with sewage for the detection of norovirus and hepatitis already in place at treatment plants for several years – Covid: Sewage sites to test for more traces of virus (BBC News)

An ancient river that vanished from the record 172,000 years ago has been ‘rediscovered’ in the arid Thar Desert of Rajasthan state, India, the country’s India Times reported. Traces of the riverway were found at the Nal quarry near the city of Bikaner. German and Indian scientists who took part in the study that found the ancient waterway hope it will shed light on the Palaeolithic civilisations that once called the desert home, as well as what conditions they lived under then. The traces were largely of riverine deposits of sands and gravels that were uncovered during mining activity at the quarry – A River That Was ‘Lost’ Some 172,000 Years Ago Has Just Been Found In Rajasthan’s Thar Desert (IT)

Two teenage metal detecting enthusiasts who went searching a Norfolk field in August and uncovered two coins have become history celebrities after the money was discovered to be rare. One was a silver penny dated to the reign of Harold II, the last Saxon king. The coin is believed to be dated 1066, when the Battle of Hastings occurred. The second coin, found in a different field by the other enthusiast independently, found another silver penny a half-century younger than the first. The coins are now up for auction in Derbyshire and could fetch several thousands of pounds each – Teenage metal detectorists discover rare coins in fields (BBC News)

The council governing HEM News Agency’s home London borough of Redbridge has announced it is to open a third permanent COVID-19 testing centre in the borough. In a post on the Redbridge Council page on Facebook, the announcement said that the centre would be located at Charteris Car Park in Woodford, in the borough’s far north, near Walthamstow in London. The centre will be open from this weekend on a pilot basis. People who require coronavirus tests will need to book in advance for screening – A third permanent #coronavirus testing centre is opening in #Redbridge, at Charteris Car Park, Woodford, IG8 0AL. (Redbridge Council/Facebook)

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