Living in vans, tiny homes and containers

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe creative solutions to a lack of house affordability For many young people, the pleasures of their own hearth and home are out of reach. About 40% of young adults cannot afford to buy one of the cheapest homes in their area in the UK, with the average deposit now standing at about £26,000. But they also face “unaffordable” rents across most of Britain, according to recent research. So, many are turning to radical, innovative and sometimes mind-boggling alternatives. The owners of three unorthodox homes explained why they’ve turned away from bricks and mortar. Life in a van The 2008 Volkswagen Transporter 4, nicknamed “Iggy”, has been their home since they left …

‘Learning a second language changed my life’

He had not learnt the language at school, but was starting off a career in sports journalism and had the opportunity to go to Germany. Image copyright James Westgarth Image caption James, who works for an airline in Germany, with his two bilingual children The 44-year-old puts his successful career down to his language skills and the cultural awareness they bring. “Speaking a language helps to break the ice,” he said. “Even if it’s not perfect, it’s a good introduction and brings people on-side when you’re negotiating “My own two children, who attend an international school in Toulouse, are of course bilingual in French and English. “Now they have a lot of international friends and they’re discovering the world through …

Financial sharks circling Metro Bank

Earlier this year the financial regulator, the PRA, raised concerns with the bank about inconsistencies in the reports it was submitting. It soon emerged that the bank had miscalculated the capital it needed to support some of its commercial lending. The news sent the banks shares down nearly 40% in one day as the bank said it would need to raise more capital by selling new shares. Metro bank shares slump on cash call Which banks do customers love or hate? The American taking on British banks Miscalculating the amount of capital you have or need to support your lending is one of the most fundamental mistakes a bank can make. It gets to the very core of what a …

Pop music’s growing gender gap revealed

Rita Ora and Bebe Rexha’s manager Sarah Stennett said: “The gap that exists is not acceptable. I do not believe the consumer says, ‘I want to listen to more men than women’. It’s the choice they’re given.” But female pop stars are doing well, aren’t they? Yes and no. Dua Lipa, Kacey Musgraves, Cardi B and Lady Gaga took the limelight and many of the top prizes at the Grammy Awards last weekend. On Friday, Ariana Grande became the first female artist in UK singles chart history to replace herself at number one. And women like Dua, Anne-Marie and Jorja Smith dominate the nominations for the Brit Awards, which will be handed out on Wednesday. There are no fewer women …

Wales basks in record temperatures

Image caption Sea and sunshine brings out the crowds in Prestatyn, Denbighshire On Monday, meteorologists said winds from Spain and Africa pushed air over a part of Wales that has the greatest “land track”, causing it to get gradually warmer. You may also be interested in: Men rescue ‘dog’ from ice, find wolf A dodgy holiday drink made me go blind Teen in coma wakes up with baby daughter Image caption Flowers were in full bloom in Cardiff’s Roath Park The further the air travels over land the more moisture it loses and faster it heats up, the Met Office said. “It’s exceptional for it to be this warm at this time of year.” said Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill. …

Solving the mystery of Effie’s wedding

Four smaller photos with the words “Millport 1952” written on the back show groups of children called Moira, Grace, Helen, Rosemary, Janice and John. The photographs were found in the John Lewis store in Glasgow in October last year. Image copyright Police Scotland Image caption It appeared to be a fun summer in Millport for these children in 1952 If you have any information about the photographs you can email us at newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Shoreham pilot cleared over crash deaths

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFamilies of those who died have described the pain they have been through The pilot of a jet which crashed at the Shoreham Airshow killing 11 men has been found not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence. Andrew Hill’s ex-military jet exploded in a fireball on the A27 in Sussex on 22 August 2015. The former RAF pilot, 54, denied deliberately beginning a loop manoeuvre despite flying too low and too slowly. Karim Khalil QC, defending, argued Mr Hill had been suffering from “cognitive impairment” when the jet crashed. Mr Hill, from Sandon, near Buntingford, Hertfordshire, was also formally acquitted of a count – that was not put in front of the …

Crackerjack is coming back, 35 years on

Image caption Ian and Janette Krankie were among the show’s regulars In the 1980s, Stu Francis entertained young viewers with his catchphrase “Ooh, I could crush a grape!” and such variants as “I could mash a potato” and “I could rip a tissue”. Image caption Other previous presenters include Eamonn Andrews and Ed Stewart Regular performers included Bernie Clifton, The Krankies and Basil Brush, while Chas and Dave sang its jovial theme tune. Other features included the audience yelling the show’s title every time it was said, and games like Double or Drop, which will return in the new series. The BBC said the programme would be “revitalised for today’s connected generation, giving them an all-round, interactive experience”. Sam Nixon …

Four children die in house fire

Their two-year-old brother Jack survived, along with mother Natalie Unitt, 24 and her partner Chris Moulton, 28. Neighbours ‘distraught’ over fatal house fire Part of the roof collapsed, windows were shattered and rooms left blackened by the blaze after the fire broke out on Sycamore Lane at about 02:40 GMT. Neighbour Wendy Pickering said she heard “screaming” in the middle of the night, while her husband Bryan said he was alerted to the fire by his dog barking during the night. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionNeighbour’s tears for children killed in Stafford fire Firefighters confirmed that a man, woman and young child had escaped from a first-floor window before emergency services arrives. The cause of the …

Women cold water swimming for menopause

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionOne of the swimmers said it “releases an inner child” A group of cold water swimmers have said that plunging into sea temperatures as cold as 6C is helping with the effects of the menopause. Some also reported improvements in their mental health. “I didn’t realise I was starting to go through the menopause when it happened a few years ago,” said Alison Owen, 49. “I’d read several stories about women who were hitting the menopause and had become anxious or were diagnosed with depression. “I didn’t want anything like that, and I thought I’ve got to do something to keep myself active and get out there.” Image caption The Gower Bluetits …

Ice warnings as snow disrupts weekend

Thames Valley Police say they rescued an eight-week-old baby from a vehicle which came off a road in icy conditions in Bracknell, Berkshire, on Friday night, and ended up in a ditch. Parts of southern England saw 19cm (7.5in) of snow on Friday, with motorists stuck in vehicles overnight and falling trees blocking train lines. Highways England said police had worked until 02:00 GMT on Saturday to free vehicles from the M3 near Basingstoke. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAmbulance rescued on snowy road in Basingstoke Up to 1,500 people were without left power in the Basingstoke area of Hampshire – but power was restored around lunchtime. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said its engineers had struggled …

Rape chat students have bans reduced

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA woman discussed in a group chat by Warwick university students says she’s terrified two of them will be back Two students banned from the University of Warwick for 10 years for their involvement in a group chat that threatened rape will be allowed to return later this year, it has emerged. One woman who was targeted said she felt “terrified at the prospect of having these boys in my seminars”. Several of those in the chat encouraged others to rape specific students. The university said it had reduced the length of their bans to one year after they appealed. In a letter, seen by the BBC, a university official apologised to …

Why we choose to look different online

It is currently amongst Apple’s top 10 paid apps, with most users aged between 21 – 34 and 70% are female. But some people using the software are accused of being “catfishes”, which is someone with social media pictures so misleading that they do not resemble the real you. So why are people in Wales using the apps? Image copyright Kieran Crump Image caption Kieran uses Facetune about three times a week to edit selfies Kieran Crump, 22, from the Rhymney Valley also agrees that the apps boost confidence. About three times a week, he sits down to take about 40 selfies before selecting the best one to edit on FaceTune and post online. He edits to bring his hairline …

Meet The Favourite’s Bafta-winning working mums

Image Copyright BAFTA BAFTA Report Report Felton, who thanked her three children in her speech, tells BBC News that different expectations are placed on men and women in the workplace. Image copyright Fox Searchlight Image caption Queen Anne’s rabbits were a key feature in her bedroom “But historically, you were the top man out there doing your job, and you’d just come home for your dinner.” Crombie, who has two children, says she never wants people working on her sets to “apologise about their personal life”. “If there’s a crisis with a child, the worst thing is when I feel like someone can’t tell me that”, she says. “Something I think is really important to say is that families are …

Helping teenagers beat the blues

Lee co-ordinates the Blues programme in Cardiff, a course run by the charity Action for Children, which supports teenagers who are struggling to deal with the pressures of life. “This programme encourages young people to become more active – go for a run, walk the dog, do something for charity, go and speak to your friends, don’t sit in your room and message them.” What is the Blues programme? The course runs for an hour a week over a six-week period, with up to eight teenagers in a group. Youngsters who might benefit from some intervention are put forward by the school and then asked to fill in a questionnaire about their mood; those who score above a certain level …

Eco-rage at Poundland ‘gift of nothing’

The rise of zero-waste shops Waste plan floats bottle deposit scheme Another campaigner, Sian Sutherland of A Plastic Planet, said: “This product is designed to go straight into the bin, but will last for 500 years. “It is a symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world.” Poundland defended the product, saying; “Our customers love it, as do loads of others online. They all know it’s a bit of fun and we understand that’s still allowed in moderation.” Reaction on social media has varied, with some users amused and others outraged by Poundland’s stunt. One user, Kim Patterson, tweeted: “To all the ladies out there please don’t tell your other halfs you want nothing for Valentine’s …