Plans to hold a full marathon in Cardiff next year have been put on hold because of uncertainty about the proposed route. After the success of the Cardiff Half Marathon earlier this month, Matt Newman, CEO of Run 4 Wales, told the BBC ‘the demand is there. We’ve got plans in place… they’re almost finalised.’ However, due to concerns over road closures, the race organisers now plan to postpone the event until 2018, in an effort ‘not to rush’ preparations for the full marathon. A ‘stepping stone event’ will be held in April 2017, providing runners of all abilities with a sense of what they can expect in 2018.
A Cardiff man who was caught with a drugs stash worth an estimated £135,000 has received a prison sentence of six and a half years. Michael Markkanen, 46, was arrested after police seized MDMA and over 8,000 ecstasy pills from his home in Canton. Detective Constable Craig Alexander told the court that Class A drugs such as those found at the defendant’s address ‘have a hugely destructive impact on lives’. Alexander urged the public to come forward and help the police in their ongoing attempts to crack down on dealers in Cardiff.
An amateur paleontologist from Porthcawl who accidentally smashed a 200 million year old fossil into over one hundred and fifty pieces has finished a two year process of sticking it back together with super glue. Jonathan Bow who found the plesiosaur fossil on a beach walk in Cardiff in 2014 initially, attempted to chisel the fossil free from the rock but shattered the discovery in the process. Speaking to The Telegraph, Bow said ‘at the time I took pictures of all the bits as they came off, so had to refer to the pictures to stick it all back together. Some days I would spend two or three hours just to find one adjoining piece.’
In a dispute dubbed ‘Marmitegate’, grocery giant Tesco briefly withdrew many popular Unilever-owned brands from its website on Thursday as the value of the pound continued to drop. Online shoppers took to Twitter in uproar as consumer favourites such as Marmite, P.G. Tips, Persil and Ben & Jerry’s disappeared from the website. The removal of selected products by Tesco is a response to Unilever’s plans to increase prices by an estimated 10% following the devaluation of the pound triggered by Brexit. Speaking at a press conference, Unilever’s finance director said that the price increase was ‘a normal course of affairs for Unilever as a multinational.’
Drivers of electric vehicles could be allowed to use bus lanes in five cities across the UK according to new government proposals to tackle air pollution. The ‘clean air zones’ rolled out across Southampton, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and Leeds, are intended to incentivise people to switch to electric cars in an effort to reduce illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Environment minister Therese Coffey stated ‘we need to tackle air pollution and creating clean air zones will improve the quality of life for people who live and work in our towns and cities, both now and in the future.’
The National Living Wage could rise by 30p to £7.50, an independent think tank has forecasted. Research by the Resolution Foundation suggests that the rise has been stunted by slow economic growth following Brexit, but could still mean an annual pay rise of around £600 for full-time workers. The news is not so positive for an estimated 100,000 businesses who are said to be experiencing ‘financial distress’ since the introduction of the higher wage. Under current forecasts, the National Living Wage is expected to rise to £8.60 by 2020.
Fishing could be introduced as a sport for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The official governing body for angling, known as the Confederation Internationale de la Peche Sportive, suggest that the sport is hugely popular and could widen the fan base for the Olympics beyond traditional spectator sports. Critics argue that the fishing involves as much luck as skill, and that it would be boring to watch. Sports including skateboarding, surfing, karate and baseball have already been confirmed for the games in four years time, as the International Olympic Committee attempts to attract a younger audience.
The world’s longest reigning monarch has died aged 88. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej had been head of state since 1946. Hundreds of mourners gathered at Siriraj Hospital on Thursday afternoon to grieve for the King Bhumibol, who was highly respected and thought of as semi-divine by many across the country. In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha announced that Thailand will hold a year-long mourning period, asking that entertainment be ‘toned down’ for the next month. The crown is now expected to pass to Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who has confirmed he will fulfill his duty once he has had time to mourn the death of his father.
Global travel giant Tripadvisor has taken a stand against animal cruelty, by introducing a ‘no touching of wild animals policy’. The website, widely known as a forum for travel reviews written by the public also allows users to book tickets for tourist attractions, but will now cease to sell tickets for any attractions where visitors come into contact with endangered, wild or captive animals. This includes swimming with dolphins, stroking tigers and riding elephants. In a statement, a spokesperson for PETA said: ‘we applaud TripAdvisor taking this stance, helping to raise awareness.’