Iain Jenkins

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Reality Check: How much are countries paid for UN forces?

<b>The claim:</b> Countries contributing troops to UN peacekeeping missions are well paid for sending their personnel.<p><b>Reality Check verdict:</b> Countries are paid to provide personnel to UN missions and the top countries providing troops are unrepresentatively poor. The amount countries are paid for …

Africa

Genes remain active after death

<b>Cells continue to function even after an individual dies.</b><p>That's according to a scientific study published in Nature Communications.<p>Analysing post-mortem samples, an international team of scientists showed that some genes became more active after death.<p>As well as providing an important dataset for …

Genetics

How US death penalty capital changed its mind

<b>Texas remains the strictest applicant of the US death penalty but its increasing reluctance to put criminals to death reflects a national trend.</b><p>Kent Whitaker supported the death penalty until his son, who arranged for a gunman to kill Mr Whitaker and the rest of his family, landed on death row in …

Benjamin Lay: The Quaker dwarf who fought slavery

<b>He stood only about 4ft (1.2m) tall, yet what Benjamin Lay lacked in stature he made up for in moral courage and radical thinking. He was a militant vegetarian, a feminist, an abolitionist and opposed to the death penalty - a combination of values that put him centuries ahead of his …

Black History

Economic collapse: The real message of the fall of Troy

<b>The fall and sack of the city of Troy at the hands of an avenging Greek army is one that has been told for some 3,000 years, but contained within it are clues to a much wider global collapse - with lessons for our own 21st Century.</b><p>In 1300BC, at the height of the Bronze Age, the great powers of …

Ancient History

Triple trawler tragedy: The Hull fishermen who never came home

<b>In the space of less than a month at the start of 1968, 58 fishermen based in the English port of Hull lost their lives in three separate trawler sinkings. Thanks to the efforts of a group of determined women, the deaths would change the industry, with the ripples spreading from the Arctic Sea to</b> …

Downing Street

Eight things more likely to kill you in 1970s Britain than today

<b>Humans tend towards pessimism when it comes to observing the world around them, research indicates.</b><p>A recent Ipsos Mori survey suggests we frequently think things are worse than they are, from murder rates to the prevalence of diabetes. But very often our perceptions don't align with reality.<p>Here …

Clean Air Act

Is the future of aviation sky taxis and flying cars?

<b>The twin demands of overcrowded, gridlocked cities and climate change are inspiring a radical rethink of how we get around.</b><p>Are flying cars, autonomous sky taxis and electric engines the stuff of dreams, or are we entering a third age of aviation?<p>TAP HERE to read more.<p>Read more from the BBC's series …

Cities

Driving home for Christmas: 10 things about Britain's roads

<b>The Friday before Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year for traffic, with drivers being warned to expect long delays. On a normal day, the average person in this country spends an hour a day travelling, with most of their journeys made by car. These charts tell the story of Britain's</b> …

Trains

Ex-Muslims: They left Islam and now tour the US to talk about it

<b>Muslims who leave the faith often face abuse and violence - but a grassroots group that's touring American colleges is trying to help.</b><p>Ten years ago, Muhammad Syed became an ex-Muslim.<p>Born in the US, he grew up in Pakistan believing "100 per cent" in Islam.<p>"You don't encounter doubt," he says. …

Religion

The female war medic who refused to 'go home and sit still'

<b>When Elsie Inglis asked the War Office if female doctors and surgeons could serve in front-line hospitals in World War One she was told 'my good lady, go home and sit still'.</b><p>Elsie, a pioneering Edinburgh doctor who had already become well-known as a champion of women's health, did the …

World History

A 100-year-old US riot only now being talked about

<b>It's almost 100 years since 19 African-American soldiers were executed following a violent mutiny in Texas. Why is the US only now coming to terms with what happened?</b><p>For decades, no name appeared above the grave of Corporal Jesse Moore, only the number seven.<p>The figure corresponded to noose number …

Light pollution: Night being lost in many countries

<b>A study of pictures of Earth by night has revealed that artificial light is growing brighter and more extensive every year.</b><p>Between 2012 and 2016, the planet's artificially lit outdoor area grew by more than 2% per year.<p>Scientists say a "loss of night" in many countries is having negative …

Medical Journals

Nasa forecast: Which cities will flood as ice melts?

<b>A forecasting tool reveals which cities will be affected as different portions of the ice sheet melt, say scientists.</b><p>It looks at the Earth's spin and gravitational effects to predict how water will be "redistributed" globally.<p>"This provides, for each city, a picture of which glaciers, ice sheets, …

Global Warming

The film props firm targeting the YouTube generation

<b>The hero jumps through a glass window and escapes unscathed. A man smashes a beer bottle over the head of his nemesis. A woman hurls a glass vase at her paramour.</b><p>From The Wizard of Oz to the Wolf of Wall Street, smashing glass is a fixture of most Hollywood movies and TV shows.<p>And it's …

Wolf of Wall Street

Thankful villages: The shame of surviving World War One

<b>A thankful village is a community where everyone who went to fight in World War One came back alive. But what seems like it should have been a cause for celebration was actually a source of embarrassment and shame for many.</b><p>Edward and Ann Jameson experienced a lot of heartbreak.<p>Four of their 13 …

World War I

Daytime wounds 'heal more quickly'

<b>Wounds heal more quickly if they occur during the day rather than after dark, a study suggests.</b><p>It found burns sustained at night took an average of 28 days to heal, but just 17 for those that happened in daytime.<p>The team, at the UK's MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said they were astounded by …

Medicine

Giant pigeon to burn for Skinningrove bonfire display

<b>A giant pigeon is to be set on fire for a village's annual bonfire display.</b><p>Each year residents of Skinningrove on Teesside build a massive themed structure on the beach.<p>Local artist Steve Iredale took two weeks to build this year's using wood donated by local suppliers.<p>John Roberts, from the local …

Extreme Sports

Why plague caught Madagascar unaware

<b>Madagascar is facing the worst outbreak of plague in 50 years.</b><p>There have been more than 1,800 cases and 127 deaths since the start of August, according to new figures.<p>The island off the south-east coast of Africa is used to seeing about 400 cases of mostly bubonic plague in the same rural areas …

Disease

The Lion Man: An Ice Age masterpiece

The former director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, tells the story of a small ivory sculpture, carved 40,000 years ago.<p>With the body of a man and the head of a lion, the Lion Man is the oldest known representation of a being that does not exist in nature.<p><i>Hear more about the Lion Man in Neil</i> …

British Museum

Disabled 'losing out on jobs' over Access to Work cap

<b>Disabled people are "losing out" on jobs because of a government support scheme that is "no longer fit for purpose", campaigners say.</b><p>Access to Work - which gives workplace support to disabled people - is beset by errors, with many having support cut, charity Inclusion London said.<p>One deaf, leading …

United Kingdom

Police 'let down' modern slavery victims, says report

<b>Victims of modern slavery are being let down "at every stage" by police in England and Wales, a report has said.</b><p>Cases had been closed without any inquiries being made, and in some cases detectives didn't speak to the victims, the Inspectorate of Constabulary said.<p>The study, which looked at 10 …

Sociology

Reality Check: Is pay growing at its worst rate since the Napoleonic Wars?

<b>The claim:</b> Pay this decade is growing at its slowest rate since Napoleonic times.<p><b>Reality Check verdict:</b> Earnings figures from the 1800s are a bit sketchy. If you are considering any 10-year period then based on the best figures we have there have been two examples of worse wage growth. It is …

Economics

A brief history of the Earth's CO2

<b>Climate change has been described as one of the biggest problems faced by humankind. Carbon dioxide is is the primary driver of global warming. Prof Joanna Haigh from Imperial College London explains why this gas has played a crucial role in shaping the Earth's climate.</b><p>Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been …

Climate Change

'Big, bad wolf' image flawed - scientists

<b>New research casts doubt on the idea that dogs are naturally more tolerant and friendly than wolves.</b><p>In tests of cooperation skills, wolves outperformed their domesticated relatives.<p>Scientists say the findings challenge assumptions about how dogs were tamed from wolves and came to live alongside …

Pets

How the humble S-bend made modern toilets possible

<b>"Gentility of speech is at an end," thundered an editorial in London's City Press, in 1858. "It stinks!"</b><p>The stink in question was partly metaphorical: politicians were failing to tackle an obvious problem.<p>As its population grew, London's system for disposing of human waste became woefully …

River Thames

The fateful life of history's most famous female spy

<b>On the morning of 15 October 1917 a grey military vehicle left the Saint-Lazare prison in central Paris. On board, accompanied by two nuns and her lawyer, was a 41-year-old Dutch woman in a long coat and a wide, felt hat.</b><p>A decade earlier this woman had the capitals of Europe at her feet. She was a …

France

Halloween: England's strange and ancient winter rituals

<b>It is that time again. Supermarkets are bulging with large pumpkins to carve and shops selling skeleton outfits enjoy a roaring trade. But the Americanised version of Halloween casts a long shadow over the multitude of quirky - and sometimes barmy - English traditions that also take place during</b> …

Archaeology

Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England's churches

<b>Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England's past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages?</b><p>A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and …

Archaeology

Why is Friday 13th considered bad luck?

<b>It's Friday 13th, the most cursed day in the calendar - allegedly - where everything is fated to go wrong. But where did we get the idea that it's a date when bad things happen?</b><p>On a walk through Birmingham city centre, everyone I ask has heard the notion that dark forces are at work on this …

San Francisco Bay Area