Driving test changes: These major updates are coming into effect from next week

Mr Brabin commented: “The changes being implemented to the car theory test as of next Friday are fantastic as ultimately it gives it a greater sense of reality with the new video aspects.

“By taking away the written case study and replacing this with a short video clip, the theory test becomes far more accessible to people who may have previously struggled, or have been otherwise deterred from learning to drive because they saw this as a barrier.

“If anyone thinks this might make the test easier – it doesn’t. You still have to answer 50 multiple choice questions and score 43 out of 50 alongside the hazard perception part of the test too.

“It’s simply about improving the theory test and making it accessible to all, not just most, which is vitally important.”



Brexit domino effect? How Sweden backed following Britain out of EU in damning poll

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been handed a flurry of resignations amid his controversial Internal Market Bill, which the government admitted risks breaching international law. The UK’s envoy on press freedom, Amal Clooney, quit her role “in dismay” at the government’s willingness to break international law over Brexit. The human rights lawyer said it was “lamentable” for Boris Johnson to be contemplating overriding the Brexit agreement he signed last year.

Across the Atlantic, US presidential nominee Joe Biden similarly denounced the move, warning Mr Johnson that a trade agreement would not be reached between the two should Northern Ireland’s peace agreement be compromised.

The controversy revolves around Mr Johnson’s decision to propose new legislation risks breaching the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit divorce treaty that seeks to avoid a physical customs border on the island of Ireland.

Currently, negotiations between the UK and the EU have stalled at every stop, with disagreements focused on areas such as state aid and fishing rights.

The Prime Minister has set an October 15 deadline for any trade agreement to be struck – should a deal fail to materialise, the UK and EU will trade on WTO terms after the transition period ends on January 31.

Swexit: The 2016 poll revealed that Swedish voters were keen to follow in Britain's Brexit footsteps

Swexit: The 2016 poll revealed that Swedish voters were keen to follow in Britain’s Brexit footsteps (Image: GETTY)

Boris Johnson: The PM is tasked with several pressing issues such as Brexit and the coronavirus

Boris Johnson: The PM is tasked with several pressing issues such as Brexit and the coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

But, the initial Brexit vote in 2016 risked creating a domino effect across Europe, with most nations experiencing at least a glimmer of discontent with EU membership.

Even before the Brexit vote, unhappiness with Brussels was rife, with a 2016 poll in ultra-developed Sweden finding that should the UK vote Brexit, the majority of Swedes wanted their country to follow suit.

Before the poll, 44 percent of Swedish voters wanted to remain in the bloc, while 32 percent wanted out.

However, when asked if their opinion would change if the UK voted to leave on its historic June 23, 2016 vote, Swedes doubled down on their initial preference.

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Stefan Löfven: Löfven has been Sweden's social democratic leader since 2014

Stefan Löfven: Löfven has been Sweden’s social democratic leader since 2014 (Image: GETTY)

According to the poll published by Sifo, 36 percent of Swedes wanted to follow Britain’s path, while 32 percent wished to stay a part of the Union.

Göran von Sydow, a political scientist and researcher at the Swedish Institute for European Political Studies (SIEPS), said: “If there’s going to be a ‘Brexit’, then this would raise so many questions related to the impact on the EU and the Swedish membership.”

He added that Sweden would become more “lonely” when the UK left the EU as they are natural allies both non-eurozone members.

Yet, as the years have progressed, it appears that Sweden, as well as other Nordic countries, has ditched its “Swexit” sentiment.

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EU: Lofven speaks with Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in July in Brussels

EU: Lofven speaks with Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in July in Brussels (Image: GETTY)

Jimmie Akesson: The leader of the Sweden Democrats Party said they want to reform the EU from within

Jimmie Akesson: The leader of the Sweden Democrats Party said they want to reform the EU from within (Image: GETTY)

Last year, Sweden’s major political parties left any notion of leaving the EU behind – even the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats Party.

It came as party officials cited uncertainty over Brexit and the growing resistance to federalism in many other European parties.

Party leader, Jimmie Akesson, said the party would instead attempt to change the EU from within.

He said: “We will not make any demands for leaving the EU or conducting a referendum.

“There have never been such great opportunities to change the way the EU is functioning from within as today.”

Much anti-EU sentiment burst onto the mainstream in the period after the Brexit vote.

In Italy, shortly after the Brexit vote, the anti-establishment Five Star movement declared it would demand a referendum on the euro.

The party’s leader, Beppe Grillo, went as far as to call for a full referendum on EU membership.

Transition period: After December 31 the UK and EU will trade on WTO terms in the absence of a deal

Transition period: After December 31 the UK and EU will trade on WTO terms in the absence of a deal (Image: Express Newspapers)

He said: “The mere fact that a country like Great Britain is holding a referendum on whether to leave the EU signals the failure of the European Union.”

Five Star were, at the time, regarded as a transient phenomena, much like the Brexit Party – however, five years on, and Five Star continues to make gains across Italy, having carved a traditional place for itself in the country’s political landscape.

Elsewhere, the French Front National leader, Marie le Pen, rallied her supporters to part from the “decaying” EU.

She said: “I would vote for Brexit, even if I think that France has a thousand more reasons to leave than the UK.”

Brexit negotiations: The UK and EU's chief Brexit negotiators have yet to strike a deal

Brexit negotiations: The UK and EU’s chief Brexit negotiators have yet to strike a deal (Image: GETTY)

Ms Le Pen has since backed down on her “Frexit” rhetoric, wishing to reform the EU from within.

Even Holland, considered by many as an EU safe state, showed that many voters wanted a referendum on membership after Brexit.

Mark Rutte, Holland’s Prime Minister, recently clashed with top Brussels officials over an EU stimulus package in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

He conceded to the bloc’s demands, however, with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, describing the event as a “pivotal moment” for European unity.



The Queen’s parenting style had profound effect on Prince Charles – 'deliberately unkind'

In the hour long show called Being The Queen, filmmaker Tom Jennings dives into The Queen’s private life with archival footage and tapes. One of the reveals in the documentary is how the monarch treated her children as they were growing up. Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward have all become senior royal figures, with Charles being the next heir.

The Queen has been depicted as a hands-off mother in popular media.

Netflix’s The Crown shows her as a distant figure, which the new document confirms.

Royal biographer Tim Heald revealed in Being The Queen that her children were lucky to see The Queen for more than half an hour a day.

He added: “It wasn’t that anybody was being deliberately unkind or cold…it was just the way you did things.”

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Mr Jennings also said The Queen always puts the monarchy first, with the exception of when she stayed with Prince Harry and Prince William at Balmoral following Princess Diana’s death.

He said to Glamour magazine: “Keep in mind that running the monarchy is a full-time job times 20, so things like family time fall through the cracks.

“Entrusting their children to boarding schools, private tutors, and such is terrific for one’s education, but it isn’t the same as the nurturing and guidance that you would get from a parent.

“The queen could be so steadfast in her own marriage, and yet her children’s marriages were falling apart left and right.”

The Queen has previously been described as a distant mother by royal experts.

Sally Bedell Smith, a royal biographer and author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, claimed The Queen “depended on the nannies to supervise the daily lives” of her children after she was coronated in 1953.

But some of her children have defended the monarch’s parenting style.

Anne told the BBC in 2002 The Queen made sure to spend quality time with her children.

She said: “I simply don’t believe there is any evidence whatsoever to suggest that she wasn’t caring. It’s just beggars belief.”

More reveals in the documentary claim The Queen is very aware of her effect on people.

Michael Mann, chaplain to the queen from 1976 to 1989, said in the documentary: “I remember her once saying to me that, ‘My father told me I must always remember that whatever I said or did to anyone, that they would remember it.

“’So if I showed disapproval, they will remember that I showed disapproval.’

“Therefore, I think she’s very, very careful not to give any sort of impression that might be construed as disapproval.”



Tesla jumps 10% as stock split takes effect, Apple gains 4%

Apple CEO Tim Cook greets customers at the grand reopening of Apple’s flagship Apple Fifth Avenue retail store on September 20, 2019 in New York City.

Taylor Hill | Getty Images

Shares of Apple and Tesla rose sharply on Monday, the first day after their recently announced stock splits took effect, as investors continued to pile into the popular names.

Apple advanced 4% and was the best-performing component in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Tesla, meanwhile, jumped around 10%.

Monday’s gains are just the latest in a string of strong performances since the two companies announced they would be splitting their stocks.

Apple said July 30 its board approved a 4-for-1 stock split. Since then, the stock is up more than 32%. Tesla announced a 5-for-1 stock split on Aug. 11 and the stock has skyrocketed more than 70% since then.

However, legendary investor Leon Cooperman thinks these run-ups on the back of stock-split announcement are a troublesome sign for the market.

“Look at Tesla and Apple: Everybody understands that [stock] splits don’t create value,” Cooperman, the founder of Omega Advisors, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday. “My dad once told me if you gave me five singles for a $5 bill, I’m no better off.”

Monday’s gains in Apple and Tesla come amid high volume as smaller traders are able to snap up shares in both companies at a much lower price point than Friday.

Through the first hour and  a half of Monday’s session, Apple had traded 82.7 million shares, which is roughly 46% of the stock’s 30-day volume average of 178.588 million. Tesla shares had exchanged hands 37.4 million times, more than half of its 30-day volume average of 73.369 million.

This year, smaller traders have been more actively participating in the market as commission-free online brokerage Robinhood grows in popularity. But Cooperman sees this as a potential sign of being overheated.

“I see signs of euphoria creeping into the market: the IPO SPAC market is one, [and] the craziness in many of the stocks that the Robinhood crowd has latched onto,” Cooperman said. “You see a Kodak go from $1.50 to $60 and from $60 to $6 in a very short period of time … and when you look into it, it’s the Robinhood crowd taking it up.”

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Kate Middleton’s face mask sells out as ‘Kate effect’ sparks sales – where to buy

Kate Middleton has become famous among fashion brands for what’s dubbed “the Kate effect”. The Duchess of Cambridge regularly sparks a fashion frenzy for a rush of sales whenever she appears in public, as fans flurry to get the look. But it seems even her face mask choices to protect against the coronavirus have become a fashion must-have. 

Royal fans have rushed to copy Kate’s look and buy her mask as the mandatory face coverings become the latest fashion accessory. 

But while her specific design has sold out for both the adult’s and children’s version, similar prints are still available on the website. 

A similar cotton face mask in a Betsy Liberty print features a pink floral design much like Kate’s – and is still on sale for just £15. 

Parents can even buy the children’s size in the same print and twin with their little ones. 

Face mask guidance has been changing over the last few months in the UK. 

Initially the face coverings were only mandatory on public transport and in hospitals. 

However, the government has since revised its rules and guidance and made them compulsory in indoor settings such as shops and supermarkets, as more and more businesses reopen following the lockdown. 

From August 8 the rules are being extended to include other indoor areas such as churches and museums. 



Windows 10 users are dealing with ANOTHER frustrating side effect from the latest update

If you’re not only using your Windows 10 laptop or desktop PC for working from home, but unwinding at the end of the day with a few hours gaming… you might want to avoid the latest operating system from Microsoft. That’s because some users have encountered issues with gameplay on their system following the upgrade.

This is far from the only issue that has cropped up in the wake of the first blockbuster Windows 10 update of the year. Dubbed Windows 10 May 2020, the update brought a number of tweaks, including improvements to voice assistant app Cortana, the ability to make your PC password-less, and renaming for virtual desktops to keep everything organised.

Unfortunately, the update also brought some glitches and bugs to the party too, with a number of users unable to connect to printers, randomly deleting emails in Gmail, problems accessing files saved in OneDrive cloud storage…

And now, there’s another entry for the list.

First reported by Microsoft-focused blog Windows Latest, the latest operating system update seems to be leading to stuttery gameplay – especially when loading up graphics-intensive titles. According to one Rainbow Six player who has updated to May 2020 Update, the gameplay is now “stuttering like crazy”. The player said: “I went from 150fps to 40/50fps, it was causing the OS to stutter also.”

Another added: “I got this error playing and my game start to stutter for few seconds like crazy.”

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The issue appears to be linked to an ESENT error. ESENT refers to the ESE Runtime – a database engine designed to help with search and indexing media. It has long been a part of the Windows operating system, however the latest update to the tool seems to be playing havoc with games. And worse still, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Back in April 2018, following the launch of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update – another feature-laden upgrade for the operating system – users flooded official forums to complain about ESENT errors wrecking havoc with their campaigns and kill-streaks. “The screen will freeze and you will hear the buzz of the last second of sound repeat itself over and over as if the computer is tied up in a loop,” one user wrote.

Fortunately, there might be something you can do.

If you’ve only recently updated your PC to the Windows May 2020 Update, Microsoft offers a 10-day window for you to change your mind and uninstall the updates without impacting your machine. So, if you’ve recently updated and started to notice gameplay take a hit – this is probably the best option for now.

To do that, you’ll need to launch the Settings app. Then look for the Uninstall Update option and select the latest update installed on your machine.

With any luck, Microsoft will roll out a patch for the issue in the coming weeks so you won’t have to go through the hassle of uninstalling.



Brexit domino effect: How Poland threatened EU chaos with CRUCIAL referendum

Mr Duda has narrowly beaten challenger Rafal Trzaskowski in Sunday’s presidential elections in Poland. The National Electoral Commission said Mr Duda had won 51.2 percent of the votes. It is Poland’s slimmest presidential election victory since the end of communism in 1989.

One of the major issues of the election was the future of the country’s strained relations with the EU.

Mr Duda is a social conservative allied with the government led by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has repeatedly clashed with the bloc.

Under PiS, Poland has played a purely negative role in Brussels, obstructing the EU’s attempts to reform migrant policy and become carbon neutral.

Moreover, PiS talks about Brussels as a new imperial occupation force and has been in a long-running dispute with the bloc over judicial reforms, which critics say limit the independence of the courts.

In December 2019, Poland’s Supreme Court even warned that government plans to overhaul the justice system could eventually force the country to leave the EU.

In the end, the radical judicial reforms never saw the light of day but Mr Duda’s re-election may permit him to make use of veto powers.

Unearthed reports suggest the President could also re-push for a referendum on the nation’s EU membership – and even follow the UK out of the bloc, triggering a Brexit domino effect.

In 2018, Mr Duda laid out plans to address the country’s relationship with the bloc as part of a wide-ranging constitutional referendum for the first time since Warsaw joined the bloc.

Mr Duda had long argued that Poland’s 1997 constitution needed to be updated.

According to a throwback report by the Financial Times, the Polish leader set out a list of questions that citizens could have been asked in the vote.

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His proposed questions addressed a number of domestic issues, too, including expanding the President’s powers in foreign affairs and defence — an area in which Mr Duda frequently clashed with former defence minister Antoni Macierewicz — and whether Poland and Europe’s “more than 1,000-year-old Christian heritage” should have been referenced in the constitution.

Despite the President’s efforts, at the time, Poland’s Senate torpedoed his bid for the non-binding referendum on a new constitution.

Senators voted 10 in favour to 30 against, with 52 abstentions, in the 100-member upper house of Parliament that is dominated by the governing PiS party.

Under Polish law, it is up to the Senate to decide whether to proceed with presidential proposals.



Keto diet: Why the low-carb, high-fat diet can cause this unpleasant side effect

In fact, the diet is known to come with what’s called “keto flu” – a range of side effects that many people experience when they first embark on the low-carb, high-fat regime. 

While any diet can make you feel a bit rough while your body gets used to the change, the switch in energy stores can really take its toll and leave you feeling fluey.

The restrictive diet plan can cause unwelcome symptoms such as tiredness, diarrhoea, cramps, and even weakness.

Carbs give you energy as well as plenty of fibre, which is why when you cut them out so drastically you can experience unpleasant symptoms that make you feel sluggish. 



Classic car engines ‘may struggle to ignite’ when new E10 fuel changes come into effect

Classic cars are incompatible with the new fuel which is set to be introduced at forecourts from 2021. The changes could mean accidentally filling up a tank with the new petrol could have consequences for owners unaware of the risks.  

The issue stems from the higher amount of ethanol inside the new fuel which could act as a corrosive to some of the car’s metal and plastics. 

The rate of damage all depends on whether engines have been adjusted to deal with modern fuel which means some restored older vehicles could be safe. 

Holts Auto also says motorists who have not managed to get key parts refitted may be able to use lubricants to reduce the risk of damage.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, a spokesperson said: “While some car owners are concerned about the effects of E10, the problem of corrosive fuel isn’t a new one.

“For vintage car owners, unleaded fuel itself has been an issue since it was first introduced, because it’s not compatible with engines which were originally designed to run on leaded petrol.

“Because of this, some classic car owners may already be accustomed to modifying their engines for fuel reasons, or else using additives to maintain fragile components. 

“For example, many drivers have had to replace valve seats and fuel lines with more durablealternatives as a means of running their car safely on standard unleaded. 

“Others use lead additives each time they fill up to make sure that components stay well maintained and lubricated.

“For this reason, the introduction of E10 may not be as a big a problem as some drivers fear.”

Current E5 fuel will remain on forecourts for the immediate future as the new E10 petrol is slowly accepted by road users. 

However the government has already warned the sale of E5 can only be protected until 2026 when a review would be needed to assess its overall demand. 

At this stage, E5 could then be removed from forecourts which may push motorists into car updates or buying a new vehicle. 

Holts Auto has warned the long term effects of using E10 fuel will be hard to understand for the time being as many owners simply avoid using ethanol fuel for risk of damage. 

This could mean the extent of car damage and the effect it could have on many older vehicles may still be relatively unknown. 

A Holts Auto spokesperson said: “It’s not yet clear to what extent E10 fuel will impact the performance and integrity of classic cars. 

“Currently, classic car owners will make an effort to avoid biofuels because of the corrosive properties of ethanol, so it’s hard to know what the long-term effects of using E10 in an older car will be.”