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Bitesized Blighty: February 15, 2019

Toyosi Adebayo

  • London: Europe’s Tech Hub: Brexit might be driving companies out of the U.K., and the Netherlands may be winning over some of the U.K.’s corporate refugees, but London keeps its crown as Europe's top destination for international tech talent. According to figures obtained from London & Partners, London attracted more European and non-European tech professionals than any other major city on the continent last year. The capital also leads in terms of established tech worker hubs, playing host to more developers than any other European city. In 2018, the capital had almost 360,000 software techies and major tech companies including Facebook and Amazon still choosing to base large engineering teams in the city; example being Apple’s decision to open a new base for 1,400 staff in Battersea next year. London’s tech startups raked in £1.8bn in funding last year, almost double that of Berlin and Paris. This news coincides with the release of a resource hub by the mayor of London's promotional office, aimed at businesses looking to attract international talent.
  • Girl Boss: Youth-Led ESG: Today in London, a coalition of climate change organisations led school walkouts in a nationwide climate change protest. Over 50 schools across the country were involved in the strike action, which saw thousands of young people gather in Parliament Square for over three hours, holding signs and chanting in protest of environmental degradation and climate change. Today's strikes is part of a global youth led protest and was spurred by the recent warnings from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) that the international community only has 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate change. Inspired by the IPCC’s report, Greta Thunberg  a 16-year from Sweden took action with the first strike, and her solo climate change protest has galvanised the global youth-led climate change protests and inspired many to start their own strikes for the cause. London’s strikes were organised by a number of environmental justice organisations, including UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), the UK Youth Climate coalition and YouthStrike4Climate. The organisers say that their aim is to send politicians the message that they will not accept anything less than a commitment to protect the planet for the good of everyone. Aside from kicking off a climate protest on her own, which is inspirational by itself, we should all be in awe of a 16-year-old Greta addressing a room full of world leaders and berating them for behaving like irresponsible children. Here is a link to Greta’s speech at the UN COP24 Conference
  • Palace Update: Two updates have resulted from the Duke of Edinburgh’s car crash in January. The first bit of news is that after careful consideration, Prince Philip will voluntarily give up his driving licence. In announcing the Prince’s decision, Buckingham Palace made sure to stress that Prince Philip came to the decision on his own and he will be driven from now on.  On the back of that Palace update, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) investigating the collision between the Duke’s Land Rover Freelander and a Kia, announced that Prince Philip will face no charges and no further action. In a statement announcing the decision, the CPS said that materials from the accident have been carefully reviewed by the police and following an investigation of the traffic collision, it would not be in the public interest to prosecute Prince Philip. Although the non-month-old baby in the Kia was uninjured, the driver of the Kia suffered cuts to her knees and another passenger sustained a broken wrist; both injured parties required hospital treatments. 

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