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  • The Know Daily - Thursday 14 March 2024

The Know Daily - Thursday 14 March 2024

🗞️ The UK bans foreign states from owning newspapers, the hype around beer bikes + the future of TikTok in the US.

Read in 5m 20s Listening to Bacarra 

🗞️ The UK bans foreign states from owning newspapers 

🍻 The beer bike hype

🎤 Glasto headliners announced

It’s the International Day of Action for Rivers - so what better time to highlight a new initiative aimed at cleaning up the Thames? Meet London’s new “super sewer” 👇 - a 16-mile-long tunnel stretching underneath the river, which will carry waste from storm overflow drains away to a treatment works in east London. Testing on the Thames Tideway Tunnel is set to begin this summer.

🗞️ New rules on newspaper ownership

The government is set to ban foreign state ownership of UK newspapers and news magazines.

What's behind the move?
The decision, announced on Wednesday in the House of Lords, comes in the wake of a proposed takeover of the Telegraph Media Group - which owns the Daily Telegraph and Spectator - by RedBird IMI, a United Arab Emirates-backed investment firm.

The planned takeover has been “fiercely opposed” by many Conservative MPs and peers, who had raised concern about the UAE’s record on press freedom, reported The Guardian.

What have ministers said about the move?
The government said it would “deliver additional protections for a free press". Conservative peer Baroness Stowell, the chair of the Communications and Digital Committee, had previously argued that “public trust in news [...] has fallen significantly in recent years” and that ownership by foreign governments would further “damage public confidence”, noted BBC News.

What happens next?
The government is set to publish full details of the legislation next Tuesday, with MPs expected to vote on it soon after. As The Independent reported, the legislation could apply to the Telegraph Media Group takeover if passed into law swiftly.

A spokesperson for the RedBird IMI group said that they were “extremely disappointed” by yesterday’s development, adding: “we have been clear that the acquisition of the Telegraph and the Spectator has been a fully commercial undertaking”.


Public libraries in the US state of Massachusetts have said they will accept what in return for late or damaged books?

A) Pictures of cats
B) A serenade
C) Free lunches

Scroll down for the answer

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🍻 The beer bike hype

Beer bikes are popping up in cities across the UK, despite being banned in many European locations.

What’s a beer bike - and what’s behind the hype?
The concept of a beer bike is pretty simple: up to 17 customers sit on bicycle seats arranged around a bar table, drinking unlimited beer while pedalling through the city - all while being steered by a sober driver, of course. As The Times explains, the beer bike first hit the streets of the Netherlands in 1997, quickly becoming popular among stag parties.

And these pedal-powered “pubs-on-wheels” are now gaining traction in UK cities such as Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh. A spokesperson from one firm told The Times that people choose to ride beer bikes because it gives them “the chance to be like children again”.

That’s sweet. So why do they have a bad rep in Europe?
30 years after they first emerged there Amsterdam banned beer bikes in 2017. The move followed complaints by locals about “rowdy tourists” who would get “drunk and disorderly” while pedalling along the city's famous canals, reported The Guardian - with one resident saying the city had become “a giant attraction park”. Public drunkenness, traffic disruptions and noise complaints drove Munich, Budapest and Prague to also banish beer bikes from their city centres.

Are they here to stay in the UK?
Despite their bad reputation in much of Europe, beer bike businesses are expanding in the UK. In Bristol, the city council has said it is looking into the regulations around beer bikes after the city saw its first beer bike party last month - but they’re proving pretty popular so far.

Beer biking?

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🎤 Glasto headliners: News just in… after months of speculation, Glastonbury has finally announced who will be headlining the UK’s biggest festival.

📝 Extremism definition: The government has today unveiled a new definition of extremism, which has been criticised by the government’s independent terror watchdog. 

👮 Met payout: The Metropolitan police has reportedly agreed to pay £10,000 in damages to a woman arrested at the Sarah Everard vigil in March 2021. 

🚉 “Hollywood connection”: Wrexham could get a direct train to London next year, in a move that would also open up new connections from Shropshire to Warwickshire.

🐌 Magic molluscs: A wildlife trust has launched a new campaign to give slugs and snails an “image makeover” and remind gardeners of the creatures’ worth. Are you convinced?

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Trivia answer: A) Worcester Public Library in the US said it would accept pictures of cats instead of a fee throughout March. Here’s why.

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