INDEPENDENT 2024-04-30 01:04:55


Lando Norris suffers facial injury while partying in Amsterdam

McLaren driver Lando Norris’ participation in the Miami Grand Prix is not at risk despite injuring his face on holiday in Amsterdam.

Norris spent some time away in Amsterdam during an extended break between the Chinese Grand Prix on the 21 April and America’s first race of the season in Miami.

While in the Dutch capital, pictures of the British driver spread on social media with a bandage wrapped across his face after reportedly cutting his nose on broken glass while celebrating Koningsdag (King’s Day) with DJ Martin Garrix.

The injury is not thought to be serious though, according to Planet F1, with the injury sustained during an incident on a boat party, meaning he will not miss any of the F1 season once it restarts in Miami this Friday.

It will come as a relief to the 24-year-old who has started the 2024 campaign in good form, with two podium finishes already achieved in five races.

He added to his first podium spot, which he secured in Australia at the end of March, by finishing second in Shanghai at the Chinese Grand Prix before the break.

Norris currently sits fifth in the Driver’s Championship on 58 points, 20 points clear of his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri, and 25 ahead of the next-placed Briton George Russell.

But despite his stellar opening and McLaren standing in the top three in the Constructor’s Championship, the title looks set to stay with Red Bull and Max Verstappen, for now.

Speaking to the Guardian, Norris said: “I believe I can achieve a championship at McLaren, that’s why I signed another contract. I think I can go up against Max and give him a good challenge.

“But I also rate Max, so for anyone, it’s extremely difficult to go up against Max in his team and challenge him for a world championship.

“I am not afraid in any way of Max, I’m excited to be against Max. People rate him as up with the best, so I would like to prove myself by going up against that.

“I look forward to being able to battle him, but genuinely for position and not have him half a second a lap quicker and just drive past me.”

Toxic metal warning as study claims vape flavours effect uranium level

Teenagers who vape could be at risk of exposure to toxic metals, potentially harming brain or organ development, a study has suggested.

Sweet e-cigarette flavours could also pose additional risks, according to researchers.

US academics used responses from part of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, which included American teenagers aged between 13 and 17.

Some 200 teenagers who vaped were included in the analysis, which has been published in Tobacco Control.

Of the group, 81 reported doing so frequently, with 65 reporting occasional use and 45 reporting intermittent use.

Usage was determined by the average number of puffs per day, with frequent users taking 27 puffs, intermittent users taking 7.9 puffs and occasional users taking 0.9 puffs.

Biomarkers in the urine were then assessed for the presence of the metals lead, uranium and cadmium.

Both frequent and intermittent e-cigarette users had higher lead levels in their urine than those who vaped occasionally, the study found.

Frequent vapers also had higher levels of uranium in their urine compared to occasional users.

The study also found that different vape flavours effected the uranium levels.

Some 33% of vapers preferred menthol or mint flavours, while 49.8% used fruit flavoured vapes and 15.3% used sweet flavoured vapes.

According to researchers, those who used sweet flavour vapes had higher uranium levels compared to those who preferred menthol or mint.

A report published by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) last June found 20.5% of children in the UK had tried vaping in 2023, up from 15.8% in 2022 and 13.9% in 2020.

The Government’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill, which was announced in October, aims to create a “smoke-free generation” by prohibiting the sale of tobacco to people born on or after January 1 2009.

It will also crack down on vapes in a bid to lessen their appeal to children and young people.

Proposals include potentially restricting how vapes are displayed in shops, as well as restrictions on flavours and packaging.

Researchers acknowledged the study’s limitations, including that the presence of uranium in urine could be down to environmental exposure or dietary intake.

However, they said: “Despite the limitations, this study reported increased urine lead and uranium levels associated with vaping frequency.

“Sweet flavours might pose an additional risk of exposure to uranium.

“E-cigarette use during adolescence may increase the likelihood of metal exposure, which could adversely affect brain and organ development.

“These findings call for further research, vaping regulation, and targeted public health interventions to mitigate the potential harms of e-cigarette use, particularly among adolescents.”

Professor Lion Shahab, co-director of the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, said: “This is a well-conducted study underscoring the need to carefully monitor exposure in e-cigarette users and highlights the fact that e-cigarettes are not risk free, and therefore should not be used by people who have never smoked, particularly adolescents.”

However, he said the findings should be seen in context, including that uranium exposure can come from a number of sources.

There was also no control group of teenagers who did not vape included in the analysis, he said.

Prof Shahab added: “This study therefore cannot tell us anything about absolute increase in exposure to heavy metals from e-cigarette use in this population, only about relative exposure among less and more frequent e-cigarette users.

“Given that heavy metal exposure is mostly driven by the type of device used, future studies should investigate whether there are any meaningful differences between different e-cigarette types to inform regulators to curtail use of devices that expose users to more heavy metals.

“The relatively small sample size in this study meant that this issue could not be investigated.”

Premier League agrees new spending cap – but three clubs vote against

Premier League clubs have agreed to bring an official vote at the next AGM over the introduction of an overall spending cap for future seasons.

It is understood that 16 clubs voted in favour of the new guidelines, with Chelsea abstaining and the three dissenting votes coming from Manchester City, Manchester United and Aston Villa.

Utilising a concept referred to as “anchoring” or “tethering”, it is expected that spending on transfers, wages and agents’ fees would be linked to the amount that the league’s bottom clubs receives in broadcast revenue, creating a hard ceiling on clubs’ outflows in these areas. In principle, the idea is to prevent a further widening of the financial chasm that is increasingly seen between the top and bottom ends of the league. In reality, it might mean that excessive and lucrative sponsorship deals made by the richest club have no additional impact on their spending power, if their income is already over the anchored amount of the least affluent sides.

Clubs have already agreed to replace the current Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) from 2025-26 onwards, with cost controls instead limiting club expenditure on salaries, signing and fees to 85 per cent of total revenue.

The Premier League AGM in June requires 14 of 20 clubs to agree to motions to result in proposals being passed.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish called on members “to be bold” when it came to implementing measures to ensure competitiveness in the Premier League remained balanced, amid fears state-owned clubs in particular could raise expenditure to unprecedented levels if not capped.

“I think there is change afoot. Uefa’s squad-cost caps are one idea. Maybe something that is a bit more rigid than that, with a hard cap at the top, that doesn’t take turnover into account, where there are vagaries of how that turnover comes about,” Parish added last year.

“There are really positive conversations going on about it. We also have to be very careful because there are also unintended consequences. Hopefully we will get somewhere that will be beneficial, not just to the clubs in the Premier League but to the whole pyramid and their ability to compete.”

The plan is reportedly for clubs to agree the structure of the deal in full for it to be in place for next season in “shadow form”, before becoming official ruling the following campaign alongside the new cost controls.

‘Relief’ as army issue update on injured Household Cavalry horses

Two Household Cavalry horses injured last week after bolting through central London are making progress, the army has said.

In an update on Monday, the army also said the two of the soldiers hurt when the horses escaped were still receiving treatment but expected to make a full recovery.

“Two horses underwent surgery. One, Quaker, a Cavalry black, has shown significant improvement and progresses towards what is expected to be a full recovery,” the army said in a statement on X.

“The other horse, Vida, a grey, continues to make progress. He remains under close and careful professional veterinary observation as his wounds heal.”

The statement added: “Of the soldiers injured, two are still undergoing treatment in hospital but will make a full recovery. The remainder have returned to work.

“We are so thankful for everyone’s concern and expressions of support, and for all those involved in their care.”

E2E Female 100 List for 2024 Revealed

For more information and to see the full E2E Female 100 2024 list click here.

E2E, in association with The Independent, proudly unveils the E2E Female 100 list, a definitive index recognising the exceptional achievements of the 100 fastest-growing female-led or founded businesses in the United Kingdom, based on their remarkable growth rates over the past three years.

The data underpinning this prestigious recognition is gathered by Experian and Go Live Data, ensuring a meticulous selection process that acknowledges businesses solely for their tangible contributions to the commercial landscape.

Spanning a myriad of sectors, these league tables serve as a testament to the remarkable endeavours spearheaded by women across the UK.

A celebratory gala dinner is scheduled for the autumn of 2024, hosted by Shalini Khemka CBE.

Featured in the list and demonstrating extraordinary growth are Darina Garland, co-founder and co-CEO at Ooni, who has seen an 88% increase, Alison Doherty, CEO at Sarah Raven’s Kitchen & Garden Limited who has seen an 83% increase and Fateha Begum, co-founder and executive director at Dare International Ltd who has seen an 81% increase in growth.

The E2E Female 100 constitutes a pivotal component of The E2E 100, a visionary initiative encompassing six league tables, complemented by expansive receptions and a plethora of associated content.

This initiative stands as a resounding testament to the exceptional calibre of UK enterprises, showcasing their unwavering commitment to excellence, consistent growth, and groundbreaking business strategies that reverberate not only within their respective sectors but resonate nationwide, and in some instances, globally.

Highlighting talent from every corner of the UK, this list underscores the rich diversity of businesses founded by women and the monumental successes they have achieved despite navigating through the challenges of an uncertain economic landscape.

Speaking about the list, Shalini Khemka CBE, founder of E2E says: “The E2E Female 100 list is a testament to the remarkable achievements of women in business. It showcases their talent, dedication, and resilience in navigating the business world. We’re still in a period of transition where women have to be recognised as much as possible to create parity in our economy, both in terms of general recognition, pay recognition, and equal opportunities, and I believe this list serves as a pivotal step towards achieving that goal. By shining a spotlight on the outstanding contributions of women entrepreneurs, the E2E Female 100 list not only celebrates successes, but also advocates for the recognition and equal treatment of women in business.”

Andy Morley, Chief Revenue Officer from The Independent, said: “It brings us great pleasure to highlight this extraordinary assembly of women, each having demonstrated remarkable strides over the past three years in their respective fields. The collaboration between E2E and The Independent for the E2E Female 100 provides a platform to spotlight the exceptional female talent across the UK whilst inspiring future generations of female entrepreneurs, and shows E2E’s commitment to championing female leadership in business.

Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL said: “As a founding Board Member of E2E, I’ve witnessed its transformation under the stewardship of Shalini Khemka CBE, evolving into a pivotal ecosystem supporting founders, business leaders, and investors. The Female 100 is a testament to E2E’s commitment to spotlighting the fastest growing female-led enterprises across the UK— a remarkable initiative that not only celebrates the achievements of these dynamic women but also serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. E2E’s dedication to fostering diversity and empowering female leaders underscores its invaluable contribution to the entrepreneurial landscape, shaping a future where opportunity knows no bounds.”

The tracks are independently compiled by Go Live Data and Experian according to specific criteria and official data. Each track is supported by our partners Champions (UK) plc, Go Live Data, Virtuoso Legal and Experian.

To find out more about E2E, visit https://www.e2exchange.com

Why Scotland could end up with two general elections this year

Humza Yousaf’s resignation as first minister of Scotland has worsened a deep crisis within his party. Having angered the Scottish Greens by tearing up the coalition agreement that he’d once described as “worth its weight in gold”, he then learned they would support a Tory motion of no confidence in him that is due to be tabled at Holyrood later this week.

This was followed by an even more portentous motion, proposed by Labour, of no confidence in the Scottish government – something that could conceivably trigger an early Scottish election, which would very likely deliver a Labour (or Labour-led) administration at Holyrood for the first time since 2007. The collapse of the SNP government, if not the cause of independence, carries an air of inevitability.

With Humza Yousaf’s resignation, the SNP knows it has run out of road

As in Westminster, so now at Holyrood, the whiff of political decay in the governing party has become the stench of putrefying decay. This is not hyperbole. On both sides of the border are governments that were once seemingly invincible, but now, assailed by a lethal mix of incompetence, complacency and sleaze, are stumbling towards defeat – if not oblivion.

In the event, the end came quickly as well as early for Humza Yousaf, the first minister of Scotland who has been in office for only a little over a year. When he was elected, narrowly and controversially, by the SNP membership, he was the “continuity Sturgeon” candidate.

The intention was that he would steady the operation, leave the wrangling about money behind, and re-energise what was already a jaded SNP administration – in power in one form or another since 2007 and the dominant force in Scottish politics since 2015.