iNews

'My Chinese degree was a slog, but it was worth it'

Chinese has overtaken French, Spanish and German to become one of the most lucrative foreign languages for jobseekers in the UK. Research shows graduates in Chinese earn an average yearly salary of £31,000 or more, second only to those who studied Japanese. For students today, saddled with rising debt, a degree in Chinese promises to set them apart in the workplace. But is learning the language from scratch worth the gruelling hours students must put in to make their degree worthwhile? Chinese
iNews

The book teaching children not to fear mental health

Mental health can be a difficult subject to speak with adults about, let alone children.  But a teenager with first hand experience of mental illness hopes to make it easier after writing her own children’s book about mental health. Emily Palmer, 19, was diagnosed with anxiety and anorexia in her early teenage years. Unimpressed by the information available to her to explain her diagnosis, she hopes her book Scrambled Heads: A Children’s Guide to Mental Health will help children learn that ment
iNews

Zawe Ashton: I can't sleep at night if I feel I'm hindering women

To many, Zawe Ashton will always be known as Vod, the zany English student in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat. In real life she relates to Vod’s general “rage against the machine” attitude, but definitely doesn’t share her character’s poor work ethic. It seems as if Zawe (pronounced Zaw-ee) never stops. Since her break-out role in Fresh Meat, she has edited an edition of Woman’s Hour, starred in Channel 4 comedy, NSFW, directed an art documentary for the Tate, appeared in the West End, and written, prod
iNews

Nadiya Hussain: I suffer with panic, some days I can't get out of bed

Nadiya Hussain is still smiling – for good reason. Two years on from winning The Great British Bake Off, the 32-year-old has released three cookbooks and a novel, presented two of her own TV series, and baked the Queen a birthday cake, all while earning herself one-name celebrity status. It’s quite a transformation for “Nadiya”, whose self-esteem was once so low she avoided going out in public for fear of being judged. When she told the camera in tears after winning Bake Off, “I’m never going t
iNews

What it's like at election time if your parent is an MP

I was seven years old when my dad woke me up in my bunk bed in the early hours of 2 May 1997 to tell me he had been elected as an MP. “And did Tony Blair win too?” I asked, before giving him a big hug and falling straight back to sleep. Little did I know this would be the first of three elections my family would have to endure. Four years later, I was a nervous first-year secondary school girl when my dad faced his second public test at the ballot box in 2001. I was so worried he might lose tha
iNews

'My polygamous marriage has made me a better person'

Suzie Morrison is in a polygamous marriage. She lives with her husband, Abel, and his two other wives – and says their domestic arrangement has made her a better person. The 36-year-old lives in an isolated community of fundamentalist Mormons in Utah’s Rockland Ranch, where half of the men have more than one wife. They believe that it is their calling to replicate God on earth, creating big families in the image of God’s creation of humanity. Their belief that polygamy is one way to reach the
iNews

Mutiny's Chris: I am the absolute opposite to how I was on the show

Adventurer Chris Jacks thrives on his own company. Joining eight other men for a 4,000-mile voyage in a tiny open wooden boat was always likely to prove a challenge, then – beyond the obvious. The former prisoner turned professional sailor from Liverpool has been the standout character so far in Channel 4’s series Mutiny – the televised attempt to recreate Captain William Bligh’s 1789 journey to safety, following the mutiny on the Bounty. Separated from dry land with only each other to rely on
iNews

‘My morning sickness was so bad I had to have two abortions’

Zoe* had two terminations after suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a condition that causes extreme vomiting during pregnancy. She was able to give birth to her daughter in 2009. “When I was pregnant I was being sick at least thirty times a day. I couldn’t keep any food or drink down, and was signed off work. I was pretty much bedridden and would crawl from the bed to the toilet and back again. “I kept being referred to hospital for dehydration. For my first two pregnancies, I was given no
iNews

What I want you to know about postpartum psychosis

Sleep deprivation and anxiety are common complaints from new mothers in the first months after giving birth. But for a few mothers, the combination of lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance and fears about the baby’s health can escalate into an acute mental health illness. Postpartum psychosis (PPP) affects one in 1,000 mothers but the condition is barely spoken about. When Sara Fenwick, 27, was diagnosed with PPP after suffering delusions that her baby was experiencing seizures, she had never heard
iNews

Putting the clitoris back into sex education

More women are watching porn and sending sexts than ever before, yet few can distinguish their vagina from their vulva, or know where their clitoris is. Ignorance about female genitalia is so widespread that almost half of women cannot label their vagina on an anatomical diagram. Sixty per cent of women do not know where their vulva is, according to research from gynaecological cancer charity The Eve Appeal. The clitoris has an estimated 8,000 or more nerve endings It is thought to be twice as
iNews

Why hospices deserve our support this Christmas

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those who have recently lost a loved one, or are caring for an ill relative. Jennifer Lambert, whose husband of 50 years died of cancer in July while staying in a hospice, will be thinking of him on Christmas day when she sees their grandchildren. But as well as spoiling them, she will be playing them a special song sung in memory of their late grandfather, David. Lambert is one of 300 singers from 18 hospices across the south east who have recorde
iNews

Mums of autistic children share the tips that changed their lives

Parents of young children with severe autism can learn the skills to dramatically improve their child’s development, according to a “hugely cheering” new study. According to the breakthrough study, early intervention has been shown to have an effect on reducing the severity of autism symptoms, a reduction that continued for six years after the end of treatment. With the help of a therapist, who films parents playing with their children and watches it back with them, parents can learn to pick u
iNews

The recovering heroin addict using photography to find inner peace

Hester Brodie was addicted to heroin, crack and alcohol for six years. She has been clean since 2001, but her days of using intravenous drugs still stay with her. Rather than let her past continue to define her, she has used photography – her favourite hobby – to tell her story of addiction, and those who she has met on her road to recovery. After becoming pregnant with her first child, she was inspired to put her photographs on show in the corridor of her housing association flat this summer,
iNews

A strong woman can change history: Iranian media scared to show that

Iranian women do not have the right to travel, work or study without the permission of their husband. If they are spotted in the street wearing a loose hijab, they can be put in prison. If they are seen in a car not wearing their headscarf properly, their car may be confiscated by the police. Three years ago, the government banned women from watching all-male sports in the country’s stadiums. In 2014, a British-Iranian woman was imprisoned for attending a men’s volleyball match. Tired of the d
iNews

The app that lets you order restaurant leftovers destined for the bin

Thousands of tonnes of food are wasted in the UK every day. One app aims to reduce this, allowing restaurants to sell unused food for a cut price to help feed people on a budget. Too Good To Go links restaurants that would normally throw away food with people who want to eat a well-balanced meal on a shoestring. For between £2 and £3.80, users of the free app can order a meal from 160 restaurants across the country and collect their hot dinner to takeaway. Restaurants in Leeds, Birmingham, Lo
iNews

The migrant crisis revisited: the truth behind images manipulated for campaigns

The images of refugees crossing Europe last year have become burnt in the national consciousness. Photographer Matt Cardy took some of those images. As a staff photographer for press agency Getty, he followed groups of migrants as they travelled from Greece to the Austrian border through Serbia, Macedonia and Hungary. His photos and those taken by his colleagues have been used by campaigners on both sides of the political debate. In September last year, the image of drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kur
iNews

What's it like to work as a drone designer?

Justin Pringle has built more than 400 drones, some of which have featured on the sets of Star Wars, Game of Thrones and James Bond to help film from awkward angles. When he tells people what he does for a living, he is typically asked “but don’t drones keep hitting planes?” Part of his job is to re-educate people that drones can be used for a greater good. As well as supplying drones for TV and film sets, Pringle and his team create devices that can help to detect radiation and landmines. He
iNews

What it's really like to examine dead bodies for a living

Barbara Peters deals with murder, suicide and infant death every day. As a mortuary technician, she helps to remove organs from the bodies of the deceased, replace them after they have been examined and sew any incisions with great care, ready for families to pay their respects. As well as carrying out the examination, the 47-year-old provides support for the bereaved. She encourages families to see the bodies of their loved ones to help with closure, and advises parents to hold their babies af
iNews

What's it like to work as a beer sommelier?

Annabel Smith can taste up to 20 beers a day, but – unlike a wine sommelier – she will drink the ales, stouts, porters or lagers she samples instead of spitting them out in order to grade them on their bitterness. “Beer tasters do swallow the product and women are much more sensitive to bitter flavours than men are. There is a bit of an argument that women make better beer testers,” she says. In almost 30 years she has never experienced sexism in the beer industry, but when women meet her for
The Independent

What's it like to work as a hot cross bun tester?

Jenny Galletly can taste up to 70 hot cross buns a day. Eating so many baked goods may sound like fun but in practice it can be hard, so she tends to spit out most of the buns once she's taken a bite. The bakery product developer for Marks & Spencer has to try each of the hot cross buns across the company's nine ranges, as well as up to 40 buns from rival retailers on the high street. She quality tests the M&S buns at every stage, from the first day of purchase to the end of shelflife, includi
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