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Docklands Light Railway workers to be balloted for strikes

Workers on London's Docklands Light Railway are to be balloted for strikes in two separate disputes over pay and conditions.

Credit: PA

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch campaigns of action, with the results due on May 12.

The union has had no option but to move to a ballot of both the directly employed DLR staff and those hired in through Interserve in these two separate disputes. The union will not sit back while core issues on pay and working conditions are left unresolved. Our reps are in no doubt that we need to send a clear message to management that staff are prepared to fight to demand decent rewards and recognition, a safe working environment, decent working conditions and will not be forced into accepting inferior pay arrangements.

– Mick Cash, RMT union

This is a dispute between the RMT leadership and Keolis Amey Docklands and Interserve who employ the staff concerned. We urge all parties to sit down and talk through the issues to try and resolve them as soon as possible.

– Rory O'Neill, Transport for London's director of the Docklands Light Railway

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Green Party leader cancels south London visit after losing voice

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has had to pull out of her party's housing policy campaign launch after losing her voice.

Ms Bennett - who had been due to set out her party's plans to control rents during a visit to a south London housing estate - was said to be "resting" ahead of her battle bus launch tomorrow.

Earlier she dismissed suggestions that Labour had stole their thunder, dismissing their proposals as a "watered down" version of what the Greens are offering.

Natalie Bennett Credit: PA

We need to move away from thinking of homes primarily as financial assets and go back to thinking they are safe places for people to live.

– Natalie Bennett

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Rediscovered Francis Bacon self-portraits to go on display in London

Handlers with Three Studies for a Self-Portrait (1980) by Francis Bacon Credit: Sotheby's/PA

Self-portraits by the artist Francis Bacon are set to go on display for the first time after being rediscovered in a private collection. In June, they will be available to view at Sotheby's in London.

Experts knew of the paintings' existence but were unsure who had bought them after their completion around forty years ago. After they have been on display in New York and London they will be auctioned off. Each painting is expected to fetch £15 million.

Broccoli could hold the key to treating osteoarthritis

An ingredient in broccoli could help with osteoarthritis Credit: PA

Research conducted at the Royal Veterinary College in London has suggested that an artificial version of an ingredient in broccoli could be used as a treatment for osteoarthritis.

The compound sulforophane is known to block the inflammation and damage to cartilage associated with the condition. However, in its natural form it is too unstable to turn into a medicine.

Instead the UK drug company Evgen Pharma has developed a stable synthetic version of the chemical which could potentially be used in pill form. A single dose of it would be equivalent to eating two and a half kilograms of broccoli.

In tests on mice affected by osteoarthritis, the drug, known as Sulforadex, significantly improved bone architecture, balance and movement.

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