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New Royal Navy jets are put through their paces

The new multi-role jets which will equip the Royal Navy's new Portsmouth-based aircraft carriers are being put through their paces in the United States.

The F35s are a very much more sophisticated version of the Harrier jump jets which played a vital role in the Falklands war.

Robert Moore sent a special report from the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina.

  1. National

New scheme to help girls pursue STEM industry careers

A new scheme aiming to encourage schoolgirls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries is being launched by four leading communication giants.

The scheme will aim to encourage more girls to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing industries Credit: PA

BT, Ericsson, O2 and Vodafone have teamed up to pull together the pilot programme, which will see school students matched with a business mentor.

Paula Constant, who chairs BT's Women's Network, said if successful they hope to roll the programme out across the UK.

This scheme could make a real difference in encouraging girls to apply for jobs that require STEM skills.

Research shows that even though girls study the relevant subjects in school, only a inority go on to pursue careers in this area.

This issue needs to be addressed and we're really excited about the role we can play in inspiring and supporting female school leavers who may be considering a career in STEM.

– Paula Constant, BT

Drone flew "within yards" of Heathrow passenger plane

A safety report from the Civil Aviation Authority today reveals a drone was flown within a few yards of a passenger plane landing at Heathrow Airport. It brings to six the number of recent incidents.

The pilot of the Airbus A319 said the drone may have been just 20 feet above and 25 yards to the left when it passed by the aircraft in the incident last September.

He told the UK Airprox Board - which investigates incidents - that it was not possible to take avoiding action and the incident was put in the most serious risk category.

Concerns over drones flown near Heathrow and other airports Credit: ITV News

The plane was flying at an altitude of 500 feet and was on the final approach to the airport on September 30 when the drone was spotted.

Officials said that the drone was flown against Civil Aviation Authority regulations because it did not have permission to be above 400 feet within the Heathrow control zone.

The space between the drone and the jet had been reduced to about a wingspan - described as "the bare minimum" - and that "chance had played a major part" in the avoidance of a collision.

A police investigation was launched but the drone operator has not been found.


  1. National

Christian Sloan: First Vietnam waterfall victim named

Christian Sloan was one of three Brits who died at the popular waterfall spot in Vietnam. Credit: Family handout

One of the British tourists who died climbing a waterfall in Vietnam has been named locally as Christian Sloan.

The 25-year-old from Deal in Kent died along with two women, aged 19 and 25, at the Datanla Waterfalls in the Lam Dong province.

Local reports suggest the three were with an unauthorised guide when the tragedy happened.

NHS 'first' as brain surgery is carried out at patients' bedsides

Brain surgeons at Southampton General Hospital are providing life-saving resuscitation, imaging and surgery at patients' bedsides. They're the first in Europe to do so.

Clinicians on the neurointensive care unit (NICU) at Southampton General Hospital have called the development a "major milestone" in the treatment of critically ill and injured patients that could transform clinical practice.

Southampton General Hospital Credit: ITV Meridian

It has been made possible through the use of a £150,000 portable CT scanner - donated by fundraising group Percy's Pals - which enables doctors to scan patients on the unit rather than transport them across hospital to an imaging suite.

Neurosurgeons can then perform an emergency image-guided procedure, known as an external ventricular drain, at the same time to release fluid from the brain and reduce pressure on the skull.

Previously, patients had to be transferred to a scanner by three members of staff - a consultant, medical technician and nurse - for imaging, then taken to theatre if they required a ventricular drain or other emergency surgery.

"Timing is everything when it comes to neurological conditions and any deterioration needs to be diagnosed as quickly as possible so pressure can be taken off of the brain rapidly to give a patient the best possible chance of a good recovery.

"The portable CT scanner not only enables instant imaging, it means we no longer have to move critically ill patients away from the safety of the intensive care unit and we can perform emergency procedures at the bedside - it really is a major milestone in neurointensive care treatment."

– Dr Roger Lightfoot, Director of the NICU, Southampton General Hospital

Broadband users complain about coverage

Residents say that coverage is poor Credit: ITV

Around 1800 people on a Buckinghamshire estate say they're locked into an expensive contract with a broadband provider, who they claim is offering little and at times very poor coverage. The company says the issues at Berryfields in Aylesbury is often to do with router location and materials in the home restricting signal range and strength.

Reward offered after malicious damage to communications network

Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and partner Openreach (a BT Group Business) are appealing for information following malicious damage to the telecommunications network within a Southampton building site.

The incident occurred within the Inland Homes building site in Summers Street, Southampton at approximately 10.15am on Sunday 21st February, which left nearby homes and businesses without telephone and broadband services for a prolonged period of time.

The damage left parts of the surrounding area without service as complex repairs were carried out, with engineers working to restore service as soon as possible to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses.

Openreach and Crimestoppers are now offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.

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