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Police appeal for missing teenager from Caerphilly

Gwent Police has launched an appeal for a teenager who's gone missing from her home in Caerphilly. Bonnie Clarke,14, was last seen on friday.

Missing Bonnie Clarke
Bonnie Clarke has been missing before Credit: Gwent Police

She has long brown hair and was last seen wearing flip flops and a short multi-coloured dress.

Anyone with information to her whereabouts is asked to call 101.

Economy Minister; Electronic investment to 'secure the future' of business

Economy minister Edwina Hart says an investment of more than half a million pounds will secure the future of an electronics firm in Swansea.

Trojan Electronics will see its workforce almost doubled after the Welsh Government announced it will invest over £625,000 in a new headquarters.

This innovative support package is a prime example of how the Welsh Government is supporting business growth. The refurbished building will create the environment for Trojan Electronics to operate more efficiently while ensuring it has space to expand to meet the projected increased demand for its services.

The investment is not only creating a significant number of new jobs in one of our key sectors but also secures the future of the business. I am also delighted that Richard Hayward Properties is refurbishing an important industrial building and bringing it into employment use, helping to regenerate the area and ensuring Trojan Electronics has a sustainable long term future in the region.

– Edwina Hart, Economy Minister

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Green Flag award for 101 parks in Wales

More than 100 parks and green spaces in Wales have been awarded Green Flag status by the charity Keep Wales Tidy.

The award recognises parks and community spaces for their facilities and commitment to providing green areas for the people of Wales to enjoy.

Cardiff and Conwy lead the way with the most Green Flag sites with nine each. Meanwhile Bute Park in Cardiff and The Great Orme Country Park in Conwy have achieved Green Heritage status.

The charity also gives special mention to community managed sites in Powys, Bryn y Castell and the Llanidloes Community Garden which achieved the Green Flag Community Award for the first time.

Welsh Park
65 parks and 37 community spaces won the award Credit: PA

"I am delighted to see so many green spaces achieving the standards of the Green Flag Award. I congratulate all the parks and community spaces providing excellent, year round facilities and events for everyone in Wales."

– John Griffiths, Minister for Natural Resources, Culture and Sport

Police appeal for information after weekend riots

Police are continuing to investigate the violence that took place in Cardiff following a protest against events in Gaza on Saturday.

Protests in Cardiff
Police are asking anyone with footage to come forward Credit: Ian James

Two arrests were made after clashes in the Mill Lane area of the city. South Wales Police are appealing for anyone with further information to come forward.

Read More: Police promise 'robust' probe into Cardiff Gaza march violence

Let's not shake on it: Hygiene concerns over traditional greeting

Bumping fists may be a more hygienic greeting than shaking hands, experiments at Aberystwyth University have revealed.

Handshake
Credit: Oli Scarff / PA Wire

Using rubber gloves and a thick layer of E. coli, scientists at the university exchanged handshakes, high-fives and fist-bumps.

Their results revealed the transfer of potentially disease-causing bacteria is highest during a handshake.

This was reduced by more than half in the high-five, with germ transfer a whopping 90% lower when bumping fists.

PA Images
US President Barack Obama is a fan of the fist-bump Credit: PA Images

"People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. If the general public could be encouraged to fist-bump, there is genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases."

– Dr Paul Whitworth, Aberystwyth University

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E-cigarettes: A menace or a miracle?

by Bethan Muxworthy
E-cigarette
Credit: Tim Ireland / Press Association

Plans to ban the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public places would be broadly welcomed by a majority of Welsh people.

That's the conclusion of an exclusive ITV Wales poll, which found that 52% of respondents backed the proposal by Health Minister Mark Drakeford. The Welsh Government will decide whether to go ahead with the plan later this year. But, for many people, e-cigarettes seem to be a life saver. Rob Heyes from Cardigan has suffered serious health problems as a result of smoking tobacco for 33 years. He’s now given up with the help of e-cigarettes.

“I’m furious about it to be honest, that’s one of the reasons people start using these because they can use them indoors, once they've started then they can move onto eventually switching completely.”

– Rob Heyes, Cardigan

Dr Ruth Stone from Llandaff Surgery thinks e-cigarettes are a huge public health success:

“I think they are a very good substitute for ordinary cigarettes, they do provide nicotine which is often needed when one is giving up cigarettes. They don’t supply the tar and the smoke and the tobacco that are harmful to people. So they’re very useful as an adjunct treatment.”

– Dr Ruth Stone, Llandaff Surgery

Almost half of those who answered our opinion poll seem to agree with the doctor. 42% said they think e-cigarettes help reduce smoking and only 15% think they encourage people to take up the habit.

But despite the research suggesting e-cigarettes do help people quit cigarettes, the Health Minister is convinced they normalise the act of smoking. He also claims there is not enough evidence to assume they're completely safe.

“What we have to do is consider the emerging evidence in this field and I have to proceed on the precautionary principle, if there is evidence that e-cigarettes do no harm, but a pile of evidence that suggests that they may be harmful to people's health in the future. Then I cannot afford to take the risk with the Welsh population’s health.”

– Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health
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