Society The UK has the highest number of prisoners serving life sentences in prison in Europe. In 2016, 8,554 inmates were serving life sentences, more than those in France, Italy and Germany combined. Source: Prison Reform Trust.
Women on maternity leave are the loneliest people in the UK. Some 92% of mothers feel lonely after having children, with 54% saying they feel 'friendless’. Source: channelmum.com.
Women are generally much more likely to feel lonely than men. Source: Office for National Statistics.
Some 59% of Scots believe that becoming an independent nation would be better than staying in the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Source: Panelbase.
77% of Brits rate Prince Harry as the most popular member of the royal family. Source: YouGov.
Some 19m motorists are expected to take to the roads on the last Friday before Christmas, whether doing last-minute shopping, picking up their children from school or getting away from work. It will be the busiest traffic day of the festive season. Source: AA.
The surnames that occur most often in Scotland’s registers of births, marriages and deaths have been the same names, in the same order, since 1975. Smith has always been at the top spot, followed by Brown, and then Wilson. Source: National Records of Scotland.
To Scots, the worst part of winter is the weather. Source: Scotpulse.
In 2017-18, over 15,500 children in England were treated for substance misuse – 88% of which involved cannabis. The number treated for addiction to tranquilisers, such as Xanax, has doubled in a year to more than 300. Source: Public Health England.
Economy O2 is seeking millions in damages from supplier Ericsson after last week’s day-long data network failure. The amount requested could be as much as £100m. Source: O2.
The average price of a large turkey breast crown has fallen by 67p this year, and now costs £19.53. Source: The Grocer.
A recent survey found that the most iconic Scottish brand is Irn Bru. Source: Scotpulse.
Footfall in UK high streets and shopping centres fell by 3.2% last month – the worst figure since the recession. Source: Springboard.
Education Around 4,000 people are currently in teacher training in Scotland, with numbers going up for the third year running. Source: Scottish Government.
Over half of UK teachers say that their job has either led to a mental health issue or made an existing one worse. Source: Mental Health Foundation.
Black and Arab academics at the UK’s top universities earn an average 26% less than their white colleagues. Source: BBC.
Science Human remains and the ruins of a chapel have been discovered during work to lay new water pipes in Kingussie. They are believed to date back to before the 16th century. Source: West Coast Archaeology Services.
There has been a 70% decline in global seabird populations due to a combination of the fishing industry, pollution and habitat destruction. To improve this situation, world fisheries should be more strictly managed. Source: University of Aberdeen.
A kangaroo called Roger, who became famous because of his enormous size, has died in Alice Springs, Australia. He stood two metres tall, weighed 89kg, and lived to the ripe old age of 12 years old. Source: Kangaroo Sanctuary.
Health Most adults in England are so unhealthy they put their lives at risk. Nine out of 10 have at least one unhealthy trait, such as smoking, drinking more than 14 units of alcohol each week, not eating five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, obesity and low levels of physical activity. Source: Health Survey for England.
Spending a long time in space does not damage the white blood cells of astronauts. The cells, which fight infections and are vital to our immune system, are not affected during or after such time. Source: University of Bath.
Kidney dialysis, if received for many years, may cause short-term 'cerebral stunning,' leading to progressive brain injury in the long-term. Source: Glasgow University.
Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives each year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone. Source: World Health Organisation.
Recreation 'Only Fools and Horses' has been voted the most popular all-time TV programme, with 76% of votes. Source: YouGov.
Oddities Supermarket Morrisons is selling a three-course Christmas dinner in a pasty. Included in the concoction are a starter of pate and toast; main course of turkey and trimmings; and dessert of Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Source: Morrisons.
One in 10 people in the UK send a Christmas card to a pet, and a similar number send one to a friend’s pet. Source: Royal Mail.