LONDON (Reuters) - One third of Britons have undertaken a "digital detox" by ditching their smartphones and tablets to wean themselves off online addiction and to do more in the real world with friends and family, communications industries regulator Ofcom said. Some 15 million adults had sought temporary respite from the internet, Ofcom said, as adults spent an average of 25 hours online each week, rising to 29 hours for those aged 16-24 and 26 hours for teens. "The internet has revolutionised our lives for the better. But our love affair with the web isn't always plain surfing, and many people admit to feeling hooked," said Jane Rumble, Ofcom's director of market intelligence. "So millions of us are taking a fresh look at the role of technology in our lives, and going on a digital detox to get a better tech-life balance." Ofcom's survey of 2,025 adults and 500 teenagers for its annual Communications Market Report found that going offline for a period made one third of people more productive, while a quarter enjoyed life more. On the downside, 16 percent said they worried about missing out while they were offline. Holidays were the favoured time to escape, the survey found, with 30 percent taking some form of digital break and 16 percent purposely visiting a destination with no online access. While adults were choosing to occasionally deprive themselves of the internet, the choice was more often imposed on teenagers, who were the heaviest users of online services like social networking and instant messaging, Ofcom said. Six out of 10 teenagers who used a connected device such as a tablet or smartphone said they had been "digitally grounded", having had their device taken away or its usage restricted. Services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have surged in popularity in the last two years amongst all adults, the survey found, with the percentage using instant messaging rising from 28 percent in 2014 to 43 percent in 2016. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
The COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE was able to neutralize a new variant of the coronavirus spreading rapidly in Brazil, according to a laboratory study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Monday. Blood taken from people who had been given the vaccine neutralized an engineered version of the virus that contained the same mutations carried on the spike portion of the highly contagious P.1 variant first identified in Brazil, the study conducted by scientists from the companies and the University of Texas Medical Branch found.
Megyn Kelly says Meghan Markle always claims to be a 'victim' after bombshell Oprah interview: 'Give me a break'
"Everyone victimizes Meghan! Everyone! The palace! The press!" the former Fox News host, who was fired for making racist statements, said.
Calls for the abolition of the British monarchy were made on social media following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah.
- Associated Press
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday the government is studying what to do about growers of opium poppies who have been hit by competition from synthetic opioids, suggesting that some sort of legalization scheme might be possible. Asked about legalizing marijuana production — a bill for which is now before Congress — López Obrador said the question also involves opium poppies grown illegally in some parts of Mexico to make heroin. “As far as commercializing marijuana and opium poppies, the decision has been made to undertake a thorough study of these crops,” López Obrador said.
- Business Insider
A new lab study shows troubling signs that Pfizer's and Moderna's COVID-19 shots could be far less effective against the variant first found in South Africa
A mutation called E484K appeared to help the variant, first found in South Africa, to evade antibodies produced by the vaccines, the authors said.
Meghan Markle compared losing her voice after marrying Prince Harry to Ariel's story in 'The Little Mermaid'
During her interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle compared being "silenced" as a royal to the princess Ariel's story in "The Little Mermaid."
Oprah shares 2 moments from her Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview that surprised her the most
Oprah Winfrey was surprised Meghan told her about her suicidal thoughts, and that royal family members had "concern" over Archie's skin tone.
10 major ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's love story differs from Prince William and Kate Middleton's
From how the couples met to the ages they were when dating, the royal brothers' relationships with Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton aren't too alike.
Joining hundreds of women in Istanbul to protest at China's treatment of Uighurs, Nursiman Abdurasit tearfully thinks of her jailed mother in Xinjiang and fears that Uighurs like her in Turkey may one day be sent back under an extradition deal. Beijing approved an extradition treaty between the two nations in December and with the deal awaiting ratification by Ankara's parliament, activists among some 40,000 Uighurs living in Turkey have stepped up efforts to highlight their plight.
- The Telegraph
New Zealand 'not likely' to become a republic in wake of Harry and Meghan interview, says Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand's prime minister says the country is “not likely” to become a republic in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan's interview, as Commonwealth countries face calls for the removal of the Queen as Head of State. Jacinda Ardern was asked whether the unflattering picture of the British royal family painted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had given her pause about New Zealand's constitutional ties to Britain. "I've said before that I've not sensed an appetite from New Zealanders for significant change in our constitutional arrangements, and I don't expect that's likely to change quickly," she said. New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with The Queen as Sovereign. But discontent is bubbling elsewhere - #AbolishTheMonarchy was trending on Twitter on Monday morning.
Prince Harry said he and Meghan Markle hadn't planned on signing streaming deals, but they needed the money for security
Harry told Oprah he was financially cut off by the royals and that his family's security was taken away, so he signed deals with Netflix and Spotify.
- The Independent
Queens-born septuagenarian arrives back at former Fifth Avenue residence following four year absence
- The Telegraph
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex unloaded on Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cambridge, and the tabloid press in their extraordinary tell-all with Oprah Winfrey. But despite the numerous allegations levelled at named and unnamed members of the Royal family, The Queen emerged unscathed, and instead received glowing praise from the couple. Meghan described how "everyone" welcomed her to the royal set-up initially, but singled out the Queen as making her particularly comfortable. In another sign of their positive relationship, the Duchess said: “I just pick up the phone and I call the Queen - just to check-in. Meghan said the Queen has "always been wonderful" to her and that she reminded the Duchess of her own grandmother. "She’s always been warm and inviting," the Duchess added. The Duchess shared a touching anecdote on how her future husband’s grandmother gave her "some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace" for the couple's first joint engagement together, and that the monarch also shared her blanket while travelling together between visits. The pair attended a ceremony for the opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, in Widnes, Cheshire in June 2018 and travelled north on the Royal train.
- The Week
Prince Harry gave an honest assessment of his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, telling Oprah Winfrey that he has "compassion" for both of them because they are "trapped" inside the royal family. During an interview that aired on CBS Sunday night, Harry said he did not "blindside" his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, with the news that he would be stepping back from his royal duties, saying he has too much "respect" for her. Last year, Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, moved from Britain to California, and he said that recently, he's actually spoken to the queen more than usual, and they have a "really good relationship." It's been harder to relate with his father, though. Harry said he is "disappointed" in him, and does not think the family did enough to protect Markle from bad press. "I saw history repeating itself," he said, referring to his mother, the late Princess Diana, who was hounded by tabloids. Harry said he asked for help, but Charles stopped answering his calls. Had he received assistance, "we wouldn't have left," Harry said, but "we did what we had to do." He denied having long ago decided he would leave his royal duties, and Markle backed him up. "I left my career, my life," she said. "I left everything because I love him. Our plan was to do this forever." Harry told Winfrey he has money his mother left him, and believes she would have been "very angry at how this has played out, and sad. But ultimately, all she'd ever want is for us to be happy." Today, Harry said Charles is accepting his phone calls, but "there's a lot to work through there." He thought his father would be more understanding, and "there's a lot of hurt that's happened." It is now one of Harry's "priorities to try and heal that relationship," he added. As for William, Harry said he "loves him to bits" but "we're on different paths." Through Markle, Harry said he was able to see he was stuck in the "institution" he was born into, and his father and brother "are trapped. They don't get to leave. And I have compassion for that." More stories from theweek.comBritain's tabloids, vilified by Harry and Meghan, are all agog over the 'devastating' Oprah interviewHow Democrats' COVID-19 relief bill will affect Americans across income brackets, in one chartIn defense of Joe Manchin
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are a rare Hollywood couple married for over 30 years - here's a timeline of their relationship
Rita Wilson just marked one year since she and Hanks fell ill with COVID-19, saying she felt "grateful" for their health.
- Business Insider
Biden eyes trashing Trump-era rules that advocates feared would silence sexual assault survivors on college campuses
The rules were unveiled by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in the final year of the Trump administration.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the Republican Senate leadership, said on Monday he will not run for office in 2022, making him the latest Republican lawmaker in Congress to opt for retirement. The 71-year-old Missouri Republican, who last year called on then-President Donald Trump to be more aggressive in preparing to acquire and deliver coronavirus vaccines, calmly announced his impending departure in a video on Twitter in which he thanked voters for enabling him to have a career in public service. "After 14 general election victories - three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections - I won't be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate next year," Blunt said in the video.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson avoided wading into the clash of British royals on Monday, praising the queen but sidestepping questions about racism and insensitivity at the palace after an interview by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. The former Hollywood actress, whose mother is Black and father is white, accused the royal family of pushing her to the brink of suicide. In a tell-all television interview, she said someone in the royal household had raised questions about the colour of her son's skin.
- Business Insider
A world-leading health expert has warned that spring breakers could increase the spread of highly-transmissible coronavirus variants across the US.
- Business Insider
Biden nominates female generals who were passed over by the Pentagon because they feared Trump's reaction
Pentagon officials believed former President Donald Trump would oppose the promotion of female generals, report says.