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4 May 2013

9:00 AM

4 May 2013

9:00 AM

Dots on the map

An Edinburgh man is planning to stay 60 days on Rockall, a rocky island in the Atlantic 200 miles off the Western Isles — the longest-ever stay. Rockall was claimed for the United Kingdom in 1955, but it is far from our remotest colonial possession. Other islands include:

Oeno A 120-acre island set within a three-mile-wide atoll in the Pacific 89 miles northwest of Pitcairn. It is known as the place Pitcairners go when they want to get away from it all. And unlike Rockall, it has a tap.

Ducie Island For those who find Oeno too busy, there is always Ducie Island, a 1.5 square mile island 290 miles east of Pitcairn, discovered during an expedition to capture the mutineers from HMS Bounty.

Inaccessible Island Luxurious in vegetation compared with Rockall, it is nonetheless more remote — lying in the South Atlantic 28 miles south-west of Tristan de Cunha.

Gough Island More remote still is Gough Island, which lies 245 miles south-east of Tristan de Cunha. It does, however, have an inhabited weather station.

Bee minus

The European Commission has proposed an experimental ban on three types of neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide, in an attempt to reverse a decline in bee populations. Some other suggested causes of bee declines in Europe and North America:

— Varroa mite; wet summers (National Bee Unit, UK)
— Starvation; hive beetles (Pennsylvania State University)
— Coumaphos and Fluvalinate, two pesticides used to control varroa mite
(Washington State University)
— Israel acute paralysis virus (University of Guelph, Canada)
Nosema ceranae, a fungus (Centro Apicola Regional, Guadalajara)
— Combination of Nosema ceranae and IIV6 virus (University of Montana)
— Too little variation in diet (Time report on Californian bee-keepers)
— Mobile phone masts (University of Landau, Germany).

Public wealth

It was revealed that 800 teachers in state schools are earning over £100,000 a year. How many other public servants are earning that much?

15,000 GPs
7,800 consultants and hospital managers
5,000 dentists
3,100 council staff
950 legal aid barristers.

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