Editor's note

After a summit of EU leaders in Salzburg, EU leaders poured cold water over Theresa May’s Chequers deal. Simon Usherwood assesses whether there is any life left in the prime minister’s Brexit plan.

Where a child grows up in the UK influences their chances of being taken into care, or experiencing abuse or neglect. Paul Bywaters and his colleagues have found that children in Northern Ireland are far less likely to grow up in care – and they are trying to understand why. Meanwhile, Lindsay Hamilton and Emma Surman write about how to improve children’s well-being: get them to eat better by understanding where food comes from. One way to do that is to teach them gardening.

Since before Icarus learned the hard way that flying is harder than it looks, scientists have been trying to figure out how birds seem effortlessly able to soar from one thermal to another in order to stay in the air almost indefinitely. Nick Martin explains the research putting AI into a glider that will enable it to learn how to find updrafts. The researchers hope this development will make flying smarter and more efficient.

On a recent trip to Italy, Robert Hearn was intrigued to discover families of wild boar making their home in Genoa – a city in the northern region of Liguria. As Italy’s rural population dwindles, traditional agricultural and woodland knowledge is fading away – and with nature encroaching, city slickers must now find new ways to live alongside their porcine neighbours.

Gemma Ware

Society Editor

Top stories

Christian Bruna/EPA

Chequers plan: why Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint is not quite dead

Simon Usherwood, University of Surrey

The Chequers plan might still be the least worst option to secure a Brexit deal.


A child’s chances of being taken into care depend on where they live in the UK

Paul Bywaters, University of Huddersfield

Children growing up in Northern Ireland are far less likely to be in foster or residential care than those in England, Scotland or Wales.

Airbus Perlan Mission II surpasses U.

AI could help drones ride air currents like birds

Nicholas Martin, Northumbria University, Newcastle

New research shows how smart aircraft can learn to use updrafts of warm air to stay in the sky.

This little piggy went to Genoa. Shutterstock.

Wild boars run amok in the city of Genoa, as abandoned rural areas are ‘rewilded’

Robert Hearn, University of Nottingham

Seems humans aren't the only ones moving into cities in ever greater numbers.

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