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Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Iceland is facing an “exponential” rise in Bitcoin mining that is gobbling up power resources, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka has said. This year, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centres is likely to exceed that of all Iceland’s homes, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson. He said many potential customers were keen to get in on the act. “If all these projects are realised, we won’t have enough energy for it,” he told the BBC. Mr Sigurbergsson’s calculations were first reported by the Associated Press. Iceland has…

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New report details misuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes

U.S. nursing homes have significantly reduced the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs among their elderly residents, responding to pressure from many directions. Yet advocacy groups insist that overmedication remains a major problem, and want the pressure to intensify. According to the latest data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS, the percentage of long-term nursing home residents being given antipsychotic drugs dropped from about 24 percent in late 2011 to under 16 percent last year. Decreases were reported in all 50 states, with the biggest…

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Grenfell firm to pass responsibility for homes to council

The firm that managed Grenfell Tower says it will hand over responsibility for thousands of properties to the local council by the end of January. Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) said it would “temporarily” give control to London’s Kensington and Chelsea Council. The council voted in September to end the contract, a month after the TMO was stripped of responsibility for managing homes in the estate around the tower. The TMO managed almost 10,000 homes. It was heavily criticised after the 14 June fire, in which 71 people…

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UK homes to get faster broadband by 2020

The government has said homes and businesses will have a legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020 after rejecting a voluntary offer from BT. Openreach, owned by BT and responsible for the infrastructure, offered to speed up improvements to 1.1 million rural homes. The government has promised access to speeds of at least 10 Mbps by 2020. BT said it respected the government’s decision. The government believes the regulatory Universal Service Obligation offers “certainty”. Under the plan, broadband providers will face a legal requirement to provide high-speed broadband to anyone…

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Opioid crisis strains foster system as kids pried from homes

The case arrives with all the routine of a traffic citation: A baby boy, just 4 days old and exposed to heroin in his mother’s womb, is shuddering through withdrawal in intensive care, his fate now here in a shabby courthouse that hosts a parade of human misery. The parents nod off as Judge Marilyn Moores explains the legal process, and tests arrive back showing both continue to use heroin. The judge briefly chastises, a grandmother sobs, and by the time the hearing is over, yet another child is left…

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Care homes: Self-funders 'pay £1bn of unfair charges and fees'

Care homes have been applying unfair charges and over-the-top fees for self-funders, an official review shows. The Competition and Market Authority found some homes had applied large upfront costs and charged families for weeks after their relatives had died. The watchdog also highlighted how those paying for themselves were charged much more than council-funded residents. The average weekly charge for self-funders was £846 – 40% more than local authority rates. The CMA said it meant private individuals were effectively paying a £1bn subsidy every year to keep the ailing £16bn…

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Budget 2017: Plans to build 300,000 homes a year

Philip Hammond says next week’s Budget will set out how the government will build 300,000 new homes a year. But the chancellor said there was no “single magic bullet” to increase housing supply and the government would not simply “pour money in”. Ministers want to speed up developments where planning permission has been granted and give more help to small building firms, he added. Labour says ministers “still have no plan to fix the housing crisis”. The shortage of housing is expected to be one of the themes of Wednesday’s…

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