The State Pension triple lock is a commitment made by the Government to update the basic and new state pension sum annually. Each year, the sum rises by the highest of earnings, prices, or 2.5 percent in order to protect the state pension sum for the future. With many people reliant on the state pension in later life as a key source of income, the prospect of a disappearing triple lock is concerning.
And with the future of the policy increasingly being brought into question, the Government is now facing pressure.
Journalist and former Labour Party politician Gloria De Piero, today appeared on GB News, where amongst other topics, the state pension was on the agenda.
The future of the triple lock was discussed on the newly-launched channel, where pensioner income was discussed.
Ms De Piero honed in on this matter, where she grilled the pensions minister Guy Opperman on the future of the policy.
Later this year Frank Herbert’s epic hero’s journey Dune will hit cinemas for the first time in over 30 years. A previous adaptation of the story was released in 1984, directed by David Lynch, but was lauded as one of the biggest cinematic disasters of all time due to its scripts and box office revenue. Since then, directors have been reluctant to fall back into the world of Arrakis to fight over the Spice, Melange. Director Denis brings Frank’s vision to the big once again with Jason as Duncan Idaho by his side. The DC Comics actor has now spoken out on the film now it has been finished.
SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW
Jason appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week to discuss season two of his Apple TV Plus show, See.
During the conversation, he was asked about Dune, to which he instantly responded: “It is a masterpiece.
“I have never been in anything of that scope [before]. Denis is a genius.”
The Game of Thrones star also revealed he has seen the finished version of the film.
Jason told Jimmy: “I got to see it. It was really cool because my kids were up here, and so we got to take them to it.
“The first time I got to see something like that with my kids, it’s a very adult movie, but so beautiful.”
The Aquaman star’s character, Duncan Idaho, is a warrior and the righthand man of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac).
Jason has previously said of the film: “I’ve never worked with action on this scale. Denis is a cinematic genius, and generally, all the action I’ve done has been nowhere even remotely close to Denis.”
Denis continued: “We tried to keep the richness in the movie… humans, we need to earn our destiny in order to change the world. The movie is kind of a call to action for us to change things, especially for the youth.”
Jason also noted: “The cast is massive,” which it is, employing the likes of Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Chang Chen, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin.
Timothée Chalamet plays the hero of Dune, Paul Atreides, an actor Denis has sung the praises of numerous times since his casting was announced.
In the same press conference, the director said Timothée is “by far, the best actor of his generation”.
Denis also pointed out the key reason he cast Timothée into the role is because of his “unique mixture of having such a young look on camera while also still coming across as an old soul”.
He went on to add: “[Timothée] has insane charisma that can be found in the old Hollywood stars of the ‘20s.”
Sony already makes some of the best noise-cancelling wireless earbuds around, but things are about to get a whole lot better. The Japanese firm’s new WF-1000XM4 have been revealed with a new sleeker design and plenty of improvements in the sound department too. Nestled inside these mini music-makers is a newly designed 6mm driver unit that boosts the volume and helps bring a “rich and more immersive sound” to your ears, Sony claims.
Just like its previous generation of Bluetooth earbuds, Sony’s new WF-1000XM4s offer full noise-cancellation, but things are taken up a notch thanks to an improved Processor V1. The company is boasting that this new brain “delivers the industry’s highest level of noise-cancelling yet”, plus it also uses less power than its predecessor meaning they last longer.
Helping things further are newly-developed Noise Isolation Earbud Tips which provide the ultimate fit – that not only makes them more comfortable to wear but stops outside sound leaking into your ear canal. When you’re out and about the WF-1000XM4 include Adaptive Sound Control which adjusts ambient sound settings, depending on the environment around you, for the ideal listening experience.
Other audio features that are worth a mention include full compatibility with stunning High-Resolution Audio music tracks and there’s a technology inside called Digital Sound Enhancement Engine which upscales compressed digital music files in real-time to make everything sound better.
When you head into a coffee shop to buy your morning brew, the WF-1000XM4 now feature Sony’s Speak-to-Chat technology which cuts off the sound the minute the earbuds hear your voice. That means you can talk to people and hear their response without needing to take the buds out of your ears.
Quick Attention’ mode is available on the WF-1000XM4 so if you want to listen to an announcement or say something briefly, you simply place your finger over the left earbud to decrease the volume instantly and let ambient sound in.
Another nice addition is a better experience when making voice calls. Sony says that speaking hands-free with the WF-1000XM4 has been improved thanks to Precise Voice Pickup Technology with microphones and a bone-conduction sensor. Beam-forming microphones are also calibrated to only pick up sounds from your mouth, Sony says.
One of the biggest drawbacks of wireless earbuds can be battery life but Sony appears to have fixed this as well with its WF-1000XM4 offering 8-hours of playback. Once flat, the new and smaller charging case offers a total of 24-hours of music before needing a refill. There’s also another nice boost as a quick 5-minute quick charge gives you up to 60 minutes of playtime.
As you might expect, the WF-1000XM4 are fully compatible with Alexa and Google’s Assistant plus they should survive the British weather thanks to an IPX4 water resistance rating.
They will be available this month and cost a rather hefty £250. If Sony can deliver on everything it has promised with the new tech crammed into these lightweight ‘buds, they could be worth the cash. We’ll have to get some in our ears to find out, stay tuned!
The Epic Games Store free games promotion continues today with a new freebie set to be released shortly. The current Epic Games Store free download – the hit multiplayer game Among Us – is only available until 4pm UK time this afternoon when a new freebie becomes available. And that game may have leaked early.
As highlighted in a post on Reddit, the next Epic Games Store free game might be 11 bit studios’ city-building survival game Frostpunk.
Frostpunk was first released in 2018, and has an 84 percent Metacritic score.
The strategy game currently isn’t available on the Epic Games Store.
But previous EGS freebies have arrived on the Steam rival on day one as part of the money-saving free games promotion.
Frostpunk received 9/10 ratings from publications such as IGN and GameSpot.
Speaking about Frostpunk, IGN said: “In a steampunk ice age, the only thing that can be crueler than the bitter cold are the decisions you have to make to keep your people alive.”
While GameSpot added: “Frostpunk is among the best overall takes on the survival city builder to date. Its theming and consistency create a powerful narrative through line that binds your actions around the struggle to hold onto humanity in uncertain times.
“Hope is a qualified good, but you may not always be strong enough (or clever enough) to shelter that flame from the cold.”
In case you’re thinking of picking up Frostpunk, here is the official blurb: “Frostpunk is the first society survival game. As the ruler of the last city on Earth, it is your duty to manage both its citizens and infrastructure. What decisions will you make to ensure your society’s survival? What will you do when pushed to breaking point? Who will you become in the process?”
In a press release issued by Rutherford Country Government, a spokesperson said that those identified on board the jet were William J. Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah.
The search and rescue mission has transitioned to a recovery mission, said Incident Commander Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. Joshua Sanders.
During a briefing, he said: “We are no longer in an attempt to looking for live victims at this point so we’re now recovering as much as we can from the crash site.”
Despite this, crews will continue to work throughout the night to recover the seven victims.
We’re now hours away from the next Epic Games Free Game announcement, with the countdown also running for the removal of NBA 2K21.PC gamers have until 4pm BST to download NBA 2K21 for free and add it to their library. For Epic Games Store users in North America, the same change will happen at 8am PDT.
A message from NBA 2K reads: “Experience enhancements across visual presentation, player AI, game modes, and much more, for the most authentic, realistic basketball video game. Feel the energy of the crowd, the intensity of NBA competition, and the entertainment of the most immersive sports product in gaming today.
If you are new to NBA 2K21, enjoy various ways to play! Embark on your own personal, cinematic basketball journey in MyCAREER to reach the ultimate hoops destination: the NBA. Then, jump into the new-look Neighborhood to live out your virtual, day-to-day basketball life that always offers up something to do.
“Build your ultimate Dream Team in MyTEAM mode with always evolving content and updates, including new cards and exciting rewards. Season 7: Full Throttle is already underway with a signature spotlight on NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady, and so much more. Learn all about what’s included in this latest season in our Courtside Report.”And the next new free game is set to launch on the Epic Games Store in the coming hours.
This is expected to be released at 4pm BST, with different leaks online suggesting what could be coming next.
One leading theory is that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be the next free game to be featured on the Epic Games Store.
This stems from a new leak that has been shared online via forums and Reddit page. The information was reportedly sourced from an Epic Games account which suggested the Tomb Raider game would be available until June 3.
PC gamers can also cash in on another deal currently available on the Epic Games Store.In its ongoing battle with Steam, the PC platform holder is giving all customers the chance to claim a free £10 voucher, no strings attached.
Just head on over to the Epic Games Store, login to your account, and claim your £10 video game voucher today.
The £10 Epic Coupon can be used on any game priced £13.99 or above, even if it’s already on sale.
The voucher can be used from now until June 17, which is the same date the Epic Mega Sale comes to an end.
“An Epic Coupon is the Epic Games Store coupon that is applied at checkout when purchasing eligible games on the Epic Games Store,” reads an Epic post.
“If you already have a £10 Epic Coupon from the MEGA Sale, that coupon will be applied to your next purchase of any eligible game £13.99 or more, and you’ll receive an additional £10 Epic Coupon.”
You can use the Epic Coupon to get discounts on games like Hitman 3, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and Cyberpunk 2077.
For the first time, this year will see four Marvel Studios movies released in cinemas, beginning with Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. But now the first teaser trailer for the third film Eternals has dropped promising a millennia-spanning epic. The MCU blockbuster follows an immortal alien race created by the Celestials who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7000 years without interfering in events.
However, following a tragedy in the aftermath of Avengers Endgame, the Eternals are reuniting to protect humans from their evil counterparts known as the Deviants.
Angelina Jolie stars as Thena, a fierce warrior who can form weapons out of cosmic energy.
While Richard Madden plays Ikaris, the tactical leader of the superhero team who has incredible strength, is able to fly and can shoot beams from his eyes.
From the trailer, it’s clear he has a special bond with Gemma Chan’s Sersi, who Marvel boss Kevin Feige has described as the film’s lead.
Roger Federer thanks frontline worker for efforts in pandemic
On paper, everything looked to be set up perfectly for Roger Federer.
With the majority of the sport’s big hitters having already played in the Italian Open in Rome last week, a relatively modest field had gathered in Federer’s native Switzerland for the Geneva Open.
But, despite a relative lack of star power on the entry list, the presence of Federer, who was predictably seeded at No. 1, meant the tournament would form a crucial part in the narrative heading into the French Open, which is due to get underway on May 30.
Seeded first, Federer had a relatively kind draw, and had even been handed a bye to the last 16.
But, in his first outing since his Qatar Open quarter-final exit in March, Federer looked half-a-yard off the pace as he battled gamely against Spanish clay court specialist Pablo Andujar.
The world number 75 wasn’t expected to cause huge issues for Federer, but his sound clay court fundamentals and a solid first-serve percentage meant that he was competitive throughout.
Key decision: Roger Federer may be best served by skipping the French Open to focus on Wimbledon (Image: GETTY)
With Federer starting sluggishly in his first competitive outing in months, it came as little surprise when the more energetic Andujar claimed the first set, 6-4.
Federer upped his game in the second set and levelled the match by taking the set 6-4 as he showed flashes of the brilliance we’ve come to expect from him over the years. But the lack of match sharpness was there for all to see in the third set when, after initially breaking Andujar, he couldn’t close out the match.
Instead, the match slipped away from him alarmingly quickly. He lost his serve immediately, then was broken again as he lost four games in a row to bow out of the tournament 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
As a warm-up for the high-octane action of the French Open, it was little short of disastrous for Federer, whose hopes of easing into the tournament in Geneva and hitting his stride by the final were ended at the very first hurdle.
Now there must surely be question marks over Federer’s next move.
The Swiss superstar was all set to compete at the French Open but, after bombing out against an unheralded opponent in Geneva, and with just 12 days to go until the start of the tournament, his prospects for success don’t look good.
The famous Roland Garros courts are no place for a player trying to play their way back to fitness.
The baseline rallies are tennis’ equivalent of a heavyweight boxing match, as the players attempt to pass one another with haymaker-like shots. It’s tough, it’s drawn out and it’s just about as gruelling a test as you’ll find anywhere on the tennis calendar.
With Federer looking to get back to full fitness after back-to-back surgeries on his right knee, exposing himself to the punishing clay courts of Roland Garros may not be the smartest move for his tennis year.
And his post-match comments seemed to suggest he might be of a similar opinion.
“My goal is the grass-court season, not Roland Garros,” he said.
“(The) Next weeks will be important to get used to the Tour again.
“Matches are different than training sessions.”
Federer: “My goal is the grass court season, not Roland Garros. Next weeks will be important to get used to the Tour again. Matches are different than training sessions”
That suggests there is a strong chance we may not see Federer at Roland Garros, and that would leave the door wide open for the most epic clay-court rivalry of the modern era, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both eyeing the French Open title.
Djokovic has been in superb form this year, and is head and shoulders above the field as the current ATP world number one.
But Nadal is the king of clay, and is targeting his 14th French Open title.
If the Spaniard is successful, he’ll pass Federer and stand alone with more Grand Slam singles tournament wins than any other men’s player in history.
Currently, Nadal and Federer are tied on 20 wins apiece, while Djokovic is on 18, and can pull to within one win of his two big rivals.
Even if fully fit, Federer would have had his work cut out to eclipse Djokovic and Nadal on the clay at Roland Garros.
But it’s on the faster courts that the Swiss truly shines, and a decision to sit out the clay-court season may prove to be the best bet for Federer’s season overall.
An eight-time Wimbledon men’s singles champion, Federer’s graceful movement and uncanny anticipation have put him a cut above the rest at SW19 over the years, and playing on the faster grass surface will help reduce the potential issues of a still-recovering right knee. Doing so after taking the early portion of the summer to get himself back to 100 per cent certainly seems to make sense under the current circumstances.
If he does decide to withdraw from the clay court season – including skipping Roland Garros – it may leave tennis fans disappointed in the short term, but it could set things up perfectly for a titanic “Big Three” showdown in London later this summer.