August Bank Holiday Monday 2017 opening times for DIY stores including Wickes, B&Q, Homebase, Argos and more

With the last long Bank Holiday weekend of summer almost here, many Brits will be planning a spot of DIY in an attempt to get the home and garden prepped before autumn gets underway.

But before you dash off to stock up on supplies, you may want to double check when your local store will actually be open on Bank Holiday Monday.

We’ve put together a handy list of when everything is open below, but if you fancy heading over to your local supermarket instead, see our guide on when food shops are open this Bank Holiday here.

DIY store opening times

Wickes

With Wickes’ 10% off online offer, you may prefer to stay at home… (Image: Wickes)

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Wickes also have a Buy One, Get One Free deal on 2.5L tubs of standard colour emulsion paint, both in store and online from 24 to 28 August. The offer includes both Wickes own-brand and Dulux coloured emulsion.

If you’re shopping online at Wickes, rather than heading in store, you can get 10% off when you spend £75 or more using the code AUGUST17 at the checkout.

Bank holiday opening hours at a glance

Saturday 26 August: Wickes stores nationwide will open like normal, from around 6.30am to 9pm.

Sunday 27 August: Wickes stores nationwide will open like normal, from around 6.30am to 9pm.

Monday 28 August: Wickes stores nationwide will open like normal, from around 6.30am to 9pm.

Do make sure to double check the opening times for your local store on the Wickes website here.

B&Q

A shopper carries a branded B&Q plastic carrier bag
It’s discounted stock galore at B&Q this August Bank Holiday (Image: Getty)

B&Q have begun their clearance sales, with normally pricey items such as these dining sets massively reduced.

Bank holiday opening hours at a glance

Saturday 26 August: Most B&Q stores will be open as per usual, from 7am – 9pm.

Sunday 27 August: Most B&Q stores will be open as per usual, from 7am – 9pm.

Monday 28 August: Most B&Q stores will be open as per usual, from 7am – 9pm.

It’s worth double checking your local is sticking to these hours on the B&Q site, which you can do by typing your postcode into the B&Q site.

 

Statins don’t just keep cholesterol steady, they make your heart healthier too – and new study proves it

  • I write a lot about statins, the drugs that keep the cholesterol in your blood at healthy levels. I believe they’re a key preventive medicine of our time, keeping millions of people disease free.
  • Just recently a report showed that the side-effects of muscle pain have been exaggerated and now it’s been found statins not only keep your cholesterol steady they make your heart healthier. They repair a damaged heart and restore its lost function.
  • The team at Queen Mary University of London used magnetic resonance scanning (MRI) to look inside the hearts of 4,622 men and women in their sixties from the UK Biobank, of whom 785 were taking statins.
  • The lower left chamber of the heart, which pumps blood around the body, was analysed and in patients prescribed statins contained 2.4% less muscle. This means their hearts were fitter and healthier, and more able to pump blood effectively.
  • The effect was striking because those prescribed statins had been judged to have the biggest risk of heart problems. They had higher BMIs, higher blood pressure and were on average four years older.
  • There’s growing evidence that statins have benefits beyond lowering cholesterol levels

  • “People using statins were less likely to have a thickened heart muscle and less likely to have a large heart chamber,” lead scientist Dr Nay Aung, from Queen Mary, said. “Having a thick, large heart is a strong predictor of a future heart attack, heart failure or stroke, and taking statins appears to reverse the negative changes in the heart.”
  • Since 2014, the majority of men aged over 60 and women over 65 are offered statins, even if they only have a one in 10 chance of developing cardiovascular disease within 10 years.
  • However, I have colleagues who believe it’s wrong to medicate people who are generally healthy and some studies have suggested statins have side-effects including muscle pain and diminished cognitive function.
  • Heart charities emphasise the growing evidence that statins are beneficial beyond simply lowering levels of cholesterol. They also improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation.
  • Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study is one of many which suggest statins have other effects on our heart health, though few have been proven.
  • “By using the power of the large-scale imaging studies from the UK Biobank, this study indicates that statins may have a direct effect on the heart’s structure that we haven’t been able to detect until now.”

The Essential Phone is a beautiful alternative to Apple’s iPhone

It’s tough out there for a new phone, but if anyone has a chance at releasing one that grabs people’s attention, it’s Andy Rubin.

In September 2008, Rubin’s team at Google (GOOG, GOOGL) launched Android, the wildly successful mobile operating system now running on more than 85% of smartphones worldwide. Unlike Apple’s (AAPL) walled-garden approach to its iPhone OS, Android remains free, stable and open-source so any mobile-phone maker can use it in its phones and build its own user interface on top of it, something Samsung has done with its Samsung Experience software.

The Essential Phone is a fusion of titanium and ceramics. Source: JP Mangalindan/Yahoo Finance

With the Essential Phone, the first product to emerge from Essential, a company incubated in Rubin’s Playground Global, the 54-year-old serial entrepreneur wanted to release a powerful, slick phone that served as a veritable blank slate for the consumer. To wit, there’s no branding or logos anywhere on the outside of the device, and while the Essential Phone runs on Android, there are no extra apps or software layers to bog things down.

For $699 without a cell phone contract — or $749 with a 360-degree camera also designed by the company — the Essential Phone is priced in the same ballpark as its competitors but sports a few unique quirks and improvements that help the device stand apart.

The case

The Essential Phone feels luxurious in your hand. Source: JP Mangalindan/Yahoo Finance

The first thing you’ll notice about the Essential Phone? It’s damn sleek. A fusion of titanium and ceramics, the glossy phone is a minimalist’s dream. While there are countless black smartphones on the market, few of them manage to feel as luxurious or premium in your hands as the Essential Phone, which ships next week in a “Black Moon” color. An additional three flavors — including “Pure White,” “Stellar Grey” and “Ocean Depths” — are coming soon.

That screen

The Essential Phone’s screen runs all the way to the top and wraps around the front-facing camera. Source: JP Mangalindan/Yahoo Finance

One of the Essential Phone’s most striking features is its screen: a 5.7-inch display that runs all the way to top of the phone and wraps around an 8-megapixel camera in front. It’s a nice touch and sparked several conversations here in the Sunnyvale, California, offices. But for now, it’s more of a novelty, given that much of the time that extra sliver of screen is often filled with small icons like the battery status and cell signal.

Essential President Niccolo De Masi told Yahoo Finance his company reached out to the top 100 Android app developers to help them update their apps to take advantage of that extra screen space. So that situation could change in the months to come as developers come to terms with this new phone.

Otherwise, the Essential Phone’s screen is supposed to be one of the sharpest screens around, and indeed, YouTube trailers for “Guardians to the Galaxy 2” and “Wonder Woman” showed off vibrant colors — red, green and blue hues that popped off the screen — and excellent contrast.

Selena Gomez Wore the Coolest Sneakers to Disneyland With The Weeknd

What’s the best way to close out the summer with your significant other? Well, if you’re Selena Gomez and The Weeknd, it’s a trip to Disneyland, of course. The cute couple was spotted at the Happiest Place on Earth wearing laid-back looks perfect for an evening of walking around the park.

Gomez wore the coolest lace-less, flatform sneakers with an all-black look, including sweatpants, an oversized hoodie, and a Louis Vuitton Twist MM Bag ($3550). The Weeknd went for a similar vibe with Puma track jacket and sweatpants and white sneakers. Take note: This is how you do off-duty couple’s style.

Scroll down to see what Selena Gomez and The Weeknd wore on their Disneyland date. 

Strong Economic Indicators Boosting Small Business Spirits, NFIB Optimism Index Shows Aug 15, 2017 by David William In Economy 0

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index July 2017

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently released its small business optimism index for July, which shows hiring and sales indicators have got small business owners thinking positively. The monthly Index of small business optimism hit 105.2 for July, higher than the 103.6 level in June.

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index July 2017

NIFB’s Small Business Economic Trends report for July 2017 (PDF), which is based on a survey of 10,000 small business owners, shows owners are in high spirits thanks in part to gains in hiring activity. Over the past few months, small businesses have reported a solid average employment change of 0.21 workers per firm. NFIB says thirteen percent (up 3 points) of small business owners reported increasing employment an average of 4.5 workers per firm.

Small business owners are also feeling optimistic about the economy because their customers are feeling optimistic about the economy. The U.S. economy (GDP) grew by about 2.6 percent in the second quarter of the year, a positive sign that Americans are opening up their wallets as per an NPR report. NFIB stresses this growth — and optimism — among small business owners is largely attributable to increased consumer spending.

“There’s nothing like more customers to make owners happy, and optimism held up as did important measures of spending and hiring plans,” wrote NFIB in a post on the company’s blog.

Main Street Buoyed by Stronger Customer Demand

Main Street has also preserved the surge in optimism that started the day after the U.S. election thanks to stronger customer demand. In the past three months more small business owners have reported higher nominal sales compared to the prior three months, representing a 4 point improvement over June.

Overall, NFIB’s data shows seven of the 10 Index components posted a gain, while two declined. One was unchanged.

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index July 2017

Small Businesses Struggling to Find Qualified Workers

It’s true sixty percent of all small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in July (up 6 points). However, a whopping 87 percent of those owners said they had a tough time finding qualified applicantsfor the positions they were trying to fill.

“The labor market is getting very tight, and the problem is most severe in the construction and manufacturing sectors,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist in a quote from the report.

Moreover, small business owners showed declined enthusiasm for laying out capital expenditure plans possibly because they are still waiting to see what business-friendly policies come out of Washington.

“Congress still holds the key to faster growth, so let’s hope they open the door,” added Dunkelberg.

Spanish police shoot dead possible Barcelona attack fugitive

Barcelona, Barcelona van attack, Barcelona attack, Younes Abouyaaqoub, spain, world news, indian express news

Spanish police on Monday shot dead a man who could be Younes Abouyaaqoub, the suspected driver of a van that mowed down pedestrians in Barcelona, amid a massive manhunt for the Moroccan national described as dangerous and likely armed. “They have shot dead a suspect who could be the perpetrator of the attack,” a source close to the probe told AFP on condition of anonymity. Regional police confirmed a man wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt had been killed in Subirats, a village about 60 kilometres (37 miles) away from Barcelona, without identifying the individual. Bomb disposal units have been dispatched to the site.

Earlier on Monday, police had launched an appeal for information about the 22-year-old fugitive, believed to be the last remaining member of a 12-man cell suspected of plotting last week’s deadly attacks. The other suspects have been killed by police or detained after the vehicle rampages in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the assaults, believed to be its first in Spain.

Authorities on Monday raised the death toll to 15, confirming that Pau Perez, a 34-year-old man found stabbed to death in a Ford Focus outside Barcelona on Friday, was killed by Abouyaaqoub. The police had fired at the car as it forced its way through a checkpoint shortly after the Barcelona carnage, and later found Perez in the vehicle. Investigators believe the victim was the owner of the car, which was hijacked by Abouyaaqoub to make his getaway.

Barcelona Incident Has ‘Hallmarks Of A Terrorist Attack’- U.S. Secretary Of State

Describing Abouyaaqoub as around 1.8 metres (five feet, 11 inches) tall, police tweeted four photographs of the man with short black hair, including three pictures in which he was wearing a black and white striped T-shirt. He is “dangerous and could be armed,” police in Catalonia said. Spanish authorities were also officially notifying European police of the identity of the suspect to enable the launch of a Europe-wide manhunt.

Seven reasons why you might be suffering from bladder problems – and how to beat them

Having a weak or over-active bladder is very common – but it’s still a largely taboo subject.

At least ten million Brits suffer and half are too embarrassed to see a doctor about it.

A similar number feel ­uncomfortable even discussing it with partners, according to the charity Bladder Health UK.

Here are some of the causes and treatments available.

Cause: Type 2 diabetes

Many with diabetes need to wee a lot (Image: PA)

Three-quarters of people with diabetes experience excessive thirst and the need to wee more frequently.

When there’s excess glucose in the blood, the kidneys react by trying to flush it out by producing more urine.

How to beat it: See your GP to get your blood glucose levels tested and a treatment plan.

Cause: Bladder infection

Weeing frequently combined with a burning sensation can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, which happens when harmful bacteria enter the kidneys, ­bladder or urethra. Urine can also be cloudy or smell bad.

How to beat it: See your GP for a urine test and then a course of antibiotics.

Cause: Weak pelvic floor

Leaking when you cough, sneeze, laugh, jump or lift something heavy probably means you have stress incontinence.

The effects of childbirth are well known, while older women are commonly affected by falling oestrogen levels which change the muscle tone. Weak pelvic floor can also affect men.

How to beat it: Pelvic floor ­exercises. Locate your pelvic floor muscles by imagining ­trying to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet. Sit and squeeze the muscles ten times, breathing normally.

Cause: Medications

Some medications cause an over-active bladder (Image: Getty)

Certain medications can trigger an overactive bladder — including diuretics, commonly taken for high blood pressure , and opioid painkillers.

How to beat it: Speak to your GP about possible alternative medication. Exercises can help.

Cause: enlarged prostate

Men’s prostate glands grow with age, which can put pressure on the bladder and result in the urge to wee more often.

How to beat it: Making lifestyle changes such as stopping drinking liquids an hour before bed, limiting alcohol and ­caffeine intake and exercising regularly.

Those with moderate to severe symptoms are often prescribed the medication ­finasteride or dutasteride.

These block the effects of the hormone DHT on the prostate gland. However, potential side-effects include impotence.

Cause: Too much tea or coffee

Caffeine in tea is a diuretic (Image: Getty)

Caffeine in tea and coffee is a diuretic, which triggers increased urination. Alcohol too.

How to beat it: Try switching to decaffeinated varieties or ease up on the booze – and avoid ­taking in fluids for two hours before going to bed.

Cause: Too much salt

Researchers have discovered that lowering your salt intake can also lower your need to use the loo. Similar to diabetics, your kidneys dry to balance the salt in your blood by producing more urine.

How to beat it: The NHS recommends adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Always check processed food for content.

Britain’s economy to do better than expected this year, finance experts claim

Britain’s economy will do better than expected this year, the International Monetary Fund has predicted.

The Washington-based body now estimates the economy will expand by 1.5% in 2017, compared with the 1.1% it forecast last October in the wake of the Brexit vote.

However, the IMF cut its prediction for 2018 by 0.3% to 1.4%.

The UK was among a number of countries – including Germany, Japan and Spain – to see their growth forecasts raised.

The IMF said “domestic demand held up better than expected in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”

Maurice Obstfeld says Brexit is adding to uncertainty in Europe (Image: Bloomberg)

However, the director of the IMF’s research department Maurice Obstfeld said Britain’s divorce from the EU was adding to uncertainty on the continent.

He explained: “In Europe, Britain’s terms of exit from the European Union remain unsettled and the upcoming national electoral calendar is crowded, with possibilities of adverse economic repercussions, in the short and longer terms.”

The IMF estimates Britain’s economy expanded by 2% in 2016.

The report comes as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to set out her approach to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations in a major speech at London’s Lancaster House.

The IMF upped its growth forecasts for the US this year – by 0.1% to 1.9% – but warned of uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “The fundamentals of the UK economy are strong, and today’s IMF forecasts confirm their view that the UK was the fastest-growing major advanced economy last year.

Theresa May will set out her approach to Brexit (Image: PA)

“We have reduced the deficit by almost two thirds, cut taxes for millions of working people, and employment is at a near-record high.

“The Autumn Statement reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to return the public finances to balance as soon as practicable, while providing flexibility to support the economy as we exit the EU.”

However, a report shows business confidence has stalled as companies wait for the outcome of Brexit talks.

Man ‘fed up’ with girlfriend’s fitness regime draws on his own abs to compete

Health and fitness influencer Wellness Ted loves turkey dinosaurs.

“They are incredible,” he tells Mirror Online . “Golden brown. The perfect ratio of protein and carbs to refuel your body after a tough workout. Enough salt to replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat.

“They’re a superfood.”

Wellness Ted, real name Edward Lane, is a men’s lifestyle journalist from London. His girlfriend is the established Wellness Ed, AKA Amy Hopkinson. She has abs of steel and inspires others with her workout regime.

A strong line up
Ted (Image: Wellness Ted Instagram)

Ted was often asked to help take photographs for Amy. She, being a ‘wellness influencer’ – “like, a legit one” – has to keep the social media ticking over.

Ted thought it was about time he started his own thing. He was tired of being a Boyfriend of Instagram.

He tells me: “For months I was the poor bloke standing behind the camera taking pictures. It made me sad. But I learned A LOT.

“I learned that porridge only looks good when it’s photographed net to your feet. And that a good set of abs (real or not) will set you on a course for social media domination.

“And so I began, really, to prove just how mad this whole Instagram stuff is. I think this interview alone proves my point.”

That it does. Lots of people have talked to Wellness Ted since he set up his account in April. A reasonable comparison might be the ever amusing Deliciously Stella , but more geared towards gym technique than recipes.

Not that Ted doesn’t dabble in food.

Meal prep

Ted’s efforts are paying off. Today, he has an impressive 15,000 followers, give or take.

“I didn’t expect it to go any further than my and my girlfriend’s friends, who would see it and we could all indirectly/directly laugh at her,” Ted tells me.

“It sounds mean when I re-read that back, but it was meant to be fun, I promise. However, I can kind of see why people enjoy it. Although this was directed at Amy, the whole scene is there for the taking as far as parody is concerned.

“The rise of health and fitness is a great thing, but it’s being spearheaded, in so many ways, by a lot of avocado-wielding maniacs.”

While Ted started the account for a bit of a laugh, it does come with a sincere message – even if it’s hidden under McDonald’s burgers and cans of Carling.

Ex-Chemistry Teacher Gets 4 Years for Cooking Meth. Sound Familiar?

Life apparently imitates art — or at least cable television.

A former high school chemistry teacher convicted of cooking meth in New Mexico — not unlike Walter White, the fictional antihero from “Breaking Bad” — was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday, prosecutors said.

New Mexico District Judge Fernando Macias handed the defendant, John W. Gose, a nine-year sentence, all but four years of it suspended. After he is released, Gose must serve five years of supervised probation.

Image: John Gose listens during his sentencing hearing
John Gose in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Wednesday. Josh Bachman / as Cruces Sun-News via AP

“We asked the court for the sentence we felt was appropriate for Mr. Gose,” Doña Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio said in a statement. “We are very pleased that the defendant will have to face the consequences of his illegal and irresponsible decisions.”

Gose, 56, pleaded guilty in May to trafficking by manufacturing a controlled substance.

He was arrested in October after Las Cruces police officers found a white Styrofoam ice chest containing glassware, rubber tubing and chemicals used to cook methamphetamine during a routine traffic stop, according to prosecutors.

Related: Twin Plagues: Meth Rises in Shadow of Opioids

Authorities later found more chemicals and supplies at his home in southern New Mexico. Investigators said he possessed ingredients to make at least a pound of meth — at an estimated street value of $44,800.

Gose taught high school science in El Paso, Texas, and middle school science in Las Cruces, prosecutors said. He told a roommate that he used to teach chemistry, according to police reports cited by prosecutors