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Boris Johnson gives HS2 the go-ahead and a badger falls through Superdrug's ceiling

FROM Boris Johnson giving the green light to the highly contentious HS2 rail project, to the badger who fell through the ceiling of Superdrug, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Wednesday 12th February 2020.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the go-ahead to HS2 yesterday (Tuesday) in the face of high feeling, saying it was essential as the "spine" of a new transport network to address what he termed "the great musculoskeletal problem of UK transport".
He continued, a further £5billion was to be spent over the next five years on bus and cycling infrastructure, on top of the billion pound squared to infinity price tag the high speed line will cost once it finally reaches completion.
Mr Johnson said the track could start to be laid as soon as April, further rambling the government was paving the way for a future "where high-speed trains glide through our great cities, where electric buses convey us cleanly around our towns, where self-driving cars roam along roads that are free of the congestion that causes so much pollution, and where a new generation of cyclists pedal safely and happily to school and work in tree dappled sunlight on their own network of fully segregated cycle paths".
Amongst the staunchest critics to the HS2 project are environmental groups, with Greenpeace director John Sauven saying it gave Mr Johnson the "dubious honour of being this century's largest destroyer of ancient woodlands in the UK".
As mixed reports float around the progression of Coronavirus, which incidentally we must now refer to as COVID-19 - some experts claiming the virus is being contained efficiently, with others saying the current spread is just the tip of the iceberg and could affect two-thirds of the population before its work is done, a Chinese amateur marathon runner under lockdown in the city of Hanzhou became so stir crazy, he ran 31 miles around his living room.
Pan Shancu completed 6,250 laps of a track consisting of two large tables set up inside his apartment. The keen runner said he "could not bear sitting down any more" after being confined to his home for weeks. Each lap of his room was eight metres and he eventually completed more than six thousand in four hours, 48 minutes and 44 seconds.
Former Tory minister and London mayoral candidate Rory Stewart is offering to stay on Londoners' sofas in a bid to learn more about the city. In a scheme he is calling #ComeKipWithMe, Mr Stewart is urging people to offer him their sofa or floor for the night so he can listen to their concerns about the city and in exchange he promised to bring with him a sleeping bag and a box of chocolates.
He said he had already stayed with a young man on a council estate in Lambeth and with "the Queen of Newham" who helps rough sleepers every single night. He added if he was elected he would continue to "kip" in Londoners' homes. This Reporter is not sure if this was meant as a promise or a threat.
And finally, staff at a Northampton branch of Superdrug had a "shock" when a badger fell through the ceiling and landed behind the perfume counter.
Northamptonshire Badger Group were called to the scene after the female badger, as it transpired, fell through the ceiling panel into the shop in Northampton's Grosvenor Centre, and managed to catch her and release her to a safe place.
Sally Jones, from the Badger Group, said it was "the oddest rescue we've ever had", adding they were perplexed how the badger got into the shop, which was closed to the public at the time.
This Reporter was able to catch up with the badger at a secret woodland location after the incident, where the animal explained that with all this talk of HS2 destroying her natural habitat she had been after something to pep up her spirits, specifically a spritz of CK One.

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