Researchers tackle health and environmental issues in developing countries with new solar-panel cooking initiative

By Perry Johnson

A senior researcher at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is playing a leading role in a large-scale research project with aims of using solar panels in developing countries to provide a healthier means of cooking.

This comes following research which has shown that cooking by burning biomass fuel, such as wood, charcoal or dung, accumulates 3 per cent of global CO2 emissions each year as well as causing environmental issues such as deforestation through sourcing 34 per cent of fuel from unsustainable sources.


Using a stove to burn biomass fuel in developing countries disproportionately affects the health of women and children

Dr Rupert Gammon, the researcher acting as project lead for De Montfort, said: “This is addressing huge environmental and health issues which affect about three billion, about half the world’s population, across the planet.”

Still in its early stages, this research is part of a new £39.8 million initiative, being spearheaded by Loughborough University and in association with the World Bank and UK Aid, which hopes to establish new and effective electric or gas cooking stoves in developing countries as healthier alternatives to burning biomass fuel such as charcoal.

Alongside researchers from De Montfort’s Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, Loughborough University will also be working with several other esteemed research institutions for this project, such as The University of Birmingham and University College London, in order to do this.


De Montfort University is one of the many research institutions involved in the ambitious project

Dr Gammon said: “As you can imagine sourcing the fuel is causing a lot of deforestation and the fumes from the wood, charcoal and cow dung is incredibly bad for people’s health.

“We also know that it disproportionally affects women, who are usually the ones to cook, as well as young children who would be at home with them.”

For the research project, field trials have been confirmed in ten developing countries across Africa and Asia including Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Myanmar; with possible additional locations still to be negotiated.

WAG wars erupt

By Rosie Vacciana-Browne

COLEEN ROONEY, 33, took to Twitter yesterday morning to accuse fellow WAG, Rebekah Vardy, 37, of selling stories about her to the Sun newspaper.

In a Tweet that has now gained over 200,000 likes, Coleen told her 1.3million followers how she carried out a sting style operation to catch Rebekah out.

Coleen’s post began: ‘For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing the SUN newspaper of my private posts and stories.’

By posting fake stories on her private Instagram and blocking all accounts, but Rebekah’s, from seeing them, Coleen set out to prove her suspicion that Rebekah was selling the stories.

Her Tweet continued: ‘Now I know for certain which account/individual it’s come from. I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy.’

Rebekah, wife of Leicester City and England football player Jamie Vardy, then took to her own Twitter account to deny the claims.

She started by telling Coleen she should have called her first and then continued to deny her involvement: ‘Over the years various people have had access to my insta & just this week I found I was following people I didn’t know and have never followed myself.’

Rebekah continued to express her ‘disgust’ with Coleen, especially as she is heavily pregnant.

In an article posted today, the Sun denied knowingly publishing false stories: ‘The Sun checked every story with representatives for Coleen before publication, and only went ahead when she made it clear she did not dispute the details.’

The dispute continues.

Diwali festivities to start with a bang this weekend in Leicester

By Perry Johnson

Leicester will kick-off its annual Diwali festivities with a bang again this weekend as the city prepares for a fortnight full of performances, colour and culture, in one of the biggest celebrations of the Hindu festival outside of India.


Diwali – The Hindu, Sikh and Jain festival of lights, is a gargantuan annual tradition in the diverse multiethnic community of Leicester

For its launch, festival visitors are invited to freely attend the famous Diwali village in Cossington Street Recreation Ground, near Belgrave Road, open from 3pm to 9pm this Sunday(OCT13).

The day, which typically draws about 35, 000 people of all faiths, will feature dancers, vendors and henna artists alongside the much anticipated light switch-on and aerial firework display.

Student Sessions bring big savings

By Emily Barker

Tuesday night (OCTOBER 8) saw the return of the Highcross Student Sessions night in Leicester city centre.

Shops in the centre opened late to students of Leicester colleges, sixth forms and universities, offering discounts of up to 30 per cent.

Shops participating ranged from food courts to clothes shops and sports shops to jewellery shops.

Some of the discounts on offer were 20 per cent off in the Disney store, 10 per cent off in Holland and Barrett, and 20 per cent off in New Look which was complete with a live DJ and VK bar providing alcohol to those over 18 when providing a valid form of UK ID.

Diwali lights coming to town

By Barbara Uzoigwe

Diwali comes around every year and this year is no different, bringing back with it Leicester’s biggest light show.


The Diwali celebrations which are well known for being one of the biggest celebrations outside of India, and this year it is set to go off with a bang.

This Sunday(OCT13) is when the show will be taking place as the lights are set to be switched on in the city.

About 40,000 people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds are expected to attend the event which takes place in Belgrave Road.

Along with the light show, there will also be the highly anticipated fireworks display which will see Leicester’s Golden Mile decked out with various styles and patterns of colourful lights.

During the events the Golden Mile will be closed and only accessible to pedestrians, allowing many to enjoy the night of celebration and entertainment.

Leicester City Council has provided a map that showcases the best places to stand to view the switch-on and the fireworks displays.

The map shows that the best place to be is along the Belgrave Road or on the main parts of Cossington Street park, but be sure to be there early as many are expected to be on the streets.

Although for many who may find they can’t reach Cossington Street park during the late evening rush before the fireworks go off, it is still possible to get a perfect view from all the way down the Golden Mile.

There will also be many things to see and do before the fireworks start and the celebrations will start with the lights switch-on, followed by entertainment from local talents, fashion, and many family-friendly stalls.

The infamous Wheel of Light will also be back and it undeniably provides one of the most spectacular views of the whole area.

For all those who can’t make it to this Sunday’s events, there will be another one set to take place, also in Belgrave Road on Sunday, October 27.