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Mount Agung: Bali volcano activity prompts ‘red warning’

It flags the danger of volcanic ash in the skies after Mount Agung emits a huge smoke plume.

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Airlines have been issued a “red warning” about the danger of volcanic ash in the skies close to Bali after Mount Agung emitted a thick plume of smoke reaching 4,000m (13,100 feet).

It is the second major emission from the Indonesian island volcano this week, and flights have been disrupted.

The red warning means an eruption is forecast to be imminent, with significant emission of ash likely.

Authorities have begun distributing masks in some areas as ash falls.

Bali is a major tourist destination, although the main resorts of Kuta and Seminyak are about 70km (43 miles) from the volcano.

The island’s main airport is for now operating normally, but some airlines have cancelled flights. Volcanic ash can damage plane engines.

Travellers to and from the region are being urged to contact their airline or travel agent to find out the status of their flight.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Ash from the eruption coated roads, cars and buildings near the volcano in the north-east of Bali and emergency officials said hundreds of thousands of masks had been distributed

The ash cloud is said to be moving eastward from Bali towards the island of Lombok, and the main international airport there has been closed entirely.

The information director of Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency tweeted that volcanic ash rain had fallen on the Lombok city of Mataram.

“Tourism in Bali is still safe, except in the danger (zone) around Mount Agung,” the agency said in a statement.

It told people within a 7.5km exclusion zone to “immediately evacuate” in an “orderly and calm manner”.

Magma – molten rock – has now been detected close to the volcano’s surface, said officials and volcanologists.

Image copyright Antara Foto/Wira Suryantala via REUTERS Image caption Passengers waiting at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport on Saturday

About 25,000 people are thought to still be in temporary shelters after more than 140,000 people fled earlier this year. Increased volcanic activity had prompted fears a major eruption was imminent.

Most of the islanders outside the immediate exclusion zone were ordered to return home at the end of September, and the mountain has been intermittently rumbling since.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionEvacuees from near Mount Agung brought their birds, chickens and dogs with them in September

According to official estimates, the holiday island lost at least $110m (£83m) in tourism and productivity during the major evacuation.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

It is home to more than 130 active volcanoes. The last time Mount Agung erupted, in 1963, more than 1,000 people died.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSurvivors of the 1963 eruption on the last time Mount Agung erupted

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How to buy Bitcoin, is it safe and what are the cryptocurrencies Iota and Ethereum?

THE cryptocurrency Bitcoin continues to dominate the news as the volatile currency keeps breaking records. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking of investing in Bitcoin or one…

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THE cryptocurrency Bitcoin continues to dominate the news as the volatile currency keeps breaking records.

Here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking of investing in Bitcoin or one of the other cryptocurrencies…

 Bitcoin is going from strength to strength - but how long can it last?Getty – Contributor Bitcoin is going from strength to strength – but how long can it last?

How do I buy Bitcoin?

The most common way to buy the currency is to download a broker app such as Coinbase and Blockchain.

These allow users to use a credit or debit card to exchange pounds for Bitcoin.

Users do not have to buy whole Bitcoins and can purchase a small percentage that matches the value of their cash investment.

Once a request has been made, online “miners” will decide whether to approve the transaction.

If approved, the money will be taken from a user’s account in exchange for Bitcoin.

When selling, users can use the same app to sell their Bitcoin in return for its cash value.

It is also possible to buy Bitcoin directly from sellers on other websites – bypassing the need for a broker.

There are fewer transaction fees in this case, but the process is a bit riskier and more complicated – especially for a beginner.

Investors can also buy Bitcoins by depositing cash at a nearby Bitcoin ATM.

These have been popping up in newsagents and can be found by Googling them or visiting Coin ATM Radar.

Is it safe to buy Bitcoin?

Anyone thinking of investing in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency should be very careful.

Their values are volatile, with the ability to plummet as quickly as they shoot up.

And investors are frequently targeted by hackers and other criminals who seek to steal their crypto-cash online.

Be especially careful if you are using direct, peer-to-peer platforms to sell and buy cryptocurrencies.

These are the equivalent of something like Gumtree for Bitcoin – you never know who you might be dealing with.

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Make sure you have the right ingredients to prepare a beverage for every guest this Christmas

It’s party season when friends and family love to drop in and have a drop. Here are some fantastic drinks recipes that will help you have a very merry Christmas. Mulled wine – 82p per s…

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It’s party season when friends and family love to drop in and have a drop.

Here are some fantastic drinks recipes that will help you have a very merry Christmas.

 These festive drinks are bound to please your guestsGetty – Contributor These festive drinks are bound to please your guests

Mulled wine – 82p per serving

(Serves 6)

 Nothing screams out Christmas like mulled wineAlamy Nothing screams out Christmas like mulled wine

Preparation time: 5mins

Cooking time: 5 mins

Each serving contains: 136cals (7% of an adult’s recommended daily allowance), 0g fat (0%), 0g sat fat (0%), 10g sugar (11%), 0g salt (0%)

YOU NEED:

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 60g demerara sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • grated nutmeg
  • 1 clementine, halved
  • 1 dried bay leaf

METHOD:

  • Put the wine in a saucepan with the clementine, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
  • Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste.
  • Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.
  • For an extra kick you can add in some gin. After taking off the heat add in 60ml of sloe or damson gin

Bucks Fizz – £3.03 per serving

(Serves 6)

 Bucks fizz is so easy to make Bucks fizz is so easy to make

Preparation time: 5mins

Each serving contains: 51cals (8% of an adult’s recommended daily allowance), 0g fat (0%), 0g sat fat (0%), 14.5g sugar (16%), 0g salt (0%)

YOU NEED:

  • 1 bottle Champagne, chilled
  • 1 litre freshly squeezed orange juice, chilled

METHOD:

  • Half-fill 6 glasses with Champagne
  • Carefully pour in the orange juice until the glass is full
  • You can swap champagne for sparkling wine or non alcoholic wine

 Head down to Morrisons to get the ingredients you need Head down to Morrisons to get the ingredients you need

Christmas hot chocolate – 39p per serving

(Serves 2)

 Nothing could be more perfect then downing some hot chocolate on a cold winter night Nothing could be more perfect then downing some hot chocolate on a cold winter night

Preparation time: 8 mins

Cooking time: 2 mins

Each serving contains: 173 cals (9% of an adult’s recommended daily allowance), 9g fat (13%), 5g sat fat (25%), 16.5g sugar (18%), 0.5g salt (8%)

YOU NEED:

  • 200ml full-fat milk
  • 4tbsp drinking chocolate powder
  • 30g dark chocolate, finely grated
  • ¼tsp ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Canned squirty cream, marshmallows and decorations of your choice

METHOD:

  • Place the milk in a saucepan and heat gently until almost boiling hot. Alternatively heat in a microwave on HIGH/100% for 2-3 mins.
  • Meanwhile mix the drinking chocolate powder, grated chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heatproof jug until well combined.
  • As soon as the milk is about to boil, pour it into the jug, whisking with a balloon whisk (or stirring with a wooden spoon) as you do.
  • Immediately pour into cups and squirt a swirl of cream over the chocolate and decorate
  • TIP: Add 2tbsp of brandy or dark rum before heating to warm things up

Brendan Cox launches appeal in memory of his wife Jo Cox encouraging people to share mince pies with lonely neighbours at Christmas

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More than 600,000 hard-up families at mercy of lending ‘sharks’ to cover the cost of Christmas

MORE than 600,000 hard-up families will take out extortionate payday loans to cover the cost of Christmas, a Sun on Sunday investigation can reveal. Some are being tempted into pocketing fast cash …

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MORE than 600,000 hard-up families will take out extortionate payday loans to cover the cost of Christmas, a Sun on Sunday investigation can reveal.

Some are being tempted into pocketing fast cash by festive-themed “introducer sites”, which coax them into the hands of lenders.

 Mum of four Sarah Carty who got stung with interest of 100% on a £600 payday loan she took out to cover the cost of ChristmasNorth News and Pictures Mum of four Sarah Carty who got stung with interest of 100% on a £600 payday loan she took out to cover the cost of Christmas

Borrowers can then be hit with huge interest rates — sometimes DOUBLE the loan amount — leaving them with terrible credit ratings, CCJs and crippling debt if they can’t pay.

The sites either host adverts for regulated loans companies placed by search engines, or pass details on to other genuine lenders with high interest rates.

One, Christmas LoansUK, hosts ads for lenders such as Cashflex.

ChristmasLoansUK owner Nicholas Massey, of Smethwick, West Mids, admitted to “misleading” people.

 Christmas Loans UK appears to be introducing customers into riskier deals Christmas Loans UK appears to be introducing customers into riskier deals

He said: “I’m not an official lender. I’m the middle man taking advantage of Google’s advertising programme.”

Britain seemed rid of Wonga-style payday lending after finance chiefs capped interest on loans of 30 days or fewer at £24 per £100 borrowed.

While this initially saw the number of borrowers fall from 1.4million to fewer than 500,000, the Money Advice Service expects a spike over Christmas.

Another site is MyQuick Loan, run by McCrory Finances Limited.

 Mum of three Debbie Hall took out a £500 loan with Wonga which she struggled to repay due to the high interest rates they chargedNorth News and Pictures Mum of three Debbie Hall took out a £500 loan with Wonga which she struggled to repay due to the high interest rates they charged

It offers a £400 loan for 90 days — outside the FCA’s 30-day cap — with interest of £161.92.

It warns rates could double if the customer is passed to another lender.

Owner John McCrory, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, said: “People know what they’re getting into — it’s clear.”

Mum-of-four Sarah Carty, 40, turned to a payday lender in December 2015.

 Is it taking out a loan this Christmas really worth the risk? Is it taking out a loan this Christmas really worth the risk? Lee Carter Lee is forced to take a payday loan in EastEnders

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