News Daily: Tesco pay claim and Musk's rocket success

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Tesco faces record equal pay claim

The supermarket chain Tesco could face a bill of £4bn in a case over equal pay for women, writes BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed. Lawyers say female staff could get up to £20,000 in back pay, having received less money than men for comparable work.

Paula Lee, of Leigh Day solicitors, said the most common rate for women was £8 an hour, whereas for men the hourly rate could be as high as £11 an hour. Up to 200,000 workers could be affected by unequal pay, she added.

Tesco said all its staff could progress equally and were paid fairly, whatever their gender or background. "We are unable to comment on a claim that we have not received," a spokeswoman said.

What is the gender pay gap?

Elon Musk's rocket launch works

The chances of success were put at 50:50, but it worked. American entrepreneur Elon Musk has succeeded in launching his rocket, the Falcon Heavy, into space. It's capable of carrying a payload of 64 tonnes (in the inevitable comparison, equivalent to five London double-decker buses) into a low-Earth orbit. That performance would be slightly more than double what the world's next most powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, is capable of.

But for this mission, Mr Musk chose to send up a space-suited mannequin in a red Tesla sports car, with its stereo playing David Bowie's Space Oddity on a loop. And that's not the weirdest thing sent into space over the years.

In its day-to-day use, the Falcon Heavy could transport bigger satellites and take larger, more capable robots to the surface of Mars and outer planets such as Saturn and Jupiter, and their moons. Here's a look at how it all works. Plus, watch the moment the mission became a success.

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Plastic bottles: Does Norway hold the answer?

How do the Norwegians recycle 98% of their plastic bottles, while the UK manages only about half? One answer is a deposit of between 10p and 25p on each one used - if you don't return the bottle into a machine that reads its barcode, the state keeps the cash. A UK ministerial team has crossed the North Sea to see how this scheme works and has been impressed. And, says BBC environmental analyst Roger Harrabin, it's likely something similar could be tried. Scotland has already committed to a deposit return scheme, without giving details so far.

What the papers say

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The Times leads on reports the EU wants the right to place "sanctions" on UK access to the single market during the Brexit transition period. The i says millions will benefit from new rights for workers in the "gig economy". And the Guardian reports on the DNA analysis of the skeleton of "Cheddar man", which found the first modern Britons had dark to black skin.

Daily digest

Taiwan earthquake Series of powerful aftershocks hits city of Hualien

Single market EU wants to be able to restrict UK access if there's a dispute after Brexit, leaked documents suggest

Gig economy Government to give workers new holiday and sick-pay rights

'VIP paedophile ring' Accuser charged over child abuse images

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The mysterious moments before falling asleep


12:00 Theresa May faces Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs at Prime Minister's Questions.

15:15 The Human Rights Select Committee holds an evidence session on freedom of speech in universities.

On this day

1964 The Beatles, beginning their first tour of the US, are greeted at New York's John F Kennedy Airport by 3,000 screaming fans.

From elsewhere

Can robotic babies help prevent teenage pregnancies? (National Geographic)

The horror of a world without microbes (The Atlantic)

How the travel map has changed since 1990 (Daily Telegraph)

An arrest in Moscow shakes Norway's far north (Washington Post)

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