Theresa May has criticised the government's proposed changes to the planning system for being "ill-conceived" and "mechanistic". The former prime minister said the use of a formula to assess housing need in England "does not guarantee a single extra home being built". The Commons is debating a motion from another Tory MP, asking ministers to think again about its reforms. The government said the plan was "still part of a consultation". A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) spokeswoman added that the algorithm would be designed to "set up to deliver the new homes the country needs".
This was the cauldron into which Sir Roger jumped when he started applying some of the principles trained up in topology - a mathematical concept describing the properties of geometric objects as they are twisted or stretched - to black holes. Before his seminal 1965 paper, models could describe how these objects might form but they were often dismissed as being idealised situations with perfect symmetry that would be unlikely to occur in the "real world".
In a quiet aisle of a small supermarket in Tokyo, a robot dutifully goes about its work. It looks like a well-integrated autonomous mechanical worker, but that is something of an illusion. This robot doesn't have a mind of its own. Several miles away, a human worker is controlling its every movement remotely and watching via a virtual reality (VR) headset that provides a robot's eye view. This is the work of Japanese firm Telexistence, whose Model-T robot is designed to allow people to do physical labour in supermarkets and other locations from the comfort of their own homes.