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Sousse attack inquest: verdicts expected on deaths of 30 Britons
Seven-week inquest into mass shooting in Tunisia due to end after coroner suggests conclusion of unlawful killingAn inquest will conclude on Tuesday into the deaths of 30 Britons killed in a mass shooting in a Tunisian holiday resort in 2015, the biggest loss of British life to terrorism since the 2005 London bombings. Related: 'I popped my head up out of the water. I could see a massacre' Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:49:10 GMT)

Refugee women and children 'beaten, raped and starved in Libyan hellholes'
Libyan detention centres are ‘no more than forced labour camps and makeshift prisons’, Unicef saysWomen and children making the dangerous journey to Europe to flee poverty and conflicts in Africa are being beaten, raped and starved in “living hellholes” in Libya, the United Nations children’s agency, Unicef, has said.The Mediterranean sea between Libya and Italy has become the main crossing point for asylum seekers and people seeking a better life in Europe, after a clampdown on sea crossings from Turkey. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:01:22 GMT)

‘Shell knew’: oil giant's 1991 film warned of climate change danger
Public information film unseen for years shows Shell had clear grasp of global warming 26 years ago but has not acted accordingly since, say criticsFilm warned of climate change ‘at rate faster than at any time since end of the ice age’The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered. However, since then the company has invested heavily in highly polluting oil reserves and helped lobby against climate action, leading to accusations that Shell knew the grave risks of global warming but did not act accordingly. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 05:45:19 GMT)

Detectorists strike gold 20 years after leaving field empty-handed
Friends who returned to abandoned hobby find Iron Age gold jewellery – the Leekfrith torcs – in Staffordshire fieldTwo metal detecting friends have found a hoard of superb Iron Age gold jewellery after returning to a Staffordshire field where they previously found nothing and became so bored that they gave up the hobby and turned to fishing for 20 years.The four Iron Age gold torcs – three collars and a bracelet-sized piece, including two made of twisted gold wire, two with trumpet shaped finials and one with beautiful Celtic ornament – are of international importance. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:30:23 GMT)

Brexit: Labour criticised for voting with Tories in Lords against single market amendment - Politics live
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen 10.03am GMT Boris Johnson will hit out at those projecting “doom and gloom on Brexit” in his speech to the BBC conference, sources have told the Guardian.They said the foreign secretary would use the event to strike a positive tone about the future. 9.57am GMT Here is the full list of 33 Labour peers who voted with the Lib Dems on the single market amendment last night. (See 9.03pm.)Lady Bakewell Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:03:22 GMT)

Donald Trump accuses Obama of orchestrating protests and leaks against him
In interview with Fox, president says – without evidence – his predecessor ‘is behind’ demonstrations over travel ban and national security leaksDonald Trump has accused former president Barack Obama and his “people” of organizing the demonstrations that have roiled city streets, airports and town halls during the first weeks of his presidency. Related: Dispute erupts over investigation into alleged Trump-Russia contacts Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:13:31 GMT)

Asda to sell 'free range' milk from cows reared outside for six months
Exclusive: Milk will carry Pasture Promise logo indicating cows grazed for 180 days and nights and farmers were offered fair priceA supermarket chain is to be the first major UK retailer to sell “free range” milk – from cows that have been kept outside for at least six months of the year – after consumers said they wanted to be able to buy tasty milk that gives a better deal to farmers.Asda will from Wednesday exclusively sell the new milk, which will carry a Pasture Promise logo, indicating that it comes from animals grazed for at least 180 days and nights a year and also offers farmers a fair price. The label could eventually be extended to cheese and other dairy products made from free range milk. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:01:20 GMT)

Nigel Farage calls for Douglas Carswell to be expelled from Ukip
Former leader’s claim that Clacton MP is trying to damage party comes amid row over Carswell’s remarks about honour bidUkip’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, should be thrown out of the party immediately because he is actively trying to damage it, Nigel Farage has said.Farage has accused the MP for Clacton, with whom he has a long-running feud, of trying to block attempts to organise a peerage for him after leaked emails revealed Carswell had joked Farage should instead be given an OBE for “services to headline writers”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:28:35 GMT)

UK government departments told to outline cuts of up to 6%
Shadow chancellor says news of further potential cuts was ‘sneaked out’ and condemns government’s ‘failed austerity’Government departments have been told to outline potential spending cuts of up to 6% with the aim of saving up to £3.5bn by 2020.Before the budget on 8 March, chief secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, announced that all Whitehall departments should submit ways to contribute to the government’s “efficiency review”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:44:35 GMT)

Raising pension age will mean many people die before getting it, say MPs
Government should move away from ‘triple lock’ guarantee, says work and pensions select committeeFurther increases in the state pension age could push it to the point where many working people die before qualifying for it, MPs have warned, in a report that calls for the end of the “triple lock” guarantee on pensions.The Commons work and pensions select committee report on intergenerational fairness, published on Tuesday, claims that financing the triple lock in future will not be possible without increasing the state pension age to 70.5 years – leaving men in Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Blackpool dying on average before they receive their state pension. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:01:21 GMT)

Landline charges for 2m customers to be cut as telecoms watchdog steps in
Ofcom condemns poor value for money on landline-only accounts with plan to force biggest provider BT to trim phone bills by up to £7 a monthOfcom has slammed telecom providers for offering landline-only customers poor value for money, as it unveiled plans to force BT, the dominant provider, to cut bills by at least £5 a month, benefiting about 2.3m people.The regulator has reviewed how the market is working for customers who buy only a landline service from a provider – either because they do not want broadband or pay TV, or because other companies provide these services. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:12:38 GMT)

One ‘not really disabled’ man has won against the system. I’m not celebrating | Aditya Chakrabortty
John had to fight for months to get his benefits restored. Most, though, can’t face the struggle of the appeals processLast Friday, John beat a system designed to beat him. He took on a secretary of state, a giant business and an infamous bureaucracy – and won. His story comes with a happy-ish ending; yet the more I turn it over, the angrier I get. Related: In excruciating pain. Unable to sleep. Yet John is still ‘fit for work’ | Aditya Chakrabortty Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:00:21 GMT)

How technology gets us hooked
From a young age, humans love to press buttons that light up and make a noise. The thrill of positive feedback lies at the heart of addiction to gambling, games, and social media Not long ago, I stepped into a lift on the 18th floor of a tall building in New York City. A young woman inside the lift was looking down at the top of her toddler’s head with embarrassment as he looked at me and grinned. When I turned to push the ground-floor button, I saw that every button had already been pushed. Kids love pushing buttons, but they only push every button when the buttons light up. From a young age, humans are driven to learn, and learning involves getting as much feedback as possible from the immediate environment. The toddler who shared my elevator was grinning because feedback – in the form of lights or sounds or any change in the state of the world – is pleasurable.But this quest for feedback doesn’t end with childhood. In 2012, an ad agency in Belgium produced an outdoor campaign for a TV channel that quickly went viral. The campaign’s producers placed a big red button on a pedestal in a quaint square in a sleepy town in Flanders. A big arrow hung above the button with a simple instruction: Push to add drama. You can see the glint in each person’s eye as he or she approaches the button – the same glint that came just before the toddler in my elevator raked his tiny hand across the panel of buttons. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:00:20 GMT)

Zoë Kravitz: 'You're just supposed to assume a character in a script is Caucasian'
Despite her famous family, the star of new TV miniseries Big Little Lies hasn’t had an easy ride in the film industry Related: Big Little Lies: Kidman and Witherspoon shine in masterly twist on Desperate Housewives Zoë Kravitz knows a bit about blended families, even if hers has more Hollywood celebrity than most. The only daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actor Lisa Bonet – who eloped to Las Vegas on Bonet’s 20th birthday, had Zoë a year later, and divorced when she was five – her stepfather is Jason Momoa, man-mountain Drogo from Game Of Thrones. It was a fairly harmonious household, according to 28-year-old Kravitz: “Once my parents worked through their stuff, and by the time my mother got remarried, it was pretty easy; everyone loved each other.” And, as was recently revealed, she almost got Nicole Kidman for a stepmother, too; the Oscar-winning Australian was engaged to Kravitz Sr before she married country musician Keith Urban in 2007. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:00:23 GMT)

The north-south divide: a tale of two academies
One school boasts floodlit pitches and is part of a teacher-training scheme. The other struggles to fill posts. Can the ‘northern powerhouse’ fix it?This is a tale of two secondary schools, 350 miles apart: one just a few miles south of the Scottish border in Berwick-upon-Tweed; the other in the London commuter belt, wedged between the M25, the busy A13 and the river Thames in the southern reaches of Essex.Both are academies, independent of local authority control. Both have sixth forms. Both were set up to serve largely white and working class communities where educational aspiration was not particularly high. Both, in recent years, have been given notice to improve by Ofsted. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:00:21 GMT)

The Nightly Show: Britain's latest crack at US-style late-night TV
ITV has shifted News at Ten to provide an alternative to the BBC, but does the transatlantic format work on this side of the pond?The return of a popular whodunnit mystery on ITV on Monday night at 9pm – the third and final series of Broadchurch – was followed at 10pm by the arrival of what some observers regard as an unpopular whydunnit mystery: the displacement of the longstanding factual flagship, News at Ten, by a new half-hour entertainment series, The Nightly Show.This has been announced for an initial experimental two months – although the ITV continuity announcer simply said it would appear “every night” with a different presenter every week: John Bishop, Gordon Ramsay and Mel & Sue are slated to present a quintet of editions each, with David Walliams fronting the first five. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:10:49 GMT)

Double honours for Daniel Taylor as the Guardian wins four SJA awards
• Taylor wins football writer of the year and scoop of the year•Sean Ingle wins specialist correspondent; Guardian Sport is website of yearDaniel Taylor picked up two major prizes at Monday night’s prestigious Sports Journalists Association awards for his reporting of the football abuse scandal, being named football journalist of the year and winning scoop of the year.Taylor’s original Guardian story, published in November, led to the reporting of hundreds of historical allegations of sexual abuse. Last month detectives were examining possible attacks on 526 people, with investigations by 20 police forces who had identified 184 potential suspects and 248 affected clubs at all levels of the game. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:31:03 GMT)

Jamie Vardy claims ‘unfair’ criticism fired up Leicester City to hit back
Vardy reveals Leicester City’s 3-1 win over Liverpool was a reaction to claims the champions’ players had played a part in Claudio Ranieri’s dismissalJamie Vardy admitted that Leicester City’s players were stung by the criticism they have received since Claudio Ranieri’s sacking as the England international scored twice to inspire the Premier League champions to a victory over Liverpool that lifts them out of the relegation zone. Related: Jamie Vardy fires back to inspire rampant Leicester to shock Liverpool Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:32:26 GMT)

World Rugby backs referee Poite over England v Italy ruck debate
• Governing body not looking to change rules at this stage• England coach Eddie Jones criticised referee after victory on Sunday• England’s players must develop quick wits however odd Jones’s complaintsWorld Rugby has given its backing to the referee Romain Poite after Eddie Jones criticised the Frenchman for his performance during England’s Six Nations victory against Italy on Sunday.However, while World Rugby has previously announced it is looking into the tackle and ruck laws via its law review process, it is understood no specific changes to the law in question are under way. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:09:00 GMT)

England’s players must develop quick wits however odd Jones’s complaints | Robert Kitson
The England coach tried to divert attention from the tactical bafflement shown against Italy and this week’s relocation of Six Nations squad training to Oxford will see an attempt to make brains match brawn• World Rugby backs referee Poite over England v Italy ruck debateWhen Eddie Jones decided to relocate squad training to Oxford this week he was unaware how appropriate his choice would turn out to be. The old university city is full of brilliant thinkers and, boy, could England do with a mind-expanding seminar or two. Rugby will forever demand physicality but if Jones’s team wish to win another Six Nations grand slam they will need to exhibit more brainpower than they did against Italy.It was not simply the prolonged failure to find a way around the Azzurri’s cute diversionary ruck tactics – odd as that appeared in an era when coaches can get messages on to the field almost instantly. More glaring still was the lack of mental flexibility, the bafflement and the sheer confusion when the anticipated masterplan – a 60-point romp in this instance – unravelled. At times it was like watching 15 Daleks stuck at the bottom of an unexpected staircase. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:50:00 GMT)

Keegan Hirst: ‘I envied the lads brave enough to come out at school’
The 29-year-old is close to making his debut for Wakefield Trinity – to become the first gay English rugby player to reach the heights of Super League – but he ‘went through bad phases’ to get there‘There were a couple of times when I thought about killing myself,” Keegan Hirst says as he remembers how, as a gay rugby league player unable to reveal the truth about his sexuality, he faced the darkest moments of his conflicted life. “I got to a point where I was thinking: ‘How am I going to do it? Where am I going to do it? When am I going to do it?’” Related: Former league star Mark Geyer says he wouldn't sue NRL over concussion Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:47:31 GMT)

Football transfer rumours: Cesc Fàbregas to Milan or Manchester United?
Today’s fluff looks like a sugar in a plum Milan are preparing a £27m summer offer for Cesc Fàbregas, who they tried to buy in the summer and loan in January, but who despite starting only six league games for Chelsea this season would prefer to stay in London given the choice, thank you very much. Watching developments with interest, however, is long-term admirer José Mourinho, who could step in if it looks like Chelsea are willing to let the nearly-30-year-old leave, and whisk him to Manchester United instead.There’s extreme confusion this morning surrounding the future of Andy Carroll, with Sky Sports reporting that “West Ham have turned down three offers from Chinese Super League clubs” because “the striker is not for sale”, the Mail saying similar, and the Telegraph insisting that “West Ham are willing to cash in on Carroll” and that he “has been offered to clubs in China”. So take your pick. The Hammers could, the Telegraph insists, be tempted to bid for an increasingly disgruntled Christian Benteke, who is also attracting interest from Italy, Germany, Spain and possibly Chelsea. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:51:35 GMT)

Liverpool turn to EA Sports president Peter Moore for chief executive role
• Club announce appointment after 3-1 defeat by Leicester City• Moore to replace the departing Ian AyreLiverpool have announced the appointment of Peter Moore as their chief executive to replace the departing Ian Ayre.The 61-year-old is currently chief competition officer at Electronic Arts, based in the United States, and will take up his new role in June, reporting directly to the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 01:07:00 GMT)

Manchester United leave Saints feeling sinned against – Football Weekly
The podders reflect on United winning a thrilling EFL Cup final against Southampton, and Leicester’s decision to sack Claudio Ranieri nine months after leading them to the Premier League titleSubscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast & Stitcher. And join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.On today’s Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by Barry Glendenning, Iain Macintosh and Gregg Bakowski to look back on the cut-throat world of game we so love. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:46:40 GMT)

David Haye tells Tony Bellew supporters: Your fighter will get drilled
• Fighters have to be separated during feisty press conference in Liverpool• ‘The big fat scouser will come through you like a steam train,’ Bellew saysThe David Haye freak show continued at a press conference in Liverpool where he branded Tony Bellew’s supporters “fucking retards”. Related: David Haye knows how to sell but must be reminded you do not play boxing | Kevin Mitchell Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 20:14:35 GMT)

I’m up with the best in the world on this form, says Tottenham’s Harry Kane
• Spurs striker aiming for second successive golden boot• Kane joint top of charts on 17 goals with Sánchez and LukakuHarry Kane believes he is in the best form of his career and has established himself as one of the best strikers in the world after his third hat-trick of the calendar year took him past 20 goals for a third season in succession.No one can match the 63 goals, scored in 93 matches, plundered by Kane in the Premier League since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, with his current run, of 13 goals in 12 games in all competitions, his second prolific burst of the season. The 23-year-old managed nine in as many outings back in late autumn and, with 17, is level with Alexis Sánchez and Romelu Lukaku as the top flight’s leading scorer this season as he seeks to retain the golden boot. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:30:11 GMT)

Now Sevilla can think about La Liga title charge after besting Betis | Sid Lowe
A crunch win at Betis means the question now being asked is if Sevilla could win a first league title since 1946. Why not?Ramón Rodríguez, ‘Monchi’, walked out the door and refused to look back. Sevilla’s sporting director left the Sánchez Pizjuán after their 2-1 victory over Leicester City on Wednesday night with “mixed emotions”, insisting as he went: “All I’m thinking about now is the derby.” Now? That was all most of them were thinking about already, even before the game – or so it felt. Witness the scene that same afternoon. In the hotel where the squad meets before matches, there were a little under four hours to kick-off on a potentially historic night: the chance to reach a European Cup quarter-final for the first time in 59 years, the second in history. But, whispered one member of the coaching staff, sighing slightly: “Everyone in the city is talking about Betis.”Joaquín Sánchez once insisted: “There’s no derby like this, not in Spain: Barça-Madrid is a joke in comparison.” And for years it seemed Real Betis Balompié and Sevilla Fútbol Club enjoyed winding each other up. Things are a little calmer now, and a rivalry that was all the stronger because there wasn’t one obviously bigger, better team, has become a bit one-sided over the last decade, but there’s still something about Seville, city of passion and humour, and something about Sevilla-Betis too: the biggest derby in Spain, “a game without compare in Europe”, claimed one local paper, and always there – even when it should be eclipsed, or rendered irrelevant. “Forget Betis,” that coach said. Trailing by 25 points, it wasn’t as if they were going to catch up. But how can they forget Betis? And how can Betis forget them? Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:39:13 GMT)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not the new Cantona but buys José Mourinho time | Barney Ronay
Ibrahimovic won the EFL Cup for Manchester United at Wembley yet unlike Eric Cantona 25 years ago is not the final piece in the jigsaw of an emerging sideWatching Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fine, bloody-minded match-winning turn for Manchester United in the EFL Cup final it was hard not to reach back in time for comparisons. Rewind to the early 1990s and English football’s restless north-western superpower needed fresh blood, a point of attacking inspiration to energise an emerging team. A new striker was signed to add stardust up front. History shows it worked, too. Dean Saunders scored 23 goals as Liverpool won the FA Cup in 1992.Saunders left after one season – as Ibrahimovic still might – and went to Aston Villa, as Ibrahimovic, it seems fair to say, definitely will not. Oddly enough, in the EFL Cup final debrief Saunders has been largely overlooked as a point of reference. For Ibrahimovic the more exciting comparison is, of course, Eric Cantona, so often hailed as the pistol shot, the catalyst, the magic potion that set in train two decades of outrageous success for United. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:06:00 GMT)

Olympic bidders face harsh reality of costs heavily outweighing benefits | Sean Ingle
The IOC may find fewer cities eager to host the Games with experts agreeing that staging the event is economically damaging despite a larger revenue cakeThese days even the Olympics is going on the 5:2 diet. Less than 18 months ago, the politicians and panjandrums of Hamburg, Rome, Budapest, Paris and Los Angeles all craved the right to host the 2024 Games. Now, following Budapest’s withdrawal last week, only Paris and Los Angeles remain. But it is merely reflective of a bidding process that is getting worryingly slimmer.Twelve cities fought over the 2004 Olympics. Yet only two were in the running for the 2022 Winter Olympics. And now here we are again. Even LA, one of the last pair standing for 2024, was a replacement for Boston after a concerted public campaign forced a rethink at the US Olympic Committee. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:00:05 GMT)

David Haye knows how to sell but must be reminded you do not play boxing | Kevin Mitchell
The heavyweight will quietly hope that pushing the promotion of bout against Tony Bellew beyond acceptable limits does not backfire on him and the sportDavid Haye would seem to be too much of an animal for some people – but not so abominable as to stop hundreds of thousands of them paying to watch him try to “cave in the skull” of Tony Bellew at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night.In recent days, he has also said: “I’m looking at putting a combination together that really hurts him, a Tommy Morrison-Ray Mercer finish where his brain hasn’t even told his legs to fall down and I’m still hitting him as he’s upright. I’m looking at doing a real number on him, before the referee can even stop the fight, landing three or four vicious haymakers on him.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:02:30 GMT)

Aston Villa release accounts showing £81m loss for last financial year
• Club’s deficit trebled in 2015-16, year they were relegated from Premier League• Figures do not relate to period since Tony Xia completed his takeoverAston Villa recorded a loss of more than £81m for the last financial year, according to the club’s latest accounts.The figures for the 2015-16 period show that with an operating loss of £81.3m the deficit more than trebled, up from £26.6m, before Villa were relegated from the Premier League. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:56:32 GMT)

Broadchurch shows how rape is not just a gratuitous plot device | Laura Bates
Unlike Poldark and Game of Thrones, the final series of the ITV drama refuses to portray a survivor’s story for cheap thrills and makes important points about sexual violenceBroadchurch is back on our screens, and the new series focuses on the aftermath of a sexual assault and the hunt for the perpetrator. Sexual violence is far from new territory for television – in fact, a litany of recent TV series and films has been accused of using rape as little more than a titillating plot device. But the fact that rape can be irresponsibly exploited for entertainment value doesn’t necessarily mean that it should never be explored on screen. Treated right, it can even be an effective way to raise awareness, correct misconceptions or educate an audience. Judging by the first episode, the third series of Broadchurch seems to be a good example. There were a number of clear pitfalls to avoid, exemplified by recent, high-profile missteps in portraying similar storylines. Director Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, for example, was accused of exploiting the rape and murder of women for entertainment, showing them screaming and pleading for their lives, and later using their naked, blood-streaked corpses as a beautiful, gory set piece. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:00:21 GMT)

The future’s less bright, less orange, due to marmalade-shunning young people | Peter Ormerod
I could find solace in the inevitable rise of artisan marmalade. But rather than a minority pursuit, it ought to be a national force for good, like the Labour partyI have nothing against young people. I know every one of them wears earphones all the time, cutting them off from real human communication, but I can handle that. I know they say “can I get” rather than “can I have” when ordering at any of the nation’s coffee houses, yet the anguish this causes me is momentary, and ultimately forgivable. But I also know that the young people are our future, and if things continue as they are, the future will be devoid of marmalade. And I want no part in such a future.Yes, they are killing marmalade. People under 28 now account for just 1% of sales. More of them have probably sent a fax in the past year than eaten the stuff. I imagine they say, “Marmalade is, like, so Brexit” on their Snapchats. Marmalade is probably the name of an Instagram filter that makes everything look repulsive. Marmalade has presumably been the subject of a diss track by Stormzy. Even worse, maybe they don’t think about it at all, much like their waking thoughts are unlikely to be occupied by the demise of Teletext. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:00:23 GMT)

Labour’s failure on the NHS is prolonging this health crisis | Polly Toynbee
Without fear of the opposition, the Tories are wreaking havoc in our hospitals. When is enough enough?Remember Mavis Skeet? In 2000 the 74-year-old led the news for weeks when her operation for cancer of the oesophagus was cancelled four times, until it became inoperable and she died. Liam Fox, then shadow health secretary, exclaimed: “This is not an isolated case. The NHS is not coping!” Related: Three patients die at Worcestershire hospital amid NHS winter crisis Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:59:11 GMT)

The uncomfortable truth about UK cuts | Frances Ryan
With parks, libraries, hospitals and prisons under threat, we are not entering a new era of cuts to essential services, but one that more people can see Failing public services need better management: but who’s listening?Anyone still clinging on to the idea that austerity is a prudent economic choice will soon need to look no further than the bottom of their road – and their uncollected rubbish bin. Over the past few years, central government has been able to get away with what is no less than daylight robbery of council funds. When cuts begin by pulling services primarily relied on by society’s more vulnerable and marginalised people, they can, it seems, be carried out with conveniently little fuss. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:16:22 GMT)

Dear Justine Greening, homework widens the gap between rich and poor children | Michael Rosen
Homework is now part of the school curriculum but you forget many children have parents who just can’t helpAs parents, we have very little idea about what our children actually do all day in school. Perhaps we have more sense of it in nursery and reception years but after that, the day to day interaction between teachers and pupils, the methods of teaching and learning, are pretty well hidden from us. Our main point of contact with how our children receive education is through homework.I’ve been a continuous school parent for nearly 40 years – my oldest child is over 40 and my youngest is 12 with several in between. In that time, the amount and nature of homework have changed enormously: there’s a lot more, and most of it is tied into the testing and exam system. Home has become even more of a classroom than it ever was. How children learn – and how we as parents teach them – has become a necessary part of a child’s education. Teachers tell us how important homework is. We can see from how difficult so much of it is that these home lessons – and that’s what they are – are not just a backup to school. They are a part of the curriculum, an essential step to passing all the tests and exams the system throws at our children. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:45:21 GMT)

Stoke shows how to destroy Ukip – ​split the alienated voters and hardcore racists | Paul Mason
Now the Tories are the party of Brexit, Ukip is in trouble. The lesson of this byelection is to keep calling out the toxic elements at its coreTheir only MP is a “dullard” who needs to be expelled, says the party’s millionaire backer. Their leader, Paul Nuttall, has been exposed as a fantasist. Their MEPs are under investigation for misuse of funds. They may have got 3.8m votes in the 2015 election but, today, Ukip is a political catastrophe.Make no mistake: despite losing Copeland to the Conservatives, Labour well and truly stuffed Ukip in Stoke-on-Trent. The level of political pressure it applied to Nuttall effectively broke him. Among a population so turned off by mainstream politics that almost two thirds did not vote, Labour won a battle of the narratives. Anti-racists and democrats from all political parties can learn from this. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:59:09 GMT)

The House of Lords must be honest to be useful: we have too many members | Frances D’Souza
Last night’s Meet the Lords documentary showed the important work we do. But cutting our numbers by a third would make the upper chamber far more effectiveThe House of Lords’ involvement in the Brexit bill has brought the house into the full glare of public – and prime ministerial – attention, most recently because of Lord Heseltine’s vow to defy a three-line government whip. That interest will only increase with the behind-the-scenes BBC television series that began last night. Viewers who look beyond the red robes may recognise strong, honourable and spirited individuals working in the public interest. Many of us have striven to encourage a greater understanding of the vital constitutional role the House of Lords plays in the legislative process. I truly believe that if the Lords didn’t exist, something very like it would have to take its place. Related: Don’t abolish the Lords. History shows it really can be reformed | Meg Russell Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:00:22 GMT)

How can we tackle hate crime with four school systems? | Tim Brighouse
There’s no such thing as ‘British values’ – Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland all teach different thingsExactly what did Theresa May mean when she determined to “strengthen the union of the four countries of the United Kingdom” as one of the 12 essential requirements of a successful Brexit? Tempting though it is to assign her words to a banalities basket, along with “Brexit means Brexit”, perhaps it was more than that.Could it have been a coded way of acknowledging there is a job to be done in healing the wounds of a nation so divided by the strong feelings of the leave-or-remain debate that it has led to a significant increase in crimes born of xenophobia and racism? To heal those is an urgent necessity to retain our claim to be civilised. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:15:21 GMT)

The parallels between Scottish nationalism and racism are clear | Claire Heuchan
There is a certain irony to white people with progressive politics rubbishing what Sadiq Khan has to say about racismSadiq Khan was not wrong to compare Scottish nationalism to racism or religious intolerance – at least, not entirely. Someone has to say it: the parallels are clear. There is an obvious overlap between nationalism and racism: both mentalities are defined by a politics of us and them. Equating racism with Scottish nationalism is a massive false equivalence, yet both perspectives are reliant on a clear distinction being made between those who belong and those who are rejected on the basis of difference. Related: Sadiq Khan: nationalism can be as divisive as bigotry and racism Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:09:50 GMT)

Theresa May must block London Stock Exchange bids until after Brexit | Nils Pratley
The LSE/Deutsche Börse merger was doomed – the UK’s vote to leave the EU only piled confusion upon uncertaintyNo tears should be shed for the likely failure of the London Stock Exchange’s £24bn plan to merge with Deutsche Börse. This deal, unveiled almost 12 months ago, cried out for a public interest study even before the UK voted to leave the European Union. Brexit then piled confusion upon uncertainty. If we don’t know what passporting and clearing arrangements will apply in future, how can anybody sensibly assess the long-term consequences of creating a bigger European mash-up of financial infrastructure?The only surprise is that Brexit wasn’t the immediate cause of the deal’s death, though it may have contributed. The critical event was the last-minute intervention of Margrethe Vestager, the European commission competition commissioner. If you want to proceed, Vestager said, the LSE must sell MTS, the Italy-based electronic platform for trading government bonds. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:32:08 GMT)

The Guardian view on George W Bush: a welcome return | Editorial
A polarising president, Mr Bush sounds a lot better out of office than in it. His swipe at Donald Trump’s brand of populism may mark a turning point for Republicans. We hope soDuring his time in the White House, George W Bush was regarded as a warmonger and hardline conservative. As president he did an awful lot to polarise the country and was viewed as such a threat to world peace that when he left office the Nobel committee handed his successor the peace prize – for not being him. It says a lot about the United States that Mr Bush can be seen now as a paragon of virtue. He sounds a lot better out of office than in it. His defence today of a free press (“indispensable”), his call for a “lawful, welcoming” immigration policy and his preference for “answers” in the scandal engulfing Donald Trump’s team over Moscow’s meddling in the presidential election may mark a turning point for Republicans. We certainly hope so.The Grand Old Party is trading its principles for power. Instead of dousing incendiary language, probing Russian interference and promoting inclusive policies, Republicans are nodding along to populist tunes. But even with the proliferation of voter-suppression measures, the US is demographically marching away from Mr Trump. Turning Hispanics and Muslims into hate figures will ultimately repel ordinary voters. Republicans should be talking down the threat from Islam and champion immigration reform, as Mr Bush once did. In reminding us of that, the 43rd US president should be applauded. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:57:02 GMT)

Don't let that Oscars blunder overshadow Moonlight's monumental achievement
Barry Jenkins’s movie is a brave and brilliant work of art that also happens to be a black, gay story. What a shame if the announcement gaffe is what people remember about its victorySo which did you want to win, the black film or the white film? Related: Anatomy of an Oscars fiasco: how La La Land was mistakenly announced as best picture Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:39:50 GMT)

The Guardian view on management consultants: the trick is confidence | Editorial
In troubled times, the appearance of authority is worth far more than the content of advicePwC, an accountancy firm with revenues of $35bn last year, couldn’t deliver accurate figures on the 5,700 votes for the Oscars when it really mattered. This was not a mistake that changed the world but it did destroy the appearance of a well-oiled and supremely professional machine, just as thoroughly as if the Queen were to stop to read a text message in the middle of opening a session of parliament. It is enough to make anyone wonder about the role of expertise in the world today. The big accountancy and consultancy firms can charge pretty much what they like for their services. The British government paid more than £1.3bn to consultants in 2015 – and that’s just central government. Some were paid upwards of £1,000 a day, which is a great deal more than most of the civil servants they have replaced could expect. At the same time, what’s left of the state lurches from crisis to absurdity. Whether it is the NHS, the Ministry of Defence, or the prison system, anyone could tell you that the people in charge of the mess now should not be – but if you ask a consultant, that piece of arcane wisdom will cost you plenty more. Brexit, even if it accomplishes nothing else, will enrich the consulting firms and the lobbyists almost as much as it will impoverish the rest of us.These big companies and the legions of highly paid experts are supposed to be delivering measurable results, yet it seems most of what they touch runs worse than before. So it’s worth asking what it is they are actually selling that is worth so much. The first, obvious answer is plausible deniability. If a management wants to slash its workforce then it is obviously better that the bad news be delivered by outsiders who can be blamed later. This evasion of responsibility may well be worth a great deal to the managers concerned, if not to the other stakeholders of the enterprise. This motive overlaps or shades into another, more interesting one. The one thing that consultancies and even accountants are meant to deliver is objectivity – and from that springs authority, which is what they’re really selling. Someone who comes along with an air of confident command will always find followers even if they know nothing about their subject, providing the followers are more painfully confident of their own ignorance. The vocational education of the English ruling classes taught the art of bluffing at the speed of thought – and though this skill is indispensable at the bar, and still more in the House of Commons, unfortunately it’s not the best way to make really important decisions, as the career of David Cameron so catastrophically demonstrates. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 20:21:24 GMT)

Yes, Trevor Phillips: you can be black and a racist too | Poppy Noor
The presenter has misunderstood political correctness. It’s about recognising our prejudices, whoever we are, and doing something about themTrevor Phillips asked us on Channel 4 last week whether political correctness had gone mad. He ended the programme with the insight: “The path to real progress may include learning to live with offence.” Related: Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy | Moira Weigel Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:51:47 GMT)

George Freeman’s dismissal of anxiety is pig-ignorance and must be called out | Eleanor Morgan
Can Theresa May still reply on a policy adviser with views that people with mental health problems are not ‘really disabled’? Words matterTory MP George Freeman, who is director of Theresa May’s policy unit, is under fire for his comments on BBC 5 Live regarding proposed reforms to personal independence payments (PIPs). “We want to make sure we get the money to the really disabled people who need it,” he said, explaining how reforms are needed to stop the government being responsible for a deficit of over £3.6bn. Those who don’t need it, apparently, are “people who are taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety”, labelling tribunal decisions that the Department for Work and Pensions should expand the reach of PIP as “bizarre”. Related: Welfare funds must serve 'really disabled' people, says MP Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:46:44 GMT)

The Guardian view on disability benefits: head versus heart | Editorial
Theresa May’s policy supremo apologised for saying benefit claimants were not ‘really disabled’, but the policy to deny future recipients welfare payments remains. Is the nasty party back?George Freeman is supposedly the government’s big brain, a Downing Street thinker tasked with ensuring policy reaches a port by sailing, not by drifting. So when he took to the airwaves last weekend to claim that welfare cuts would see money go to the “really disabled” rather than those “taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety”, many must have wondered whether Mr Freeman had momentarily slipped his moorings. Today he apologised. That is a good move. But ministers should go further.The government is attempting to stave off a potentially large bill caused by its flagship personal independence payment, paid to people who face costs because of a disability or long-term illness. The reason is that the courts, looking at the government’s own policies, have ruled that more 160,000 people who have a heart condition or who suffer overwhelming psychological distress when taking journeys should be eligible for bigger payments than ministers envisaged. Because of the numbers involved, the bill is large – more than £3.7bn. But the problem, for ministers attempting to frame the debate to gain popularity for unpopular decisions, is that the recipients could not be tarred as feckless scroungers. Those that get the payment are sick or disabled. They deserve help and understanding. This leads two trains of thought of modern Conservatism – the compassionate and the fiscally responsible – to crash. Last year the collision of these impulses saw the departure of the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who resigned as work and pensions secretary, denouncing £4bn of planned cuts to disabled people as “indefensible”. Mr Freeman did not lose his job, he only lost his dignity and composure. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:58:38 GMT)

Why Paul Ryan is just Donald Trump in better wrapping | Trevor Timm
The speaker of the House poses as a moderate in comparison to Trump. In reality, he’s paving the way for the president’s cruelest policiesNearly all the oxygen and outrage in DC is being sucked up by Donald Trump and his outrageous executive orders. But let’s not forget about the man without whom Trump could not accomplish his larger agenda: the spineless speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, Trump’s mainstream defender and apologist at every turn.Ryan, who has cultivated a sham image as the “reasonable” Republican for years, has backed virtually all of Trump’s most controversial and cruel policies. Ryan manages to never buck Trump on anything of significance, while getting publicity for meaningless, quasi-critical statements. He is the biggest fraud in American politics. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:00:01 GMT)

They’re not lies: Donald Trump wills his ‘truth’ into our reality | Carl Cederström
The president’s ‘alternative facts’ come straight from Norman Vincent Peale’s philosophy of picturing success, no matter what. If only his system really worked“We have a president capable of standing in the rain and saying it was a sunny day,” John Oliver recently observed on Last Week Tonight, as he called Donald Trump a “pathological liar”. But what if he isn’t lying? What if his press secretary, Sean Spicer, is correct when saying that Trump really believes that what he says is true?It should be clear by now that Trump doesn’t subscribe to a conventional notion of truth, related to verifiable facts and an independently existing reality. For Trump, truth is subordinate to attitude, an attitude that can be modified at will. This whimsical notion comes straight from Norman Vincent Peale, an American minister and motivational speaker who was close to the Trump family, even officiating at Trump’s first marriage, with Ivana. In his 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking, Peale presents a simple and “workable philosophy” to help people live more effective and successful lives. The technique is simple: “prayerise, visualise, actualise”. By using this technique you can overcome defeat and take control over the circumstances of your life. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 07:00:03 GMT)

Don’t be fooled by the pretty box: find out the horror behind your egg | Chas Newkey Burden
The mass murder of male chicks and trimming of females’ beaks are standard practice in factory farming. Consumers must say no to these anachronismsFrom the moment it hatches, a baby chick’s fate is determined by its gender. Females are seized and have the tips of their sensitive beaks cut without anaesthetic. Males are sent to be killed. These are commonplace practices on British farms, including free-range ones. They are some of the simple truths the industry doesn’t want you to know.Factory farm practices have become so horrific that high walls have been built, not only literally but metaphorically too. Expert marketers are deliberately misleading consumers. Perhaps their most audacious trick is the “free-range” brand label that persuades many well-meaning shoppers to pay extra because they believe those eggs will come from a natural environment. The truth can be very different. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:17:30 GMT)

The Oscars mix-up matters because this night was always about racial bias | Suzanne Moore
A stupid mistake undermined the academy’s response to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign – but the dream factory has at last extended its repertoire of dreamsThe biggest mistakes at the Oscars are usually said to be made by women with their fashion “fails”. I won’t bore you with the details, but last year Kate Winslet apparently looked rubbish in a glossy bin liner, another woman should have been arrested because she looked too “casual”, the great costume designer Sandy Powell with her wonderful Bowie-esque look was deemed to have made a terrible mistake. This year though, the annual fest of tit tape, weepy self-congratulation and sheer star power will be remembered for more than a frock faux pas: there was a serious cock-up. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced that La La Land had won best picture when actually it was Moonlight. It seems that Beatty was given the wrong envelope, looked confused and passed the buck to Dunaway, who read out La La Land. Related: PwC issues 'sincere apology' for Oscars best picture envelope blunder Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:05:56 GMT)

I’m fighting the ban on my film Lipstick Under My Burkha. Ordinary Indian women need a voice | Alankrita Shrivastava
My film dares to tell a story from a female point of view. But that’s a narrative that the Indian film board – and India – isn’t comfortable withWhen I was making Lipstick Under My Burkha, I didn’t think I was making a film that would scare a democratic country like India. I certainly didn’t expect the Central Board of Film Certification there to refuse to certify the film, thereby blocking its release. Their reasons include that it is “lady oriented”, it contains “sexual scenes” and is “audio pornography”.The film tells the story of four feisty women in a small town in India who try to steal a piece of freedom from within the confines of their restrained lives. I never imagined that my feminist politics would rattle the board so much that they would refuse to let the film be shown. It came as a shock – and yet, when viewed in the context of the status of women in India and the representation of women in popular Indian culture, it perhaps shouldn’t have done. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:00:00 GMT)

Thought the Newbury bypass devastated wildlife? These M4 plans are far worse | Patrick Barkham
The days of ripping up reserves for motorways were supposed to be over. But the Newport scheme would create a ‘Berlin wall’ for natureA five-month public inquiry begins tomorrow into the most destructive new road in a generation. The six-lane M4 through Newport is a little twisty and vulnerable to traffic jams, so the Welsh government wants to flex new borrowing powers to fund a £1bn-plus “relief” road.This 14-mile motorway will carve through the Gwent Levels, dividing and destroying an ancient wetland that is one of the last strongholds for the shrill carder bee and the new home, as of last summer, to Wales’s first breeding cranes for 400 years. The road will wreck four sites of special scientific interest, supposedly protected for nature, and create a “Berlin wall for wildlife” across the marshes for otters, water voles and rare dragonflies. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:58:46 GMT)

My homeless friend’s death shocked me into taking action | Susannah Tresilian
More and more people are sleeping rough and it’s easy to walk on past. But after Paddy’s death I channelled my grief into something positiveIt was the dog’s whining that alerted Patrick to the fact that his father, lying in the tent beside him, had died. They were in a park in central London, where they had set up to sleep rough like any other night. But this was last New Year’s Eve, a bitterly cold night, and Paddy, 52, had by all accounts given up.Anyone who has been to London in the past few years will have noticed that the number of people sleeping rough on the streets has risen visibly. It’s a nationwide problem: the most recent statistics from the government say there has been a 16% increase in rough sleepers in the past year alone, with 23% of them living in London. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:30:06 GMT)

What’s the best way to create a diverse workplace? Ditch diversity programmes | Belinda Parmar
Firms like Google are as white and male as ever despite costly initiatives. A shift to corporate empathy, taking ‘otherness’ out of the equation, can bring changeThese are the dark times for diversity: in an era of walls, barricades and divisive rhetoric, how can it can ever hope to thrive? But then maybe it was always doomed to failure. Even in happier, more inclusive times the drive for diversity has always had a decidedly chequered history. Related: Google employs just 30% women and 2% black people, report shows Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:30:00 GMT)

A retirement home for lesbians? Where do I sign up? | Val McDermid
Enabling LGBT people to grow old together is not about creating a ghetto but about helping them to live later life openly, healthily and without fearWhen I used to live on the Northumberland coast, there was a game I played with visiting lesbian friends. On our walks and drives around the countryside, we’d identify houses we thought would make perfect lesbian retirement homes.“No, that’s too exposed to the weather,” one would argue. “It’s in the middle of nowhere, you’d never get the staff,” said another. “The driveway’s too steep, we’d all break our hips in the winter,” a third objected. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:42:00 GMT)

After the divisive Democratic National Committee chair election, what's next?
Tom Perez triumphed over Keith Ellison for the position of DNC chair. Has the damaged party made the right move? Our commentators give their verdict Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:08:56 GMT)

Deportation of student halted hours before she was due to board plane
Shiromini Satkunarajah, studying at Bangor University, is told she and her mother will not be deported from UK to Sri LankaA talented student is hoping to finish her course at a British university after coming within hours of being removed from the UK by immigration officials. Shiromini Satkunarajah, 20, was arrested last week and was expecting to be put on a plane to the country of her birth, Sri Lanka, at 9pm on Tuesday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:37:16 GMT)

Prison officers in England and Wales to take industrial action
Officers’ union to withdraw voluntary duties, condemning government’s ‘failure to provide safe, decent and secure prisons’Prison officers are set to take fresh industrial action in crisis-hit jails in England and Wales over pay and pensions and the government’s failure “to provide safe, decent and secure prisons”, said the prison officers’ union. The government has called the action unlawful and warned it would take legal action. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:43:41 GMT)

Universities spark free speech row after halting pro-Palestinian events
Exeter and Central Lancashire universities accused of censoring students by cancelling Israel Apartheid Week plans Universities have been accused of undermining freedom of speech on campus after cancelling events organised by students as part of an annual pro-Palestinian event called Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). Related: University wrong to ban Israeli Apartheid Week event | Letter from 243 academics Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 20:33:35 GMT)

Jack Monroe begins libel proceedings against Katie Hopkins
Blogger is suing Mail Online writer over Twitter messages which allegedly implied Monroe condoned damaging war memorialThe food writer and campaigner Jack Monroe has begun libel proceedings against Katie Hopkins, in a row over tweets which allegedly imply Monroe defaced or condoned the damage of a war memorial.Monroe, who is suing the controversial Mail Online columnist over the posts from May 2015, told the high court in London that the messages from Hopkins had led to death threats, and said their legal dispute had been an “unproductive, devastating nightmare”. The food blogger’s lawyers argue the tweets were defamatory and caused “serious harm” to Monroe’s reputation. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:28:29 GMT)

BME career progression 'could add £24bn a year to UK economy'
Review of race in the workplace makes economic as well as moral case for more diverse workforcesHelping black and minority ethnic (BME) people to progress in their careers at the same rate as their white counterparts could add £24bn to UK economy each year, a government-backed review has found.The report into race in the workplace found recruitment processes, a tendency by managers to promote people similar to themselves and, in some cases, outright discrimination had all held back workers from BME backgrounds. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:01:21 GMT)

NHS data loss: 500 patients may have suffered serious harm
NHS England is investigating 537 ‘live cases’ resulting from failure to deliver 500,000 documents over five-year periodFive hundred patients may have suffered serious harm as a result of the NHS mislaying 500,000 test results and letters over a five-year period, ministers and officials have admitted in parliament.The review is also understood to be looking at whether correspondence between GPs and hospitals that was mislaid between 2011 and 2016 caused or contributed to the death of any patients, sources added. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 21:45:23 GMT)

Viagogo accused of trying to manipulate online reviews
Controversial ticket resale website offered customers who attended concerts about a decade ago the chance of a €100 voucher if they posted on TrustpilotTicket resale website Viagogo has been accused of trying to manipulate online reviews as it contends with a flurry of negative publicity.The company is the focus of a campaign by more than 100 customers who say they suffered financial hardship after Viagogo allegedly overcharged them and then withheld refunds. Viagogo has also been criticised for seeking to profit from charity by reselling tickets to an Ed Sheeran gig in aid of the Teenager Cancer Trust. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:30:20 GMT)

Court hears of policy to discredit abuse claims during Mau Mau uprising
Counsel for Kenyan claimants accuses the Conservative government of 1950s of undermining people who reported abuseKabugi Njuma’s pockets were filled with mud. He was forced to run in 38C (100F)heat carrying a bucket laden with 36kgs (80lb) of earth on his head until he confessed to Mau Mau activities.He died of a heart attack at Aguthi special detention camp in September 1958. His body bore bruises consistent with blows from a stick. The British colonial administration in Kenya recorded that he died of natural causes. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:00:21 GMT)

Payday loans complaints rise 22% despite FCA clampdown
Ombudsman says it is now receiving about 200 such complaints a week, but PPI remains the worst offenderComplaints to the financial ombudsman about payday loans have risen to almost 200 a week – and not all of those experiencing problems necessarily fit the image of low-income borrowers relying on short-term loans to get by.During the second half of 2016 the Financial Ombudsman Service received 5,095 new payday lending complaints, up 22% on the first six months of the year. This increase came despite tougher regulation of the controversial sector. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:01:20 GMT)

BMW considers making electric Mini outside UK due to Brexit worries
Suggestion that carmaker could produce vehicle in Germany instead of Oxford comes amid fears over Vauxhall’s futureThe new electric Mini could be made in Germany rather than the UK because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.Most Minis are manufactured at its plant in Oxford, one of the biggest factories in the country, but BMW, the owner of the brand, is considering making the electric version of the car in Germany. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:21:12 GMT)

John Major attacks government over approach to Brexit
Former PM calls for ‘a little more charm, and a lot less cheap rhetoric’ and says public have been given unrealistic expectationsTheresa May’s government must avoid souring the article 50 negotiations with “cheap rhetoric” and give voters an honest warning about the risks of Brexit, the former prime minister Sir John Major has said.With the prime minister planning to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union within weeks, her predecessor used his first big speech on Brexit since last year’s referendum to issue a series of thinly veiled attacks on Downing Street’s approach. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 20:04:07 GMT)

Number of child sexual abuse claims overwhelming police, says lead officer
Head of nationwide inquiry Operation Hydrant calls for alternative approaches to less serious cases to be consideredPolice are being overwhelmed by the number of reports about child sexual abuse and need to consider alternative approaches for less serious cases, the UK’s lead officer on child protection has said.Simon Bailey, the head of Operation Hydrant – the nationwide inquiry into historical child sexual abuse – said forces were operating beyond capacity because of the sheer volume of reports. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 01:06:43 GMT)

Hospitals could join prisons in cycle of 'crisis, cash, repeat', says report
Better financial planning and reforms needed to avoid ‘disastrous combination of failing public services and breached spending controls’ Hospitals could join prisons and social care in a cycle of “crisis, cash, repeat” unless they receive better financial planning and reforms, a Whitehall report has warned. Without improvements, public services are doomed to fail or breach spending controls, the report by the Institute for Government and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa) said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:01:13 GMT)

Fight on UK train after people kept placing bagels on travellers' heads
British Transport police held the train in Hertfordshire after being alerted to passengers fighting and intimidating othersPolice were called to break up a fight on a train as rowdy passengers repeatedly placed bagels on other travellers’ heads.Officers arrived at Potters Bar station in Hertfordshire just after 1am on Sunday after being alerted to passengers fighting and intimidating others. The 12.54am Great Northern service from King’s Cross to Huntingdon was held for 18 minutes while the officers took statements. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 23:53:52 GMT)

Children in UK's poorest areas 10 times more likely to go into care
Study finds one in 60 children taken into care in most deprived areas compared with one in 660 in the wealthiestChildren living in the poorest neighbourhoods of the UK are almost 10 times more likely to be taken into care or placed on a child protection plan than those from affluent areas, a study has revealed.Poverty was the biggest single factor behind wide inequalities in child safeguarding interventions that see one in 60 children taken into care in the most deprived areas, compared with one in 660 in the wealthiest areas. “Children in Blackpool, Hull or Wolverhampton were many times more likely to be LAC [‘looked after children’] than children in Wokingham, or Windsor and Maidenhead,” the authors said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:01:13 GMT)

Clive Lewis denies registering websites for Labour leadership bid
Former ally of Jeremy Corbyn says story came from ‘people out there’ nervous about possible challenge to party’s leaderClive Lewis, who resigned from the shadow cabinet after voting against the Brexit bill, has denied secretly registering internet addresses linked to a potential leadership bid and warned that unnamed Labour figures were taking an “unhealthy interest” in him.Lewis, the MP for Norwich South, flatly denied that he, or anyone working for him, was responsible for registering several internet domain names, including cliveforleader.org.uk, shortly after he joined the shadow cabinet last summer, as revealed in the Huffington Post. “None of this is true: I haven’t done this,” he said. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 21:00:11 GMT)

Commons report raises doubts over benefits of multi-academy trusts
MPs say evidence of Mats improving pupils’ grades is inconclusive and that ministers are not in a position to show trusts are good use of public moneyA cross-party committee of MPs has challenged the government’s vision for schools, expressing “significant concerns” about the poor performance of some multi-academy trusts (Mats).The government wants schools that convert to academy status to join a Mat but MPs on the education select committee said on Tuesday that evidence of Mats’ ability to improve pupils’ grades is limited and varied. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:01:13 GMT)

Deported woman's family say Amber Rudd lacks compassion
Sister-in-law of Irene Clennell, sent back to Singapore despite being married to a Briton for 27 years, condemns home secretaryThe family of a woman removed from the UK after losing her indefinite leave to remain have condemned the home secretary for a lack of compassion, as MPs, campaigners and lawyers warned such cases were becoming common.Irene Clennell, 52, who first arrived in Britain in 1988, was deported on Sunday and landed in Singapore on Monday afternoon local time after more than a month of detention in an immigration removal centre. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:08:59 GMT)

Spring budget 2017: drop in government borrowing predicted
Forecasts likely to be cut by cumulative £29bn between 2015-16 and 2020-21 but sustainability issues remain, says thinktank Solid economic growth and strong tax receipts since the Brexit vote have put Philip Hammond on course to announce a drop in government borrowing when he presents his spring budget next week, a leading thinktank has predicted.The Resolution Foundation said it would be the first time since March 2014 that a chancellor could stand at the dispatch box and announce borrowing will be lower – not higher – than previously thought. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:01:13 GMT)

Kim Jong-nam: North Korean diplomats visit Malaysia as women face charges
Team arrives to retrieve body as Malaysian authorities say they will charge Indonesian and Vietnamese suspects A high-level North Korean delegation has arrived in Kuala Lumpur as Malaysia announced it will charge an Indonesian and a Vietnamese woman with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the exiled half-brother of North Korea’s leader.The killing, described by the US and South Korea as a political assassination, has led to a diplomatic meltdown between Malaysia and North Korea, which has repeatedly tried to block the investigation and denied that Kim Jong-nam was murdered. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:11:24 GMT)

Boston Dynamics unveils 'nightmare-inducing' hybrid robot
Meet Handle, the two-wheeled, four-legged creation from the Google-owned robotics firm that even company founder Marc Raibert says is frighteningGoogle-owned robotics firm and “nightmare” factory Boston Dynamics has released video of its latest creation: a two-wheeled, four-legged hybrid robot named Handle. The robot can stand on four legs, like Boston Dynamics’ previous creations such as BigDog and Spot. But at the end of its back two legs are two stabilised wheels, which let it stand up vertically and roll around at speeds of up to nine miles per hour. Think “Terminator riding on a hoverboard” and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the impression Handle gives off. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:58:57 GMT)

Academy 'deeply regrets' Oscars best film fiasco, as accountant is blamed
Apology comes as PwC says company partner Brian Cullinan handed wrong envelope – naming La La Land not Moonlight – to presentersThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has apologised to the casts and crews of La La Land and Moonlight and said it “deeply regrets the mistakes” that led to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announcing the wrong film as winner of the best picture award. Related: Wrongbestfilmgate was a moment of pure chaos – my night of shocks at the Oscars Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 05:32:56 GMT)

Markets await US growth and trade data as Trump boom continues - business live
US fourth quarter GDP and January trade figures due, while Brexit discussion due at Chambers of Commerce annual meetingChances of US rate rise in March increaseSouthern Rail owner Go-Ahead sees rail profits plunge Greggs shares slip after resultsFrench economy grows by 1.1% in 2016 10.10am GMT Here’s Reuters’ first take on Charlotte Hogg’s appearance at the Treasury Committee:Bank of England Deputy Governor Charlotte Hogg, who will join the central bank’s top policy committees next month, said on Tuesday she would be able to stand up to BoE Governor Mark Carney if required.Hogg, who is currently the Bank’s chief operating officer, also said she did not think there was a culture of group-think at the Bank. 9.47am GMT BoE's Hogg: When Unwinding QE, BoE Will Do So In A Way That Is Mindful Of The Need To Maintain Orderly MarketsBoE's Hogg: MPC Must Be Clear About Its Intentions When Unwinding QE In Order To Avoid An ‘Unintended Move’ In Gilt Yields Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:10:56 GMT)

SpaceX to send two people around the moon who paid for a 2018 private mission
CEO Elon Musk said the private journey would take about a week, nearing the moon’s surface without landing on itSpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed on Monday that two people have paid for a private mission around the moon, tentatively set for launch in 2018 with the private company’s yet untested Falcon Heavy rocket.In a conference call with reporters, Musk declined to name the people or what they had paid, though he said the individuals know each other and are “very serious” about the flight. The “private citizens” approached the company late last year and will receive training and take health and fitness tests as early as this year. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:16:53 GMT)

Female engineer sues Tesla, describing a culture of 'pervasive harassment'
Exclusive: AJ Vandermeyden paints picture of a hostile work environment that promoted less-qualified men and retaliated against her for raising concerns A female engineer at Tesla has accused Elon Musk’s car company of ignoring her complaints of “pervasive harassment”, paying her a lower salary than men doing the same work, promoting less qualified men over her and retaliating against her for raising concerns.The allegations of AJ Vandermeyden, who still works at the celebrated electric car manufacturer, paint a picture of a hostile work environment dominated by men where inappropriate sexual behavior is tolerated and women face numerous barriers to advance their careers. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:00:25 GMT)

China considers paying couples to have a second child
After abolishing the one-child policy, Communist party mulls financial incentives to parents who have more than one babyChina is considering introducing birth rewards and subsidies to encourage people to have a second child, after surveys showed economic constraints were making many reluctant to expand their families, the state-owned China Daily has reported. The idea was revealed by Wang Peian, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, at a social welfare conference on Saturday, the newspaper said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 03:46:30 GMT)

Uber executive resigns after failing to disclose prior sexual harassment claim
Setback is the latest sign of turmoil at Uber, which recently found itself in a separate sexual harassment firestorm and faces a major lawsuit from GoogleThe top engineering executive at Uber has resigned, adding to the company’s turmoil a week after the company found itself in an unrelated sexual harassment firestorm.Amit Singhal, whose hire was announced just five weeks ago, failed to disclose that he’d left his previous job at Google because of a sexual harassment allegation, according to the tech blog Recode. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 01:42:19 GMT)

Donald Trump's first budget: big hike for defense spending as most agencies cut
White House officials say Trump will uphold campaign promise to build up military, at the expense of foreign aid and environmental programmesDonald Trump will make his first address to Congress on Tuesday, outlining priorities including a big hike in military spending at the expense of foreign aid and environmental programmes. Related: Trump White House scrambles to check scandal over FBI inquiry into Russia ties Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:52:16 GMT)

WHO names 12 bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health
Antibiotic resistance could make c-sections, transplants and chemotherapy too dangerous to perform, warns World Health OrganisationThe World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a list of the 12 bacteria which pose the greatest threat to human health because they are resistant to antibiotics. Health experts have previously warned that resistance to the drugs that are used to fight infections could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:49:17 GMT)

Cereal lovers could shell out more for muesli as cost of brazil nuts soars
Shoppers may be forced to forgo nut or pay more after warnings of second year of diminished cropThe price of brazil nuts could rise by more than a fifth after low rainfall hit production in Bolivia where more than half the global crop is grown.The wholesale price of the large curved nut, which is popular for snacking and in muesli, has already risen by more than a quarter to $4.80 a pound (£8.50 a kilogramme) since August after a poor harvest in 2016. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:19:10 GMT)

'Oui on peut': 40,000 sign petition for Barack Obama as next French president
Campaign organisers came up with idea because they were disenchanted with the candidates running in France’s electionPosters of Barack Obama have popped up around Paris in what started as a joke by four friends pretending to launch a campaign for the former US leader ahead of France’s presidential election.The posters bear the words “Oui on peut”, a French translation of Obama’s popular and effective 2008 campaign slogan Yes We Can. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 01:41:16 GMT)

Beloved hippopotamus 'Gustavito' beaten to death at El Salvador zoo
Locals mourned the hippo, who was apparently attacked with metal bars and knives, through social media and by leaving flowers at the national zooEl Salvador’s rampant violence has reached an unsuspected corner with the brutal and fatal beating of the national zoo’s beloved hippopotamus Gustavito.Even among a population numbed by a staggering human death toll due to gang violence in recent years, the animal’s death late Sunday has stirred outrage. Continue reading...
(Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:05:21 GMT)

Journalist for German newspaper arrested in Turkey
Deniz Yücel jailed pending trial on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting the public to violenceTurkish authorities have arrested a reporter for a prominent German newspaper on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting the public to violence, according to a court witness. Related: Stop the press: Turkey's crackdown on its media goes into overdrive Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:28:18 GMT)

Digital photo project to show Sistine Chapel in unprecedented detail
Three-volume collection uses 270,000 digital frames to reproduce Michelangelo frescoes with 99.9% accuracyThe last time the entire Sistine Chapel was photographed for posterity, digital photography was in its infancy and words such as pixels were bandied about mostly by computer nerds and Nasa scientists.Now, after decades of technological advances in art photography, digital darkrooms and printing techniques, a five-year project that will aid future restorations has left the Vatican Museums with 270,000 digital frames that show frescoes by Michelangelo and other masters in fresh, stunning detail. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:26:27 GMT)

Hunters accidentally saved during Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue training
Plane’s crew spotted two men waving in middle of icy tundra north of Arctic circle and rescued them in 15-minute window before darkness set inA routine training session in Canada’s Arctic transformed into a real-life search and rescue mission after a Royal Canadian Air Force crew accidentally happened on two hunters who had been stranded for days.The training mission had set out from Hall Beach, a hamlet of some 750 people that sits north of the Arctic circle in Nunavut. They were heading to an old mine site on the first day of a two-week annual sovereignty exercise in Canada’s north. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:57:34 GMT)

Trump on replacing healthcare law that took years to craft: 'Nobody knew it could be so complicated'
President reaffirms Republican commitment to repealing Affordable Care Act amid uncertainty over replacement and rising support for ‘Obamacare’Donald Trump told a room full of state governors on Monday that “nobody knew” replacing the massive Affordable Care Act, which expanded health coverage to 20 million Americans, would prove to be so “complicated”. Related: Donald Trump's first budget: enormous defense spending as most agencies cut Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:15:14 GMT)

Philippines militants behead German hostage Jurgen Kantner
Philippine government says armed forces made every effort to save 70-year-old but he was killed after ransom deadline passedMilitants in the southern Philippines have beheaded a German man after a deadline to pay his ransom passed, the Philippine government has said.A brief video circulated on Monday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites, appears to show Jurgen Kantner being killed. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:37:39 GMT)

George W Bush talks Trump-era policy: media 'indispensable to democracy'
Former president calls for a ‘welcoming’ immigration policyBush describes religious tolerance as ‘one of our greatest strengths’Former Republican US president George W Bush diverged sharply from Trump’s new administration on Monday, saying he supported a welcoming immigration policy and praising the media as “indispensable to democracy”.In a wide-ranging interview with NBC’s Today show, meanwhile, the former president was asked if he had seen signs that Trump was trying to close the rift in the US electorate after his divisive campaign against Hillary Clinton. He acknowledged that his own presidency from 2001 to 2009 also began after a contentious election but that it was “hard to compare times”. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:04:54 GMT)

Eight rangers killed in grim week for wildlife protectors
Rangers lost their lives in Kenya, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and IndiaEight wildlife rangers have lost their lives in four separate countries, in a week that highlighted the numerous hazards rangers face in protecting the world’s wild lands and species.“It’s a tough week when we lose eight of our ranger family; some to poachers’ bullets and some to the other dangers that come with the territory,” said Sean Willmore, founder and director of the Thin Green Line Foundation, which supports widows and children of rangers killed in the line of duty. Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:45:03 GMT)

America's soccer migrants: the US footballers crossing Mexico's border – video
Despite President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about Mexicans crossing the border to the US, American soccer players such as Omar Gonzalez are heading south for new opportunities, more money and a better standard of football. The Guardian travels to Pachuca, Torreón and Guadalajara to speak to top clubs, US immigrant players and Mexico legend Jared Borgetti – who find the prospect of a border wall at odds with the reality of the two nations’ interdependent relationshipVea en Español Continue reading...
(Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:05:24 GMT)

Ireland's forgotten mixed-race child abuse victims – video
Rosemary Adaser was one of many mixed-race children considered illegitimate who was brought up in institutions run by the Catholic church in Ireland between the 1950s and 1970s. She tells of the abuse and racist treatment she suffered, and returns to her school in Kilkenny for the first time in 40 years and attempts to answer questions about her pastWARNING: strong language Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:16:07 GMT)

Trump and the forgotten workers: 'We want to be treated fairly' – video
Strikers at Momentive, a New York chemical plant partially owned by Donald Trump’s billionaire ‘jobs czar’ Stephen Schwarzman, had been hoping for a better deal under Trump. But after 105 days of industrial reaction, they are returning to an uncertain future, one shared by many blue collar workers in the US Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:00:29 GMT)

Transgender teenage wrestler wins Texas girl’s state championship – video
17-year-old Mack Beggs, a teenager who is transitioning from female to male, won the 110lb weight class at the Texas girl’s state wrestling championships on Saturday. Beggs, who reportedly wants to be included in the boy’s division of the sport, is required to instead compete in the girl’s competition due to state rules which say athletes must be classed according to their birth genderTransgender teenage wrestler Mack Beggs wins Texas girls title Continue reading...
(Sun, 26 Feb 2017 17:21:30 GMT)

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