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Met police may end policy of believing sexual abuse victims, says Hogan-Howe
Under-fire commissioner, writing in the Guardian, says police should test evidence ‘with open mind’, but support complainantA policy ordering detectives to automatically believe people who claim to have suffered rape or sexual abuse may be dropped, Britain’s top police officer has said, as he battles fierce criticism over his force’s investigations into high-profile figures.Writing for the Guardian, the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, says public confidence has been affected by the controversy over Operation Midland’s investigation into claims that a VIP paedophile ring abused and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:34:50 GMT)

Doctors' strike turnout much lower than last time, says Jeremy Hunt
Health secretary claims 43% of medics have turned up for work as NHS employers urge ministers to impose new contractsJeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has claimed that turnout for the junior doctors’ strike is lower than for last month’s industrial action, with 43% turning up for work, as Downing Street indicated that the government was ready to impose a new contract.Hunt said pay rates on Saturdays were the one outstanding issue in the dispute that has triggered two strikes. He denied that the government had rejected a “cost-neutral” offer from the British Medical Association that would have resulted in doctors’ basic pay rising by about half the 11% offered – in return for Saturday not being treated as a normal working day. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:21:12 GMT)

Turkey dismisses EU plan to resettle refugees in return for sealing sea route
Ankara’s ambassador to EU describes plan to take in refugees from Turkey only if Aegean sea route is closed as unacceptable and infeasibleEuropean plans to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees a year directly from Turkey in return for Ankara closing the borders to further migration, have been dismissed as unworkable by a senior Turkish official, hampering the EU’s attempts to get to grips with the crisis.The official warned of a new “tsunami” of Syrian refugees hitting Turkey and Europe as a result of the assault on the northern city of Aleppo being waged by the Russians and the Syrian regime. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:22:59 GMT)

Liverpool owner backs down on ticket prices and apologise to fans
• An estimated 10,000 Liverpool fans walked out on 77 minutes on Saturday • General admission prices frozen at 2015-16 levels for next two seasons• Liverpool owners’ apology to fans: the letter in fullLiverpool’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, has performed a major U-turn over its planned ticket price rises and issued a public apology to supporters who walked out of Saturday’s game against Sunderland. Related: Liverpool owners’ open letter to supporters over ticket price proposals Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:00:00 GMT)

Swansea tidal energy scheme faces 'disastrous setback' from government review
Plans to generate energy from Swansea Bay lagoon are further delayed as UK energy minister announces wider review of the sector The future of a revolutionary plan to generate electricity from a lagoon in Swansea Bay has been thrown into further doubt after the UK government unveiled plans for a six-month review of the wider tidal power sector.The promoters of the £1bn plan, Tidal Lagoon Power, said it welcomed any extra focus on this type of renewable energy but needed a final decision from ministers on its south Wales project within six weeks. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:31:47 GMT)

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says
Vatican guide says ‘not necessarily’ bishop’s duty to report suspects to police despite Pope Francis’s vows to redress Catholic church’s legacy of child abuseThe Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:37:42 GMT)

Adam Johnson: Sunderland player pleads guilty to sexual activity with 15-year-old girl
The 28-year-old Sunderland and England midfielder admits one count of sexual activity with a child and one of groomingThe Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson has pleaded guilty to kissing a 15-year-old schoolgirl after grooming her over the internet. The 28-year-old midfielder admitted one count of sexual activity with a child and one of grooming at Bradford crown court. He denies two other counts of sexual activity with a child and is due to go on trial on Friday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:55:27 GMT)

Birmingham pub bombings: police told to release any evidence of forewarning
Coroner rules information into blasts that killed 21 people must be made public to help her rule whether to formally resume inquests or notAny evidence the West Midlands police holds about advance warnings of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, IRA informants or delays in evacuating the bars must be made public, the city’s senior coroner has ordered. Related: Birmingham bombings: police botched the case. But it shouldn’t be reopened | Chris Mullin Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:59:31 GMT)

George Osborne's brother faces being struck off after having affair with patient
Adam Osborne, a psychiatrist, broke off the relationship with the woman last year, shortly after which she attempted suicideChancellor George Osborne’s psychiatrist brother faces being struck off after he embarked on a two-year affair with a vulnerable patient he had been treating for depression, anxiety and fatigue.A disciplinary tribunal has found Adam Osborne’s behaviour “profoundly unacceptable”, that his fitness to practice had been impaired and that his actions had brought the “medical profession into disrepute”. Osborne, who is 39, could now be struck off by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:12:47 GMT)

House prices 'force Tory MP' back into parents' home
William Wragg, Conservative party MP for Hazel Grove, says he can’t afford to buy a house despite earning £74k a yearA Conservative MP earning £74,000 a year says he has been forced to move back in with his parents because he can’t afford to buy a house.William Wragg, 28, who earns three times the national average wage as MP for Hazel Grove, near Stockport, Greater Manchester, said he had become part of the so-called “boomerang generation” while he saves for a deposit. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:03:40 GMT)

‘You’ve got to be pretty ballsy’ – the perils of cooking when your other half’s a restaurant superstar
The partners of chefs Angela Hartnett, Russell Norman, Monica Galetti, Cyrus Todiwala, José Pizarro and food critic Marina O’Loughlin explain what it’s like to cook for themAccording to tradition (if not basic science), the quickest way to your partner’s heart is to cook them a delicious meal. But what if your partner’s a Masterchef judge? Or a professional chef? Or someone whose day job recently involved ridiculing a restaurant for a chicken parmesan dish that resembled their “nightmarish chicken centipede”? As the nation’s amateur cooks prepare to whip up romantic Valentine’s meals, spare a thought for those whose other halves’ day jobs are enough to set any heart racing. And not in a romantic sense. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:16:12 GMT)

Guardian Live | How do we pay for the NHS we want?
Is it time for a radical rethink of the way we pay for the care we expect? Our panel of experts debate their vision for the future 7.56pm GMT Anita Charlesworth says there is a real challenge. The OECD concluded in a major study that one system was better than the other. Really, he says, it was about how they were run. 7.53pm GMT Polly Toynbee says it’s true: money has to be found, and ultimately from people’s pockets. “You can call it insurance, but it’s still tax,” she says. “It’s still going to be an amount or another which households are going to have to pay.”The reason, she says, why other countries have insurance-based systems is historic. Toynbee: hypothecated tax is one option for funding the NHS #ThisIsTheNHS Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:57:28 GMT)

Cameron v Corbyn PMQs verdict: what was Corbyn's cheeky badge about?
Labour leader, wearing a cheeky badge, was best when he allowed himself to sound angry but PM was effective by engaging properly with questionsJeremy Corbyn stuck to one subject this week – housing, prompted by an email from “Rosie”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:00:43 GMT)

Peterborough United v West Bromwich Albion: FA Cup fourth round replay – live!
Live updates from the FA Cup replay at London RoadEmail scott.murray@theguardian.com with your musingsFry sees bright future ahead for Peterborough 8.04pm GMT 17 min: McAuley has twanged his hamstring while in hot pursuit of Coulthirst. He can’t continue. He departs the scene, and it takes his replacement Pocognoli a good two minutes to get his tracksuit off. And now the ball’s back in play, with no chance to get the sub on. Can you imagine how many litres of steam are coming out of Tony Pulis’s lugs? 8.01pm GMT 15 min: A corner for West Brom on the left. It’s a total non-event. The home team are enjoying themselves here. They break upfield, and Fox has a lash from an absurd distance out on the left. Foster gathers easily enough, but the home side are obviously under orders to give it a go from all angles. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:04:31 GMT)

Steve Bell on Jeremy Hunt and the NHS – cartoon
Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:58:04 GMT)

Vinyl's fatal flaws: nostalgia overload and antihero dependency
HBO’s new show has a stunning opening, but it’s ultimately a middle-aged white man’s idea of the glory days – and it desperately wants you to think it’s coolThe opening scene of Vinyl, the new HBO show about the record industry in the 70s, is absolutely perfect. Label owner Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) does a few bumps of coke and then stumbles in and sees the New York Dolls, in their best makeup and finery, jamming out Personality Crisis. The crowd is hip and raucous, the band is an absolute spectacle, and director Martin Scorsese captures the action perfectly, with the swoosh of hair and fringed jackets slowed down in a gorgeous whirl. It’s enough to make you want to be there, right in that moment, and never leave. That is exactly the problem with Vinyl. Related: Gimme celluloid: a history of Mick Jagger on film Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:43:32 GMT)

New Harry Potter book coming out in July: the play script
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II will be published the day after the play begins in London, picking up the wizard’s story 19 years after the final novel in the seriesHarry Potter author JK Rowling’s script of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is going to be published as a book moments after midnight on 31 July.Timed to coincide with the boy wizard’s birthday, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II will be published by Little, Brown in the UK and Scholastic in the US. As well as Harry’s birthday, it is also the day after the play opens in London. Pottermore, JK Rowling’s online encyclopedia for the Harry Potter universe, will simultaneously publish the ebook edition. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:57:41 GMT)

Eating your placenta – is it healthy or just weird?
Celebrities like January Jones and the Kardashians are doing it. But is the practice of placentophagy simply a fad, or are there actual health benefits to consuming one’s own placenta?According to one cookbook on the subject, you can mix your raw placenta with yoghurt and fruit in a blender and make a smoothie. Or add it to ground beef in a lasagna recipe. Or make chocolate truffles out of it. Dice it, slice it, sauté it with onions, dehydrate it and grind it up – it seems there’s no wrong way to eat placenta.The practice of placentophagy – the formal name for eating the placenta for health benefits – has been having a moment. What was once an extremely fringe movement has been given a boost by celebrity endorsements from January Jones to the Kardashians. Articles describing personal experiences have popped up everywhere from XOJane to the New York Times. Advocates cite its ability to boost milk production, fight postpartum depression, reduce pain and increase energy in new mothers. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:05:39 GMT)

What's the point of music? Ask Peter Gabriel
Whether releasing sadness or sending shivers down our spines, the songs in our ‘emotional toolbox’ can transform daily life … if we learn how to use themMusic is so much a part of almost all our lives that it seems peculiar to stop and ask what it might be for. It just appears straightforwardly to benefit us in ways that are too diverse and ineffable to start to take apart; this might be one arena where we keep the dread hand of the theorists away. Musicians themselves have tended to reinforce such an approach, rarely venturing to supply an additional prose commentary around what their chords are already communicating.Music opens up channels of feeling dammed by habit, excessive individualism or the demands of daily life Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:31:34 GMT)

Ancient Greek manuscripts reveal life lessons from the Roman empire
Newly translated textbooks from the second and sixth centuries aimed at language learners also provide pointers on shopping, bathing, dining and how to deal with drunk relativesEver been unsure about how to deal with a drunken family member returning from an orgy? A collection of newly translated textbooks aimed at Greek speakers learning Latin in the ancient world might hold the solution.Professor Eleanor Dickey travelled around Europe to view the scraps of material that remain from ancient Latin school textbooks, or colloquia, which would have been used by young Greek speakers in the Roman empire learning Latin between the second and sixth centuries AD. The manuscripts, which Dickey has brought together and translated into English for the first time in her forthcoming book Learning Latin the Ancient Way: Latin Textbooks in the Ancient World, lay out everyday scenarios to help their readers get to grips with life in Latin. Subjects range from visiting the public baths to arriving at school late – and dealing with asozzled close relative. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:00:22 GMT)

Disruption to women's lives caused by periods needs more research
Oxford University study calls for better evaluation of methods designed to help the millions of girls and women who avoid school and work while menstruatingMillions of girls and women avoid school and work while they are menstruating because of stigma and inadequate hygiene, yet too little research has been done to assess the effectiveness of programmes designed to address the problem, says an Oxford University study.Programmes to support menstruating women vary wildly, with no comprehensive review of what works best or why. As a result, governments, international organisations and local charities may be investing funds and resources in programmes that could be more efficient, according to the paper published on Wednesday in the journal Plos One. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:00:23 GMT)

My mum left me before I was three. Now I can finally move on
Reading my care files gave me a factual account of my own childhood – and a stronger sense of identityI only met Jane Smith* once but I have a lot to thank her for. When I was seven years old Jane, my social worker, came to visit me in my bedroom at my grandparent’s flat where my mum had left me a few years before. Shortly after this visit Jane wrote a report to the local magistrate’s court detailing why I should continue to live with my grandparents and not be returned to the care of my mum and step-dad. Related: Same-sex fostering: 'One parent didn’t want their child raised by us' Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 09:26:53 GMT)

David Cameron’s mother has spoken out against cuts - will her son finally listen? | Patrick Butler
Mary Cameron has signed a petition against the closure of children’s services in Oxfordshire. The austerity programme is set to lead to rebellion by rural ToriesThe prime minister’s mother, Mary Cameron, has signed a petition against the planned closure of children’s services in Oxfordshire, the Tory-run council that covers her son David’s Witney constituency. There is a delicious piquancy to her act of rebellion – cue Twitter fantasies that her wayward son faces a maternal dressing down over Sure Start cuts, and might even be sent to the “naughty step”. Related: David Cameron's mother signs petition against cuts to children's services Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:01:17 GMT)

An even Bigger Splash: why David Hockney's pop-art poem lives on
Tilda Swinton’s new erotic thriller shares the enigmatic title of Hockney’s Californian masterpiece, co-opting its eerie drama and languid intensity A Bigger Splash review: entertainingly oddball psychodrama Some painters – and some paintings – are the silent type. They fear language. Their art is a wordless enigma. Caravaggio left almost no trace of his speech, let alone any writing. The court cases his violent life led to are the only record of the way he accounted for himself, verbally. His paintings are great frozen moments of wordless power. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:27:30 GMT)

Top 10 books for the broken-hearted
If Valentine’s Day is an unwelcome reminder of what has become of your love life, you can find solace at the bookshop. Here are 10 literary highlights for the lovelornSome relationships ebb away, petering to their end. There is loneliness and ambivalence after this kind of breakup, no doubt. But there is another altogether more visceral kind – the brutal, sudden and sometimes unexpected end to love, which is experienced like a death. For this, some serious heartbreak literature is required. The heroine in my new novel Missing, Presumed, suffers just such an emotional karate chop. Ghosting appears to be the modern term for it, though it’s as old as the hills. In Thomas Hardy’s day, someone would stop cycling to your village. Today, you can find yourself cut dead by WhatsApp.In my novel, Manon Bradshaw is felled by the end of a relationship that had offered her great hope. She is 39 and once again facing loneliness, after brief respite. If I could hand her a stack of books to help her through the snotty-tissue stage, these are the ones I would choose. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:06:40 GMT)

Back to the future of programming: Usborne revives 1980s coding books for children
From Machine Code For Beginners to Computer Spacegames, the books that taught a generation of children to program have returned for freeA generation of children in the 1980s learned about programming from a series of computing books by Usborne Publishing. Now the company has rereleased them in free digital versions.Originally aimed at children learning to program their ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro and Commodore 64 computers, the series included books like Practical Things To Do With a Microcomputer, Machine Code for Beginners, and Write Your Own Adventure Programs. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:51:02 GMT)

Suede review – perfect performance by the best older band around
Albert Hall, ManchesterBrett Anderson and co act their age and yet turn back the clock in an exhilarating gig that covers mature new ground as well as past glories Suede’s Brett Anderson recently told the Guardian that he sometimes has difficulty reconciling the duties of being a parent with being a rock star. There are no such problems here, as the 48-year-old demonstrates the manual of how to front a band. Shirt unbuttoned, he holds the mic with one hand and stretches out the other, before falling to his knees. This is all behind a semi-translucent screen: the singer is only fleetingly visible, yet is clearly giving it everything he’s got. Related: Suede's Brett Anderson: ‘There's a balance between sounding like yourself and not being a self-parody' Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:09:40 GMT)

The internet of things: how your TV, car and toys could spy on you
As our homes get ‘smart’, the US intelligence chief has said the data involved could be used for surveillance. Here’s how that could affect us allCan your smart TV spy on you? Absolutely, says the US director of national intelligence. The ever-widening array of “smart” web-enabled devices pundits have dubbed the internet of things [IoT] is a welcome gift to intelligence officials and law enforcement, according to director James Clapper.“In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper told the Senate in public testimony on Tuesday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:00:00 GMT)

Bjarke Ingels to design 2016 Serpentine pavilion – but he's not the only one
Julia Peyton-Jones’s swansong as gallery director includes four more summer houses in Kensington Gardens, designed by architects aged between 36 and 93“Bigamy” is how the maverick Danish architect Bjarke Ingels describes the work of his practice, the Bjarke Ingels Group (or BIG), which has been announced as the designer of this year’s Serpentine Gallery pavilion. “Why have one when you can have both?” he often quips, in defence of his gleefully pluralist architectural approach.It is a philosophy that now seems to have been adopted by the Serpentine too. Not content with having just one pavilion on its Kensington Gardens lawn this summer, it has commissioned four more architects to design a series of summer houses to go with it. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 11:00:09 GMT)

Valencia v Barcelona: Copa del Rey semi-final second leg – live!
Barça bring 7-0 aggregate lead into return leg at ValenciaTweet Bryan at @BryanAGraham with any thoughtsOr email him at bryan.graham@theguardian.com 8.05pm GMT 4 min: A wonderful ball played forward to Munir, who wraps it back to Sandro on the edge of the box. His shot sails well over the crossbar but a semi-dangerous chance early for the visitors. 8.02pm GMT 2 min: Entire oceans of empty seats here at the Mestalla. Morale is low. Both sides trading possession mostly in the middle third. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:05:11 GMT)

Premier League ticket prices: supporters from all 20 clubs give their verdicts
There is a lot of anger at many clubs over expensive tickets, but Leicester, Stoke and Swansea are among the clubs who are praised in our comprehensive survey, which suggests that the maximum price of a ticket should be around £30How angry/happy are you with your club’s ticket prices and what measures would you like to see to bring prices down? Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:20:14 GMT)

ITF to face government select committee over secret banning of umpires
• Governing body will be asked to explain why bans were not made public• Conservative MP Damian Collins says revelations are a ‘wake-up call’Tennis authorities will be asked by a Parliamentary committee why they kept sanctions secret against umpires who had been banned for betting offences, amid calls from MPs for a specialist sport crime unit to help deal with the issue. Related: Revealed: tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling scam Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:05:31 GMT)

Who will win the Premier League title? Guardian writers pick their winners
With the top four teams facing each other on Sunday, we asked eight of our writers to pick their title winners, as well as their combined XI from those clubsThis prediction is delivered with the caveat that I was one of those sceptics who envisaged a season of toil and, ultimately, relegation for Leicester in the wake of their appointment of Claudio Ranieri, and is offered up in the hope it will not now jinx them. But their campaign can become the most remarkable ever witnessed in the revamped Premier League. Ranieri’s side have the momentum, belief and underlying quality, as demonstrated so emphatically at the Etihad Stadium last Saturday. Their confidence will propel them until they belatedly realise the trophy is tantalisingly within reach though, by then, they will hope the other contenders have been cramped by their own anxieties. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 11:12:45 GMT)

Nestlé pulls out of IAAF sponsorship deal over public-image concerns
• Nestlé’s withdrawal follows in the footsteps of Adidas• Company cites ‘negative public perception regarding corruption and doping’The fallout from athletics’ corruption and doping scandals continued on Wednesday as Nestlé terminated its sponsorship of the IAAF’s global Kids Athletics scheme a year early because it felt the link was damaging its public image.It is another blow to the sport’s global governing body. Last month Adidas reportedly pulled out of a contract worth about £5.6m a year which was due to end in 2020, although its logo is still on the IAAF’s website. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:12:29 GMT)

Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside dies aged 63
• Gartside joined club board in 1988, becoming chairman in 1999• ‘This is a very sad day for everybody associated with Bolton Wanderers’Bolton Wanderers have announced the death of Phil Gartside, their chairman since 1999, at the age of 63.Gartside stepped back from his club duties three months ago when his family revealed he was seriously ill, at which point his role in attempting to alleviate Bolton’s financial difficulties was taken over by the former Chelsea and Leeds financial adviser Trevor Birch. The latter has been attempting to sell the club, presently some £172m in debt after the owner, Eddie Davies, withdrew further funding long after Bolton’s parachute payments from the Premier League ran out. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:30:00 GMT)

Wales will not risk Dan Biggar against Scotland unless he is fully fit
• Biggar strained his left ankle in draw against Ireland• Wales will leave a decision on Biggar’s fitness as late as possibleWales will not play Dan Biggar against Scotland on Saturday if he has not fully recovered from the ankle injury that forced the outside-half off the field 20 minutes into the weekend draw against Ireland in Dublin. Related: Ireland’s Jonny Sexton holds nerve to seal Six Nations draw with Wales Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:21:13 GMT)

Rory McIlroy sees Phoenix Open fan the flames of golf’s future | Ewan Murray
Sporting, commercial and charitable success working hand in hand at Arizona venue and the sport must take notice of a tournament in rude healthAn antidote to tales of golf’s demise, added to further examples of the sport working for a greater good, arrived once again from Arizona at the weekend.The Waste Management Phoenix Open has not so much evolved as a tournament since moving to Scottsdale in 1987 as blasted into a fresh commercial stratosphere. The numbers attached to this event are quite staggering. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:44:11 GMT)

Arsenal ‘nicked’ the wrong scout from Leicester, says Gary Lineker
• Leicester fan Lineker says Steve Walsh deserves praise for recruitment• ‘He’s done a brilliant job and that’s been the large key to Leicester’s success’Gary Lineker has suggested Leicester City’s title rivals Arsenal “nicked the wrong scout” after the man credited with helping to sign two of Claudio Ranieri’s star performers, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kanté, left the Premier League leaders.Ben Wrigglesworth announced this week on social media that he is joining Sunday’s opponents after more than three years at Leicester. The Leicester assistant manager, Steve Walsh, was also linked with a move to Arsenal in December but the former England striker and Match of the Day host Lineker, who says his boyhood club’s achievements so far this season have been “magical”, believes Walsh is the man who deserves most credit for recruitment at the club. Continue reading...
(Tue, 09 Feb 2016 23:49:00 GMT)

England include Liam Dawson in their 15-man squad for World Twenty20
• Trevor Bayliss admits he has not seen Hampshire batsman play• Mahela Jayawardene rejoins coaching team for opening stagesEngland have named the uncapped Liam Dawson in their 15-man squad for next month’s World Twenty20 in India, while the former Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene will form part of the coaching team for the opening 10 days of the tournament.Steven Finn, who has missed the limited over series against South Africa due to a side strain, has also been included in the squad alongside Dawson. However, England’s head coach, Trevor Bayliss, admits he has not seen the Hampshire player play before. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 09:02:00 GMT)

Jessica Ennis-Hill’s coach: Britain should move Rio 2016 camp over zika virus
• Toni Minichiello wants preparation to take place outside Brazil• ‘We should be looking at finding a camp that minimises the risk’Britain should move its preparation camp for the Rio Olympic Games outside Brazil to minimise the risk of catching the Zika virus, Jessica Ennis-Hill’s coach said, adding he would not encourage the reigning heptathlon champion to defend her title. Related: 'Everyone is catching it': Venezuelans fear the worst as Zika infections rise Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:25:53 GMT)

Concussion questions haunt BMX after Dave Mirra's death
Although there is no definitive evidence CTE contributed to the X Games legend’s death, the issue is becoming a concern for many professional ridersWhen BMX freestyler Jamie Bestwick first started his career riding ramps and performing gravity-defying tricks, he landed on his head so hard his helmet split.Even though he was knocked cold and forgot he was at a beach event rather than far away in his home town, Bestwick was back competing the next day. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:00:23 GMT)

Eddie Jones wants faster, fitter England by end of Six Nations
• Jones hints at changes for Italy game on Sunday• Maro Itoje and Josh Beaumont closer to senior debutsEddie Jones believes his England squad are not fit enough to challenge the world’s best teams and wants his players to deliver a faster brand of rugby against Italy on Sunday. Changes are also set to be made to the starting XV that beat Scotland last Saturday.There will not be sweeping alterations to England’s team but Jones says he may “conceivably pick a faster pack” as he seeks to transform last autumn’s World Cup plodders. The uncapped Maro Itoje and Josh Beaumont have been retained in a 25-man squad for the Italian job, with Jack Clifford and Mako Vunipola also pushing hard. With 15 forwards named, Jones could possibly opt for a 6:2 bench split; either way, the 21-year-old Itoje and Beaumont, 22, are edging ever closer to senior debuts. Continue reading...
(Tue, 09 Feb 2016 22:00:04 GMT)

Football teams of players with names of places from a single country | The Knowledge
Plus: players who have appeared at multiple major tournaments in the same country, and more tattoos. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet us @TheKnowledge_GU“Me and a friend were recently discussing footballers whose surnames matched up with the main Scottish cities – Justin Edinburgh, Sean Dundee etc,” muses Graeme Coleman. “Can anyone name an entire team of 11 players whose surnames match up to cities/towns within a single country?”Well, it’s fair to say we had a few emails in about this one. The youth of today might be all about computer video games, Pogs and happy slapping but we’re delighted to report that the readers of The Knowledge fill the hours by considering which footballers have the same names as places. So here we go … Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:08:04 GMT)

Victoria Pendleton racecourse jumps debut scheduled for Fakenham
• Ex-Olympic cyclist will ride Cheltenham Festival mount Pacha Du Polder• Amateur rider will get the leg up next week at Norfolk trackFakenham racecourse in Norfolk, one of the country’s smallest tracks, can look forward to an afternoon in the spotlight next week after it was chosen as an ideal course for the former Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton to make her racecourse chasing debut.Pendleton will line up for Fakenham’s first hunter chase of the season on 19 February aboard Pacha Du Polder, the horse that she hopes to ride in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham in March. Her attempt to switch from cycling to race-riding is being supported by Betfair, which will also sponsor next week’s race, the sixth on a seven-race card. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:55:01 GMT)

The postcode lottery of new mothers' mental health services
With one in 10 women developing a mental illness during or after pregnancy, including postpartum psychosis, not all are lucky enough to be cared for in a specialist mother and baby unitThe arrival of a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest times of a woman’s life. But for a sizeable minority, it takes a heavy toll on their mental health, posing a risk to the welfare of mother and baby alike.More than one in 10 women develop a mental illness while expecting a child or in the first year after giving birth. For about 40,000 women it is severe and in extreme cases necessitates admitting mother and baby to a specialist unit. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:00:39 GMT)

What happened when Isis visited A&E – video
In 2013, consultant vascular surgeon David Nott was working in Aleppo, Syria, helping to deal with gunshot wounds. One day, the doors of his operating theatre burst open and in rushed members of Islamic State. This is what happened next Disclaimer: all patients have been anonymised Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 08:51:48 GMT)

The day the NHS saved my life: I lost nearly all my body's blood after giving birth
I needed an operation and lifesaving transfusion when my placenta became stuck – and the care didn’t stop thereI was feeling pretty pleased with how the birth of my son, Elliott, had gone. It certainly hadn’t been easy, but it had been relatively straightforward and had taken just seven hours from the first contraction – which I was told is unusual for someone having their first child. I was on a high.And then I noticed the blood. At first, the midwives in the birth centre didn’t think it was anything to worry about. But when it didn’t stop it soon it became clear my placenta was stuck. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:00:50 GMT)

Breaking bones is not entertainment. Reality TV has gone too far | Anna Nolan
As a contestant on the first series of Big Brother, I know reality TV tests people’s limits. But The Jump is putting participants’ safety at risk – and that is unacceptableFifteen years ago, I stepped inside a light blue prefab building on the outskirts of east London. I had said goodbye to some family and friends and entered a building that had more than 20 cameras. I would be filmed nonstop for 63 nights and 64 days. I was part of the first Big Brother and genuinely hadn’t a clue what was ahead of me. Little did I know that would be the start of a reality television boom that has now left an Olympic medallist with fractured vertebrae.I remember walking into the house and being overwhelmed. Everyone seemed to be talking really loudly. The energy was intense, and I felt awkward. I said my hellos, went into the bedroom and chose my bed. One does strange things in a reality show. Coming from a family of seven children helped me quickly adapt into this strange, brand-new environment. This, I knew on the first day, was going to be a rollercoaster. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:23:51 GMT)

Birmingham bombings: police botched the case. But it shouldn’t be reopened | Chris Mullin
My book pointed out how the police never looked for the real IRA bombers. It’s 40 years too late, and reopening the case will raise expectations that cannot be fulfilledThe news that relatives of some of the Birmingham pub bombing victims are trying to persuade the coroner to reopen the inquest into their deaths has inevitably led to demands for a new investigation into this most heinous of crimes. Sadly, it comes 40 years too late.Had there been a serious investigation at the outset, I have no doubt the bombers could have been caught. Contrary to the official version of events, the real killers, having planted their bombs, did not walk the few yards to New Street station and board the boat train for Ireland. They went home and kept their heads down. They were all still in Birmingham weeks – in at least one case months – after the bombings. The problem was the police weren’t looking for them. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:25:51 GMT)

Why not sleep with the enemy? Politics is all about seduction
There is no point in campaigning if anyone who thinks differently is to be spurnedA world exists where one is able to mix only with those who already know what is right. It is populated by those who are happy to discuss differences as long as they are not actual differences. Here, a political mindset is spread as nonchalantly as unsalted butter on a rice cake. For argument’s sake, let call this known centre of the universe “north London”. This is the land peopled with the first beings in the history of mankind to reproduce, with the result that they need juggernaut buggies to remind us all of this fact. Related: I may have kissed a Tory, but I’d be unlikely to marry one | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:10:47 GMT)

If Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t float your boat, here are five truly romantic lines | Daisy Buchanan
Many women seem to think Leo’s parting lines in James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster Titanic are the pinnacle of romance. They’re wrongApparently, 11% of British women believe that Titanic contains the most romantic line ever uttered in literature or film. Not “the most romantic line from a film released in 1997”, or even “the most romantic line spoken while both parties were submerged in a large body of cold water”. More than one in 10 women surveyed thought the work of Shelley, Keats and Byron has less romantic resonance than Leo’s “Promise me you’ll survive.”Given that Kate Winslet recently revealed what we all know – that there was definitely room for Jack on the raft – the whole scene seems to owe more to Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty than Love Story. Yet a sizable proportion of us still reckon love is never having to say you’re sorry as you watch the man who painted you in the nuddy losing his lung capacity. It was the third most popular choice in the survey. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:56:42 GMT)

Don't reduce debate on Hillary Clinton and women voters to a cat-fight
The arguments among feminists of different generations about who to back in the Democratic race are more nuanced and complicated than has been portrayedAs Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in an expected but stark loss in New Hampshire, she told her audience of supporters: “I know I have some work to do, particularly with young people.”What she didn’t say, but political analysts have been abuzz about, is that it’s not just young people – 83% of whom voted for Bernie Sanders this week – that Clinton is worried about. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:30:23 GMT)

I’m starting to hate the EU. But I will vote to stay in | George Monbiot
On jobs, health and wildlife, the European Union is often all that stands between us and unfettered corporate powerBy instinct, like many on the left, I am a European. I recognise that many issues – perhaps most – can no longer be resolved only within our borders. Among them are grave threats to our welfare and our lives: climate change and the collapse of the living world; the spread of epidemics whose vectors are corporations (obesity, diabetes and diseases associated with smoking, alcohol and air pollution); the global wealth-grab by the very rich; antibiotic resistance; terrorism and conflict.I recognise that the only legitimate corrective to transnational power is transnational democracy. So I want to believe; I want to belong. But it seems to me that all that is good about the European Union is being torn down, and all that is bad enhanced and amplified. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:00:18 GMT)

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz fail to understand that torture doesn’t work | Clive Stafford Smith
If false confessions are what the Republican presidential hopefuls want, then sleep deprivation and waterboarding are perfect. If they want useful information, they will be disappointedOne of life’s enduring mysteries is how intent politicians seem to be on ignoring the lessons of history. One recent example involves torture. There was once a consensus that torture was immoral; even today, any sensible person knows torture is of little use if you want accurate information. Yet the current crop of Republican presidential candidates have been trying to outbid one another with promises of barbarism: Senator Ted Cruz confirmed that he favours simulated drowning, which he classifies as an “enhanced interrogation technique” (EIT) that falls short of torture. (The Spanish Inquisition was rather more honest, and called it tortura del agua.) “The Donald” immediately trumped his rival: he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”. Related: Donald Trump: I'd bring back 'a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding' Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:40:00 GMT)

Britain’s comprehensive schools are being wiped out. Here’s how it’s being done | Lola Okolosie
It’s an odd way to conduct education policy – promoting academies and starving schools of funds. But what’s really worrying is how powerless parents are in the process“Academies raise standards”, or so we have been told. As Melissa Benn and Janet Downs write in their excellent book The Truth About Our Schools, this is a myth that has “taken on the force of a quasi-biblical truth in public life”. Announced often, its utterance alone has become the basis of its validity. This is an odd way to conduct educational policy. Facts should really speak for themselves, but this doesn’t seem to be the case where academies are concerned. Related: 'Massively' improved state schools threaten private sector Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:50:19 GMT)

Cries of liberté, égalité, fraternité will not puncture Premier League bubble | Marina Hyde
Anfield’s walkout may have sparked revolutionary talk but fans on the ground are seen as an added bonus for clubs in the age of multibillion pound TV dealsThere’s an uncomfortable moment in Robert Altman’s Hollywood satire The Player, during the morning meeting of a major studio’s top executives. “Let me ask you,” inquires one mischievous hotshot, who already knows the answer lies lost in the mists of time. “When was the last time you bought a ticket to see a movie? You actually paid your own money?”A similar question might be asked of today’s Premier League executives, to say nothing of the owners, and would doubtless provoke similarly uncomfortable looks. When was the last time they bought a ticket? Perhaps you’d find the odd one who’d gone along to something non-league last season, and really liked to bang on about it, or a few who once took their kid to an away game for which they weren’t comped. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:49:33 GMT)

Humanitarian efforts in Aleppo are at breaking point – this war has to end | Dalia Al-Awqati
Aid teams in northern Syria are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the numbers of refugees, but no amount of money and supplies can end Syria’s suffering. That must come from politiciansAs the sun sets over the road to Azaz, a city north of Aleppo near the Turkish border, a steady stream of people – most on foot – walk in one direction. Women hold tightly to the hands of loved ones; men carry children on their shoulders; entire families flee with what few belongings they can carry on their backs or push through the streets. Not a soul heads west towards the setting sun. Instead, they all move en masse toward the Turkish border. There is an unspoken truth these brave people share among themselves: they fear the siege of Aleppo, which pre-war was Syria’s largest city, is about to begin. Related: What happens next in Aleppo will shape Europe’s future | Natalie Nougayrède Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:00:04 GMT)

Finally, pornography is doing its bit to save the whales | Tim Dowling
The sex industry isn’t the most obvious philanthropist, but conservation needs all the help it can getPresented with one or more of the innumerable crises currently facing our ailing planet, it’s easy to succumb to frustration; to think, “But what can someone like me do to help?” By this one usually means, “What can I do that doesn’t involve giving any money, or sacrificing anything, or looking up from my computer screen?”To the two most common courses of action – “nothing” and “retweet the outrage of others” – we may now add a third: “watch porn”. From now until the end of the month, Pornhub – a sort of giant online sex video clearing house - is mounting a campaign to save the whales, through its “official philanthropic division”, Pornhub Cares. The oceans, you may have heard, are Not Safe for Whales (or NSFW, as it’s commonly abbreviated), and Pornhub wants to put that right. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:34:16 GMT)

Why do the French protest so much? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Jessica Reed
Every day millions of internet users ask Google some of life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries Have you ever lived with a partner you loved very much and with whom life would be perfect – if only they could … change? That’s how the French feel about their government. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 09:16:33 GMT)

This Dublin gun violence bears all the hallmarks of paramilitary involvement | Tom Clonan
As the international poster child for austerity, Ireland isn’t equipped to deal with the rise in serious gun crime that has links to ex-terrorists and drug traffickersIs Dublin in the grip of a vicious crime war? Two execution-style gangland murders in the space of a week – one at a crowded boxing event at a hotel in the Irish capital – have caused widespread shock and just weeks before a general election, political consternation.Ireland’s homicide rate is broadly similar to its EU neighbours. It stands at about 1.1 per 100,000 citizens on an annual basis. This is slightly higher than the UK, with a homicide rate of 0.96 per 100,000. France is slightly higher again at 1.2 persons per 100,000. Ireland’s central statistics office states that a total of 1,068 Irish people died by homicide between 2004 and 2014. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:24:14 GMT)

I may have kissed a Tory, but I’d be unlikely to marry one | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
In our polarised political landscape, it doesn’t take a YouGov poll to tell us that sleeping with the enemy doesn’t make for domestic harmonyNever kissed a Tory and got the T-shirt to prove it? It’s not a garment I have hanging in my own wardrobe – it wouldn’t be true. But then we all make mistakes (and some of them wear chinos).While some would argue that sleeping with the enemy makes you a political traitor, others believe that it’s useful to know them even in the biblical sense. Shagging someone from the dark side certainly has the capacity to upset your parents, according to a new YouGov survey suggesting that British political party supporters are becoming increasingly entrenched and partisan. The proportion of parents who would be “very upset” if their offspring married someone of a different political persuasion has more than doubled in eight years, with 28% of Labour supporters saying they would be unhappy if their son or daughter married a Tory and one in five Tories saying the same of a Labour son- or daughter-in-law. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:38:58 GMT)

As a doctor, I pledged to ‘do no harm’ – so I must strike against unsafe care | Harriet Nerva
The government plans to staff a seven-day service with a five-day workforce already stretched to breaking point. Patients will sufferA key ethical principle of my job as a doctor is to “do no harm” to my patients. Any procedure performed, or treatment or medicine given to a patient, has benefits and disadvantages. It is my role to balance these in the best interests of the patient to provide high quality, safe care. I, along with all NHS staff, must be an advocate of safe care for my patient. That is why I must and will take industrial action today. Related: Junior doctors strike: Hunt claims 43% of doctors working – live updates Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:27:11 GMT)

Gay men deserve three-dimensional role models, not TV’s stereotypes | Andrew McMillan
US shows such as Looking offer a more diverse portrayal of gay life, but we have a long way to go before LGBT characters stop being defined by their sexualityIn a 2003 episode of Will and Grace, Fagmalion, Will (the sensible, career-driven one who’s always the butt of fat jokes) and Jack (the promiscuous, youth-obsessed one who’s always jumping between jobs and lovers) decide to embark on a kind of “gay renovation” of cousin Barry. One day Barry arrives at Will’s flat, bemoaning the cost and lack of comfort of a new pair of Gucci loafers, to which Jack and Will respond: “Choosing fashion over comfort, living beyond his means ... Boy George, he’s got it!”It’s scenes like these that research being carried out by Anglia Ruskin University is getting at when it comments that gay men, faced with “seemingly positive stereotypes” risk potential damage as certain shows “paint gay men as one-dimensional figures and prevent people from seeing someone’s true personality”. If only the biggest problem facing young gay men in this country was that the stereotypes they were exposed to were too positive, and thus damaged their self-esteem. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:09:36 GMT)

I wish I weren't the only girl in my computer science class
I’m determined to do well in a traditionally male area, and I think more girls should consider doing Stem subjectsAre you a sixth-form student with something to get off your chest? Here’s how to blog for usI’m 17, and I’m the only girl in my computer science class. I’m pretty much the same as my classmates, only shorter. I expected a large majority of my classmates to be male, but being the only girl is slightly mind-blowing. I also study engineering, and am hugely outnumbered in that too. People think it’s unusual for me to study a subject that is associated with boys and leads to what is generally considered a man’s job. Stem subjects are still male dominated: nearly four out of five of those who took A-level physics in 2012 were male. And only about half of female Stem graduates go on to work in Stem roles. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:13:13 GMT)

Even if Ipsa thinks MPs deserve a fresh pay rise, it is not the time to give it
Since they had a £7,000 increase only last April, it seems unusually stupid to force a rise on MPs in a time of biting austerityOh dear. MPs’ pay is about to rise again, this time by £1,000 a year. It is rarely easy to give politicians more money, and never popular. Since they had a catchup rise of £7,000 taking them to £74,000 a year only last April, it seems unusually stupid of the authorities to force a rise on them now when austerity is biting hard in so many directions.Why do they do it? The answer, dear reader, is partly your fault. Voters were so cross when the parliamentary expenses scandal finally broke in 2009 – itself a direct consequence of political cowardice in the face of the electorate – that Gordon Brown, then David Cameron, shoved responsibility for setting pay and expenses rates, plus their enforcement, into the hands of an independent body. Independent? Must be OK. Job done? Of course not. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:38:44 GMT)

Lent: six bleak weeks that unite faithful churchgoers and Facebook oversharers | Ian Martin
We can all get behind this period of hardship and hope – even people who are just trying to ‘get into shape for spring’Ash Wednesday. So begins the longest six weeks of the year, whatever you believe. We’re all waiting for spring. Lent carries the ghostly resonance of that ancient, precarious time between the end of the winter larder and the first of the spring crops. A period of hardship and hope, everyone aching for nature’s resurrection. Ash Wednesday, for the faithful, marks the beginning of a long, bleak road to Good Friday. And I mean really long and bleak. Imagine coming off the M25 at junction 29 and then heading along the A127, but so slowly that it takes you six weeks to reach Basildon, and then when you get there everything’s shut and God is dead and it remains Basildon.Lent has always been religious and not at the same time. You don’t have to be shiny-eyed and wearing an adult Minions jumper to give something up. “Count your blessings,” is the point. Deny yourself something you like, reflect that you’re lucky to have it, feel grateful to be able to have it again. And how very British, this tradition of having one last hedonistic fling before the shutters come down and calling it Pancake Day. It’s not Mardi Gras, is it? You’re not in New Orleans snorting and guzzling your way through some high-risk bacchanal. You’re not in your pants having a fist fight with Tennessee Williams, are you? You’re in Bury St Edmonds, you’ve had three pancakes and it’s a school night. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:10:18 GMT)

Black-cab drivers' Uber protest brings London traffic to a standstill
Organisers say about 8,000 drivers took part to highlight threat to their trade from TfL’s licensing of taxi-hailing appTaxi drivers brought central London to a standstill to highlight the threats to their trade from Uber and changing regulation. Organisers said about 8,000 drivers took part in the protest on Wednesday afternoon, as traditional black cabs blocked lanes the length of Whitehall and halted much traffic around Westminster and the West End. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:13:48 GMT)

Bereavement benefits can be paid even if couple were not married, court rules
Victory for mother of four children in Northern Ireland, if upheld on appeal, could add millions to DWP’s benefit bill across the UKThe government faces a flood of legal challenges that could add several hundred million pounds to the UK’s benefit bill after judges ruled bereavement benefits should be paid to a woman even though she was not married to her deceased partner.The ruling, at the high court of justice in Belfast, found that the regulations restricting the payment of a bereavement allowance to Siobhan McLaughlin breached her human rights, potentially making her eligible for tens of thousands of pounds. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:42:56 GMT)

Bank of England's recovery policies have increased inequality, finds S&P
QE and low interest rates have handed extra wealth to richest households by propping up stock markets and supporting booming house prices, says reportBank of England policies to help Britain’s economic recovery have made inequality worse and increased the wealth gap between young and old, according to a leading credit ratings agency.A study by Standard & Poor’s has found thatthe low interest rates and quantitative easing used to rescue the economy after the 2008 crash have handed extra wealth to the richest households by propping up stock markets and supporting booming house prices. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:28:00 GMT)

No permanent ban for Kids Company worker who gave MDMA to client
Health and Care Professions Council bars Helen Winter for 12 months, but panel said to strike her off register would be ‘disproportionate at this stage’A psychologist at Kids Company has avoided being permanently banned from working in the UK after giving class A drugs to a vulnerable young woman she met through the now-defunct charity.Dr Helen Winter admitted taking MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, and being under its influence with two clients of the charity at a nightclub in south London in January 2014. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:57:08 GMT)

Fund managers who ignore climate risk 'could face legal action'
Pension and investment fund managers have a duty to reduce the risk global warming poses to the world economy, green law firm warns Pension and investment fund managers who ignore the risks of climate change face the prospect of legal action, according to financial and legal experts.Global warming poses a systemic risk to the world economy and could significantly cut the value of investments, the experts argue, so those with fiduciary responsibility have a duty to act to reduce that risk, or be taken to court. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:00:21 GMT)

Four UK cases of Zika virus reported since January
Public health expert tells MPs rise in number of cases partly due to publicity about Latin American outbreaksFour cases of Zika, the mosquito-borne virus associated with brain damaged babies in south America, have been discovered in the UK in the last six weeks, Public Health England has said, warning that the number is likely to rise. In total, seven people have been diagnosed with Zika in Britain in the last three years but more than half of those have been reported since January, the body added. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:39:14 GMT)

Deepcut barracks was heavily sexualised and misogynistic, court told
Inquest into death of Pte Cheryl James told that teenager was given ‘rubbish jobs’ after sergeant ‘took a shine to her’The atmosphere at Deepcut barracks was “heavily sexualised, misogynistic and toxic”, with senior male instructors seeing young women as a sexual challenge, an inquest into the death of a teenage recruit has heard.Pte Cheryl James, 18, from Llangollen, north Wales, died from a single gunshot wound to the head while posted on lone guard duty at the Surrey barracks in 1995. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:35:21 GMT)

Digital tech employees are offered 36% higher wage than UK average
Report finds average advertised pay for digital roles is about £50,000, as industry’s combined annual turnover hits £161bnEmployees in the UK’s growing digital technology sector can expect to earn better salaries than in the rest of the economy, according to the latest government-backed analysis of the industry.According to the Tech Nation 2016 report, the average advertised salary in digital roles is just under £50,000, 36% higher than the national average. The advertised pay for such jobs grew by 13% between 2012 and 2015. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:39:07 GMT)

Nicola Sturgeon announces £23m fund to help students from poor backgrounds enter medicine in Scotland
50 more places at medical schools for those from deprived areas and ‘entry level’ programmes among measures planned over five years by first ministerNicola Sturgeon is to spend £23m on boosting the number of students from poor backgrounds at Scottish medical schools after a study found they were dominated by attendees from the most affluent homes.The first minister’s initiative draws heavily on data disclosed by the Guardian that only 4.3% of students at Scotland’s five medical schools came from the poorest 20% of postcodes, with Scottish students more likely to be from private schools or with parents from elite professions. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:22:36 GMT)

UK braced for cold snap with snow forecast to spread south over weekend
Cold weather likely to bring sleet and some snowfall as far south as Derby in latter part of the week, Met Office saysA snow-covered Valentine’s Day could be on the way this weekend, but romantic snowy strolls are probably only on the cards in northern England and Scotland.Colder temperatures are forecast for the rest of the week, with sleet and snowfall likely in some areas overnight, and a dusting of snow over the weekend. Snow has already fallen in Cumbria and parts of Wales. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:44:36 GMT)

Julian Assange should submit to Swedish warrant, says David Cameron
Prime minister dismisses as ridiculous the findings of a UN panel that the WikiLeaks founder was subject to arbitrary detentionJulian Assange should leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London and submit himself to a Swedish arrest warrant over allegations of rape to bring an end to “this whole sorry saga”, the prime minister has said.David Cameron dismissed as “ridiculous” the findings of a UN panel that the WikiLeaks founder had been subject to arbitrary detention as he said that Assange had in fact detained himself. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:06:31 GMT)

Three men found guilty of helping teenage jihadi travel from UK to Syria
Kristen Brekke, Adeel Ulhaq and Forhad Rahman convicted at Old Bailey after Aseel Muthana left Cardiff home to join IsisThree young British men have been found guilty of encouraging and helping a 17-year-old boy to join Islamic State by supplying him with money, equipment, expertise and contacts.Aseel Muthana, from Cardiff, followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Nasser, and their friend Reyaad Khan, when he slipped out of the UK and travelled to Syria to join Isis in February 2014. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:26:32 GMT)

Right to buy puts 40% of ex-council homes in private rental - MPs' report
Forcing councils to sell off homes and extending right to buy will further profit private landlords, Commons’ committee findsForty per cent of ex-council flats sold through right to buy are being rented out more expensively by private landlords, the Commons communities and local government select committee has found. In the committee’s report, released today, MPs expressed concerns about “unresolved issues” with the government’s proposed extension of right to buy to housing associations, and a levy on the sale of vacant council homes. It found that in some areas councils could be forced to sell up to 97% of properties upon vacancy. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:45:23 GMT)

Scotland Stronger in Europe pledges to be 'Project Cheer', not 'Project Fear'
Pro-EU referendum campaign promises to avoid negative tactics for which Better Together campaign was criticisedSenior figures in Scotland’s official pro-EU campaign have promised to run a positive, apolitical campaign in an effort to avoid the divisive and negative atmosphere that marred Scotland’s independence referendum two years ago.Scotland Stronger in Europe unveiled a non-party-political, broad-based advisory group in Edinburgh on Wednesday, chaired by the Muslim academic Professor Mona Siddiqui, in a clear effort to distance itself from the more polarised debate taking place in England. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:26:44 GMT)

Muslim leader fails in bid to bar Donald Trump from entering UK
Kamran Malik fails to get court order to ban US billionaire over remark that parts of London are so radicalised that Met officers fear for their lives A Muslim political leader has failed to win a court order banning Donald Trump from entering the UK for two years. The move at the high court in London is part of Kamran Malik’s legal battle against the billionaire over his claim that parts of the city are so radicalised that Metropolitan police officers fear for their lives. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:41:28 GMT)

Man charged with murder of University of Salford student
Body of 30-year-old William Lound found in flat after man reportedly turned himself in to policeA man has been charged with the murder of a student in halls of residence in Salford, Greater Manchester.The body of computer science student William Lound, 30, was found in a flat in Bramall Court, student accommodation on Cannon Street in Salford, after a man approached a police community support officer to say he had killed someone. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:29:08 GMT)

Former City regulator warns of potential peer-to-peer lending crisis
Lord Turner questions rigorousness of checks on borrowers and says industry losses could emerge that make the worst bankers look like ‘lending geniuses’The former City regulator Lord Turner has warned that losses in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry will make Britain’s worst bankers look like geniuses. Turner said P2P lenders were trying to automate loans that required proper checks on borrowers assets and competence. He said advertising for the lenders should have clear warnings and that only people who can afford to lose their money should take part. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:32:08 GMT)

Hospital's failure to give woman scan at weekend blamed for her death
Coroner attacks Tunbridge Wells hospital’s weekends policy after it delayed CT scan for 69-year-old until Monday and she diedA coroner has criticised a hospital over its failure to send a woman for a potentially life-saving CT scan under “highly unsatisfactory” weekend arrangements.North-west Kent senior coroner Roger Hatch said Sandra Wood, 69, died of natural causes “as a consequence of the failure by Tunbridge Wells hospital to correctly diagnose and treat her”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:02:30 GMT)

Friends of the Earth defends its record on lobbying against fracking
Green group says claims by the head of fracking company Cuadrilla that they had ‘misled’ the charities regulator are an attempt to silence the oppositionFriends of the Earth (FoE) has defended its record on lobbying against shale gas fracking, after accusations from one of the companies involved in drilling that it had acted contrary to its charitable status.The green campaigning organisation sent out a press release last December, applauding the Labour party’s decision to call for a moratorium on fracking, which was posted automatically through its systems to its website. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:59:03 GMT)

Crashing the parties: Sanders and Trump victories vindicate the 'outsiders'
Their rhetoric may have different targets but both brought anti-establishment principles to New Hampshire – and it all points to a shifting political landscapeIt was, agreed both winners, a “yuge” night in American politics.A record number of New Hampshire voters queued in freezing traffic jams until well after polls were due to close to pick a Democrat and Republican candidate to run for president who had, until recently, belonged to neither party. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:09:17 GMT)

US clean power plan setback 'will not affect Paris climate change deal'
Politicians, businesses and campaigners from other countries rally to support Barack Obama after supreme court puts US flagship climate plan on holdThe US commitment to cutting carbon emissions under the landmark Paris agreement remains unaffected by the setback delivered to President Obama’s climate plans by the country’s supreme court, the White House has said.Politicians, businesses and green campaigners from other countries rallied to the support of the president after the US supreme court put a temporary freeze on new rules to clean up coal-fired power plants, the centrepiece of Obama’s climate plan. They insisted that the Paris commitments on tackling emissions would be enforced. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:27:54 GMT)

French MPs vote for enshrining emergency powers in constitution
Measures proposed after November Paris attacks would strip French nationality from convicted terroristsFrench MPs have voted in favour of François Hollande’s controversial package of measures to change the French constitution in response to the Paris terrorist attacks in November.A clear majority of MPs in the lower house of parliament approved the heavily contested measures that would strip convicted terrorists of their French nationality and enshrine the state of emergency powers in the constitution. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:15:33 GMT)

Treasures of modern art to be seen outside Russia for first time
Sergei Shchukin’s collection of more than 250 paintings including works by Picasso and Matisse will be displayed in ParisOne of the world’s greatest private collections of modern art is to go on show for the first time outside Russia, museum curators have said. The collection of more than 250 paintings put together by Sergei Shchukin before the Russian revolution will be displayed in its entirety in October at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris – a major coup for the newly opened gallery. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:50:30 GMT)

US will not rule out Saudi ground troops being sent into Syria
On eve of meeting of 49 defence ministers at Nato HQ, US defence secretary says ‘we need to accelerate the campaign’The US defence secretary has refused to rule out Saudi Arabia sending ground troops into Syria, but added that it was just one option and there were other ways the Saudis could contribute to the fight against Islamic State.Ash Carter was speaking on the eve of a meeting of defence ministers from 49 countries at Nato headquarters to discuss how to step up efforts against Isis in Syria and Iraq. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:30:09 GMT)

At least 12 indigenous Peruvians dead after contracting rabies from bats
Several other people remain sick in remote Achuar villages in Amazon region as authorities rush to Morona river basin to vaccinate peopleAt least 12 people in remote indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon have died from rabies in recent months and several more remain sick after catching the disease from bats, a local governor said on Wednesday. Authorities were rushing to vaccinate people in native Achuar villages near the Morona river basin where the deaths have surged, said Fernando Meléndez, the governor of the Loreto region. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:32:56 GMT)

Nigerian refugee camp hit by double suicide bombing
Officials report at least 56 dead after two women blow themselves up at camp set up in Dikwa for people fleeing Boko HaramTwo female suicide bombers have blown themselves up in a refugee camp in north-east Nigeria, killing at least 56 people, officials have said. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:51:23 GMT)

Poland protests against BBC 'Putinisation' report
Newsnight report ‘Is Poland being Putinised?’ was biased and drew unjustified conclusions according to foreign ministry Poland has formally protested against a BBC report asking if controversial moves by Warsaw’s new right-wing government were “Putinising” the country.A foreign ministry letter addressed to a top BBC executive said a January report on the political crisis in Poland was “biased”, “inaccurate” and drew “unjustified conclusions”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:23:53 GMT)

Yanis Varoufakis launches pan-European leftwing movement DiEM25
Greece’s former finance minister says umbrella group will ‘shake Europe – gently, compassionately, but firmly’Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has launched a new pan-European umbrella group that aims to pull together leftwing parties, grassroots protest movements and “rebel regions” from across the continent.At the launch on Tuesday night, Varoufakis said that the new DiEM25 movement would “shake Europe – gently, compassionately, but firmly”. “Europe will be democratised, or it will disintegrate, and it will do so quite fast”, the self-described “erratic Marxist” said, warning of a return to a “postmodern version of the 1930s”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:44:06 GMT)

Delaware signs symbolic resolution to apologize for slavery
The resolution is a symbolic measure aimed at promoting ‘reconciliation and healing’ and passed overwhelmingly in the state House last weekDelaware’s state government has apologized for its role in slavery and the wrongs of the Jim Crow era, with governor Jack Markell signing a symbolic resolution on Wednesday to atone for the centuries of systemic injustice.Along with signing the resolution passed by state lawmakers last month, Markell presented a proclamation recognizing African American History Month. He also helped unveil an exhibit commemorating the 125th anniversary of historically black Delaware State University. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:28:25 GMT)

French dancer Brahim Zaibat fined €1 for Jean-Marie Le Pen selfie
Before regional elections Zaibat captioned photo of snoozing Front National founder: ‘Knock them out by going out to vote’The French dancer Brahim Zaibat has been fined €1 by a Paris court for taking a selfie with the Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen as he snoozed on a plane.Zaibat, a former lover of Madonna, has been ordered to take down the offending picture, which was tweeted more than 12,000 times after it was posted on 12 December ahead of regional elections in France. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:30:52 GMT)

Spanish judge frees puppeteers jailed for glorifying terrorism
Raul Garcia and Alfonso Lazaro staged show referencing Basque militant group ETA as part of carnival celebrationsA judge has freed two puppeteers who were jailed for glorifying terrorism after they staged a violent puppet show that referred to Basque militant group ETA. Raul Garcia, 34, and Alfonso Lazaro, 29, have been in custody since Saturday for staging the show The Witch and Don Cristobal as part of Madrid’s carnival celebrations. Children and adults were shown scenes depicting the hanging of a judge and the rape of a nun later stabbed to death with a crucifix. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:40:22 GMT)

Romanian court makes history with ruling over communist-era crimes
Efforts to bring to justice communist-era figures accused of wrongdoing given big boost as prison commander’s appeal dismissedIn the first case of its kind since the end of the communist era in Romania, an appeals court in Bucharest has upheld a jail sentence against a prison commander convicted of crimes against humanity for the death of 12 political prisoners more than 50 years ago.Alexandru Visinescu, 90, was sentenced to 20 years in jail last last July after being found guilty of running “a regime of extermination” at the jail outside the small town of Râmnicu Sărat, 90 miles east of the capital, from 1956 to 1963. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:07:02 GMT)

IMF warns Ukraine it will halt $40bn bailout unless corruption stops
Christine Lagarde says it is hard to see the programme continuing ‘without substantial effort’ to improve governanceThe International Monetary Fund has warned it will halt its $40bn (£28bn) bailout programme to Ukraine unless the conflict-torn eastern European country takes immediate action to tackle corruption.The IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, said on Wednesday that “without a substantial new effort” to improve governance, it was hard to see how the Washington-based organisation could continue to provide financial help. Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:30:20 GMT)

Market turmoil: Yellen warns global turbulence and China could hit growth - live
Fed chair has warned that turmoil in global financial markets could knock the US recovery, and hinted that interest rates will only rise graduallyYellen says financial conditions have worsenedYellen: China could hurt US growthYellen: Don’t expect to cut ratesDeutsche Bank shares up, but problems remainEuropean shares recovering from two-year lowsAustralia dragged into bear market 8.01pm GMT Yellen also managed to reassure investors, says Richard Sichel, chief investment officer of Philadelphia Trust Co.Sichel told Reuters that the Fed chair managed to spur some bargain hunting, even through she also flagged up economic risks: “What Yellen said has been taken positively. Stocks in general are cheaper now than they were three days ago or three months ago, so there’s an opportunity to step in.” 7.59pm GMT Cornerstone Macro analyst Roberto Perli believes Janet Yellen managed to leave her monetary policy options open, even though few investors expect many rate hikes this year.Perli says:“The general message she intended to deliver is that additional rate hikes remain the base case, but markets have to stabilize before we see more.” Continue reading...
(Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:01:21 GMT)

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