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Police confirm 83 potential suspects identified in football sexual abuse scandal
• Information also shows 98 clubs have been ‘impacted’ as part of investigations• ‘We urge anyone who may have been a victim to report it’ says police officialThe National Police Chiefs’ Council has said 83 potential suspects have been identified in connection with allegations of historical child sexual abuse in football.The figure comes from data and information collated by forces working on the case to Operation Hydrant – the national police body coordinating historical sex abuse claims – and from 639 referrals from the NSPCC helpline. The information also shows that 98 clubs have been “impacted”, with the age range of victims spanning seven years through to 20 years. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:30:03 GMT)

Boris Johnson may be better off in another job, says Malcolm Rifkind
Foreign secretary’s comments about Saudi Arabia, which led to No 10 rebuke, could see him demoted, suggests Tory grandeeBoris Johnson may be more suited to another cabinet position after his criticism of Saudi Arabia, which was “completely at variance” with the government’s position, the former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said.Rifkind said Johnson is in a unique position to seek to change government policy towards Saudi Arabia as foreign secretary, but should not have gone off message in such a way. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:30:49 GMT)

Sleaford byelection: Caroline Johnson holds seat for Conservatives
Doctor wins ahead of Ukip as turnout plummets and George Osborne calls Labour’s showing ‘not good for democracy’The Conservatives have held the seat of Sleaford and North Hykeham in Lincolnshire in a byelection triggered by the resignation of Stephen Phillips over “irreconcilable policy differences” with Theresa May.Caroline Johnson, a children’s doctor and local Conservative, won the seat with a large majority of 17,570 votes. Her Ukip rival, Victoria Ayling, came second with 4,426. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:11:05 GMT)

Private schools in England propose 10,000 free places
Schools respond to threat to charitable status with plan for means-tested places costing government £5,500 a year per pupilIndependent schools in England have pushed to restart the assisted places scheme, by offering 10,000 free places to children at state schools in return for a government subsidy.The Independent Schools Council, an umbrella body representing 1,200 private schools, says it could provide the means-tested places if the government pays an annual subsidy of £5,500 for each pupil – a figure similar to the per pupil funding state schools currently receive. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:39:27 GMT)

Park Geun-hye: South Korean MPs vote to impeach president
PM to take power while constitutional court decides whether to uphold motion and remove Park from officeThe South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, is fighting for her political life after MPs voted to impeach her over a corruption and cronyism scandal that has made her the country’s most unpopular leader since it became a democracy in the late 1980s. Related: South Korea impeachment vote: the key facts behind a presidential crisis Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:18:07 GMT)

David Cameron: Brexit vote part of 'movement of unhappiness'
Election of Trump and decision to leave EU require ‘course correction’ for the west, former prime minister says in US speechThe Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the US must result in a “course correction” for western politics, David Cameron has said, in his first major speech since leaving Downing Street.The former prime minister said the decision to leave the EU, which prompted his departure from No 10, was part of a “movement of unhappiness” about the state of the world. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:51:28 GMT)

China universities must become Communist party 'strongholds', says Xi Jinping
All teachers must be ‘staunch supporters’ of party governance, says president in what experts called an effort to reassert controlChinese authorities must intensify ideological controls on academia and turn universities into Communist party “strongholds”, President Xi Jinping has declared in a major address. “Higher education ... must adhere to correct political orientation,” Xi said in a high-profile speech to top party leaders and university chiefs that was delivered at a two-day congress on “ideological and political work” in Beijing. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 05:29:45 GMT)

'Warning shots' should be fired to deter EU-bound migrants, says Danish MP
EU affairs spokesman for Denmark’s second-largest party apologises for saying they should be fired at, and suggests a warning shot insteadA Danish lawmaker has said he regretted saying migrants sailing to Europe should “be fired at” if they crossed the continent’s “territorial waters”. He clarified his remarks to say “warning shots” should be fired instead.Kenneth Kristensen Berth is a member of the anti-immigration and populist Danish People’s party, the country’s second-largest party and a government ally. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 02:03:07 GMT)

Hillary Clinton warns fake news can have 'real world consequences'
In rare public appearance since losing the election, Clinton alluded to ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy in which a man opened fire after reading a false news story Hillary Clinton issued a call to action against the “epidemic” of fake news in a rare public appearance since her unexpected loss to Donald Trump. The Democratic presidential nominee warned that the proliferation of false news stories online can have “real world consequences”, alluding to an incident over the weekend in which a man opened fire at Comet Ping Pong after reading a false news story that purported the DC pizzeria was harboring children as part of a sex ring led by Clinton. No one was injured. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:45:08 GMT)

Jennifer Lawrence offends with story about 'butt-scratching' on sacred rocks
Actor’s story about actions while filming Hunger Games movie in Hawaii criticised as ‘disrespectful and inconsiderate’Jennifer Lawrence has drawn scathing criticism for an anecdote she told on the BBC, about disrespecting local customs while shooting in Hawaii.In a recent interview, Lawrence told a story about “butt-scratchin’” on rocks that are considered sacred to native Hawaiians, while shooting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2012. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:07:25 GMT)

Wolfgang Streeck: ‘Look at London – it’s a second Rome. This is what an empire looks like’
The political economist on Trump’s election, why we should be happy about Brexit and the crises facing western democracyOutside was panic. Barely a couple of hours after Donald Trump had been declared the next president of the United States and even the political columnists, those sleek interlocutors of power, were in shock. At the National Gallery in London, however, one of the few thinkers to have anticipated Trump’s rise was ready to see some paintings. Over from Germany for a few days of lectures, Wolfgang Streeck had an afternoon spare – and we both wanted to see the Beyond Caravaggio exhibition.Nothing in his work prepares you for meeting Streeck (pronounced Stray-k). Professionally, he is the political economist barking last orders for our way of life, and warning of the “dark ages” ahead. His books bear bluntly fin-de-siecle titles: two years ago was Buying Time, while the latest is called How Will Capitalism End? (spoiler: not well). Even his admirers talk of his “despair”, by which they mean sentences such as this: “Before capitalism will go to hell, it will for the foreseeable future hang in limbo, dead or about to die from an overdose of itself but still very much around, as nobody will have the power to move its decaying body out of the way.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:05:40 GMT)

I’ve scaled the summit of peak stuff. This Christmas I’m climbing down | Gaby Hinsliff
It’s easy to buy expensive things we don’t need. This year my family is trying something differentDo you remember Peak Stuff? We reached it back in January, if that helps jog the memory. Or at least that was when Ikea’s chief sustainability officer Steve Howard declared that so many people now have so many material belongings that we’re reaching saturation point. Drowning in stuff. Sick to the back teeth of stuff. (Apart, obviously, from those who don’t have enough of even the most basic stuff, including food and a roof over their heads, but then they presumably are not Ikea’s target customers.)The gist of it, anyway, was that awareness of the environmental and human costs of making things is making people faintly uneasy about buying whatever they crave and then swapping it for something new the minute they get bored. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:00:22 GMT)

Kirk Douglas at 100: a one-man Hollywood Mount Rushmore
Born the son of an immigrant ragman, the great survivor of film’s golden age – from Detective Story to Spartacus – celebrates his centenary today“I’m Spartacus!” – “I’m Spartacus!” – “I’M SPARTACUS!” Every film buff knows that moment, every panel-show comedian riffs on it. A mob of defeated slave rebels in the pre-Christian Roman empire is told their wretched lives will be spared, but only if their ringleader, Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), comes out and gives himself up to be executed. Just as he is about to sacrifice himself, one slave, Antoninus (Tony Curtis) jumps up and claims to be Spartacus, then another, and another, then all of them, a magnificent display of solidarity, while the man himself allows a tear to fall in closeup.This variant on the Christian myth – in the face of crucifixion, Spartacus’s disciples do not deny him – is a pointed political fiction. In real life, Spartacus was killed on the battlefield. The screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted author who had to work under aliases and found no solidarity in Hollywood. Yet Douglas himself, as the film’s producer, stood up for Trumbo. He put Trumbo’s real name in the credits, and ended the McCarthy-ite hysteria. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:00:22 GMT)

'Everything is over now': the last survivors in Yemen's ground zero
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad visits Houthi-held areas of Yemen being bombed out of existence by Saudi warplanesThe ruins carpeted the city market, rippling outwards in waves of destruction. Broken beams, collapsed roofs, exploded metal shutters and fossilised merchandise crumbled underfoot.In one of the burnt-out shells of the shops where raisins, nuts, fabrics, incense and stone pots were traded for hundreds of years, all that was to be found was a box of coke bottles, a sofa and a child nailing wooden sticks together. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:00:22 GMT)

The best TV shows of 2016: 50-11
A countdown of Guardian TV’s favourite programmes of the year. We’ll reveal the top 10 day by day until 19 December• More on the best culture of 201611 Continue reading...
(Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:31:33 GMT)

India v England: fourth Test, day two – live!
Over-by-over updates as India reply to England’s 400 in MumbaiJennings ‘bit the bullet and went for it’ to make centuryEmail dan.lucas@theguardian.com or tweet @DanLucas86 10.22am GMT 41st over: India 117-1 (Pujara 32, Vijay 57) Just a few signs of nerves among the batsmen now: there’s a slight mixup that results in a run being missed, as there was (but, um, I forgot to mention) in the previous over. One off this one. 10.20am GMT 40th over: India 117-1 (Pujara 32, Vijay 56) This is a good battle, with Moeen looking to tempt the batsmen forward as he did to bring about KL Rahul’s downfall and the pair at the crease looking for areas to score. A stalemate here.“Always nice to see Thom Yorke slowly drowning,” writes Jonathan Budds, “but you lose big points for misquoting the lyric; it’s ‘tired and unhappy’, which probably sums up you OBO’ers for this test series up pretty well.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:22:40 GMT)

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend
Will Toby Alderweireld be key against Manchester United? Will Stoke apply the handbrake at Arsenal? And who’s hoping for a Kevin Nolan Christmas?Two tentatively improving teams seek to confirm progress at Old Trafford. Despite a series of frustrating draws, Manchester United have found an encouraging attacking groove in recent weeks and are turning into a very different, and much more vibrant, team than they were under Louis van Gaal. So Toby Alderweireld’s return to action for Tottenham in midweek was well timed as Spurs are likely to need their best centre-back at Old Trafford on Sunday. If Alderweireld can get back up to speed almost immediately, then Spurs could come away with a valuable result, as they too have shown signs of improved attacking – thanks mainly to Harry Kane. If Eric Bailly is fit enough after his injury-enforced absence to play as well as he did on his return to action in the Europa League on Thursday, then José Mourinho would be well-advised to start the Ivorian. Paul Doyle Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:48:50 GMT)

Harry Arter: ‘Some days I feel like a normal person. But then it will just hit you’
Saturday marks a year since Bournemouth’s midfielder and his fiancée Rachel lost their daughter. He reflects on 12 months of pain, anger, envy and finally happiness – at thoughts of a child gone too soon and another due in FebruaryA few weeks had passed when Harry Arter summoned the strength to look inside the memory box that would unlock so many emotions. Rachel, his fiancée, had been gently encouraging him to do so for a while, yet Arter was mentally unable to take that step as he wrestled with the devastating loss of the stillborn daughter he had never set eyes on. Now, in a quiet moment at home, he felt ready.“I looked in the box without Rachel knowing because I wanted to look on my own,” Arter says. “I remember I was sobbing – it was the strangest feeling that I’ve ever had in my life, looking at a picture of a little baby that I’ve never seen but loving her so much at the same time. I just saw a beautiful little girl, who I felt so proud of straight away.” Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:45:25 GMT)

The forgotten story of … Jeff Hall, the footballer whose death turned tide against polio | Simon Burnton
It took the sudden passing of the 28-year-old England right-back in 1959 to get a generation pouring into clinics for inoculation against a disease that in the previous 10 years had killed over 3,000 people in England and WalesOn the face of it there was nothing particularly memorable about Birmingham City’s 1-1 draw at relegation-bound Portsmouth in March 1959 but for the sense of disappointment the visitors took from it. “Blues did themselves no credit in this so-casual stroll in the sun,” wrote Dennis Shaw in Birmingham’s Sports Argus. “Portsmouth did all they could to show why they have not won a league game since November. Blues were little better. After shooting into the lead shortly before the interval they just hadn’t the skill, and the drive, nor the determination to run up a hefty total. On a pitch like concrete the ball was ballooned back and forth over the halfway line like a ping-pong game.”At right-back for City, making his 227th league appearance for the club, was 28-year-old Jeff Hall. Two days later he was diagnosed with polio, and within a fortnight he was dead. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:15:26 GMT)

Anthony Joshua shuns table-throwing but admits ‘this is fighting not tennis’
• IBF heavyweight champion eschews shenanigans with Eric Molina• Joshua: ‘When it happens, it seems it’s what some people want to see’Don King was not in the room on Thursday, but his travelling surrogates did their raucous best to provoke Anthony Joshua into the sort of response that had illuminated the previous day’s press conference, starring the subsequently punished Dereck “Table-thrower” Chisora and Dillian “Sit-tight” Whyte.Joshua, the IBF heavyweight champion, ignored the taunts of the American promoter’s hired help and smiled serenely within jabbing distance of his latest challenger, the equally polite Texan Eric Molina, who has entrusted his career to the excitable King, who may yet blow into town to stir a few winter leaves. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:30:12 GMT)

José Mourinho demands more goals from Manchester United
• United have scored 19 across 14 Premier League games this season• ‘Goals make a huge difference so we need to score more’ says MourinhoJosé Mourinho has demanded more goals from Manchester United, with the manager pointing to the team’s lack of potency as a key factor for their faltering Premier League form.United host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday having scored only 19 goals across 14 Premier League games this season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is United’s top scorer in the competition with eight, but the Swede has been poorly supported by team-mates. Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford have managed three apiece; Paul Pogba two, with Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling having provided one each. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:00:25 GMT)

Wasteful Southampton crash out of Europa League to Israeli champions
Southampton’s European adventure came to an abrupt end on Thursday night at the hands of Hapoel Be’er Sheva, the Israeli champions, who dumped Claude Puel’s side out of the Europa League group stages to reach the round of 32 at their expense.Southampton were tepid throughout, edging towards a goalless draw that would have seen them through until, with the visitors’ first shot of the evening on target, Maor Buzaglo drilled an effort low beyond the goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, after 78 minutes. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:15:17 GMT)

Sepp Blatter: Gianni Infantino has shown me no respect
• Disgraced former Fifa president turns on his successor• 80-year-old says Infantino has not returned his callsSepp Blatter says his successor Gianni Infantino has shown him no respect by failing to return his phone calls.The disgraced former Fifa president lost his Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) appeal on Monday against a six-year ban for ethics violations, imposed amid the biggest corruption scandal to hit world football’s governing body. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 01:00:20 GMT)

Australia beat New Zealand to complete ODI series whitewash – as it happened
Australia win by 117 runs at the Melbourne Cricket GroundEmail: geoff.lemon@theguardian.com | Tweet: @GeoffLemonSport 10.21am GMT And Australia wins by 117, if you must know. The run chase only reinforces what an innings that was from Warner, who timed his run well, kept his patience, and didn’t try to hit his way out of trouble until it was time to attack at the back end of the afternoon. He held things together, with some laboured but stubborn support from George Bailey and Travis Head especially. New Zealand looked well in the hunt early, with Tom Latham timing them well and Martin Guptill hanging about. But Latham gave up a soft dismissal, Kane Williamson missed a straight one, and Guptill gave up his wicket in lamentable fashion. With the top three gone, the rest were always likely to struggle. 10.14am GMT Whooooooaaaaaa Nelly. That is it. But what a way to end it. Cummins returned for a new spell, Boult tried to glide him to third man, thought he’d got enough of it, but Smith at second slip took another blinder. Launched to his right, airborne, one hand, and plucked the catch from absolutely nowhere. Magnifique. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:22:14 GMT)

British Cycling must come clean over Shane Sutton and Jess Varnish
Governing body’s latest mishap is yet another example of its lack of openness and transparencyFor all its successes on the track in 2016, British Cycling continues to lurch unsteadily through a series of public-relations mishaps off it – many of them of its own making.Yet even by its standards, contriving to upset Jess Varnish and Shane Sutton in an internal review designed to find the inner truth of their dispute – while also generating more fears about its lack of openness – is not a good look. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:13:29 GMT)

Jürgen Klopp thanks Liverpool’s scouts for landing ‘cut-price’ Roberto Firmino
Manager reveals his surprise Liverpool were able to sign Firmino last year and believes other clubs ‘would have paid a lot more’ for the Brazil strikerJürgen Klopp has credited Liverpool’s scouting department with securing a cut-price deal for Roberto Firmino when they signed the Brazil striker for £29m from Hoffenheim last year.Firmino was the second most expensive signing in Liverpool’s history at the time of his move from the Bundesliga but Klopp believes the 25-year-old was undervalued. Firmino has emerged as a key player for Klopp’s pressing style and has scored six goals for Liverpool this season. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:30:12 GMT)

Stuart Lancaster ‘not surprised’ at England’s success under Eddie Jones
• Former head coach says Jones deserves the credit for England’s ‘fantastic’ run• Back at Northampton with new club Leinster in European Champions CupStuart Lancaster returns on Friday night to an English club ground in an official capacity for the first time since England were knocked out of last year’s World Cup and he lost his job as head coach in what was euphemistically described at the time as a mutual decision.Now a senior coach with Leinster after taking time out in the new year to study coaching methods in the southern hemisphere, Lancaster will be at Franklin’s Gardens for the European Champions Cup match with Northampton and a reunion with a player he controversially left out of his World Cup squad on disciplinary grounds, England’s current captain, Dylan Hartley, who will be on the bench after his autumn series exertions. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:00:11 GMT)

Checkatrade Trophy may be scrapped, says head of English Football League
• Shaun Harvey admits future uncertain after only one season• ‘Launching the trophy as quickly as we did didn’t help the situation’The controversial Checkatrade Trophy may be scrapped after only one season, according to the head of the English Football League.Introduced this season as a replacement for the Football League Trophy, the Checkatrade allowed category A academy sides to enter a tournament previously reserved for clubs in League One or Two. Amid controversy over the changes and concern as to whether rules over selection were being bent, the cup has generated fan dissent and historically low attendances. Now the EFL chief executive, Shaun Harvey, admits its future is uncertain. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:30:12 GMT)

Leeds United’s owner Massimo Cellino banned for 18 months by FA
• Cellino banned for breaking the Football Association’s agent regulations• Suspension covers being a director or shadow director of any clubMassimo Cellino, the owner of Leeds United, is contemplating an 18-month suspension from all football-related activities after the Football Association revealed that a disciplinary panel convened in September had found him guilty of breaching agent regulations.The delay in announcing a sanction scheduled to take effect from 1 February was prompted by concerns that publicising Cellino’s punishment for his role in Ross McCormack’s transfer from Leeds to Fulham in 2014 for around £11m might prejudice the appeal the 60-year-old Italian is currently preparing. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:20:04 GMT)

In these days of despair for the left, there are still reasons for hope | Martin Kettle
As the writer Zadie Smith makes clear, the electoral bodyblows of 2016 could prove to be moments of inspirationReceiving a literary prize in Berlin two days after Donald Trump’s election, Zadie Smith reflected ruefully that it is hard to find happiness in the face of immense political setbacks. “These are the darkest political times I have ever known,” Smith observed in her acceptance speech – republished this month in the New York Review of Books. As “President Trump rises in the west, a united Europe drops below the horizon”. Related: Does the left have a future? | John Harris Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 06:00:21 GMT)

A moment that changed me: being sacked from my first job | Daisy Buchanan
Being knocked off a straightforward career path forced me find my own way through the woods and taught me that the world doesn’t owe me a livingWhen my boss, and her boss, beckoned me to follow them to the meeting room downstairs, I picked up a notepad and pen and braced myself for a boring chat about press releases. It was a chilly, grey Friday in the middle of January, and I really just wanted to get through the day without incident so I could go to the pub.If my superiors seemed tense or sombre, I didn’t really notice. My boss started with, “So, we’ve been having a chat …” and I made a thoughtful, attentive face and uncapped a biro before processing the last part of her sentence, which was “ ... and it’s not really working with you here, is it?” What wasn’t working? The biro? Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:59:23 GMT)

Brexit will affect the young more than anyone. Heed our voices | Joe Porter
The Undivided campaign draws its members from both sides of the referendum debate. We are resolved to get the best Brexit for people under 30As the supreme court deliberates over who has the right to trigger article 50 and begin the process of leaving the EU, the political class is in disarray as old party loyalties are replaced by a new tribalism around hard or soft, open or closed Brexit. Related: If you’re young and angry about the EU referendum, you’re right to be | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:24 GMT)

Time to think the unthinkable about President Le Pen | Timothy Garton Ash
Logic is against Marine Le Pen, as it was with Trump and Brexit. No wonder people are weighing up the possible repercussionsCould President Marine Le Pen trigger article 50 without a parliamentary vote? Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, that is, to take France out of the European Union, following Britain. Such is the question I find myself discussing in Paris with leading French experts. Provisional conclusion: since France, unlike Britain, is a presidential democracy, she could probably do it herself initially, but it would then require parliament to vote a revision of the French constitution. The mere fact that my French friends raise the question, even very hypothetically and three-quarters-jokingly, is a sign of the times. What was it Rousseau said? “To be sane in a world of madmen is in itself a kind of madness.” Related: François Fillon is as big a threat to liberal values as Marine Le Pen | Natalie Nougayrède Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:08:16 GMT)

First Dog on the Moon's Christmas observance
Let us all take a moment to think of those less fortunate, and raise a glass to our blessings as the seasonal shudder of disdain passes through youSign up here to get an email whenever First Dog cartoons are publishedGet all your needs met at the First Dog shop if what you need is First Dog merchandise and printsChristmas is coming! There’s still time to get your fabulous First Dog on the Moon Chrismerchandise. Tea Towels! Books! Brenda plush toys!In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 05:42:52 GMT)

For political women it’s Jackie Kennedy or bust | Jess Cartner-Morley
No one criticises male politicians for their clothes, so why do the likes of Melania Trump and Theresa May come in for such flak over their fashion choices?Should the hypothesised invitation to Buckingham Palace arrive, Melania Trump will not be able to do as Michelle Obama did and have Tom Ford run up a gown for the occasion. Neither will Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim or Sophie Theallet – labels of choice for the current first lady – be taking her calls. All of these designers have taken a stand against the incoming administration by making it clear that, as of the inauguration in January, dressing the first lady will cease to be an honour they choose to accept.This makes no material difference whatsoever. Melania Trump will continue to wear designer clothes of her choice, simply by paying for them. She bought both the white Roksanda “Margot” dress she wore for her Republican convention speech and the Balmain camel coat in which she cast her vote on Net-A-Porter, paying around £1,000 and £2,500 respectively. Fashion industry website Women’s Wear Daily reported that the Ralph Lauren jumpsuit she wore for her husband’s victory speech, which retails for around £3,000, was purchased at full price at Lauren’s Madison Avenue boutique. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:15:49 GMT)

The focus on maths and science doesn’t add up. The arts must be in the equation | Kester Brewin
Throwing resources at science, technology, engineering and maths in England hasn’t worked. We need to reaffirm the importance of a more rounded educationAs a long-time maths teacher, the latest assessments by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and Programme for International Student Assessment make for tough reading. They indicate that there is little evidence of real gains having been made in maths and science in England over the past four years. Related: UK schools fail to climb international league table Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:30:22 GMT)

Bertolucci’s justification for the Last Tango rape scene is bogus. It’s called ‘acting’ for a reason | Jessica Tovey
Actor Jessica Tovey explains that without trust, consent and transparency on set, traumatic scenes can have traumatic repercussionsOnce, before filming an intimate scene, my director sat my male co-star and me down with some Barbie dolls. She wanted to take us through exactly how we were going to do it on screen – how we would position our bodies, where the camera would be. She wanted to make us feel comfortable about something that is awkward and difficult to shoot by empowering us with knowledge about what we were about to do. I’ve experienced similar care when shooting scenes of violence – when playing roles where I was kidnapped, assaulted, bound and gagged; ones where I had chairs hurled at me and had been thrown across a room. There were always strict protocols in place to avoid injury – but even then, when the camera rolled and my fellow actor performed with all of the aggression required to make their performance believable, my adrenaline kicked in. My innate fight or flight instinct made it difficult to remember it was all pretend, and as a result the experience felt close to reality. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 04:36:17 GMT)

Help! I'm caught in a Twitter war and I'm losing
Twitter’s inclination towards outraged pile-ons is partly a failure of the form. But: you will get through thisFirstly, my condolences. There are few online experiences worse than having your notifications stormed by what feels like a pitchfork-wielding mob out to wilfully misunderstand your point.It’s like coming under the Eye of Sauron, when innocuous banter with strangers and funny videos of dogs have led you to momentarily forget you’re in Mordor. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 05:52:54 GMT)

The housing poverty trap means work doesn't pay
A toxic trio of high rents, low pay and cuts to in-work benefits have created a perfect storm, with housing costs fueling povertyIs your housing making you poor? This week’s report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) warned that while overall poverty rates remain largely static, the headline figures mask increasing insecurity in many people’s housing and employment conditions. Related: Study finds 7m Britons in poverty despite being from working families Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 06:36:21 GMT)

Steve Bell on Boris Johnson's remarks on Saudi Arabia – cartoon
Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:47:15 GMT)

Court in an existential nightmare over Brexit | John Crace
From the Dangerous Dogs Act to the Loch Ness monster, it was all crammed into day four of the supreme court hearingFour days is just a blink of an eye for lawyers used to charging by the minute. Left to their own devices, everyone at the supreme court would have been much happier dragging things out for a couple of years – finally reaching a decision on whether the government had the constitutional right to trigger Brexit long after Britain had left the EU. But needs must and there was a noticeable sense of disquiet – not to mention haste – as the proceedings entered their final day.After some discussion about the semantic differences between “with regard to” and “relating to” and the epistemology of “imposing a clamp on a conduit pipe”, Richard Gordon, the barrister representing the Welsh assembly, declared that the whole case wasn’t nearly as complicated as everyone had been making out. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:59:06 GMT)

Assimilation threatens the existence of other cultures | Giles Fraser | Loose canon
The very nature of community is that there is a boundary between those who are in it and those who are notThis week a doctor from north London was telling me about one of his patients, a lad of 20 who has lived in the borough of Hackney all his life. He was born here and grew up here. And he’s a bright boy – yet he speaks only a few very rudimentary words of English. The language he speaks at home and at school is Yiddish. Some may be appalled by the insularity of the community in which this young man was raised. But I admire it. In particular, I admire the resilience of a community that seeks to maintain its distinctiveness and recognises, quite rightly, that assimilation into the broader culture would mean the gradual dilution, and the eventual extinction, of its own way of life. It is no surprise to me that the ultra orthodox are thriving, with high birth rates and predictions that they will be constitute a majority of the Jewish population within 20 years. They have refused assimilation.It adds immeasurably to the richness and diversity of how life is apprehended that not everyone sees the world in the same way. It is mind-expanding to be challenged by those who commit to another way of life. What a miserably grey one-dimensional place it would be if the dominant model of middle-of-the-road liberal secular capitalism became the only acceptable way of living. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:15:59 GMT)

A challenge to Facebook’s reach and power is long overdue | John Harris
Mark Zuckerberg’s company feeds utopian delusions, but in reality it is just a billionaire’s media outlet grinding out a fortune“As I look around and I travel around the world, I’m starting to see people and nations turning inward, against this idea of a connected world and a global community. I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others.” Related: How Facebook powers money machines for obscure political 'news' sites Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:44:36 GMT)

How should you talk to your baby? | Emma Brockes
Some parents opt for coochy-coo; others prefer a more adult approach. But I’ve found a third way …Baby talk, it’s generally agreed, is silly and self-indulgent and does nothing for the baby, an approach as faulty in its logic as that of the English person speaking louder that the non-English person might better understand him. I don’t do baby talk to my babies. I do, however, do something that, I realised recently, is almost as bad – an over-correction every bit as mannered as pulling faces or piping up in shrill tones – and that is talking to them as if they are 40.There is a rationale for this: it aids language development, increases vocab and doesn’t condescend to the baby. But I suspect that’s not why I or anyone else does it. The real reason, I think, is that it is a discreet form of status signalling, an effort to distinguish oneself from all those pandering helicopter parents and to assert, if only to oneself, that in spite of spending a large part of each day changing nappies or talking about Elmo, one can still formulate a sentence with subclauses. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:31:47 GMT)

The Guardian view on police abuse of women: an offence against society | Editorial
When corrupt police exploit victims of domestic violence we are all diminishedAbuse of power is the worst of all forms of corruption, as Mike Cunningham, inspector of constabulary and former chief constable of Staffordshire police acknowledged in a BBC radio interview this morning . For the protector to turn abuser is, for the victim, an individual catastrophe – not least because she or he may never trust the police again. But the damage it causes to trust in wider society may, because of its wider implications, be even more grave. When a police officer abuses a victim of domestic violence, or any other vulnerable person, who has sought them out for help, it is an offence against the people the police exist in order to serve.Earlier this year when Theresa May was still home secretary, she commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to find out how widespread such abuse is. The conclusions of the report that has just been released are shocking, but not surprising. In the two years to March, 436 allegations of abuse of power for sexual gain were made against 306 police officers, 20 police community support officers and eight staff. Yet only 40 officers or staff have been dismissed for abusing authority for sexual gain in a similar period. Forces appear to regard this kind of corruption inconsistently, with some treating it much more seriously than others. Even more than a generation later, it is as if there is still a lingering echo of the notorious canteen culture once identified in a mid-1980s report which portrayed police as racist and sexist, and not always entirely sober. More than a third of forces, according to the HMIC, need to improve their treatment of victims of domestic violence. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:06:23 GMT)

The Guardian view on Boris Johnson: plain speaking without a purpose | Editorial
Bluntness can be valuable, but foreign secretaries should deploy it for a reason and not on a whimA foreign secretary, Harold Macmillan observed, is forever poised between cliche and indiscretion. It should be no surprise that Boris Johnson – who is, as a better diplomat might say, the possessor of a lively mind – tilts persistently toward the latter. His avoidance of the circumlocutions favoured by most politicians led to a popular misconception that he is a straight shooter. It would be more accurate to say that he frequently shoots from the hip or goes off half-cocked, as his public criticism of Saudi Arabia, revealed by the Guardian, shows. When he was a columnist, MP or mayor of London his remarks could be embarrassing and offensive; now that he is Britain’s top diplomat the potential consequences are far graver. As shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer observed this week, those watching from Brussels “are not particularly amused by jokes about prosecco [or] references to ‘cake and eat it’. They want a professional, constructive set of negotiations.”Though diplomacy has many registers it is often associated with a delicacy that may seem overly cautious at best, hypocritical at worst, and ridiculous either way. (Even when diplomats are blunt they call it being “honest”, “candid” or “forthright”.) But as Mr Macmillan’s remark reminds us, there is a reason why foreign secretaries usually speak with care, even when it frustrates them. First, some messages are delivered privately either because that is more effective or to avoid offending. Riyadh already knows that, while the UK supports the Saudi-led coalition formed to back the ousted president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, it has concerns about airstrikes which have repeatedly hit civilians, schools and hospitals. It also knows that the UK considers its other interests in the region more important. Second, the ability of people with very different cultures, histories, priorities and interests to engage with each other on complex and fraught issues depends upon a shared language. A more honest language might well be better; but what matters most is that it is consistent, so that diplomats understand each other. When a foreign secretary chooses between muted or harsh criticism, or between dropping a word in someone’s ear and calling them out in a speech, such calculations are – or should be – part of the message. To veer from one register to another haphazardly leads to confusion or contempt. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:55:07 GMT)

I didn’t endorse May’s Brexit timetable – but I’m no ‘enemy of the people’ | David Lammy
Hurling abuse at anyone who dares mention that 48% of the country voted to remain in the EU will do nothing to bring our divided country back togetherIf this government is to be the one -nation government it claims to be, the personal attacks that fuel the abhorrent “enemies of the people” rhetoric that we have seen of late must stop.The Tory MP and former attorney general Dominic Grieve has warned that the “vitriolic abuse” hurled at anybody who says anything that counters the hard Brexit mantra is leading us to a very bad place. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:44:00 GMT)

Work should be a route to a better life, but people need to be paid properly | Stefan Stern
Millions of UK workers are living in poverty due to high housing costs, cuts to working-age benefits and persistently low wages. As a society, we could, and should, do betterLabour isn’t working. That is to say: working for a living is not providing a living, at least not for the 7.4 million people, which includes 2.6 million children, who are living in poverty despite being in working households.And yet how can this be? Hasn’t there been a “jobs miracle” in this country? Unemployment is below 5%, and there are more people at work here than at any time before. There has been steady if unspectacular economic growth over the past few years, and the national minimum wage has risen quite sharply, for the over-25s at least. The official numbers – some of them – look pretty good. Something is amiss. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 08:00:10 GMT)

Time magazine didn't give Trump devil horns. God did | Jonathan Jones
Why is there a Twitter fantasy about his satanic cranial outgrowths? Because his election really does feel like something out of a horror filmTime magazine denies doing it on purpose, yet the sign is there. The mark – and this one is much more visible than the 666 that I have been told by a maverick Vatican priest is tattooed on Donald Trump’s left buttock. Related: Photographers on their best Trump shot: 'I think he's a damaged person' Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:28:54 GMT)

Speak to immigrant students like me before you ‘deprioritise’ them | Sharon Akaka
Theresa May should not penalise children who are determined to study hard and do well for something that is outside their controlI arrived in the UK from Nigeria with my family at the age of eight to join my dad who lived here. All through my schooling, my parents were trying to sort out their immigration status. It’s a long and complicated process that ended with multiple appeals and applications.Lots of money was spent on lawyers, and we only received our status – “limited leave to remain” – after I had left school. The stress of my immigration issues was one of the reasons I studied so hard: my education was something I could control; the immigration case was out of my hands, but studying was up to me. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:27:27 GMT)

Heard the latest Christmas story? It’s about how UK banks pay all their taxes | Prem Sikka
Major financial institutions are involved in routine tax avoidance. But a report by the City of London Corporation and PwC raises more questions than it answersA new report ostensibly lauding the tax contribution of UK banks and insurance companies should provide no festive reassurance. Issued by the City of London Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) it claims that, against all the odds, the financial sector is making a heroic contribution to the UK public purse. Gosh, only if that were true.From a sample of 50 financial services companies, including banks, building societies and insurance companies, it extrapolates that for the year to 31 March 2016 the financial sector made a contribution of £71.4bn to the public purse, or about 11.5% of the total UK tax receipts. Newspapers sympathetic to the finance industry have latched on to the headline figures, but the fine print of the report tells another story. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:33:40 GMT)

The police are still ignoring sexual abuse by officers. It’s time for zero tolerance | Sandra Laville
The macho culture of the police is being exploited by officers to prey on the vulnerable victims they are supposed to protectWhen the Guardian first exposed how police officers in England and Wales were abusing their power to sexually assault and exploit victims of crime, we had no idea of the scale of the problem. Today, we have more of a clue as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has revealed that hundreds of police officers are being accused of sexually abusing victims and suspects – and inspectors believe the problem is even more prevalent than the numbers suggest.Our original investigation was more than four years ago and was prompted by the conviction and subsequent jailing of Northumbria police constable Stephen Mitchell, who raped and sexually assaulted vulnerable women he met on duty. Examining the details of that case, various themes emerged; a lack of supervision, a failure to properly vet officers and the turning of a blind eye to the sexual exploits of male officers, in a still macho police service. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:01:53 GMT)

Desperate commuters, it’s time for a rebellion the government can’t ignore | Polly Toynbee
Southern rail’s appalling service means people are losing jobs, while in the north lines are left to rot. Train users must take action nowPoliticians foolish enough to search for “Britishness”, those ineffable qualities and values that define who we think we are, conjure up strings of imagined characteristics, virtually all of which have turned out to be wrong.No, we are not the tolerant, moderate folk we pretend: the Brexit vote put an end to that notion, as we, the country that has taken a tiny number of refugees, vote to keep out foreigners at any price, however self-harming. As the Germans take a million refugees and the Italians and Greeks absorb thousands a week, imagine the paroxysms of national hysteria if the Isle of Wight suddenly received Lampedusa’s boatloads of migrants every day. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:47:10 GMT)

Don't assume Trump is dumb. He knows exactly what he's doing | Richard Wolffe
His Taiwan call was written off as a gaffe. Actually, like so much else, it was more calculated than it seemedWhatever the Trump era represents, it surely marks the dawn of a golden age of satire. But beware of laughing too much: the joke might be on us. Yes, Trump tweets like a buffoon. But we should not assume that all the missteps by the petulant president-in-waiting are down to ignorance: they aren’t. Related: It's Trump's America now. Time to get over our attachment to facts | Richard Wolffe Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:00:03 GMT)

Brexit helps kill Francis Maude's hated civil service 'rank and yank' system
The coalition’s discredited staff appraisal system is just one of the Whitehall programmes being junked as Brexit loomsCivil service unions are celebrating the apparent end of the much-loathed “rank and yank” performance management system introduced by former Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude in 2013. The system forces managers to identify the bottom 10% of performers in their workforce as part of a controversial “guided distribution” appraisal system that has been criticised from the start by unions, managers and staff. One senior civil servant described it as the worst thing they’d seen in a 40-year career. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:16:04 GMT)

We are to blame for the decline of giraffes. And only we can save them | Jules Howard
Deforestation, civil wars and hunting have put giraffes on the vulnerable species list. Now we must show these creatures the other side of human natureImagine entering a museum of the future. Imagine walking across its great marble floors, dodging the schoolchildren and parents with buggies, past the toilets and the gift shop and down the corridor marked Mammals. Imagine marvelling at the bones and fossil teeth of mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers and giant ground sloths. Now, pause. You are in shadow. You are in the shadow of an enormous towering skeleton of an extinct creature which stands almost 20ft high, with a long neck upon which a horny skull sits, within which would have been a tongue almost as long as a human arm. “On whose watch did such a creature face extinction?” those future museum visitors might ask. Related: Giraffes facing extinction after devastating decline, experts warn Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:04:11 GMT)

Brighton Argus editor departs, but does Newsquest really care?
Publisher refuses to explain why yet another of its editors, one respected by both his staff and his audience, has left the ailing newspaperMike Gilson, the best editor the Brighton Argus has had in many a long year, has left the newspaper in somewhat mysterious circustances.Staff have not been informed why he has gone. The managing director of Newsquest Sussex, Tony Portelli, did not return a phone message. However, his personal assistant, who also acted as Gilson’s secretary, did confirm that he had departed. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:29:58 GMT)

For Chris Grayling trains are always about ideology, not passengers | Christian Wolmar
The leak of the transport secretary’s letter shows he is willing to take out his political frustrations on London’s mayor – and Southern rail commutersWhen the railways were privatised in the mid-1990s, ministers took it in turns to say this would mean that government would no longer be able to interfere. Tell that to Chris Grayling, the Conservative transport secretary, who is set to be the most politically motivated of recent transport ministers, and seems to be spending most of his time playing with trains.The leak of a letter he wrote to Boris Johnson, the then Conservative London mayor, three years ago expressing his opposition to handing over more of London’s suburban rail services to a future Labour mayor, demonstrates that political considerations – rather than a desire to improve the lot of benighted commuters – appear to dominate Grayling’s decision-making process. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:54:12 GMT)

No Bregrets: Sunderland after the vote to leave the European Union – video
Sunderland’s surprise vote for Brexit was seen by remain supporters as turkeys voting for Christmas. But now that Nissan, the car maker that employs 7,000 people directly and a further 40,000 in the supply chain, has announced that it is staying in its Sunderland plant, Helen Pidd speaks to north-east voters and asks how they feel now about leaving the European UnionMPs visit Sunderland to ask what city wants from Brexit negotiations Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:33:35 GMT)

Trump Force One v Air Force One: how do they compare? – video
President-elect Donald Trump has called for Boeing to scrap its $4bn contract to update the government’s Air Force One fleet. He says the deal is ‘ridiculous’ and that he would rather fly in his own plane, a Boeing 757-200. So how do the two aircrafts compare? Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:48:10 GMT)

Greg Lake of King Crimson and ELP fame dies aged 69 – video obituary
Greg Lake, one of the key figures in the prog rock boom of the 1970s, has died at the age of 69 on Wednesday. He was known as a third of the prog supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer, but first came to prominence as a founding member of King Crimson. For non-prog fans, Lake was best known as the maker of one of the UK’s most enduring Christmas hits, I Believe in Father Christmas Greg Lake, legendary prog rock bassist, dies aged 69 Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:37:06 GMT)

After Calais: what has happened to the refugee children? – video
Six weeks after the Calais migrant camp was demolished, unaccompanied minors scattered around France are still waiting to hear of their fate from the Home Office. Lisa O’Carroll, Mat Heywood and John Domokos meet one young refugee who fled death in Darfur desperate to be reunited with his radiographer brother in LiverpoolSudanese refugee in UK voices fears for brother stranded in France Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 07:05:05 GMT)

Sleaford Mods on Brexit: 'You can't ignore things any more' – video
In early 2014 the Guardian hailed duo Sleaford Mods as ‘the most uncompromising British protest music made in years’. Here, we go backstage at a Sleaford Mods gig in their hometown of Nottingham to hear what singer Jason Williamson thinks about Brexit and the politicians drawing up the rules, while fans applaud the band for representing the world they live inWARNING: contains swearwords Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 08:46:21 GMT)

If fascism arrived tomorrow, would we recognise it? – video
Britain likes to think it doesn’t do fascism – we beat Hitler, after all. But, asks Rachel Shabi, are we complacent? Would we miss the signs if fascism was appearing under our noses? She argues that today’s climate, with the far right resurgent around the world, gives us cause to be more vigilant than ever Continue reading...
(Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:00:24 GMT)

The Story So Far - Brexit Means... Podcast
Introducing ‘Brexit Means ...’ our new in-depth Brexit podcast with the Guardian’s European affairs correspondent Jon Henley. In this first episode we look back at the brief history of Brexit: from David Cameron’s fateful promise to hold an ‘in/out’ referendum to Theresa May’s tautologous mantra that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ Welcome to the Guardian’s new Brexit podcast, Brexit Means... In the coming months we’ll be hearing from Britons and Europeans, Leavers and Remainers, politicians and ordinary people, economists, businessmen, lawyers, researchers, campaigners and many more about what Brexit means for them, for the UK and for the EU, how it might work – and how it might not. Continue reading...
(Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:00:04 GMT)

Saudi artist: Standing Rock protesters are warning us to save what we can – video
After the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under the Missouri river, Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater joins protesters at Standing Rock to celebrate their victory. This is the fifth episode in our Crossing the line series, in which a group of Middle Eastern artists embarks on a US road trip exploring common concernsStanding Rock protesters asked to ‘go home’ by Sioux leader Continue reading...
(Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:29:27 GMT)

The 24-hour emergency hotline for Syrian refugees – video
Mohammed Abu Amar runs a makeshift 24-hour helpline from his flat in Hamburg, guiding scared refugees fleeing the violence in Syria across the water to Europe. Despite losing the use of both legs in a shelling in Damascus in the early days of the conflict, Abu Amar made the crossing with his family in 2013. He subsequently found his calling, being constantly available on the phone for his fellow Syrians making the same perilous journey Continue reading...
(Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:23:20 GMT)

Antony Gormley's iron men come alive for A Winter's Tale – video
Writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce and director Carl Hunter reimagine Shakespeare’s late tragedy in an otherwordly film set among the statues of Antony Gormley’s installation Another Place on Crosby beach, Liverpool.This is the 10th film in the British Council’s series Shakespeare Lives in 2016, celebrating the playwright on the 400th anniversary of his death.King Lear in a care home: Phil Davis plays the storming monarch – video Continue reading...
(Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:00:15 GMT)

Isis survivor says UK could save lives of Yazidi women by admitting refugees
Nadia Murad, who escaped sexual enslavement by Islamic State, urges UK to follow Germany in offering refuge to Yazidi women and girls persecuted in IraqBritain could save the lives of thousands of women and girls if it followed Germany’s lead in allowing refugees from the Yazidi community into the UK, according to a UN goodwill ambassador and survivor of sexual enslavement by Islamic State. Related: UK government faces calls to shelter Yazidi refugees persecuted by Isis Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:00:24 GMT)

FCA to crack down on crowdfunding
City regulator says it has concerns about peer-to-peer lending, which is now a £3.4bn market in the UKThe City regulator has announced a crackdown on crowdfunding – the fast-growing sector that lets businesses and individuals raise money from online investors.The Financial Conduct Authority said it had concerns about loan-based businesses, also known as peer-to-peer lenders, and investment-based platforms. It said it was examining online alternative finance to take account of the UK market’s rapid growth from £1.7bn of loans, investments and donations in 2014 to £3.4bn last year. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:53:42 GMT)

Lawyer urges supreme court to throw out Brexit case after article 50 vote
In closing remarks, government QC James Eadie says Commons vote to back leaving the bloc is legally relevantThe supreme court has been urged to throw out a momentous legal challenge to the government’s powers to trigger Brexit, with Downing Street lawyers claiming parliament’s support for exiting the EU was conclusively demonstrated this week.In closing remarks at the end of a four-day hearing, James Eadie QC, appearing for the government, said a House of Commons vote held on Wednesday that backed leaving the bloc by 448 to 75 was “legally relevant” to the complex case. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:01:06 GMT)

MP Michelle Thomson says she was raped aged 14
Politician moves colleagues to tears as she describes her experience during Commons debate on violence against womenA Scottish MP has told a House of Commons debate on violence against women that she was raped at the age of 14, moving colleagues to tears and declaring: “I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.”Michelle Thomson, who was elected as an SNP member but withdrew from the party whip last year, told parliament: “When I was 14, I was raped. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:13:10 GMT)

Capita to replace staff with robots to save money
Outsourcing giant to axe 2,000 jobs and use ‘proprietary robotic solutions’ after clients cut spending following Brexit voteA British outsourcing company whose contracts include collecting the BBC licence fee is to replace staff with robots as it slashes costs.Capita, a FTSE 100-listed firm that also runs the London congestion charge, said it needed to axe 2,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive in response to poor trading. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:29:14 GMT)

ECB's Coeure says the central bank is ready do more if necessary - business live
Benoit Coeure, board member at the European Central Bank, says the eurozone economy will still need financial protection to make it through 2017 10.16am GMT City economists say the stronger-than-expected export performance suggests trade could make a decent contribution to GDP in the fourth quarter:Howard Archer at IHS Markit:Very much on the positive side, the trade performance improved substantially in October as exports jumped 4.6% month-on-month and imports fell 3.6% . This suggests that net trade can make a decent positive contribution to GDP growth – although it needs to be remembered that the data can be highly volatile and subject to significant revisionsWhile the monthly data are extremely volatile, the narrowing in the trade deficit in October sets a solid base for trade in Q4. What’s more, trade should be further supported in the coming months by the fall in sterling seen since the EU referendum, which should improve exporters’ competitiveness and encourage domestic production at the expense of imports. 9.55am GMT Britain’s trade in goods deficit narrowed more than expected in October, to £9.7bn from £13.8bn in September, as exports rose but imports fell.Following the EU referendum the UK trade deficit widened in the third quarter of 2016 and then in October it narrowed again.There remains only limited evidence so far that the depreciation of sterling has led to a marked increase in UK exports. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:16:48 GMT)

Self-harm by children rises steeply in England and Wales
Nearly 19,000 children received hospital treatment for self-harm in 2015 – a 14% increase since 2012Nearly 19,000 children and young people were treated in hospital in England and Wales after self-harming in the last year, a figure that has risen steeply in recent years, according to a leading children’s charity. Related: NHS figures show 'shocking' rise in self-harm among young Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:01:13 GMT)

Jon Lansman vows stay in Momentum
Jeremy Corbyn ally’s move follows claims that grassroots group has been taken over by Trotskyists and could splitJon Lansman, the founder of Momentum and a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, has promised to fight for his key role in the grassroots organisation following claims that it has been taken over by Trotskyists and could split. Related: Momentum is a beacon of hope. It must be saved from the saboteurs | Owen Jones Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:00:07 GMT)

Iraq human rights lawyer admits string of misconduct charges
Phil Shiner has admitted paying an agent to find him clients and acting improperly in claiming UK army mistreated civiliansA human rights lawyer who was pursued by the government after an inquiry rejected allegations that British troops murdered and tortured Iraqi civilians has admitted paying a middle man to find his clients in Iraq.Phil Shiner, whose most high profile case exposed the torture and death of Baha Mousa at the hands of British troops in Basra in 2003, has admitted a string of misconduct charges, a disciplinary tribunal was told on Thursday. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:37:05 GMT)

More foreign holidays will mean more skin cancer, scientists predict
A 78% increase in non-melanoma skin cancer may see the cost to the NHS of treating the disease rise to £465m a year by 2025The number of Britons developing the two most common forms of skin cancer will increase as a direct result of people getting tans on foreign holidays and in salons, experts are warning. Related: Scientists closer to understanding why red hair genes increase skin cancer risk Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:29:31 GMT)

No new inquiry into killings by British troops, say Northern Irish police
Denial follows newspaper report that officers would reinvestigate 302 killings that took place during the TroublesPolice in Northern Ireland have no plans to launch a fresh inquiry into killings carried out by British troops during the Troubles. The force issued the statement after a front-page report in the Sun said officers would reinvestigate all 302 killings carried out by British troops. The paper said at least 500 ex-servicemen, many now in their 60s and 70s, would be “viewed as suspects” during the process. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:39:23 GMT)

Mark Serwotka has heart transplant at Papworth
Leader of the Public and Commercial Services union became ill after apparently contracting a virus from his dogMark Serwotka, the leader of the largest civil service union, has had a successful heart transplant operation, with the medical team at Papworth hospital, Cambridgeshire, saying they were very happy about how the new heart was performing. Related: Make it easier to deselect MPs, says Corbyn ally Mark Serwotka Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 23:16:19 GMT)

I, Daniel Blake sweeps Evening Standard film awards
Ken Loach’s drama wins best British film, best actress and most powerful scene, while Hugh Grant and Kate Beckinsale take acting honoursI, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s drama about a middle-aged carpenter recovering from a heart attack and trying to navigate the benefits system, has taken best British film at the Evening Standard film awards. At a ceremony in London hosted by the actor and director Richard Ayoade, the drama also picked up best actress for newcomer Hayley Squires, who plays a single mother also encountering obstacles claiming welfare. It capped the evening by winning the award for most powerful scene, for its harrowing sequence set in a foodbank in which Squires’s character is so hungry she eats from a tin of cold baked beans. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:31:58 GMT)

Sadiq Khan takes Transport for London into new business territory
The London mayor insists he can honour his election pledges by making his transport agency operate more efficientlyRows about the finances of Transport for London (TfL) were prominent during this year’s election campaign and also a bit odd. For years, Conservatives had claimed that the large and powerful mayoral agency is a bloated bureaucracy in need of ruthless trimming, yet there was the Tory candidate – a Mr Goldsmith, you might recall - insisting that it could not cope with its fares being frozen for four years, while Labour man Sadiq Khan was pledging to transform it into a paragon of enterprise and efficiency.Seven months on from Khan’s big win, the first TfL business plan of his mayoralty has appeared. The sums are there on paper. So are Khan’s ambitious promises. Political opponents, naturally, say neither add up, with Tory AM Keith Prince worrying that the number crunching bites too deeply into TfL’s reserves and even using the word “socialist” to describe them - on Her Majesty’s BBC too! He also points out, quite correctly, that borrowing is going to soar. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:41:04 GMT)

Hostile states pose 'fundamental threat' to Europe, says MI6 chief
Although Alex Younger does not name specific country, he makes clear that Russia is target of his remarksThe head of the British intelligence agency MI6, Alex Younger, has said cyber-attacks, propaganda and subversion from hostile states pose a “fundamental threat” to European democracies, including the UK.In a rare speech by an MI6 chief while in office, Younger did not specifically name Russia but left no doubt that this was the target of his remarks. Russia has been accused of interfering in the US presidential election and there are concerns it could do the same in French and German elections next year. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:31:55 GMT)

Corbyn stance on EU immigration 'risks helping Ukip'
Labour leader’s support for free movement will alienate supporters outside London, says Welsh first minister Carwyn JonesJeremy Corbyn’s approach to immigration is too London-centric and risks driving Labour supporters into the arms of Ukip, Carwyn Jones, the first minister of Wales, has said.Jones, the most powerful Labour politician in government, disagreed with the position of Corbyn and his shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, who have both defended freedom of movement between the UK and the rest of the EU. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:08:55 GMT)

Man who harassed MP Luciana Berger online is jailed for two years
Joshua Bonehill-Paine was found guilty of writing antisemitic blogs about the Labour politician, leaving her feeling ‘under attack’ A man who harassed Luciana Berger, the Labour MP, in a string of antisemitic online rants has been jailed for two years after a trial at the Old Bailey.Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 24, wrote five hate-filled blogs about Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree. He variously called her a “dominatrix” and “an evil money-grabber” with a “deep-rooted hatred of men”. In one, he claimed the number of Jewish Labour MPs was a “problem”. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:35:09 GMT)

New diabetes treatment could eliminate need for insulin injections
Tested in mice, therapy involves a capsule of genetically engineered cells implanted under the skin that release insulin as requiredA cell-based diabetes treatment has been developed by scientists who say it could eliminate the need for those with the condition to inject insulin.The therapy involves a capsule of genetically engineered cells implanted under the skin that automatically release insulin as required. Diabetic mice that were treated with the cells were found to have normal blood sugar levels for several weeks. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:00:07 GMT)

Court rejects bid to halt Southern train drivers' industrial action
Owners of Southern railway had argued overtime ban and strikes broke European law guaranteeing people’s right to travelThe high court has rejected an attempt by the owners of Southern rail to prevent train drivers from taking industrial action.The operators of Southern, Govia Thameslink Railway, had argued that the action by members of the Aslef union, which includes an overtime ban as well as impending strikes, was contrary to European law guaranteeing the rights of people to travel and of companies to invest, with GTR being partially owned by the French firm Keolis. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:52:26 GMT)

Tata Steel jobs: regulator warns of pension hurdles
Unions have agreed deal to save 8,000 jobs but company must resolve issues with pension scheme, says watchdogThe Pensions Regulator has warned there are still major hurdles to overcome to secure the future of Tata Steel’s UK pension scheme, which is pivotal for saving the Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales.Tata Steel and trade union leaders have agreed a deal to save 8,000 jobs in the steel industry and the Port Talbot steelworks, with the Indian company committing £1bn of new investment to its UK business. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:31:07 GMT)

Brexit does not have to be bad for UK exporters, north-east firm tells MPs
It is easy to export ‘if you make products people want’, Ebac founder John Elliott advises MPs on fact-finding mission A manufacturer in the north-east has told MPs that Brexit does not have to be bad for British exporters, boasting that his firm has just struck a lucrative, long-term deal with a French company.John Elliott, the founder and chairman of Ebac, which makes water coolers, washing machines and dehumidifiers from a factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, said trade tariffs were “not the end of the world”. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:26:08 GMT)

Corporate spy infiltrated anti-asbestos campaign, court told
Two activists and a lawyer involved in campaign are claiming aggravated damages from K2 Intelligence LtdA leading corporate intelligence firm infiltrated the worldwide campaign to ban asbestos in a sophisticated and long-running espionage campaign, the high court in London has heard.Over a period of four years, the court was told, a spy working for K2 Intelligence Ltd masqueraded as a sympathetic documentary maker in order to gather a mass of sensitive material about the leading figures in the campaign, their methods, funding and future plans. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:36:02 GMT)

Sheffield council leader ignores calls to resign over 5am tree felling operation
Campaigners in Sheffield say 4,000 trees have gone since private finance deal was signed with contractor Amey in 2012A council leader has ignored calls to resign over a pre-dawn tree-felling operation in which five people were arrested.Simon Crump and Calvin Payne were detained in the battle over Sheffield’s tree-felling programme. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:45:10 GMT)

Underground coal gasification will not go ahead in UK
Government says it will not support highly polluting method of releasing gas from coal seamsA highly polluting method of extracting gas has been effectively killed off in the UK after the government said it would not support the technology.Underground coal gasification (UCG), which involves injecting oxygen and steam underground to release gas from coal seams, would massively increase UK carbon emissions if exploited, according to a government-commissioned report. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:06:25 GMT)

One in 14 people now waiting for operations as demand on NHS soars
NHS England figures show number of people awaiting non-urgent surgery is at highest level since December 2007Demand for medical care is rising so fast and hospitals are so busy that one in 14 people in England are now waiting to have a non-urgent operation. NHS England figures released on Thursday show the number of people awaiting hospital treatment reached 3,754,961 in October – the highest level recorded since December 2007. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:16:20 GMT)

Norovirus cases at highest level for five years this winter
1,704 cases of diarrhoea and vomiting bug are already confirmed in England, 55% higher than during same period last yearLevels of the vomiting bug norovirus in England this winter are the highest for five years, figures reveal.Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that 1,704 cases of norovirus in England have been confirmed by laboratory testing so far this season, which is 9% higher than the average for the same period over the past five years. Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:03:42 GMT)

Congolese rape survivor finds justice elusive: ‘I'm afraid my father will find me’ | Ruth Maclean
Eve was repeatedly raped by her father. Her long, lonely battle for redress exposes deep flaws in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s legal frameworkWhen Eve* walked into the courtroom to face her father, who had raped her since she was 13, his family was waiting. As she made her way to her seat, they got up and stood in her path. They scratched her, yanked her long hair back, and hit her. A relative, Lydia*, who had also been repeatedly raped by Eve’s father, had agreed to testify on her behalf. That gave her courage. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:00:22 GMT)

'Lost' Austrian film predicting rise of nazism restored and relaunched
City Without Jews premiered in Vienna in 1924. Now the original version, lost for 90 years, has been saved from decayIt is the end of the first world war, inflation is soaring and the inhabitants of a German-speaking city are starting to turn on each other. Politicians are quick to find a scapegoat: “The people,” the chancellor announces, “demand the expulsion of all Jews.”What may sound like a snippet from a history book about the Third Reich is in fact the synopsis of a film produced at a time when the Nazi party was still banned and Adolf Hitler was putting the finishing touches to Mein Kampf in a Munich prison cell. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:00:22 GMT)

Hong Kong's divisive leader Leung Chun-ying says he will step down
Leung, who is vilified by pro-democracy campaigners, says he will not seek re-election in March and will leave the post in July Hong Kong’s divisive leader, Leung Chun-ying, who has been vilified by critics as a puppet of Beijing, has said he will not run again for office after a term marked by anti-China protests and political divisions. Leung said he would step down at the end of his term in July for family reasons after speculation intensified in recent weeks over who would get the nod from Beijing for leadership elections in March. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:29:20 GMT)

Justin Trudeau under pressure amid cash-for-access fundraising claims
Dream run ends for Canada’s governing Liberal party after reports that rich donors got privileged access to prime minister and cabinet members at eventsCanada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has become embroiled in allegations of holding cash-for-access political fundraisers in developments that could tarnish his image as a youthful reformer. Trudeau was pressed hard by opposition leaders on Thursday about newspaper reports that select donors to the ruling Liberal party enjoyed privileged access to fundraising events where the prime minister and cabinet members spoke. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 01:07:08 GMT)

Children's characters may disappear from unhealthy food in Netherlands
‘Licensed media characters’ like Dora the Explorer and Miffy would no longer be used to target young children under initiative by Dutch food industryFamous children’s characters such as Dora the Explorer may soon disappear from some commercial food packaging in the Netherlands to discourage unhealthy eating habits, food industry representatives have said.The decision was made after “public debates on the impact of advertising targeting children”, the umbrella Dutch Food Industry Federation (FNLI) said. “Obesity is a problem over which the food industry is greatly concerned.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 02:44:54 GMT)

UK food prices will rise without EU workers, say trade groups
Food and drink industry flags up labour shortages as EU workers leave after Brexit vote or stay away due to fall in poundFood prices will rise unless the government ensures EU citizens can work in the UK after Brexit, according to industry groups representing the major supermarkets and food manufacturers, including the owner of Marmite. Related: EU workers in food and drink industry need assurance over Brexit | Letters Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:30:35 GMT)

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