Published: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:52:37 GMT2017-02-20T22:52:37ZCopyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:00:41 GMT2017-02-20T18:00:41Z
Guardian analysis shows falling back on WTO rules would mean steep bills for industries including fashion, agriculture, cars and ceramics
Crashing out of the European Union without a trade deal would saddle British exporters with more than £6bn a year of extra costs, according to analysis that reveals the limited options facing UK negotiators just weeks before Brexit talks start.
Theresa May has insisted “no deal is better than a bad deal” when it comes to the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU, suggesting the prime minister believes falling back on World Trade Organisation rules is a credible alternative if she cannot get her preferred option of a new free trade agreement with the EU.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:00:41 GMT2017-02-20T18:00:41Z
Leaving the EU without a deal and falling back on WTO rules would mean paying customs duties on British exports to the EU. Guardian calculations put the annual bill at $7.6bn just in tariff costs. Here’s whyContinue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:57:45 GMT2017-02-20T20:57:45Z
Parliament holds three-hour debate over whether US president’s invitation should be revoked after 1.8m sign petition against visit
British MPs lined up on Monday to pour scorn on a “racist and sexist” Donald Trump, who they said should not be allowed to come to Britain for a state visit because of the risk it would embarrass the Queen.
The US president was compared to a “petulant child” and had his intelligence questioned by MPs during a three-hour debate triggered after more than 1.8m people signed a petition urging Theresa May to cancel her invitation.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:18:29 GMT2017-02-20T20:18:29Z
Juhel Miah from south Wales was removed from plane in Reykjavik despite suspension of president’s travel ban
A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the United States.
Juhel Miah and a group of children and other teachers were about to take off from Iceland on 16 February on their way to the US when he was removed from the plane at Reykjavik. The previous week, on the 10 February, a US appeals court had upheld a decision to suspend Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned entry to the country from seven Muslim-majority countries.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:20:16 GMT2017-02-20T18:20:16Z
Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Media Show revealed last year he had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus
Broadcaster and journalist Steve Hewlett has died from cancer at the age of 58. He had documented the impact of the disease in a series of candid radio interviews and newspaper articles.
The presenter of Radio 4’s Media Show revealed last year that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in March, and had spoken frankly about its development with Eddie Mair on Radio 4 and in a diary published in the Observer.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:40:32 GMT2017-02-20T20:40:32Z
Theresa May’s decision to sit in the chamber during debate seen as a warning to those in the House where Tories do not hold majority
Senior peers have indicated they will defy Theresa May by pushing for changes to the Brexit bill in the House of Lords, as the prime minister made a highly unusual appearance in the upper chamber to observe the first day of debate.
Gus O’Donnell, the former Whitehall cabinet secretary, and Nicholas Macpherson, the ex-permanent secretary of the Treasury, both suggested they could vote for cross-party amendments, as peers began their scrutiny of May’s Brexit legislation.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:58:39 GMT2017-02-20T18:58:39Z
Volunteers say decision to stop taking lone child refugees to UK and destruction of Calais camp has been a fillip to traffickers
MPs have warned the Home Office that it cannot ignore the growing numbers of child refugees returning to sleep rough on the edges of Calais and Dunkirk after the closure of the so-called Dubs scheme, which gave lone children a safe route to asylum in the UK.
Volunteers said the UK government’s decision to take no more lone child refugees from Europe had been a fillip to traffickers, who were emboldened by the desperation of teenagers rejected by official schemes.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:08:25 GMT2017-02-20T18:08:25Z
French far-right party dismisses police search as ‘media operation whose goal is to disturb course of presidential campaign’
French police searched the headquarters of Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National on Monday evening as part of an official investigation into “fake” jobs involving the misuse of European Union funds to pay for a bodyguard and an assistant in Paris.
Brussels investigators claim Le Pen paid her bodyguard, Thierry Légier, more than €41,500 (£35,350) between October and December 2011, by falsely claiming he was an EU parliamentary assistant. She is also accused of paying nearly €298,000 between December 2010 and 2016 to her France-based assistant Catherine Griset.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:42:38 GMT2017-02-20T17:42:38Z
Vitaly Churkin, a pugnacious defender of Russian policy, died day before 65th birthday, says foreign ministry in Moscow
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations for the past decade and leading international exponent of Vladimir Putin’s increasingly self-confident foreign policy, has died suddenly aged 64, the foreign ministry in Moscow has said.
In a statement on Monday night, the ministry said Churkin died in New York, where the UN headquarters are located, a day before his 65th birthday. His death at NewYork-Presbyterian hospital followed what was described as a cardiac condition in his office at 9am local time, it said.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:58:38 GMT2017-02-20T17:58:38Z
Officers interviewed for documentary cited by US president as evidence of violence by refugees accuse film-maker of bad journalism
Two Swedish police officers interviewed for a documentary cited by Donald Trump as evidence of a link between crime levels and asylum policy in Sweden say their comments were taken out of context, accusing the interviewer of “bad journalism”.
At a Florida rally on Sunday the US president sowed confusion by seemingly referencing a non-existent terrorist attack in Sweden, later explaining on Twitter that the comment had been a reference to a news segment on the Fox News TV channel, which described an “incredible surge of violence” in Sweden.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:59:14 GMT2017-02-20T12:59:14Z
Fine Gael leader to outline plans at party meeting in Dublin next month after St Patrick’s Day visit to White House
Enda Kenny is expected to step down as Ireland’s taoiseach next month after severe criticism of his handling of a crisis in the Irish police force.
Kenny, who last year became the first Fine Gael leader to win a second consecutive term as prime minister, will outline his plans at a party meeting in Dublin on Wednesday.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:14:37 GMT2017-02-20T18:14:37Z
It’s up to progressives to fight back against this idiocy-promoting rhetoric and save the Earth
It hits you in the face and clings to you. It makes tall buildings whine as their air conditioning plants struggle to cope. It makes the streets deserted and the ice-cold salons of corner pubs get crowded with people who don’t like beer. It is the Aussie heatwave: and it is no joke.
Temperatures in the western suburbs of Sydney, far from the upmarket beachside glamour, reached 47C (117F) last week, topping the 44C I experienced there the week before. For reference, if it reached 47C in the middle of the Sahara desert, that would be an unusually hot day.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:15:43 GMT2017-02-20T19:15:43Z
The star talks about fighting with Martin Scorsese, missing James Gandolfini – and her dad scaring Dustin Hoffman at the Oscars
I ask Lorraine Bracco if she remembers the first time she saw Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese’s dazzling portrait of life in the mob. “Absolutely,” she says. “It was last year.” Which is strange, given the film came out in 1990, and Bracco was one of the stars. She is laughing as she speaks, a husky giggle, her accent doorstop-thick New York. “Well, I went to the premiere, but I missed the start doing interviews, and then they pulled me out before the end, and then I had another job on a film with Sean Connery in the fucking jungle. And by the time I came home it wasn’t playing. And I never wanted to see it on TV. So, yeah, I didn’t see it until – Mo, when was the 25th anniversary?”
Mo is her assistant, a friendly woman in a Wu-Tang Clan T-shirt, doing emails out of sight behind a partition. “2015,” she calls out. “Right,” Bracco says. “So in New York in 2015 there’s an anniversary thing but again I don’t actually get to see it. And finally I see it last summer, outdoors in LA …” “Hollywood Forever cemetery,” Mo says. “Beautiful,” Bracco says. “4,000 people, a full moon. And me.”Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:03:17 GMT2017-02-20T15:03:17Z
From pundits like Ann Coulter to Kellyanne Conway, American rightwingers are a uniform vision of don’t scare-the-horses dressing
Why do so many rightwing American women have bottle-blond hair, often worn girlishly long? I’m thinking of Kellyanne Conway, Ann Coulter and almost any woman on Fox News.
Jonathan, London N16Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:53:05 GMT2017-02-20T15:53:05Z
A collective of female stars including Angélique Kidjo, Mariam Doumbia and Nneka is singing out against gender inequality in west Africa over a soundtrack of funk, blues and dub
‘We are sick of seeing women suffer because of violence,” says Pamela Badjogo, Afro-jazz and blues singer. “In the family, in the war zones. We want it to stop.”
Badjogo is a member of the supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique, an all-female collective of west African musicians campaigning for gender equality. It might seem a worthy premise on which to build a powerful creative expression but their album République Amazone blends ancient rhythms seamlessly over funk and blues with dabs of dub. Tracks are sang intermittently in English, French and Mandinka, and tackle love, oppression and female empowerment. These 12 musicians and singers, among them Grammy-winning Angélique Kidjo, Mariam Doumbia of the legendary duo Amadou and Mariam, and international popstar Nneka, believe music can trigger change and be a weapon to address the systematic disempowerment of women across Africa.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:17:44 GMT2017-02-20T15:17:44ZProgressives used to think everything in Sweden was perfect; now rightwingers believe it’s a crucible of Muslim violence – despite all evidence to the contrary
Donald Trump’s outburst about “that thing that happened in Sweden last night” – which turned out to be a Fox News report he had seen on the difficulties of integrating refugees – is only the latest illustration of the role that Sweden plays in the fantasies of the outside world.
The wonderful thing about Sweden is that you can believe what you like about it. For much of the 20th century it was a place where foreign progressives could only believe that everything ran perfectly smoothly and everyone got laid, thanks in part to the exploits of Ingrid Bergman and the Swedish arthouse film I am Curious (Yellow). In the 21st century it has become the country where foreign rightwingers can believe that nothing works and that rape is widespread.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:10:04 GMT2017-02-20T22:10:04Z
Sutton United threw their best, their lavishly watered pitch and their streaker with a giraffe’s headdress at Arsenal but a gap worth 105 league places could not be overcome. Arsène Wenger’s team found two moments of clarity to make sure their illustrious name would not be added to the list of Sutton’s scalps this season, with Lucas Pérez and Theo Walcott stopping the pressure on Wenger from intensifying.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:00:34 GMT2017-02-20T22:00:34Z
Newcastle United are back on top of the Championship and pleasingly for them have reached the stage where a countdown to promotion can begin. Six more victories might do it.
Aston Villa are enduring a rather different self-assessment. They are counting the defeats – five in a row, seven in the last eight in the league.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:11:33 GMT2017-02-20T18:11:33ZAfter Tymal Mills went for £1.4m in the latest Indian Premier League auction, what price would Ian Botham or Denis Compton in their pomp have reached?
On Tuesday night every cricketer who has played for England has been invited to a dinner at Lord’s by the bountiful Andrew Strauss. It is an excellent idea, eagerly anticipated, and hopefully there will not be too many long speeches because when old cricketers get together there is much to discuss around the table. Firstly, of course, the past, or some legendary version of it, must be revisited and then the vagaries of the present have to be set to rights.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:59:29 GMT2017-02-20T16:59:29Z
There was something about the win over Leganés, the performance, the whole night, that was deeper than a single game. Barça need something to believe in
It was the 89th minute and it could have been the end; 63,378 people watched, minus those who’d already departed depressed – and there were plenty of them – as he stood alone before them. Standing before him, meanwhile, was Iago Herrerín; Iago Herrerín and disaster. But there were no nerves, just annoyance, and there would be no joy, not even much sign of relief. Leo Messi took the penalty that might just have rescued Barcelona’s season, pulling them from an even darker place and keeping them alive for another week at least, as if all he really wanted was to get rid of the ball. Kick the bloody thing away. So he did: dismissively, angrily … and into the net.
And then he stood there. Messi didn’t smile, didn’t raise his fingers to the sky, another goal dedicated to his late grandmother Celia, and didn’t say anything. Team-mates ran over and embraced him but there was barely a flicker. He had just scored the winner in the last minute – although there was still time for Nabil El Zhar’s shot to fly wide at the other end – yet he didn’t feel like celebrating, didn’t feel he had anything to celebrate. He just stood, eyes lost, as if he was embarrassed or angry or both, ashamed by it all, black thoughts going round his mind. At the full-time whistle he walked off, occasionally responding to an opponent’s outstretched hand, but not stopping, like he just wanted to get out of there.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:27:23 GMT2017-02-20T13:27:23Z• Badminton funding slashed to zero, while archery and fencing hit
UK Sport has defended its decision to reject appeals from GB badminton and six other sports for funding for the next Olympic cycle by warning that if it took “softer decisions now” Britain might end up with a heavily reduced medal haul at Tokyo 2020.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:01:11 GMT2017-02-20T18:01:11ZFrench league leaders have grown in stature at home and in Europe and can cause Manchester City problems in their Champions League round of 16 tie
As a measure of why Pep Guardiola spoke so effusively about Manchester City’s latest opponents in the Champions League, it is worth bearing in mind Monaco’s achievements this season eclipse those of the Paris Saint-Germain side who just had the temerity to win 4-0 against Barcelona and knock the throne off football royalty.
Monaco are not only looking down on PSG from the top of the French league but, to put it into context, they have scored 76 goals from 26 games compared with 50 for the Qatari-funded team who gave Barça one of their worst chasings for many years.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:49:07 GMT2017-02-20T17:49:07Z• England’s leading match official will be in charge of at least four matches
Mark Clattenburg is to remain a Premier League referee for the rest of the season, and will be in charge for West Bromwich Albion’s game against Bournemouth this weekend, before taking up his new position as head of referees in Saudi Arabia.
England’s leading match official announced last week that he was to leave his position on the panel of elite referees to succeed Howard Webb in the role in the Middle East but will serve out his notice period. The 41-year-old, who was recently voted the best referee in the world at Dubai’s Globe Soccer Awards, had announced his intention to help “improve refereeing and the education of officials” with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:20:04 GMT2017-02-20T15:20:04Z
The podders look back on an historic weekend in the FA Cup. Plus, Manchester City look to stop Monaco’s awesome attack, while Leicester head to SevillaContinue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:00:00 GMT2017-02-20T18:00:00Z• England T20 specialist Tymal Mills hails his ‘life-changing’ deal
Ben Stokes described the moment he became the highest paid England cricketer of all time as “complete carnage”, having learned of his £1.7m deal to play for Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League during the early hours of yesterday morning via social media.
But even the all-rounder’s surprise could not match that of the Sussex left-arm fast bowler, Tymal Mills, who from a reserve price of £60,000 finished up with a £1.4m deal to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore, some two years after he nearly quit the game.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:04:20 GMT2017-02-20T17:04:20ZFormer world super-bantamweight champion, who is making noises at featherweight, is leaving Joe Gallagher’s care to base himself at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles
Scott Quigg has split with Joe Gallagher after six years to join Freddie Roach in the US. It is a gamble that could launch him into a rematch with Carl Frampton or put him into the mix at featherweight, a division that is brimming with possibilities.
The 28-year-old former world super-bantamweight champion, now making noises at 9st, insisted on Monday the parting was amicable, although only those close to the camp saw it coming.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:20:00 GMT2017-02-20T12:20:00ZHaving abandoned big-spending, Monaco, who visit Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, are reaping the rewards of home-grown talent
When Monaco cut their transfer budget in 2014, having spent £140m in previous windows to catch up with Paris Saint-Germain, few expected them to supersede their rivals any time soon.
The vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, said at the time the club would focus on their academy rather than expensive transfer targets to complement Radamel Falcao but no one expected the ageing Colombian to lead Europe’s best attack a couple of seasons later.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:35:03 GMT2017-02-20T10:35:03Z
The midfielder cannot wait for Monday’s FA Cup tie and facing the club that left him feeling depressed after they let him go after just 10 appearances
Craig Eastmond is standing in the cramped away dressing room at Sutton United’s Gander Green Lane stadium – the one that will accommodate Arsène Wenger and his Arsenal squad for Monday night’s FA Cup tie – and he knows what they will think. After all, Eastmond was once an Arsenal player.
Towards the back, there is an old‑fashioned communal bath but it has been largely out of commission this season because the boiler is broken. “Teams can use it as an ice bath, if they want,” Clive Baxter, the Sutton kit man, volunteers. “Tranmere Rovers did that.” Happily for Arsenal, there are four showers that do have hot water.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:00:33 GMT2017-02-20T09:00:33ZCoach changes players from a tea-and-scones approach to sharp right to the end, which has helped extend the unbeaten run into the Six Nations
When hearing Eddie Jones explain that England’s ability to win matches in the last 20 minutes was down to the training method of “tactical periodisation” it was hard not to be reminded of Clive Woodward’s T-Cup (Thinking Correctly Under Pressure) mantra, not least because of how Jones measures the method’s success. “We have parameters for how quickly they get off the ground,” he said. “I think some of the blokes used to have a cup of tea and a scone with jam and cream before they got off the ground. It was terrible.”Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:01:15 GMT2017-02-20T11:01:15Z• Successful pair will remain with all-conquering formula one team until 2020
Mercedes have signed new deals with their executive director of motorsport, Toto Wolff, and the team’s non-executive chairman, Niki Lauda, to retain the pair until 2020, confirming the stability of the team up until the end of the manufacturer’s current commitment to Formula One, which runs until 2020 – when the current commercial arrangement with Formula One Management concludes.
The team will launch their new car for the season on Thursday at Silverstone and retaining the long-standing presence of Wolff and Lauda at the top of the organisation as they face a new formula this season and readjust after the departures of Nico Rosberg and Paddy Lowe over the winter will help ease the transition.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:04:34 GMT2017-02-20T13:04:34Z
Three former elite US gymnasts, including 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher, have come forward saying they were sexually abused by a former doctor currently facing trial on a separate matter.
Dantzscher, three-time US rhythmic gymnastics champion Jessica Howard and former national team member Jeanette Antolin appeared on 60 Minutes on Sunday, detailing what they have claimed is sexual abuse by Dr Larry Nassar. All three accused Nassar, a volunteer team doctor for USA Gymnastics for almost three decades before his tenure ended in July 2015 of touching them inappropriately while he disguised the abuse as treatment.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:45:57 GMT2017-02-20T12:45:57Z
DeMarcus Cousins is on his way out of Sacramento — and right into an All-Star frontcourt pairing with Anthony Davis. The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to acquire Cousins from the Kings on Sunday, the same night the center was playing in the All-Star Game in their arena.
The Kings dealt one of the most talented but temperamental big men in the game along with Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks this summer.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:42:05 GMT2017-02-20T12:42:05Z• It is a project I’m excited to be part of, says the 46-year-old
Richard Cockerill has agreed to take over as the coach of Edinburgh next season in a move that represents a coup for the Pro12 side. The former England hooker, sacked by Leicester in January after 13 years on the coaching staff, will head to Scotland after completing his short-term consultancy role at Toulon.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:02:26 GMT2017-02-20T14:02:26Z
Nouri was right to provide perspective after his side beat Mainz, calling it ‘a small step in the right direction. Many more,’ he added, ‘have to follow’
After the ride he’s had to endure since the Bundesliga restart, perhaps it’s unfair to expect Alexander Nouri to raise one eyebrow and drop a Mourinho-esque quote at the end of the game, even if it did bring victory. “You get perfection in the Chinese State Circus,” he reasoned after his team’s 2-0 win at Mainz gave everybody involved with the club a chance to exhale. Clunky, maybe, but most coaches who have been in a similar situation could probably empathise.
Either way, Saturday’s win was exactly what Werder Bremen needed – and exactly what Nouri needed, with the sporting director, Frank Baumann, ostensibly having backed him after last week’s loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, even if he declined to go as far as to guarantee him a job on the other side of it, depending on the result. Baumann, a stalwart in the spine of the Bremen side that won the 2004 Bundesliga/Pokal double, called this “a real win,” and said it was, full of determination, “team spirit” (in Nouri’s words) and no little measure of enterprise.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:36:23 GMT2017-02-20T16:36:23Z
In today’s Fiver: FA Cup underdogs, advice for Genoa and in-game protests
You can probably tell which one of the Cowley brothers was more trouble when they were kids. Danny and Nicky, the Lincoln manager and assistant, respectively, were watched by their parents on Saturday as the Imps did what Chelsea and Liverpool have all failed to this season: beat Burnley at Turf Moor. Presumably, at some point after the game but before the pair appeared on Match of the Day that evening, mama and papa Cowley told them both to have a bloody shave: “You’re going on television young man, you don’t want to look like a scruff on the BBC.” Danny complied, but Nicky didn’t, so we all know which brother helped with the washing up and which was hanging outside the precinct drinking Two Dogs when they were youths. Still, you can’t blame Nicky: he had helped his team become the first non-league side to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 103 years. He can stay out as long as he likes and spend his pocket money on whatever he wants.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:00:08 GMT2017-02-20T12:00:08Z
It’s 2027 and Mental Endeavours Ltd has a problem with its flagship robot, Günther. How do you program an intelligent machine not to annihilate humanity? And if its intelligence is skyrocketing faster than anyone predicted, is the company about to run out of time? The latest original drama produced by the Guardian is a super-intelligence sci-fi.
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Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:06:04 GMT2017-02-20T18:06:04ZIt’s disheartening that even someone as resilient as Diane Abbott was hounded into defining herself in terms of race and gender
Diane Abbott wrote a powerful article in these pages last week about the hatred she receives. Whatever one thinks of her politics, the veteran Labour MP has for decades been a fireball of public service. But her star has always been followed by a comet tail of toxic vapour. This personal abuse is at times snide and implied, at other times explicit, vicious and unprintable. But it is a constant in her political life, following her round, undermining her, consistently framing her in terms of her gender and her race.
Abbott’s article came just days after she received an exceptional and sustained amount of personal abuse over the article 50 vote, culminating in a leaked text sent by Brexit secretary David Davis, in which he made derogatory comments on her appearance. Her article was necessary and timely, but something about her speaking out made my heart sink. It felt like defeat; the ultimate feeding of the trolls. It is important to look beyond the headlines and understand the significance of what happened.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:53:44 GMT2017-02-20T19:53:44ZContinue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:00:25 GMT2017-02-20T21:00:25Z
Cultural property (armed conflicts) bill doesn’t get a look-in as presidential state visit debate draws the crowds
Outside in Westminster Square, several thousand people protested against the prime minister’s decision to offer President Trump a state visit; inside Westminster Hall, a few dozen MPs – rather more than were in the main chamber for the report stage of the cultural property (armed conflicts) bill – debated the two competing public petitions regarding the Donald’s proposed red carpet treatment.
Even though nothing that gets debated in Westminster Hall really counts for very much, it didn’t stop proceedings splitting along party lines. Especially as it was a matter of honour. In particular, the prime minister’s honour. For what was at stake wasn’t just the desirability of allowing the US president anywhere near the Queen, it was also Theresa May’s judgment in extending the invitation within seven days of the Donald getting his feet under the Oval Office desk.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:30:11 GMT2017-02-20T14:30:11ZHigh-level corruption and illicit trade in natural resources depend on banks across the EU. Putting financial pressure on them can help save lives
Almost a year ago, the UK government convened a global summit to commit to fighting corruption. The final communiqué from the governments involved summed up their historic intentions: “We want to send a clear signal to the corrupt that they will face consequences internationally. We want to make it harder for them to travel and do business in our countries.”
The time for sending signals is over. It is time to act against the kind of corruption that enables governments and armed groups especially in east and central Africa – the deadliest interlinked zone of conflict in the world – to prosecute wars and carry out mass atrocities.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:08:49 GMT2017-02-20T19:08:49ZThe illness and death of Steve Hewlett is an example of humour and decency
Towards the end of the last century it was fashionable and even for a while plausible to describe death as the last taboo – the one subject we could no longer mention. Since then there has been an astonishing outpouring of books and journalism about the experience of terminal illness. Steve Hewlett, who died on Monday afternoon, left to humanity a legacy of his own humanity in the diaries he wrote for the Observer and the radio interviews with his friend Eddie Mair. The poet, wit and critic Clive James, fortunately still with us, and the writer Jenny Diski, who died in December, both kept public diaries of their decline which excite compassion and admiration among tens of thousands of people.
These records are inspiringly antiheroic. In contrast to the 18th-century tradition of writers using their own deaths as a moral – Addison making his last words “See how peacefully a Christian may die” contrasting with David Hume exhibiting how stoically a philosopher might manage death without any hope of an afterlife – the diarists of today are detailed and quotidian. Instead of a poised epigram – the Instagram of the 18th century – they are more like blogs, which show an ordinary life going on until one day it doesn’t. In this context, the way in which the presenter Eddie Mair teases his dying friend in their interviews is a wonderful demonstration of the way in which courage and love can saturate the fabric of everyday life.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:33:19 GMT2017-02-20T19:33:19Z
Warren Buffett and 3G were apparently surprised at hostility from Unilever’s board – but PM must use this bid as cue to form proper policy on takeovers
Warren Buffett and his Brazilian private equity chums at 3G, the main players at Kraft Heinz, must process their cheese and beans on another planet. The US firm abandoned its £115bn bid for Unilever, we’re told, because it wasn’t expecting its proposal to receive such hostility from Unilever’s board and a few British and Dutch politicians. If that explanation is correct, Kraft’s crew of billionaires should get out more. Did they miss the debates that have raged over rootless global companies, asset-stripping deals and the UK’s open-doors policy on takeovers? Hostility was predictable and justified.
Unilever’s board was always likely to reject the chance to be bought by a financier-led firm in search of another target for its job-cutting formula. Unilever’s chief executive, Paul Polman, lectures the world on the importance of looking beyond the next quarter’s earnings and was not about to trade 100 years of corporate history for an uncertain ride on 3G’s debt-propelled takeover machine. A miserly initial offer, comprising a takeover premium of only 18%, will only have strengthened Unilever’s sense of indignation.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:42:08 GMT2017-02-20T17:42:08ZHunting and mountaineering organisations say that plans to increase forest cover in Scotland will ruin the countryside. I disagree
A couple of summers ago, I strolled through Glen Feshie, wondering why this beautiful corner of the Cairngorms didn’t feel British. Ah, that’s it: little Scots pines poked through the heather alongside baby willows, dog rose, black grouse and other burgeoning signs of life.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:00:56 GMT2017-02-20T16:00:56ZIf Bootle Street police station, the Reform synagogue and a Peterloo-era pub are replaced with Giggs and Neville’s towers investors will benefit – not Mancunians
Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville’s St Michael’s skyscrapers are two of many such towers currently proposed for Manchester’s city centre. The former footballers’ buildings will sit on the site currently occupied by the Ralph Abercromby pub, the only building remaining from the site of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, St Peter’s Field. Also threatened by the development are the Manchester Reform synagogue, and the 1930s-built Bootle Street police station, both of which are of huge historical significance to the city.
As a consequence proposals have come under fierce attack by local campaigners – more than 70% of the public who attended the consultation opposed the scheme – and Historic England have deemed it irreparably damaging to the historical fabric of the conservation area which surrounds it. By and large the dismay boils down to the unsympathetic manner in which the skyscrapers will dominate the townscape around St Peter’s and Albert Square, with considerable negative impact on the built environment. Planning permission is yet to be approved but an apparent disregard for the results of the consultation process by the developers has left an all too familiar bad taste in the mouths of local people who feel that the process was nothing more than lip service.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:55:08 GMT2017-02-20T17:55:08ZThe Sehwan bombing is a result of the Saudi-funded fundamentalism that has taken a grip in the country
Last week, only three days after a suicide bomb went off in Lahore, an Islamic State supporter struck a crowd of Sufi dancers celebrating in the great Pakistani shrine of Sehwan Sharif. The attack, which killed almost 90, showed the ability of radical Islamists to silence moderate and tolerant voices in the Islamic world.
The attack also alarmingly demonstrated the ever-wider reach of Isis and the ease with which it can now strike within Pakistan. Isis now appears to equal the Taliban as a serious threat to this nuclear-armed country.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:44:41 GMT2017-02-20T16:44:41Z
After Trump was invited to meet the Queen, 1.85m Britons signed a petition against the idea. As parliament debates the issue, two MPs go head-to-headContinue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:10:37 GMT2017-02-20T13:10:37ZArriving to study, I had my first asthma attack in 10 years. The capital’s shocking air quality is a health emergency – and it’s already costing lives
While the mayor of London Sadiq Khan is acting on the fact that London breached its annual air pollution limit within just five days this year by advising Londoners to remain indoors, limit heavy breathing, and eat vegetables – seemingly everything other than not driving – millions of people are suffering serious health effects from exposure to particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and myriad other pollutants in the air.
Khan said: “Everyone – from the most vulnerable to the physically fit – may need to take precautions to protect themselves from the filthy air.”Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:55:28 GMT2017-02-20T11:55:28ZIt was easy to get the job, but care slots can be as short as five minutes and pay often dips below minimum wage. No wonder many give up
I spent six weeks last summer in Blackpool. I was not there for a stag do or the traditional British seaside fare, but instead to be a home care worker for a private provider.
Around 300,000 people live in residential care homes in the UK, while some 500,000 elderly and disabled people rely on home care visits for things such as washing and dressing. As the UK’s population ages, it is estimated that 1.7 million more adults will require social care over the next 15 years. The private sector employs over two-thirds of all adult social care workers.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:45:11 GMT2017-02-20T14:45:11ZDon’t be frightened of joining tonight’s Stop Trump march without friends. Take it from me, the sense of unity and camaraderie will be empowering
If we’ve gained anything positive from Donald Trump it’s that he’s reaffirmed so many of our beliefs: that we should live in a tolerant and compassionate world, free from racism and misogyny – and how ridiculous it seems to even have to state that. About 5 million people worldwide protested in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington last month, and many went on to rally against the US travel ban. This evening – in coordination with One Day Without Us, protesting today for migrant rights – there is a march on parliament against Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and actions, and the complicity of Theresa May and the British government in supporting him.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:00:34 GMT2017-02-20T10:00:34Z
I’ve seen the dangerous route to Europe through Libya, with thousands of people at the mercy of cruelty for profit. But our leaders prefer to keep them there
It’s a mass grave that we don’t need the United Nations to verify. Every day an average of 14 migrants, the vast majority from countries in sub-Saharan Africa, die crossing the Mediterranean.
Many more see their European dream turn into a nightmare long before they’re corralled on to flimsy rubber dinghies on Libya’s beaches. They’re the victims of a silent massacre in the Sahara desert – a journey more deadly than the crossing from the coast, according to the International Organisation for Migration.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:47:22 GMT2017-02-20T09:47:22Z
Benjamin Lee makes the case for Barry Jenkins’ heartfelt and artful look at the life of a black gay man in America
An all-too-frequently used response to the call for increased diversity on screen is based around a rather defensive notion. It’s that a piece of entertainment may be enjoyably consumed without the need for unequivocal identification with the characters being viewed. Just check out the comments section of any article arguing for a more varied set of narratives from Hollywood.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:00:29 GMT2017-02-20T06:00:29Z
Brexit, migration and climate pressures mean our ‘too big to fail’ global food chain could unravel
The UK’s clock has been set to Permanent Global Summer Time once more after a temporary blip. Courgettes, spinach and iceberg lettuce are back on the shelves, and the panic over the lack of imported fruit and vegetables has been contained. “As you were, everyone,” appears to be the message.
But why would supermarkets – which are said to have lost sales worth as much as £8m in January thanks to record-breaking, crop-wrecking snow and rainfall in the usually mild winter regions of Spain and Italy – be so keen to fly in substitutes from the US at exorbitant cost?Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:28:08 GMT2017-02-20T12:28:08Z
The government is placing the responsibility of care for families waiting to be deported into the hands of a company that has shown itself to be incapable
Earlier this month, the Home Office announced that security giant G4S is to take over from Barnardo’s in providing welfare for families detained while waiting to be deported. The news required a double-take. After all, G4S is the same private security firm that promised it would sell its children’s services following a series of scandals about the way it looked after children.
The move follows the closure of the much-lauded Cedars detention centre in December. The purpose-built unit for families with children run by Barnardo’s was opened in 2011 by the coalition government, after the Liberal Democrats argued that children should not be held in penal establishments. Families awaiting removal will now be held at Tinsley House, an adult immigration removal centre (IRC) near Gatwick, operated by G4S.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:05:33 GMT2017-02-20T12:05:33Z
What the US president says and what he tweets can only be countered effectively if we take it seriously and resist it
In barely a month, the new US president has managed to spread chaos and uncertainty – and a degree of fear that would make any terrorist proud – at a dizzying pace. Not surprisingly, citizens and leaders in business, civil society, and government are struggling to respond appropriately and effectively.
Any view regarding the way forward is necessarily provisional, as Donald Trump has not yet proposed detailed legislation, and Congress and the courts have not fully responded to his barrage of executive orders. But recognition of uncertainty is not a justification for denial.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:05:59 GMT2017-02-20T10:05:59Z
Iraq, Tunisia and Lebanon are three countries that have recently made progressive steps forward in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex human rights
In the last 12 months, Martin Luther King’s “arc of the moral universe” has bent towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:25:49 GMT2017-02-20T12:25:49Z
They can keep their Ferraris and £10,000 watches. I just want them to stop ramming their wealth up everyone’s nose
I am getting more and more browned off with the very rich. They’re growing increasingly uppity: bossing everybody around, spouting grand philosophies, ramming their wealth sideways up everyone’s nose and tantrumming if they’re not high enough up the rich lists (as the so-called “Arabian Warren Buffett”, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, did). Now, we’ve got Mark Zuckerberg with his Facebook manifesto and Tony Blair poking his nose into Brexit.
Such show-offs: Philip Green and his yachts, the Candy brothers and their cars and properties, Trump with his gold this, that and the other, the global super-rich renting super-prime London properties for £60,000 a week and eating gold-dusted truffle popcorn at the Oscars afterparty. If this is the way things are going – and no government is able, or even wants, to do anything about it – then I don’t want to hear about it. It’s beginning to drive me a bit mad. A couple of streets away from my home, we have some council flats with small, mean, square windows, buildings of the cheapest possible kind, for the common people. A couple of streets the other way, we have £2m houses, with one particularly ostentatious dwelling.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:00:33 GMT2017-02-20T09:00:33Z
From local markets and curry to football stars and the NHS, British culture is indebted to migrants. One Day Without Us – held today – is an acknowledgment of that
I’m an immigrant. I first came to the UK as a history of art student on the Erasmus programme in 1998 and embraced the opportunities I was given living in a diverse city like Leicester. I returned to Ponferrada, northern Spain, but came back to Britain soon after to build my life and my career here. I studied for my master’s and PhD, benefiting from the open and integrated approach of UK academia. I have always appreciated the UK’s multicultural society, one which – as we are reminded when taking the “Life in the UK” test – doesn’t allow discrimination, will not tolerate any forms of extremism, embraces cultural diversity, and respects and praises the contributions of migrants.
In recent months, however, popular narratives have increasingly vilified and stigmatised people like me, creating friction between migrants and natives, and attempting to open up divisions between those who have come to this country from different areas. These narratives, driven by certain sections of the media, are creating a sense of hostility. We are now openly blamed for everything that is wrong in Britain, from the traffic to the state of public services. This comes accompanied with micro-aggressions and an increase in the number of hate crimes.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:00:31 GMT2017-02-20T07:00:31Z
If anything, the former PM returned to warn us of single-issue fixation and against lazy generalisations
Trigger warning: this article includes positive opinions of Tony Blair. So if you are the sort of person who goes into anaphylactic shock when the former prime minister is mentioned, or burns him in effigy at the solstice, or regards his three general election victories as a historic disaster for the Labour party, please stop reading now.
Since Blair made his speech on Brexit last week, he has been attacked on any number of fronts. Predictably, he stands accused of loftily disdaining the will of the people – though his explicit point was that popular opinion can change and that the electorate should not be dismissed as a single gormless entity that grunts its assent to a hugely complex and nuanced process, then is consulted no more.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:00:35 GMT2017-02-20T11:00:35Z
Support for the media is falling among the American public and the courts have not always protected reporters. So what is the press to do about it?
This weekend brought the latest salvo in President Trump’s campaign to discredit the news media. Friday afternoon the president tweeted “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
In an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Reince Priebus, the president’s chief of staff, tried to clarify the meaning of the tweet and reassure Americans that “The president believes in the First Amendment. He believes in a free press.” Nonetheless, commentators correctly noted that the phrase “enemy of the people” has notorious associations from the purges ordered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, which killed tens of millions of people.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:00:31 GMT2017-02-20T07:00:31Z
From ending poverty to tackling climate change, the world’s future lies in the hands of the young. So why are we failing to give them a decent shot at life?
One in four people alive today is a young person aged 15 to 29: that’s nearly 1.8 billion in total, of whom close to 90% live in developing countries.
Demographically speaking, the next couple of decades are a unique window of opportunity. With the exception of Africa, the world is ageing, which means the proportion of young people in the global population will never again be so high.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:59:32 GMT2017-02-20T07:59:32ZBruce Chatwin understood how ‘civilisation’ represses our need to wander. The ‘gig economy’ may allow us to ditch the ballast of routine for the tonic of change
With artificial intelligence and the robot revolution helping to destroy traditional forms of employment, the world of work is being profoundly transformed. Traditional jobs are being replaced by the so-called gig economy, in which workers perform a selection of piecemeal roles for different employers.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:00:35 GMT2017-02-20T11:00:35Z
Scientists predicted decades ago that climate change would add stress to water management systems like Oroville Dam
The evacuation of nearly 200,000 people near Oroville Dam is the kind of event that makes climate change personal. A co-worker of mine was forced out of his home for several days by the emergency evacuation, and another friend was visiting Lake Oroville and happened to leave 15 minutes before the evacuation order was issued.
Like many extreme events, the Oroville emergency is a combination of natural weather likely intensified by climate change. California regularly sees “atmospheric rivers” that deluge the state with rainfall, but in a hotter world, scientists anticipate that they’ll be amplified by an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:00:14 GMT2017-02-19T17:00:14Z
Rightwing snowflakes are offended by everything from Kermit to holiday greetings and Starbucks cups
An Englishman, a Frenchman and an American man walk into a bar and make whatever jokes they want because – have you heard? – political correctness is dead. Donald Trump and Brexit have sent it to its grave. You can say whatever you like now, offend whoever you like!
Well, not quite.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:57:07 GMT2017-02-20T03:57:07Z
The great American radical showed how ordinary people mattered more than stars – a lesson today’s celebrities could do with learning
These are strange times for popular music and politics. On the one hand, the opposition to Donald Trump now extends so deeply into the entertainment industry that the president struggled to find any real talent willing to play his inauguration.
On the other hand, it’s by no means clear what difference most anti-Trump interventions by musicians actually make. After all, during the election, the galaxy of A-listers backing Hillary Clinton spectacularly failed to generate either turnout or votes, with some pundits even suggesting the campaign’s reliance on celebrity power legitimised Trump’s claim to fighting “liberal elites”.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:49:09 GMT2017-02-19T18:49:09Z
The president’s hyped-up behaviour at his Florida rally was an alarming display of his neediness. Maybe he should have his own theme park
Therapy has never been so expensive. At the weekend, it cost American taxpayers millions of dollars to fly Donald Trump down to Florida so he could hold a session with thousands of adoring fans after another trying week in the White House. At a cost of roughly $3m per trip, it would have been cheaper to hire Dr Freud but, sadly, aides who tried to contact him discovered he has been dead since 1939.
Instead, the 45th president of the US invited on stage a man who later revealed he has a 6ft cardboard model of his hero and talks to it every day.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:00:05 GMT2017-02-19T10:00:05Z
Some publishers now employ ‘sensitivity readers’ to check books for potential offence – a step that can only have a chilling effect on creativity
Afiction editor doesn’t control a manuscript’s content, but tries to ensure that the author’s intentions are fully realised. Authors are free to ignore their editors’ advice. I often avail myself of this veto power – sometimes out of a pigheadedness for which I’ll pay the price. But after multiple instances of positive reviews quoting passages that my editor wanted to cut, I figure I’m batting no worse than one for one.
As a woman, I’d be uneasy about being given the power to determine what is insulting to women in generalContinue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 07:00:02 GMT2017-02-19T07:00:02ZThe fall in the pound against the dollar has made it easier for Kraft Heinz to launch an approach for Unilever, and made UK carmaking unattractive to GM
A small corner of Merseyside has become the centre of the corporate universe. Vauxhall’s plant in Ellesmere Port is less than seven miles away from Unilever’s base in Port Sunlight on the Wirral peninsula. The thousands of workers in those two places now face an anxious wait for the outcome of takeover talks involving their parent companies.
Last week General Motors revealed it was in talks with Groupe PSA, the owner of Peugeot and Citroen, about selling its European businesses, Opel and Vauxhall, while Unilever rejected a $143bn (£115bn) bid from Kraft Heinz.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:35:25 GMT2017-02-20T21:35:25Z
Party leader tells colleagues forthcoming byelections in Labour-held seats of Stoke Central and Copeland are ‘on a knife-edge’
Jeremy Corbyn has told Labour MPs the two crucial byelections that will be held in Labour-held seats on Thursday are “on a knife-edge”.
The party’s leader urged colleagues to throw themselves into the campaigns to stop Ukip’s leader Paul Nuttall from winning in Stoke-on-Trent Central and the Tories’ candidate Trudy Harrison from winning in Copeland, Cumbria.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:17:17 GMT2017-02-20T21:17:17Z
Wiltshire police say work at two gardens on street in Swindon is part of ongoing inquiry but refuse to comment on connection to double murderer
Two gardens in a street where the double murderer Christopher Halliwell lived are being dug up by specialist officers, it emerged on Monday.
Taxi driver Halliwell is serving a full life term after being convicted of the sexually motivated murders of Sian O’Callaghan and Becky Godden.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:20:52 GMT2017-02-20T15:20:52Z
Pair resign in protest at party’s handling of controversy around Paul Nuttall’s claim to have lost close friends in disaster
Two Ukip chairmen in Merseyside have resigned in protest at the “crass insensitivity” of the party’s handling of the controversy over Paul Nuttall’s claims about Hillsborough.
Adam Heatherington and Stuart Monkcom handed in their resignations from the party this week after the Ukip leader’s admission last week that assertions on his website about losing close friends in the disaster were false.
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:42:09 GMT2017-02-20T13:42:09Z
Government green paper discusses giving annual rises based on CPI, not RPI, which could cost average of £20,000 over lifetime
Companies could slash pension promises to 11 million employees, potentially knocking thousands of pounds off the incomes of people in retirement, if proposals in a government consultation paper are approved.
Unions are likely to react furiously to the proposals, which would allow companies to save £90bn by providing annual increases in their retired employees’ pensions based on the consumer price index, rather than the retail price index.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:49:17 GMT2017-02-20T14:49:17Z
Shortfall in England, attributed to extra pressure on NHS over winter, is £300m over target for end of financial year
NHS trusts in England posted a deficit of £886m at the end of the third quarter, £300m more than the target for the end of this financial year.
NHS Improvement (NHSI), which published the figures on Monday, predicts a year-end deficit of £750m-£850m, much higher than the £580m previously described as the highest figure the health service could afford without risking major financial problems.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:23:24 GMT2017-02-20T10:23:24Z
Housebuilder apologises for poor quality of some properties as dissatisfied owners organise protests
Bovis Homes is to pay £7m to repair poorly built new homes sold to customers, raising fresh questions about the standards of new-build properties across the country and the regulation of the market.
The company – one of the biggest housebuilders builders in Britain – will pay compensation after angry customers formed a Facebook group accusing Bovis of pressuring them to move in to incomplete houses so it could hit sales targets.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:15:00 GMT2017-02-20T19:15:00Z
Fierce resistance and ‘no appetite for any offer’ warning forced key investors Warren Buffett and Jorge Lemann into retreat, insiders say
Unilever forced Kraft Heinz to abandon its £115bn bid for the company after the Anglo-Dutch maker of Marmite and Flora said it would use every tool at its disposal to fend off a deal.
The US consumer goods firm behind Philadelphia and WeightWatchers withdrew its offer “amicably” on Sunday evening, just 48 hours after admitting interest in its much larger rival.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:39:20 GMT2017-02-20T16:39:20Z
Serial killer took action after his solicitor was denied legal aid contract to represent him in attempt to move to a Scottish prison
Moors murderer Ian Brady has been refused permission to launch a high court battle to get a lawyer of his choice to represent him at a tribunal.
Brady applied to launch what his lawyers described as a “totally unique” legal case after his solicitor of more than 25 years, Robin Makin, was denied a legal aid contract to represent him in his attempt to move to a Scottish prison.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:17:41 GMT2017-02-20T13:17:41Z
CBI finds manufacturers’ concerns about inflation at highest levels in six years despite total orders hitting two-year high
Britain’s manufacturers fear the rising cost of raw materials will soon dent a robust recovery since the Brexit vote that has included total orders hitting a two-year high.
A survey of the sector found suggested that concerns over inflation were at their highest level for six years as firms said the weak pound was increasing the cost of imports, forcing them to raise prices or accept a severe squeeze on profits.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:03:07 GMT2017-02-20T17:03:07Z
While the city council struggles to maintain services as budgets fall, mayor announces it is likely that additional branches will be wound up
Up to four libraries could close in Liverpool, as the city council takes the scalpel to budgets in the latest battle between central and local government over funding cuts. If the closures go ahead it will mean the city has lost more than half its libraries in the last two years.
The future of the as yet unnamed libraries is being considered as part of a plan to plug a £90m hole in the council’s budget over the next three years. It comes on top of cuts of £330m made since 2010, the city’s mayor Joe Anderson said. He has set up a task force to review the library service, with a view to saving £1.6m in the financial year 2018/19.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:56:15 GMT2017-02-20T10:56:15Z
Interim report reveals tram was travelling faster than initially thought but signs were too late to allow adequate braking
An investigation into the Croydon tram crash has revealed that the vehicle was speeding faster than originally thought – but has also shown that the speed limit restriction sign would only have been visible long after a driver would need to apply the brakes.
Seven people were killed and 51 injured when the south London Tramlink tram came off the rails on a sharp curve on 9 November last year. Six of the seven who died appeared to have been either flung or partially ejected through the tram’s windows.
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:20:35 GMT2017-02-20T15:20:35Z
Formidable women influence proceedings at runway shows for Berardi, Erdem and Roksanda
The namedropping is pretty highbrow at London fashion week these days.
Lady Macbeth, Mark Rothko, John F Kennedy, Virginia Woolf and Eugène Delacroix were all referenced by designers before 11am on Monday morning, and Michael Nyman was there in person, playing the piano in a piece composed to accompany the Roksanda collection. Burberry are making Henry Moore the star attraction at their show later on in the day, with a catwalk that will double as the opening night of a sculpture exhibition.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:01:30 GMT2017-02-20T07:01:30Z
Savings gap between low- and high-income households passes £62,000 as rates of homeownership fall among the less well-off
The gap between rich and poor in the UK is growing, as savings and home ownership decline among the poorest families but rise among the richest, a report by insurer Aviva shows.
In a sign of growing financial strain, low-income families had just £95 of savings and investments, excluding pensions, this winter, compared with £136 in the same period last year. That figure jumps to £62,885 among high-income families, up from £50,208 a year earlier.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:17:35 GMT2017-02-20T09:17:35Z
Mike Veale intervenes after Mail on Sunday claimed investigators believe there was cover-up to protect former prime minister
The chief constable of a police force investigating allegations that the late Sir Edward Heath sexually abused children has criticised tabloid claims that he is “120%” certain the complaints are true.
Mike Veale, the chief constable of Wiltshire police, said it was the job of the police to “objectively and proportionately” chase down leads. He said those who commented on the case while not in possession of the facts could damage the reputations of both the former prime minister and people who have disclosed alleged abuse.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:41:59 GMT2017-02-20T16:41:59Z
End of week will see return of colder weather with some snow forecast in northern England
Soaring temperatures may have led to parts of the UK feeling warmer than much of the Mediterranean on Monday, but any early signs of spring are likely to be washed away as heavy rain, gales and snow hit northern England by the end of the week.
On Monday afternoon, Kew Gardens in south-west London recorded a balmy 18.3C (64.94F) at 2pm, making it the hottest place in the country just a week after tourists were photographing snow falling on the early blossoms.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:24:11 GMT2017-02-20T13:24:11Z
Max Hill, who prosecuted in ricin conspiracy case and trial of 21 July 2005 bombers, replaces David Anderson
Max Hill QC, a leading prosecutor in many of the most serious terrorism trials, has been named the new independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.
He will replace the human rights lawyer David Anderson QC, who marked his upcoming departure this weekend with a warning that the government’s anti-radicalisation strategy Prevent is faltering because it is not trusted by “a very large number of decent British Muslims”.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:50:52 GMT2017-02-20T12:50:52Z
Lord Justice Pitchford says he will not be able to complete the inquiry, but it will continue ‘unabated’ when he steps down
The senior judge leading the public inquiry into the undercover infiltration of political groups by the police has announced that he has motor neurone disease.
Lord Justice Pitchford said on Monday he had been diagnosed with the the condition in November, adding that its physical symptoms were becoming apparent.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:00:29 GMT2017-02-20T06:00:29Z
Doctors’ organisation points out that the number of UK mental health beds has decreased by 44% since 2001
The NHS is at “breaking point” with a decline in the number of hospital beds leading to delays and cancelled operations, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:08:48 GMT2017-02-20T09:08:48Z
Rail, Maritime and Transport union claims London Underground is discriminating against night staff in pay and jobs dispute
Drivers on London’s night tube are to be balloted for strikes in a row over pay and jobs.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:01:22 GMT2017-02-20T00:01:22Z
Despite council tax increases, authorities will need to defund services to meet rising costs warns Local Government Association
Council tax rises due to come into force from April will not be sufficient to avoid deep cuts to services including road repair, parks, children’s centres, leisure centres and libraries, local government leaders have warned.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils across the country, said authorities will have to continue cutbacks to essential services to plug growing shortfalls in adult social care.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:01:30 GMT2017-02-20T07:01:30Z
Annual price rise falls to 2.3% in February as buyers become wary of paying over the odds, report by Rightmove says
Asking prices in Britain’s housing market rose at the slowest annual rate in almost four years in February as buyers become wary about paying too much, according to the latest survey from Rightmove.
Annual price growth fell from 3.2% in January to 2.3%, the weakest since April 2013. On a monthly basis, average asking prices rose 2% t0 £306,213, the slowest rate of growth in the month of February in eight years.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:19:21 GMT2017-02-20T04:19:21Z
Anthony Nolan had called for funding for transplants for people who relapse with diseases such as leukaemia
Cancer campaigners have welcomed an NHS announcement that money may soon be available for a potentially lifesaving treatment it had previously refused to pay for.
The health service in England said on Sunday it was “confident” it would soon be able to announce funding for second stem cell treatments for blood cancer patients who have relapsed after an initial transfusion.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:01:22 GMT2017-02-20T00:01:22Z
Thinktank IPPR North warns gulf in investment between regions is at cost of greater northern productivity
More than half of the UK’s total spending on transport networks is invested in London, research has found, prompting warnings of “chronic underinvestment” in northern infrastructure projects.
The gulf in transport infrastructure investment between London and the rest of England is set to get worse, according to the analysis by the thinktank IPPR North, with £1,943 being spent per person in London on current or planned projects compared with just £427 in the north.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:30:19 GMT2017-02-19T21:30:19Z
Sold-out show wins best new play, best director and three acting prizes, while Billie Piper wins best actress for Yerma
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, one of the biggest stage events of recent years, has won eight prizes at the only UK theatre awards voted on by the public.
The two-part play at London’s 1,900-seat Palace theatre took best new play, best director and three of the acting prizes at the 17th annual WhatsOnStage awards on Sunday.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:17:01 GMT2017-02-19T21:17:01Z
Department for Education says inquiry has nothing to do with extremism and should not be referred to as a ‘Trojan horse’ case
An investigation has been launched after a headteacher claimed she had been forced to work from home and that her position at an Oldham school had been made untenable by alleged threats and verbal abuse.
The Department for Education is working with Oldham council to investigate allegations made by Trish O’Donnell, head of Clarksfield primary school, that she feared for her safety after a string of alleged incidents that she labelled a “Trojan horse” plot to make her quit.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:28:14 GMT2017-02-19T18:28:14Z
Presenter cites a campaign that claims his hosting show would be ‘damaging’ as his reason for quitting
Piers Morgan has pulled out of hosting the Royal Television Society awards, saying he did not want to become a distraction after a campaign claiming his involvement would be “damaging” and “inappropriate”.
The Good Morning Britain presenter was unveiled as host of the awards three days ago, with the RTS chief executive, Theresa Wise, saying his “reputation for being opinionated and his wealth of experience working within the industry make him the perfect host”.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:37:29 GMT2017-02-19T15:37:29Z
Boardroom pay, litigation and losses to come under spotlight as Britain’s top lenders post financial results this week
Britain’s major banks will be in the spotlight this week as they unveil their full year figures, with Royal Bank of Scotland forecast to make losses of more than £6bn and HSBC expected to face questions about a boardroom overhaul.
The controversy over bankers’ pay is likely to be reignited as they disclose the size of their bonus pools and how much their bosses have received during a year when the vote for Brexit has helped turn the government’s attention on public anger over rising executive pay.Continue reading...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:50:39 GMT2017-02-19T14:50:39Z
Apology comes after after resignations from advisory boards and influential women deciding to boycott the conference
Organisers of a conference celebrating the best and brightest businesspeople in the north of England have issued a grovelling apology over lack of female representation.
The two-day UK northern powerhouse conference in Manchester caused controversy after all 15 main speakers highlighted in a press release were men. Only 13 out of the 98 speakers over the two days are women.
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:25:35 GMT2017-02-19T16:25:35Z
Child was reported missing from a property in Milton of Drimmie area and later recovered from river Ericht
A two-year-old boy has died after being recovered from a river in Perthshire.
A search was launched after the child was reported missing from a property in the Milton of Drimmie area, close to Bridge of Cally, at around 11.15am on Sunday.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:30:27 GMT2017-02-20T19:30:27Z
Conservative union rescinds invitation after alt-right provocateur suggested sex between ‘younger boys’ and older men could be a ‘coming-of-age relationship’
The American Conservative Union has rescinded its invitation to Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the group’s annual CPac conference, after footage emerged in which the rightwing provocateur discusses sex between “younger boys” and older men.
In an internet livestream, Yiannopoulos, a news editor at Breitbart who was permanently banned from Twitter in July 2016 for instigating abuse of the Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones, says “you can get quite hung up on this child abuse thing”.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:44:42 GMT2017-02-20T19:44:42Z
Government agrees to talks on reforms with European creditors in return for progress on releasing next tranche of funds
Greece’s bailout inspectors are returning to Athens to seek changes to the country’s tax, pensions and labour market laws in a sign that the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, will give way to European pressure for deeper reforms.
His government agreed at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Monday to talks on big economic reforms in exchange for progress on releasing the next instalment of bailout funds. In return, Europe signalled a winding back of austerity measures for the struggling nation, in a move that could end a dispute between EU creditors and the International Monetary Fund over how to deal with Greece.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:53:10 GMT2017-02-20T10:53:10Z
‘Man-made’ food crisis threatens 100,000 people after war and a collapsing economy devastate agriculture in the country
Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, where UN agencies warned on Monday that war and a collapsing economy have left 100,000 people facing starvation.
A further 1 million people were classified as being on the brink of famine, according to the World Food Programme (WFP) and other UN bodies. Unimpeded humanitarian access was urgently needed to reverse “an escalating catastrophe”, they added.Continue reading...
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:29:18 GMT2017-02-20T17:29:18Z
Taller than Big Ben and longer than 13 London buses, billionaire Russian’s €400m luxury vessel docked over unpaid bills to shipbuilder
The world’s largest sailing yacht has been impounded in Gibraltar over claims that its billionaire Russian owner owes the shipbuilder €15.3m (£13.3m).
The Gibraltar Port Authority impounded the €400m “Sailing Yacht A” as it was on its way to be delivered to industrialist Andrey Melnichenko, following a legal filing from the German shipbuilder that constructed the futuristic-looking vessel.Continue reading...