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  • Norfolk police plan to axe all community support officers
    by Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent on October 19, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Proposal to scrap 150 PCSOs criticised as potentially devastating for crime prevention and public safetyNorfolk constabulary wants to axe all of its police community support officers because of budget cuts and concentrate its resources on tackling growth in complex crimes such as sexual abuse.The plan would make the Norfolk force the first in the country to scrap the role of PCSOs, affecting 150 people. Continue reading... […]

  • Childcare costs in England rise up to seven times faster than wages
    by Haroon Siddique on October 19, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Research finds costs for parents of one-year-olds up by 48% since 2008, with the disparity with salaries greatest in LondonThe cost of childcare for young children in England has risen up to seven times faster than wages since 2008, analysis shows.TUC research published on Friday shows that childcare costs for parents with a one-year-old have soared by almost half (48%) over a period when their wages have fallen after adjusting for inflation, albeit rising by 12% in cash terms. Continue reading... […]

  • Global pollution kills millions and threatens 'survival of human societies'
    by Damian Carrington Environment editor on October 19, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Landmark study finds toxic air, water, soils and workplaces kill at least 9m people and cost trillions of dollars every yearPollution kills at least nine million people and costs trillions of dollars every year, according to the most comprehensive global analysis to date, which warns the crisis “threatens the continuing survival of human societies”.Toxic air, water, soils and workplaces are responsible for the diseases that kill one in every six people around the world, the landmark report found, and the true total could be millions higher because the impact of many pollutants are poorly understood. The deaths attributed to pollution are triple those from Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Related: Pollution responsible for quarter of deaths of young children, says WHO Related: The world's most toxic town: the terrible legacy of Zambia's lead mines Continue reading... […]

  • Theresa May pleads with EU27 for Brexit deal she can defend
    by Rowena Mason and Jennifer Rankin in Brussels, and Anushka Asthana on October 19, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Prime minister attempts to charm at dinner with admission talks got off to a bad start – but offers no fresh financial concessionsTheresa May pleaded with EU leaders over dinner in Brussels to help her strike a Brexit deal that she can defend to voters back home, admitting talks had got off to a bad start over the summer.The prime minister made the appeal over dinner with 27 other EU leaders but did not offer any fresh financial concessions to help break the deadlock in talks, which have been stuck on the issue of Britain’s divorce bill for months. Related: UK is confusing the EU over Brexit, says Corbyn after meeting Barnier Continue reading... […]

  • Steve Bell on Donald Trump's attack on dead US soldier – cartoon
    by Steve Bell on October 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm

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  • Weatherwatch: Ophelia's arrival hints at a new vulnerability for Europe
    by Paul Brown on October 19, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    An off-the-charts hurricane that tracked to Ireland points to climate change pushing ‘tropical oceans’ northward and putting the continent in the firing lineOphelia formed so far to the east in the Atlantic it caused the United States Hurricane Centre to recast its maps so that they could track the storm. They had not thought it was feasible for hurricanes to head north so near the coast of Europe.As it was, the cold sea south of Ireland took the sting out of the 15th named storm of a busy Atlantic hurricane season. Even so the winds of up to 100 miles an hour were only just below hurricane strength when they hit the south coast of Ireland. Related: Weatherwatch: The ups and downs of North Atlantic storms Related: Storm Brian to bring heavy rain and strong winds to UK and Ireland Continue reading... […]

  • Oxford accused of 'social apartheid' as colleges admit no black students
    by Richard Adams and Helena Bengtsson on October 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Labour MP attacks university where one in three colleges failed to admit a black British student with A-levels in 2015Nearly one in three Oxford colleges failed to admit a single black British A-level student in 2015, with the university accused of “social apartheid” over its admissions policies by the former education minister David Lammy.The data shows that 10 out of 32 Oxford colleges did not award a place to a black British pupil with A-levels in 2015, the first time the university has released such figures since 2010. Oriel College only offered one place to a black British A-level student in six years. Related: Oxbridge becoming less diverse as richest gain 80% of offers Related: How diverse is Oxbridge? Share your experiences Continue reading... […]

  • Corrections and clarifications
    by Corrections and clarifications column editor on October 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Chicken factories | Louise Dahl-Wolfe | Autumn statement• An editorial about an investigation that found food safety records were being tampered with in one of the chicken factories of 2 Sisters Food Group said that the business processes 6 million chickens a year. That should have been 6 million a week (Look away now: the high price of cheap chicken, 30 September, page 42).• A picture captioned as being of Louise Dahl-Wolfe was actually her photograph of the American author and playwright Carson McCullers (Eyewitness, 18 October, page 21). Continue reading... […]

  • Oxbridge becoming less diverse as richest gain 80% of offers
    by Sally Weale, Richard Adams and Helena Bengtsson on October 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Oxford and Cambridge going backwards in drive to recruit students from poorer backgrounds and areas, data showsOxford and Cambridge universities have gone backwards on the socio-economic diversity of their student bodies, with more than four in five students coming from the most privileged groups, a Guardian analysis has found.Data released to the MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, under the Freedom of Information Act shows that 82% of offers from Oxford and 81% from Cambridge went to students from the top two socio-economic groups in 2015, up from 79% at both universities five years earlier. Related: Oxford accused of 'social apartheid' as colleges admit no black students Related: Let’s restrict the number of privately educated people in Britain’s elite | Ellie Mae O’Hagan Related: Oxford and Cambridge 'need to improve access for disadvantaged students' Related: Academic civil war as elite universities lobby for others to drop their fees Related: How diverse is Oxbridge? Share your experiences Continue reading... […]

  • NHS waiting times: hospital bosses fear 'a return to 1999'
    by Denis Campbell Health policy editor on October 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Four NHS trust chief executives publicly raise concerns about service struggling amid tight budgets and staffing problemsHospital bosses have taken the unusual step of publicly drawing attention to the NHS’s declining ability to treat patients quickly enough, with one comparing lengthening waits for care to the huge delays last seen in 1999.Four NHS trust chief executives in England have posted comments on Twitter since Tuesday lamenting the challenges the service is facing while it struggles with a tight budget and mounting staffing problems. Related: NHS boss puts service on high alert in case of heavy winter flu burden Difficult to watch - Feels like a return to 1999 - this time with virtually no social care. We need to urgently integrate health & care. Continue reading... […]

  • Brazil prosecutors investigate plan to give reconstituted food to poor people
    by Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro on October 19, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    São Paulo’s mayor claimed powder made from food close to its sell-by date was a cost-free way to tackle hunger but critics denounced it as ‘human pet food’Prosecutors in Brazil’s biggest city have opened an inquiry into a controversial plan to feed poorer citizens and schoolchildren with a flour made out of food close to its sell-by date that critics have described as “human pet food”.João Doria, the populist, conservative mayor of São Paulo, and the city’s Catholic cardinal, Dom Odilo Scherer, have said that the product, called farinata (farinha is flour in Portuguese), will help alleviate hunger at no cost to the city’s government. Related: 'People are getting poorer': hunger and handouts as Brazil crisis deepens Continue reading... […]

  • UK is confusing the EU over Brexit, says Corbyn after meeting Barnier
    by Daniel Boffey in Brussels on October 19, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Labour leader says he told chief EU negotiator step-by-step how he would reboot talks as PM in 80-minute meetingEuropean leaders are “bemused and confused” by Britain’s attitude towards the Brexit negotiations, according to Jeremy Corbyn, who met Michel Barnier and three continental prime ministers on his visit to Brussels.The Labour leader held parallel discussions with the the EU’s chief negotiator and other European leaders, during which it is understood he was asked to explain how he intended to stop Britain from crashing out without a deal. Related: 'No-deal' Brexit and attitudes on immigration – Politics Weekly podcast Related: MP calls for inquiry into Arron Banks and 'dark money' in EU referendum Continue reading... […]

  • The Guardian view on Eni Aluko: a well-deserved victory | Editorial
    by Editorial on October 19, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    The courage of the England player in exposing racism and standing up the FA ought to move the dial on attitudes in sportThe Football Association’s senior management were left floundering on Wednesday, as they were forced to realise that their handling of Eni Aluko’s complaint of racism had, from beginning to end, been entirely inadequate. It was as if they had been shaken awake from a dream in which a little racist banter, such as telling a player of Nigerian descent not to let her folk bring in Ebola when they came to watch her play for England, was greeted with backslapping chortles. In their world, only a very bad sport would not laugh along. Unluckily for the FA, but happily for the wider game, Ms Aluko is not readily intimidated by any anxiety about fitting in to a racist culture. She is both courageous and well qualified, and she has brought the FA to humiliating account with a measured determination that finally bore fruit in front of MPs on the digital, culture, media and sport committee on Wednesday afternoon.The complaint from Ms Aluko, who had won 102 caps but has not played for England since she first demanded action, has now been investigated three times. Only at the third time of asking were all the relevant witnesses, and Drew Spence, a second complainant, interviewed. And, the MPs learned on Wednesday, only in the third report did the QC conducting the inquiry conclude that the women’s coach, Mark Sampson (who was sacked in September after earlier allegations of inappropriate behaviour emerged), behaved towards Ms Aluko in a discriminatory way. Ms Spence had also been discriminated against. Later the FA apologised. But even in front of the MPs, its chief executive, Martin Glenn, refused to say whether or not he would pay the full £80,000 award that the organisation had agreed; it had been partially withheld, with Ms Aluko claiming that Mr Glenn had demanded that in return she issue a statement that the FA was not a racist institution. At the end, the committee chair, Damian Collins, concluded that it was “disappointing” that not a single one of those responsible was prepared to admit they had got it wrong: “You have to question whether they are the right people to take the organisation forward,” he said. Continue reading... […]

  • The FA fiasco shows that even non-racists can do racist things | Nesrine Malik
    by Nesrine Malik on October 19, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    England manager Mark Sampson’s treatment of Eni Aluko was wrong. Not everyone who has problematic thoughts on race wears a white hoodAfter the footballers Eni Aluko and Drew Spence reported that the then England women’s manager had made discriminatory remarks to them, this week the FA issued a full apology to both players.It took three inquiries – the last on the back of a Guardian investigation – to get there. The damning final report concluded there was now overwhelming evidence to find that Sampson had asked Spence, a mixed-race player, how many times she had been arrested; and had said Aluko’s Nigerian relatives might carry the Ebola virus. Related: Calls for FA officials to resign as Aluko says treatment ‘bordered on blackmail’ It’s not just the obviously powerful and creepy or sick who transgress Continue reading... […]

  • We're not ignoring you but vote doesn't bind, PM's deputy tells MPs
    by Heather Stewart Political editor on October 19, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Damian Green defends government stance that unanimously passed call for pause to universal credit rollout can be disregardedTheresa May’s deputy was forced to deny on Thursday that her minority administration was ignoring parliament after the government said it was not bound by an overwhelming vote calling for the rollout of universal credit to be paused.Labour’s motion, which called for the controversial welfare reform to be halted while glitches are fixed, passed unanimously on Wednesday night after Tory whips told their MPs to abstain. Related: Universal credit is designed to blame the poor for their poverty | Giles Fraser: Loose canon Related: Universal credit is returning my city to the days of Cathy Come Home | Nick Forbes Related: Andrea Leadsom takes the road to tyranny via the sea of incompetence Continue reading... […]

  • The Guardian view on internet security: complexity is vulnerable | Editorial
    by Editorial on October 19, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    A huge weakness in wifi security erodes online privacy. But the real challenge is designing with human shortcomings in mindThis week’s security scandal is the discovery that every household with wifi in this country has a network that isn’t really private. For 13 years a weakness has lurked in the supposedly secure way in which wireless networks carry our information. Although the WPA2 security scheme was supposed to be mathematically proven to be uncrackable, it turns out that the mechanism by which it can compensate for weak signals can be compromised, and when that happens it might as well be unencrypted. Practically every router, every laptop and every mobile phone in the world is now potentially exposed. As the Belgian researcher who discovered the vulnerability points out, this could be abused to steal information such as credit card numbers, emails and photos.It is not a catastrophic flaw: the attacker has to be within range of the wifi they are attacking. Most email and chat guarded by end-to-end encryption is still protected from eavesdroppers. But the flaw affects a huge number of devices, many of which will never be updated to address it. Since both ends of a wifi connection need to be brought up to date to be fixed, it is no longer safe to assume that any wifi connection is entirely private. Continue reading... […]

  • HBOS takeover: Lloyds buyout was unique opportunity, says defence QC
    by Jill Treanor on October 19, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    High court hears Lloyds shareholders’ £600m claim for compensation described as ‘legally unprecedented’ and ‘fundamentally flawed’The acquisition of HBOS was a “unique opportunity” for Lloyds Banking Group and regarded by its directors as in shareholders’ best interests, the high court has been told.Helen Davies, QC for Lloyds, opened the bank’s defence on Thursday by telling the court that a £600m claim for compensation by disgruntled investors was based on “myths and misconceptions” and that the deal was undertaken after advice from a list of advisers which ran to 50 pages. Related: Lloyds shareholders 'mugged' by 2008 HBOS takeover, high court told Continue reading... […]

  • George W Bush condemns bigotry and lies in coded attack on Trump
    by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington on October 19, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Speech in New York does not mention president by name‘Bigotry in any form is blasphemy against the American creed’George W Bush sharply condemned bigotry, conspiracy theories and lies in American politics on Thursday, in what seemed to be a coded attack on the presidency of Donald Trump. Without mentioning Trump by name, the former US president urged Americans to reject white supremacy and embrace globalization in a speech organized by the institute that bears his name in New York. Related: Half-baked, spurious nationalism is unpatriotic | John McCain Continue reading... […]

  • British banks can’t be trusted – let’s nationalise them | Owen Jones
    by Owen Jones on October 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Our finance system is rigged in favour of a crisis-ridden City to reap profits for individuals. It’s time these institutions worked for the good of communitiesSometimes the case for a policy is as overwhelming as the level of ridicule it will get from the punditocracy. The nationalisation of Britain’s failed banking industry – the sector responsible for most of our country’s current ills – is one such example. According to a recent poll, half the electorate support nationalising the banks, despite almost no one arguing for such a policy in public life.It may well be because the banks plunged Britain into one of its worst economic crises in modern history, spawning, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, perhaps our worst squeeze in living standards since the 1750s. The fact that they have been bailed out by the taxpayer but allowed to carry on as though little happened – including more top British bankers in 2013 being gifted bonuses worth over €1m than all EU countries combined – while public services are gratuitously slashed, has rightly riled some British voters. Related: Labour demands review into City of London role in money-laundering Related: Half of UK adults are financially vulnerable, City watchdog finds Continue reading... […]

  • Azerbaijan Laundromat shows UK is choice of crooks and despots, says Hodge
    by Luke Harding on October 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Former chair of public accounts committee tells MPs UK corporate rules and weak regulatory framework are ‘a gift to villains’Britain is the “country of choice for every kleptocrat, crook and despot in the world”, a Labour MP has said following revelations by the Guardian and media partners of a massive money-laundering scheme run by the government of Azerbaijan. Margaret Hodge said the UK thought itself to be a “country of integrity, respectability and trustworthiness”. However, recent money-laundering scandals featuring Azerbaijan, Russia and the offshore industry showed this self-belief to be “flawed”, she told parliament. Continue reading... […]