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  • Disability claimants owed £340m after DWP blunder, say MPs
    by Patrick Butler Social policy editor on July 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    ‘Indifferent’ department tried to shift the blame and took six years to correct errorA cross-party group of MPs has criticised the Department for Work and Pensions’ “culture of indifference” after it took six years to correct a major error which left chronically-ill and disabled benefit claimants thousands of pounds out of pocket.An estimated 70,000 claimants were underpaid by between £5,000 and £20,000 between 2011 and 2016 because the DWP failed to ensure they received the correct amounts when moving them from incapacity benefit on to the employment and support allowance (ESA). Related: Up to 75,000 benefit claimants were underpaid for years Related: Inquiry into disability benefits 'deluged' by tales of despair What is universal credit? Continue reading... […]

  • Festivalgoers urged to get MMR jab as measles infection rate soars
    by Nadia Khomami on July 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    People who missed out owing to late 90s scare stories warned of increased risk in crowded placesFestivalgoers who missed the MMR vaccination 20 years ago have been urged to get the jab before the European festival season, after infection rates in England tripled in a year.It has been 20 years since the controversy surrounding the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, which falsely linked the jab to autism and resulted in a significant drop in its uptake. The health concerns of MMR were widely discredited and Andrew Wakefield, the doctor behind the research paper which made the claim, was struck off the medical register. Continue reading... […]

  • Netflix and Amazon become more popular than pay-TV services
    by Mark Sweney on July 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Subscriber numbers for streaming services rise as young people shy away from traditional broadcastingBritain’s growing appetite for services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime has seen the number of subscribers to streaming services overtake those signed up to pay-TV providers such as Sky, BT and Virgin Media for the first time.The total number of UK subscribers to the three most popular online streaming services in the UK – Netflix, Amazon and Sky’s Now TV – hit 15.4 million at the end of the first quarter this year. At the same time, the number of subscribers to pay-TV packages reached 15.1 million, according to a report published by media regulator Ofcom. Continue reading... […]

  • Omega-3 no protection against heart attack or strokes, say scientists
    by Sarah Boseley Health editor on July 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Supplements do not offer cardiovascular benefits, researchers conclude from trials involving 112,000 peopleThe widespread belief that taking omega-3 capsules will help protect you from a heart attack, stroke or early death is wrong, according to a large and comprehensive review of the evidence.Thousands of people take omega-3 supplements regularly and for years. The belief that it protects the heart has spread – and is promoted in the marketing of the supplements – because the results from early trials suggested the capsules had cardiovascular benefits. Continue reading... […]

  • Young black men more like to be prosecuted over dispersal orders
    by Hilary Osborne on July 17, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Disproportionate numbers in court over new antisocial behaviour powers, study findsYoung black men in London are disproportionately more likely to be prosecuted for breaking public dispersal orders available to police as part of a range of measures to crack down on antisocial behaviour.Research produced by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies looked at a range of powers given to councils and police in 2014 and found that they had resulted in almost 1,000 young adults being prosecuted in two years. Related: At last, a law to stop almost anyone from doing almost anything | George Monbiot Continue reading... […]

  • May sees off rebellion on customs union as amendment is defeated
    by Pippa Crerar Deputy political editor on July 17, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Narrow Commons win for government follows earlier loss on medicines regulationTheresa May saw off a damaging Commons rebellion on Tuesday as Conservative remainers lost a high-stakes vote on the customs union, giving the prime minister some much-needed breathing space on Brexit before the summer break. She avoided all-out Tory civil war and the wrath of the Eurosceptic wing of her party, which had threatened to launch a leadership challenge, when MPs defeated the proposal by six votes. Related: How can the Brexit stalemate be broken? A customs union is an agreement by a group of countries, such as the EU, to all apply the same tariffs on imported goods from the rest of the world and, typically, eliminate them entirely for trade within the group. By doing this, they can help avoid the need for costly and time-consuming customs checks during trade between members of the union. Asian shipping containers arriving at Felixstowe or Rotterdam, for example, need only pass through customs once before their contents head to markets all over Europe. Lorries passing between Dover and Calais avoid delay entirely. Related: Bullied MPs just lie back and think of saving Theresa May | John Crace Related: The Guardian view on Theresa May and Brexit: she is failing to govern | Editorial Related: How can the Brexit stalemate be broken? Related: Trade bill: did your MP back the customs union amendment? Continue reading... […]

  • Trump says he accepts Russia meddled in election, but still muddies waters
    by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington on July 17, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    President says he supports US intelligence consensus on 2016 vote – but then says ‘it could be other people also’Opinion: Republicans followed Trump off a cliff of treacheryDonald Trump sought to reverse course on Tuesday, after top Republicans scrambled to distance themselves from his behavior in his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Related: Will Republicans punish Trump for his performance with Putin? The debasement of American interests before a foreign adversary demands a response Related: Trump outdoes Orwell in role as Moscow's Agent Orange | Richard Wolffe Continue reading... […]

  • Labour MP labels Corbyn an 'antisemite' over party's refusal to drop code
    by Heather Stewart and Jessica Elgot on July 17, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Margaret Hodge accuses Corbyn of racism after NEC upholds adoption of antisemitism codeJeremy Corbyn has been accused of being an antisemite by a senior Labour MP during an angry public confrontation in parliament on Tuesday, after the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) refused to ditch a controversial new code of conduct on antisemitism.The decision infuriated Jewish leaders and many of the party’s MPs, who had voted overwhelmingly on Monday night to urge the NEC to change course. Related: Dozens of rabbis say Labour chooses to ignore UK Jewish community Continue reading... […]

  • How can the Brexit stalemate be broken?
    by Heather Stewart Political editor on July 17, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    From ‘keep buggering on’ to a second referendum, it may be the ticking clock of the article 50 deadline that decidesIt was obvious from the morning of 9 June 2017, when Theresa May woke up to find the electorate had stripped her of her majority, that crafting a Brexit that could win support in parliament as well as in Brussels would be a formidable challenge. Related: The Guardian view on Theresa May and Brexit: she is failing to govern | Editorial A customs union is an agreement by a group of countries, such as the EU, to all apply the same tariffs on imported goods from the rest of the world and, typically, eliminate them entirely for trade within the group. By doing this, they can help avoid the need for costly and time-consuming customs checks during trade between members of the union. Asian shipping containers arriving at Felixstowe or Rotterdam, for example, need only pass through customs once before their contents head to markets all over Europe. Lorries passing between Dover and Calais avoid delay entirely. Related: Bullied MPs just lie back and think of saving Theresa May | John Crace Related: May sees off rebellion on customs union as amendment is defeated Continue reading... […]

  • Plantwatch: phosphate leading to widespread pollution
    by Paul Simons on July 17, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Phosphate fertilisers are causing dangerous levels of pollution in waterways that harm aquatic plants and animalsMuch of the environment is awash with fertilisers, boosting thuggish weeds such as stinging nettles that swamp other wild plants. Nitrate is a big villain in this onslaught, but far less notice is taken of phosphate.Phosphate is crucial for plant growth and development, and it is estimated that half the world’s food supplies rely on phosphate fertilisers, but this is a dwindling resource that is used very inefficiently, which is leading to widespread pollution. Unlike nitrate, phosphate binds very strongly to the soil, which makes it difficult for plant roots to get hold of. And so farmers apply even more phosphates in fertilisers and manure, although much of that phosphate then sticks to the soil again, driving the levels of phosphate in the soil even higher. Related: Conservationists claim 'legal victory' in dispute over government protection of rivers Continue reading... […]

  • Bullied MPs just lie back and think of saving Theresa May | John Crace
    by John Crace on July 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Deep down, prime minister must wish someone would press her control-alt-delete keys to crash her entirely With the government having reluctantly come to the conclusion that it was probably a better look to hang around and go through the motions of doing a bit of work rather than bunk off on hols a few days early while the country fell apart, the Commons eventually got round to debating the third reading of the trade bill. Though not for very long, obviously. After all, it wasn’t as if it contained anything of great importance. It was only Brexit. Ken Clarke kicked things off with a point of order complaining about the limited amount of time the government had allocated to such significant legislation. Anyone would think it didn’t want parliament to have much of a say. Related: The Guardian view on Theresa May and Brexit: she is failing to govern | Editorial Related: May sees off rebellion on customs union as amendment is defeated Related: Trade bill: did your MP back the customs union amendment? Continue reading... […]

  • Inquest criticises police over London killing of Dutch academic
    by Caroline Davies on July 17, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Jury verdict highlights Met police failures before killing of Jeroen Ensink by Femi NandapAn inquest jury has criticised police failings over the killing of the academic Dr Jeroen Ensink, who was stabbed by a stranger suffering from psychosis as he posted cards announcing the birth of his daughter.Returning a narrative verdict of unlawful killing, the jury highlighted failures and inadequacies by Metropolitan police officers, who had arrested Femi Nandap, then 23, for possession of a knife seven months before the Nigerian student stabbed Ensink, in December 2015. Related: 'They’re coming to get me': troubled student who killed an academic Continue reading... […]

  • Fondant fancies fly at Premier Foods as showdown nears climax | Nils Pratley
    by Nils Pratley on July 17, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    The firm is now a minnow in the stock market but it deserves full attention from fund managersGripped by the drama at Premier Foods, the Mr Kipling firm where the chief executive may be ejected from office? Many in the City are. Cherry bakewells and french fancies have been flying for weeks as the angry Hong Kong hedge fund Oasis Management has decried Gavin Darby’s leadership of what it calls a debt-ridden “zombie company”. In return, two famous retailing Lords, MacLaurin and Price, have rushed to Darby’s defence and called the agitator’s proposals self-defeating. The final showdown will come at Wednesday’s shareholder meeting. Premier’s investors will decide by democratic vote. Related: Premier Foods CEO could be forced out by shareholder revolt Continue reading... […]

  • Labour calls for inquiry into ministers actions during EU referendum
    by Peter Walker and Jessica Elgot on July 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Party says Johnson and Gove may have breached ministerial code as Vote Leave is finedLabour has called for an investigation into possible misconduct by Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and others during the Brexit vote after the Electoral Commission fined the Vote Leave campaign they fronted £61,000 and reported it to the police. The watchdog said it found “significant evidence” of coordination between Vote Leave and a smaller campaign group, BeLeave, during the 2016 referendum. It said it imposed fines because the group had refused to cooperate fully. Related: Justine Greening endorses second Brexit referendum Campaigners on either side of the EU debate will have differing opinions on whether any adverse finding on spending calls the result of the referendum into question. Related: Vote Leave fined and reported to police by Electoral Commission Continue reading... […]

  • Netflix subscriber slowdown could mark streaming giant's peak
    by Mark Sweney on July 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Missing quarterly target may seem minor but is a concern for firm with a high-growth modelNetflix’s surprise failure to hit its subscriber targets stripped $30bn (£23bn) from its stock market value as investors and analysts expressed fears that the stellar global growth of the streaming service may have peaked.On Monday night, the company reported it had missed its second quarter subscriber growth numbers in both the US and, most crucially, in the international markets it is now relying on for the vast majority of future growth. Continue reading... […]

  • Vote Leave broke electoral law and British democracy is shaken
    by Emma Graham-Harrison on July 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    The record is not encouraging over whether senior Tory Brexiters will be held to accountVote Leave has been fined £61,000 after being found guilty of breaking electoral law during the Brexit campaign. Two people have been referred to the police. But with this initial investigation concluded, Britain faces a difficult period of soul searching over what to do about this evidence of extensive wrongdoing.A democracy is only as strong as the elections that set its course. If they can be bought or subverted, then confidence in democracy and the legitimacy of the governments it installs, seeps away. Related: Vote Leave fined and reported to police by Electoral Commission Observer/C4 story utterly ludicrous, #VoteLeave won fair & square - and legally. We are leaving the EU in a year and going global #TakeBackControl #GlobalBritain Related: Leave. EU fined £70,000 over breaches of electoral law Continue reading... […]

  • Ex-Olympian admits daubing Tory peer's home with pig blood
    by Press Association on July 17, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Former showjumper Lizzie Purbrick in court after writing lewd messages to David PriorA former Olympic showjumper used pig’s blood to daub lewd messages inside a Conservative peer’s house after she found he had cheated on her, a court heard.Lizzie Purbrick, 63, admitted using a key to enter the south London home of David Prior as a “cathartic” response to seeing her partner of several years “in the arms of another woman”. Continue reading... […]

  • Andrew Griffiths was made minister despite 'touching' allegations
    by Josh Halliday North of England correspondent on July 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Exclusive: MP who quit over explicit texts was subject of bullying probe when appointedAndrew Griffiths, the government minister forced to resign over sexually explicit text messages sent to two constituents, was appointed to his post despite being under investigation for allegations of inappropriate touching and bullying, the Guardian has learned.Griffiths was accused by a Conservative borough councillor of being “very forward” after he allegedly touched her knee and clutched her waist at a fundraising ball in September 2016. He has also faced a number of bullying complaints. Continue reading... […]

  • Spectator removes Harvey Weinstein quotes from interview
    by Jim Waterson media editor on July 17, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Interviewer says he may have misrepresented conversation with movie producerThe Spectator has formally retracted quotes it attributed to Harvey Weinstein, in which the disgraced former film mogul allegedly admitted to offering acting jobs in exchange for sex, in addition to deleting an unrelated description of Weinstein attempting to hit on women at a Christmas party.The interview, by regular columnist and friend of Weinstein’s Taki Theodoracopulos, was live for several days after it was called into question after its publication on Friday. In the piece, the film producer responded to multiple accusations of sexual assault that could result in him being sent to prison. Continue reading... […]

  • No-deal Brexit would have big economic consequences – Carney
    by Richard Partington on July 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Bank of England governor warns of interest rate cuts if UK crashes out of EUMark Carney has warned that Britain would face “big economic consequences” and could need emergency interest rate cuts if the country crashes out the European Union without a deal. Issuing the latest warning for Theresa May amid mounting division over her Brexit plans as Britain’s withdrawal ticks ever closer, the governor of the Bank of England said failure to reach any deal with Brussels would leave the country worse off. Continue reading... […]