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  • How GPs can reduce their carbon emissions
    by Anna Bawden on September 18, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Cutting down on unnecessary prescriptions and switching to more sustainable asthma inhalers are just two practical stepsWith just under 7,000 GP surgeries in England seeing millions of patients each week, family doctors can also have a dramatic impact on reducing emissions in the NHS.According to the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, pharmaceuticals are the biggest cause of emissions in primary care and make up 18% of the NHS’s total emissions. Reducing unnecessary prescriptions and single-use plastic blister packs for small medicines will make a big difference, as well as cutting costs, says Karen Creffield, practice manager at Frome medical practice, in Somerset, which is trying to cut its carbon footprint. Continue reading... […]

  • How hospitals can help nurse the planet back to health | Anna Bawden
    by Anna Bawden on September 18, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Switching anaesthetic gases, using electric ambulances and ’greening’ dialysis are reducing the NHS’s carbon footprintOn Friday, thousands of adults across the world will take part in the global climate strike to show solidarity with Greta Thunberg and the young students who have been walking out of school for months to raise awareness of the climate emergency. Among them will be many public sector workers, including some NHS staff. Related: ‘This report will change your life’: what zero emissions means for UK Our actions must cover the types of drugs we purchase, the energy we use in our buildings and the waste we generate Continue reading... […]

  • Millennia-old pendants revealed to be Roman makeup applicators
    by Mark Brown Arts correspondent on September 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Objects found in Wroxeter provide rare glimpse into lives of women in Roman BritainFor a century they were considered pretty 2,000-year-old pendants with no use other than for decoration.But English Heritage will reveal on Wednesday that they had a fascinating purpose: as makeup applicators that the more well-heeled woman in Roman Britain would have used to put on eye makeup. The fashion was for heavy and dark, often using soot or charcoal. Related: Five lessons Boris Johnson could learn from Emperor Augustus Continue reading... […]

  • John McDonnell backs 'Abolish Eton' debate at Labour conference
    by Richard Adams Education editor on September 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Shadow chancellor says private schools ‘don’t need to exist’ in a society with education equalityThe shadow chancellor is to throw his weight behind an “Abolish Eton” debate at the Labour party conference this weekend, as he declares that “private schools don’t need to exist” in an equal society.John McDonnell said he supported a motion put forward by the campaign group Labour Against Private Schools calling for independent schools in England to be stripped of their charitable status, to have limits placed on their pupils’ entry to universities, and for their assets to be used by the state education sector. Related: Abolish Eton: Labour groups aim to strip elite schools of privileges Continue reading... […]

  • Documentary follows Pastafarians as they strain for recognition
    by Jon Henley Europe correspondent on September 18, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Film-maker has spent three years showing how the colander-wearing religion is more than a jokeSome time next year, the European court of human rights will decide on the case of a Dutch woman who feels unfairly treated because her country’s highest court has told her she cannot wear a plastic colander on her head for her ID photo.It may combine Mienke de Wilde’s plea with that of an Austrian former MP, Niko Alm, who proudly wears the offending kitchen utensil on his official documents but now insists his country recognise Pastafarianism – the faith both follow – as a religion. Related: Pasta strainers and pirates: how the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was born Continue reading... […]

  • Government declines to rule out fresh prorogation if it loses case
    by Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent on September 17, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Supreme court told PM will ‘abide’ by any ruling but minister declines to say if MPs could be sent away again immediatelySupreme court grapples with dilemma of politics versus the lawBoris Johnson has given an undertaking to the supreme court that he will “abide” by any ruling it makes about recalling parliament but a government minister declined to be drawn about whether MPs could be sent away again immediately.Addressing an emergency hearing of the UK’s highest court, Lord Keen QC, who is a justice minister and one of the two lawyers representing the prime minister, resisted judicial requests for further pledges guaranteeing parliament’s return. Related: Supreme court prorogation hearing: who are the judges? Related: Supreme court hearing on suspension of parliament – key issues Continue reading... […]

  • Bangers become the latest British favourite to go meat-free
    by Rebecca Smithers Consumer affairs correspondent on September 17, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Beyond Meat’s plant-based protein sausages will be stocked by Tesco from the end of SeptemberA “healthy” plant-based sausage from the US meat-free brand Beyond Meat will make its UK retail debut in Tesco at the end of September – the second of its products to hit UK supermarket shelves following the launch of its popular “bleeding” burger last year.The manufacturer – the world’s most valuable meat substitute start-up – claims the so-called Beyond Sausage “looks, sizzles and satisfies” like the real pork equivalent, but contains more protein and less saturated fat. Continue reading... […]

  • Two-thirds of English schools found to have 'poor' fire protections
    by Sally Weale Education correspondent on September 17, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Insurer Zurich Municipal calls for government to change law to make sprinklers mandatoryTwo-thirds of schools in England have poor fire protection systems and are not properly prepared for a potential blaze, according to an education insurer.Zurich Municipal, which insures about half of all schools and universities in the UK, has written to the government calling for urgent action to improve fire protection in school premises after carrying out inspections at 1,000 sites over the past two years. Continue reading... […]

  • Thames Water blames the hot and the cold as it tops complaints list
    by Jillian Ambrose on September 17, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Utility points to beast from the east and heatwave for its poor performance last yearThames Water has blamed the beast from the east and last summer’s heatwave after recording the highest number of water company complaints last year.Britain’s largest water firm topped the list of complaints in the last financial year, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater). Continue reading... […]

  • 25% of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week - study
    by Sally Weale Education correspondent on September 17, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Research shows teachers on average work longer than international counterpartsA quarter of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week, far in excess of their counterparts elsewhere in the world, research reveals.The study by the UCL Institute of Education said that five years of government initiatives to reduce excessive workload, introduced by three different education secretaries, have done nothing to cut the total number of hours worked by teachers which have remained high for two decades. Related: Teachers in England have 'unmanageable' job – global survey Continue reading... […]

  • Home Office 'rushed to penalise' students accused of cheating
    by Rajeev Syal on September 17, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    A report from MPs concluded the department revoked visas before verifying evidenceThe Home Office “rushed to penalise” international students accused of cheating in English language tests without checking the reliability of evidence, parliament’s spending watchdog has concluded.The public accounts committee has compared the way the department treated more than 30,000 international students accused of breaking the rules of an official English language test to the Windrush scandal. Related: 'I never met anyone who cheated': student's anger at English test scandal Continue reading... […]

  • Trump to block California from setting vehicle emissions rules
    by Vivian Ho and agencies on September 17, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    Administration will declare that states are pre-empted from setting their own standards in a move that will spark challengeThe Trump administration is poised to end California’s authority to set its own vehicle emissions standards and bar states from establishing their own regulations.Conservative and free-market groups have been invited to attend an announcement of the rollback Wednesday afternoon at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington. The widely reported announcement is sure to spark a furious legal challenge.Hi, @realDonaldTrump. Let me break it down in simple terms for you...Reducing emissions:-Protects our air & health-Is good for the economy-Allows families to pay less at the pumpWe’re here in the 21st century. Let us know when you decide to join us. Continue reading... […]

  • Jeremy Corbyn: I’ll stay neutral and let the people decide on Brexit
    by Rowena Mason Deputy political editor on September 17, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Labour leader’s call for ‘sensible’ deal is signal to party that he will resist call to pick sides Jeremy Corbyn: only Labour will give the people a final say on BrexitJeremy Corbyn has set out the four pillars of a “sensible” Brexit deal he would negotiate with the EU, as he pledged to carry out whatever the people decide in a second EU referendum as Labour prime minister.The Labour leader set out how he would go into an election offering to negotiate a Brexit deal involving a customs union, ahead of next week’s party conference where activists will launch a bid to shift the party’s position towards campaigning to remain in the EU. Related: Only Labour will give the people a final say on Brexit Continue reading... […]

  • Iran's supreme leader rules out any talks with US officials
    by Michael Safi in Beirut, Patrick Wintour in London and Julian Borger in Washington on September 17, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shuts down speculation about Trump-Rouhani meeting at UNIran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has announced there will be “no negotiations on any level” with US officials, in remarks aimed at dousing speculation of a possible summit between Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN general assembly next week.As chances of any such diplomatic breakthrough dwindled, Washington announced that the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, would leave on Tuesday night for Jeddah for talks with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to discuss Saturday’s attacks on Saudi oil installations.In July 2015, Iran and a six-nation negotiating group reached a landmark agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that ended a 12-year deadlock over Tehran’s nuclear programme. The deal, struck in Vienna after nearly two years of intensive talks, limited the Iranian programme, to reassure the rest of the world that it cannot develop nuclear weapons, in return for sanctions relief. Continue reading... […]

  • Plantwatch: England's carnivorous sundew makes a comeback
    by Paul Simons on September 17, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Sticky-tentacled species returns to boglands but introducing meat-eating varieties is not without riskThe great sundew (Drosera anglica) is a carnivorous plant with leaves covered in red tentacles that ooze sticky slime to kill and digest insects, giving the plant extra nutrition in the boglands where it grows.It was once common in England but was almost wiped out as wetlands and peat bogs were drained or dug up, but a project is reintroducing the plant in restored bogland in north-west England, using cuttings from native plants. Continue reading... […]

  • Spain likely to return to the polls in November after party talks fail
    by Sam Jones in Madrid on September 17, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez appears to have failed in bid to form a stable governmentSpain looks set to return to the polls for the fourth time in as many years in November after last-ditch efforts to break the deadlock following April’s inconclusive vote came to nothing late on Tuesday.Although the Spanish socialist party (PSOE), led by the acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, won the most votes five months ago, it fell well short of a majority in the country’s 350-seat congress. Related: Spanish PM unveils progressive policies to head off snap election (December 20, 2015)  2015 general election Continue reading... […]

  • Benjamin Netanyahu in close fight for survival in Israeli election
    by Oliver Holmes and Quique Kierszenbaum in Tel Aviv on September 17, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Prime minister’s ruling Likud party trailing Blue and White party, poll showsIsraeli election: live coverageBenjamin Netanyahu could be scrambling for his political survival over the coming days, after Israel election exit polls suggested neither he nor the opposition had gained a majority in parliament.The unofficial polls released late on Tuesday evening showed the prime minister’s ruling Likud party marginally behind retired general Benny Gantz and his Blue and White party. Critically, neither had a clear route to form a majority government. Related: ‘We don’t care who wins’: young Gazans see little choice in Israel’s elections Continue reading... […]

  • US government files civil lawsuit against Snowden over publication of memoir
    by Tom McCarthy in New York and David Smith in Washington on September 17, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Suit contends whistleblower published Permanent Record ‘in violation of non-disclosure agreements’ with both CIA and NSAThe US government on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, over the publication this week of his memoir.Snowden, the suit contends, “published a book entitled Permanent Record in violation of the non-disclosure agreements he signed with both CIA and NSA”. Related: Edward Snowden on 9/11 and why he joined the army: ‘Now, finally, there was a fight’ Continue reading... […]

  • Teenage refugee was fourth of friendship group to kill himself
    by Diane Taylor on September 17, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Since November 2018, the quartet took their lives after making hazardous journeys to the UKA teenage Eritrean refugee was the fourth from his friendship group to take his own life after arriving in the UK, an inquest hearing has revealed.Mulubrhane Medhane Kfleyosus, 19, was found dead on 18 February 2019 in Milton Keynes. It is the fourth death in the space of 16 months among one friendship group of unaccompanied young male Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees. Continue reading... […]

  • It is big, bold and northern, but Sirius Minerals is riddled with risk
    by Nils Pratley on September 17, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    It is little wonder the government has declined an offer to back the fertiliser mine in North YorkshireSirius Minerals, the now-troubled $5bn (£4bn) fertiliser mine under the North York Moors, would seem to tick every box in the supposed post-Brexit industrial strategy playbook. It is big, bold, northern and a potential export earner. So why would the government decline the company’s kind invitation to guarantee $1bn-worth of its bonds?The answer, sadly for those local MPs screaming for intervention to save 1,200 jobs, is that Sirius is not a straightforward prospect. It is riddled with risk. First, the company doesn’t currently generate cash, and the production schedule doesn’t imagine polyhalite appearing until 2021.Polyhalite is a mineral deposited around 260m years ago during the evaporation of the Zechstein Sea. Sirius Minerals plans to grind polyhalite into a powder to produce pellets with the commercial name Poly4 - or K2SO4MgSO42CaSO42H2O for short.   Continue reading... […]