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  • Denisa Gannon: ‘Roma people are not getting justice’
    by Catherine Baksi on March 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    The first Roma person to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales wants to empower others by improving access to the lawDenisa Gannon foresees an “immigration crisis” when Roma people in Britain apply to stay here in advance of Brexit. As the first Roma person to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, she wants to do whatever she can to help.There are thought to be around one million Roma people in the UK. Like many other immigrants, they have suffered increased hostility since the EU referendum. Still on the edge of society and with literacy and language problems, Gannon says they need help to integrate. Related: Roma in UK 'deeply insecure' after vote to leave EU, thinktank says Related: My path to law: 'I couldn’t understand my lecturers for the first two years' I had a very small hope that I would ever qualify, but I held on to that hope Continue reading... […]

  • Brexit has silenced those who want to break up the NHS | Denis Campbell
    by Denis Campbell on March 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    By pledging £350m for the NHS, leave campaigners have ensured the argument is about how to get the health service more money, not dismantle itLast week, one of the country’s most senior doctors explained over lunch how he had reluctantly come to believe that scandalous underfunding, catastrophic understaffing and the service’s resulting inability to deal properly with the rising tide of illness mean that “the NHS is dying”.Certainly there is plenty of evidence of stress and overburdening – long A&E waiting times, dangerous bed occupancy rates and delays in treatment are testament to that. But in the year that the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, reassuringly few people think the health service has had its day.Voters blame ministers rather than the service itself for its inability to be good all the time Related: Leave campaign's £350m claim was too low, says Boris Johnson Continue reading... […]

  • Service charge: how do I know if the restaurant staff got my tip?
    by Rebecca Smithers on March 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I was told my tip would not go to the restaurant staff. If I’d known I would have paid it in cashIn January I took my family to the German Gymnasium restaurant at King’s Cross, London. The food was good and the service excellent. The bill came to £336.43 including a discretionary 12.5% service charge, which I paid happily. But when I asked a waiter how it was shared, I was told none of it reached the staff, which I found disappointing. I have tried to make contact (by email) with CEO Des Gunewardena, but have had no response. I would have given the gratuity in cash if I had known none of it reached the staff. JH, CambridgeD&D runs 40 restaurants and bars in London, including upmarket venues such as Quaglino’s, Le Pont de la Tour and Skylon. We can understand your concern, given the huge press coverage about unfair tipping practices in restaurant chains. Continue reading... […]

  • Blame the ‘macho leader’ cult for education’s shocking gender pay gap | Danny Dorling
    by Danny Dorling on March 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

    For years schools have been sending pupils the message that women are worth less than men. It’s our moral duty to fix thatThe cult of the macho “strong leader”, which dominates education, has been damaging in so many ways. I always seem to be reading fatuous accounts of the apparently super-human workloads of our academy trust principals and university presidents. They rise at 5am to lead their institutions forward with an hour of emails, followed by breakfast meetings, and fall late into bed having worked tirelessly all day for their underlings. It is narcissist guff and to most of us is unimpressive, but given how much educational leaders pay themselves, it is perhaps not surprising that they try to justify their worth in this way.But perhaps the worst effect of the “strong leader” has been the resulting failure to address the gender pay gap. It is through pay that we demonstrate exactly how much we respect each other. Pay is always about respect. Related: Classroom pay: ‘My male colleague was paid £7,000 more than me’ Related: Universities get creative to even out subject gender imbalance Continue reading... […]

  • University regulator is ‘Office for State Control’, say critics
    by Anna Fazackerley on March 20, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Toby Young email sparks fears university leaders are already kowtowing to new Office for StudentsUniversity leaders this week described the government’s new regulator, the Office for Students, as the “Office for State Control”, warning it would prove disastrous for higher education and was “dangerous for democracy”.The OfS is already mired in controversy thanks to the short-lived appointment of Toby Young to its board, which sparked a storm of public protest. But Education Guardian has learned that Universities UK, the umbrella group for vice-chancellors, didn’t challenge Young’s suitability for the role because it feared annoying the government. Related: Office for Students? It’s the Office Against Students and it is not going to last | Andrew Adonis Related: Struggling universities will be shut down, not saved – it's not fair for students Related: University poacher turned gamekeeper sets sights on vice-chancellors’ pay Continue reading... […]

  • Scrap 'highly regressive' council tax, says thinktank
    by Phillip Inman on March 20, 2018 at 6:01 am

    Resolution Foundation says levy now resembles much maligned poll tax and should be replaced with more progressive system Council tax is an outdated and regressive levy on households that should be scrapped in favour of a progressive levy on property, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation.The thinktank said council tax had become almost flat-rated in some areas to leave it resembling the much maligned poll tax of the early 1990s. Related: Council tax should be fair and progressive. Ours is neither Related: Labour says land value tax would boost local government budgets Continue reading... […]

  • Michael Sheen launches campaign against high-cost lenders
    by Amelia Gentleman on March 20, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Actor will scale back Hollywood career to take on high-interest credit providers such as Wonga and BrightHouseMichael Sheen has decided to scale back his acting career to devote himself to campaigning against high-interest credit providers, like Wonga and BrightHouse, and working to find fairer alternative sources of credit.He will begin his new undertaking on Tuesday in Glasgow, where he will launch the End High Cost Credit Alliance, a campaign group of politicians, charities and tech companies he has brought together, working to promote more affordable ways of borrowing money. His dedication to tackling problem debt has been inspired by witnessing difficulties faced by friends in the Welsh town of Port Talbot where he grew up, a region struggling with the decline of the local steel industry. Related: Britain's growing debt problem demands a fresh set of eyes | Phillip Inman Related: Government urged to give those with debt problems a year's grace Continue reading... […]

  • Can climate litigation save the world?
    by Damian Carrington Environment editor on March 20, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Courts are a new front line of climate action with cases against governments and oil firms spiralling, and while victories have so far been rare the pressure for change is growingGlobal moves to tackle climate change through lawsuits are poised to break new ground this week, as groups and individuals seek to hold governments and companies accountable for the damage they are causing.What is it? Continue reading... […]

  • Grenfell Tower: more than £20m spent on survivors' hotel accommodation
    by Press Association on March 20, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Sum spent by council would be enough to build the original block three times overNearly £21m has been spent keeping Grenfell Tower survivors in hotel rooms, enough to have built the original block an estimated three times over, new figures suggest.The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) paid £20.9m in hotel bills between the fire last June and mid-February this year. Related: UK may have breached human rights over Grenfell Tower, says UN Continue reading... […]

  • London pub's Victorian makeover wins Camra design award
    by Rebecca Smithers Consumer affairs correspondent on March 20, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Fitzroy Tavern wins Camra’s Pub Design refurbishment award for overhaul that restored many of its original featuresA former coffee house in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia has won a major national pub design award in recognition of its recent transformation back to its original Victorian splendour.The year-long refurbishment of the Fitzroy Tavern was hailed today by The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) as one of the best pub designs across Britain, which also include the “longest bar in Britain”, a 1930s neo-Georgian roadhouse and a new-build pub. Related: Eighteen British pubs close every day. Here’s how we saved ours | Steven Morris Continue reading... […]

  • MPs call for 12 weeks of paternity leave to address gender pay gap
    by Mark Rice-Oxley on March 20, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Committee recommends laws forcing firms to offer new fathers flexible work patterns and ringfencing their leaveBritain must radically reform parental leave to encourage more fathers to take time off work, or it will never get to grips with the gender pay gap, an influential committee of MPs has recommended.Fathers should get the option of 12 weeks’ paid, “use it or lose it” paternity leave to try and encourage greater male involvement in the young lives of children, the women and equalities select committee reports on Tuesday. Related: Want men to share parental leave? Just give them equality | Duncan Fisher Parental leave and the gender pay gap are closely linked Continue reading... […]

  • Self-driving Uber kills Arizona woman in first fatal crash involving pedestrian
    by Sam Levin and Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco on March 19, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Tempe police said car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and that the vehicle hit a woman who later died at a hospitalAn autonomous Uber car killed a woman in the street in Arizona, police said, in what appears to be the first reported fatal crash involving a self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian in the US.Tempe police said the self-driving car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and that the vehicle hit a woman, who was walking outside of the crosswalk and later died at a hospital. There was a vehicle operator inside the car at the time of the crash. Related: Who's driving? Autonomous cars may be entering the most dangerous phase Related: Rage against the machine: self-driving cars attacked by angry Californians Continue reading... […]

  • Austin bombs: fourth explosion in a month puts city in lockdown
    by Tom Dart in Austin, Texas on March 19, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Latest bombing injures two, deepening the mystery and the alarm Detonation method is in marked contrast to the previous incidentsFourth explosion indicates ‘serial bomber’, police sayA deadly serial bomber has struck in Austin for what appears to be the fourth time this month, frightening residents and prompting police to put a neighbourhood in the Texan capital into lockdown.After three packages exploded earlier in March, killing two people and seriously injuring another while baffling the authorities, the city’s police chief appealed on Sunday for the suspect or suspects to make contact. Continue reading... […]

  • Home Office U-turn on Durham University academics' deportation
    by Press Association on March 19, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Dr Ernesto Schwartz-Marin and Dr Arely Cruz-Santiago had been ordered to leave Britain after doing humanitarian work in MexicoThe Home Office has reversed a decision to deport two Durham University academics after a public outcry.Dr Ernesto Schwartz-Marin and Dr Arely Cruz-Santiago had been issued a 14-day notice to leave the UK following an apparent breach in their tier 2 visa after doing humanitarian work in Mexico. Continue reading... […]

  • Weatherwatch: sudden stratospheric warming and the Beast from the East
    by Michael Dukes (MetDesk) on March 19, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    The first in an occasional series on meteorological terminology: a look at the atmospheric conditions behind the late cold snaps that interrupted springThe historic disruptive cold spell at the turn of the month and the brief intense wintry spell last weekend were caused by a record-breaking sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event that began on 11 February. The stratosphere is the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere, sat above the troposphere. During the autumn and winter, the polar stratosphere gets intensely cold because of the absence of solar radiation. This allows a large vortex – a zone of low pressure – to dominate the polar region in the upper troposphere and stratosphere. Related: Sudden stratospheric warming set to bring lengthy cold snap to UK Continue reading... […]

  • Trump calls for death penalties for drug dealers as focus of opioids plan
    by Amanda Holpuch, Jessica Glenza and Ben Jacobs in Washington on March 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Trump’s policy rollout focuses on punishment for dealers and traffickers but doesn’t propose new legislation to combat the crisisDonald Trump called on Monday for some drug dealers to receive the death penalty in a new opioids policy rollout in New Hampshire, a state hard hit by the national crisis. Related: Opioid crisis: overdoses increased by a third across US in 14 months, says CDC Related: Artist Nan Goldin stages opioids protest in Metropolitan Museum Sackler Wing Almost 100 people are dying every day across America from opioid overdoses – more than car crashes and shootings combined. The majority of these fatalities reveal widespread addiction to powerful prescription painkillers. The crisis unfolded in the mid-90s when the US pharmaceutical industry began marketing legal narcotics, particularly OxyContin, to treat everyday pain. This slow-release opioid was vigorously promoted to doctors and, amid lax regulation and slick sales tactics, people were assured it was safe. But the drug was akin to luxury morphine, doled out like super aspirin, and highly addictive. What resulted was a commercial triumph and a public health tragedy. Belated efforts to rein in distribution fueled a resurgence of heroin and the emergence of a deadly, black market version of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The crisis is so deep because it affects all races, regions and incomes Continue reading... […]

  • Barclays wakes up to find a bull called Bramson in the shop
    by Nils Pratley on March 19, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Activist investor Ed Bramson, not known for his charm, makes a move into the big leagueGet ready for some sport at Barclays. Edward Bramson, an activist investor out of New York with a taste for barging into boardrooms and metaphorically smashing up the crockery, has unveiled a 5% stake in the bank.Previous UK targets have included F&C Asset Management, Electra Private Equity and 3i, so Barclays represents a major step-up in ambition. It’s one thing to make a splash in the lower leagues of London financial firms, but another to try to call the shots at a highly regulated high street lender. Continue reading... […]

  • Theresa May under fire over Brexit transition deal
    by Daniel Boffey in Brussels, Anushka Asthana and Lisa O'Carroll on March 19, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Senior Tories criticise concessions to Brussels on issues ranging from immigration to fisheries Theresa May faced a storm of protest over a transition deal struck with Brussels after conceding a series of her high-profile Brexit demands and agreeing to the “back stop” plan of keeping Northern Ireland under EU law to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. Related: EU nationals arriving in UK during transition will get same rights as those already there, says Barnier - Politics live Related: Fishermen: tell us what you think of the recent Brexit concessions Related: The five costs of UK's pyrrhic Brexit victory Continue reading... […]

  • Unite says it has no confidence in Melrose's GKN takeover bid
    by Dan Sabbagh on March 19, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    GKN shares slide as first meeting between union and takeover specialists ends in acrimonyA “full and frank” meeting between trade union officials and the company mounting an £8bn hostile takeover for GKN broke up in acrimony on Monday amid accusations that the would-be buyer would not give assurances on future investment.Unite said it had no confidence in bidder Melrose following the meeting, the first time the two sides had got around the table since the controversial hostile bid for GKN was unveiled in January. Related: Airbus warns over Melrose's £8bn GKN takeover Continue reading... […]

  • Ukip on brink of bankruptcy after £175,000 legal bill
    by Anne Perkins Deputy political editor on March 19, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Party hit with bill for its part in libel action involving one of its MEPs and three Labour MPsUkip is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy after it was presented with a legal bill of £175,000 for its part in a libel action involving three Labour MPs in the run up to the 2015 election. If the party does not appeal, it must find the cash in the next fortnight, which may leave it unable to field candidates in the local elections in May. Continue reading... […]