Cross-party MPs issue joint warning of need to act to prevent the issue ?€?sucking the life out of government?€?
A powerful cross-party group of MPs today warns Theresa May that Brexit is ?€?sucking the life?€? out of her government - as cabinet sources admit that the crisis is forcing vital domestic business off the government?€?s timetable.
With the deadlock over May?€?s Brexit deal unresolved, and a key vote in parliament postponed until mid-January, the chairpersons of six all-party select committees have signed a statement saying long-drawn-out arguments over Brexit are having a ?€?serious detrimental effect?€? on wider domestic policy.
Handing over victims and witnesses to the Home Office undermines fight against crime, say Liberty and Southall Black Sisters.
The first ever super-complaint to be lodged against the police will challenge the systemic and ?€?potentially unlawful?€? practice of forces referring victims and witnesses of crime to the immigration authorities.
The complaint, to be formally issued by human rights groups Liberty and Southall Black Sisters, argues that handing over victims of crime to the Home Office for immigration enforcement undermines the fight against crime and erodes public safety. The ?€?super-complaint?€? process became operational last month and allows designated organisations to ?€?raise issues on behalf of the public about harmful patterns or trends in policing?€?.
Struggles remain on enacting 2015 Paris accord despite more clarity on emissions
The UN met on Saturday in Poland to discuss a draft agreement on climate change, which sources said was likely to pass, as exhausted delegates made compromises on some key issues but left other contentious problems to be resolved next year.
The result will not be the breakthrough campaigners and some countries were hoping for, but will keep discussions alive on formulating key aspects of the implementation rules for the 2015 Paris accord.
Talent of aspiring actor Mike Rogers spotted in footage from outside Hamley?€?s toy store
An aspiring actor from South Africa has chanced upon a route into show business by dancing on the pavement outside London?€?s best-known toy shop.
Dressed as a friendly elf by the managers of Hamley?€?s store in Regent Street, Mike Rogers improvised a routine to the piped sound of the seasonal pop classic I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus earlier this month.
Carlos Fernando Chamorro says Daniel Ortega?€?s ?€?criminal dictatorship?€? behind attack
One of Nicaragua?€?s most prominent journalists has accused the ?€?criminal dictatorship?€? of the country?€?s president, Daniel Ortega, of launching a brazen attack on the press after police raided, ransacked and commandeered his newsroom in the latest chapter of an escalating crackdown on dissent.
Carlos Fernando Chamorro, the editor of Confidencial, a combative newsletter and website, said officers had stormed its headquarters in the capital Managua late on Thursday night, seizing laptops and computers, and had returned at about 10.30pm on Friday to occupy the premises.
Federal court in Virginia says officials were trusted to ?€?speak for the trees?€? as it tosses out pipeline permit
A federal court in the US has cited the classic Dr Seuss children?€?s book The Lorax as it lambasted the US Forest Service for granting an energy company permission to build a natural gas pipeline across two national forests.
?€?We trust the United States Forest Service to ?€?speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues?€?,?€? the three-judge panel of the fourth US circuit court of appeals in Virginia wrote this week as it threw out the permit.
Most cities have not been designed with women?€?s safety in mind but, from Egypt to Rwanda, new technology, design and education are reducing the threat of violence on the street
Sexual violence has rarely been so high on the news agenda. Since allegations against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein started to emerge in October last year, the global problem has finally become a mainstream issue. The United Nations has estimated that one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence, with 120 million girls around the world having been forced into sex acts.
The repercussions go beyond the physical and psychological toll on individuals who have been attacked. Harassment and fear of violence can impede free movement of girls and women and stop them reaching their full potential, both socially and economically. ?€?If women feel afraid,?€? says Laura Somoggi, who manages the biennial Womanity award for the prevention of violence against women, ?€?it could undermine their ability to work or go to school or university which affects their empowerment, their rights.?€? Fear of attack is a bar to women escaping poverty.
All 16,000 buses in the fast-growing Chinese megacity are now electric, and soon all 22,000 taxis will be too
You have to keep your eyes peeled for the bus at the station in Shenzhen?€?s Futian central business district these days. The diesel behemoths that once signalled their arrival with a piercing hiss, a rattle of engine and a plume of fumes are no more, replaced with the world?€?s first and largest 100% electric bus fleet.
Shenzhen now has 16,000 electric buses in total and is noticeably quieter for it. ?€?We find that the buses are so quiet that people might not hear them coming,?€? says Joseph Ma, deputy general manager at Shenzhen Bus Group, the largest of the three main bus companies in the city. ?€?In fact, we?€?ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them. We?€?re considering it.?€?
The bicycles are given to children in the Turkish border city of Kilis if they also maintain strong grades and promise to ride for an hour a day
Standing on the street in the centre of Kilis, a small Turkish city on the border with Syria, a constant stream of noisy motorcycles, scooters and cars zoom past. It?€?s certainly not the most bicycle-friendly city, but local leaders are determined to change that with a new network of cycle lanes, and by giving away thousands of bikes to local children.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war seven years ago, millions of Syrians have sought shelter in Turkey. While there are refugee camps lining the border, most refugees opt to live in cities such as Kilis.
The TV comedian who helped bring us the football anthem Three Lions has become a prolific children?€?s author. How did it happen?
David Baddiel is a comedian, TV presenter, screenwriter and author of novels for adults and children. His TV programmes have included The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Fantasy Football League with Frank Skinner. In 1996, Baddiel and Skinner co-wrote the lyrics to Three Lions, which returned to No 1 in the charts during this year?€?s World Cup. Last year Baddiel?€?s show, My Family: Not the Sitcom, was a sellout in the West End. His new novel for children, Head Kid, is out now.
You?€?ve written six children?€?s books in the past three years. What inspired you to throw so much energy into this new phase of your career? I don?€?t really operate in terms of a career plan. At no point did I think ?€?Oh, I?€?d like to be a children?€?s writer?€?, or ?€?Look at what David Walliams has done, I?€?ll do that too?€?. The way it happened was, once I had kids I started making up a lot of stories for them and improvising stories with them. Then there was a very specific moment when we?€?d just been to Harry Potter world at Leavesden, and my son, Ezra, who was eight, said: ?€?Dad, why doesn?€?t Harry Potter leave the Dursleys and go and find some better parents??€? Well, the reason for that in literary terms, I think, is that JK Rowling wants to make Harry?€?s world as mundane and horrid as possible so that the world of Hogwarts is more magical by contrast. But I didn?€?t give him that answer. I said: ?€?Well, that?€?s given me an idea?€?, and the idea was to create a world in which children can choose their own parents. And that became The Parent Agency, my first book for children.
In the sweltering heat of a provincial capital, wejoin the citizens desperate for next week?€?s election to bring a new dawn
The Avenue Salongo is the Champs-Élysées of Mbuji-Mayi, residents say. The comparison is an optimistic one. There is little that unites this strip of pitted tarmac, with its pair of faltering streetlights and sweltering central African humidity, with the famously beautiful Parisian boulevard - other than the French language spoken on both.
The Avenue Salongo?€?s only hotel is the Metropole, where paunchy political fixers drink strong beer in a ?€?salon bar?€? furnished with much smoked glass and heavy fake leather furniture. Opposite is a row of diamond dealers, where local artisanal ?€?diggers?€? sell stones scrabbled from red earth in makeshift mines among the verdant hills around the city. An understocked pharmacy, a restaurant selling grilled offal and the Couture de la Paix dress shop complete the scene.
Nations agree on implementing 2015 Paris agreement, but put trickiest issues on back burner
The UN climate change talks ended late on Saturday night in Poland with a deal agreed on how to put the 2015 Paris agreement into action, but with other contentious problems left to be resolved next year.
Countries thrashed out the complex details of how to account for and record their greenhouse gas emissions, which will form the basis of a ?€?rulebook?€? on putting the Paris goals into action. But difficult questions such as how to scale up existing commitments on cutting emissions, in line with stark scientific advice, and how to provide finance for poor countries to do the same, were put off for future years.
US intervention comes as Canadian officials granted access in China to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has said China should free two Canadian citizens who were detained this week following the arrest in Canada of a senior Huawei executive on a US extradition warrant.
Pompeo?€?s comments were the first by a senior US official on the Canadians?€? arrests, which the country?€?s prime minister Justin Trudeau said could escalate a growing trade conflict between China and the United States.
Bill Shorten will use his opening address to Labor?€?s national conference to unveil new subsidies to promote more affordable housing at a cost of $6.6bn over a decade.
Shorten will use the opportunity of his opening pitch to the delegates and onlookers gathered in Adelaide for the three-day event to commit to a target of 20,000 houses built in the first term of a Labor government.
A growing movement is demanding action to curb the soaring murder rate among young people in Fortaleza
Janio Heinrich used to promote peace on the streets of Grande Bom Jardim before he was shot dead two months ago. Now his face stares out from a large mural on a dusty street, a tribute to the 18-year-old whose crime was to enter the turf of a gang that does not dominate his area.
Residents are used to seeing memorials to their young people in this low-income part of Fortaleza; reaching adulthood here means surviving one of the deadliest districts of Brazil?€?s most murderous city for young people.
TGV trains will halve journey times from Casablanca to Tangier, but critics say flashy projects are no substitute for real reform
?€?Many well-known guests have stayed here,?€? says Jimmy, the proprietor of the gift shop in the Hotel Continental, a stately pre-colonial landmark overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. He runs down the list: Edgar Degas, Winston Churchill, Paul Bowles. But that was a long time ago.
Today, once-glitzy Tangier isn?€?t the destination it was half a century ago, when renowned artists and foreign spies haunted its bars and hotels. But the city?€?s fortunes may soon shift. A new high-speed railway, the first in Africa, was inaugurated last month, linking the cities along Morocco?€?s western edge. ?€?In two hours, it will take you from Casablanca to here,?€? says Jimmy - more than twice as fast as the current trains.
Beating Aids is India?€?s greatest public health achievement. A new book says it wouldn?€?t have happened without women
In 2002, a major report predicted an Aids catastrophe in India. The country would have 20-25m Aids cases by 2010. People were being infected at the rate of about 1,000 a day. Aids orphans numbered 2 million. This scourge would ravage families, society, and the economy. India was going to be the Aids capital of the world.
But 2010 came and went. India averted an Aids epidemic. That victory - India?€?s biggest public health achievement - has remained uncelebrated. But a new book by one of the major HIV campaigners of that time finally honours the people he says were crucial in guiding India away from its seemingly inescapable destiny: the country?€?s sex workers.
Swedish minister calls for Michel Sidibé to step down after report alleging harassment and favouritism at agency
The Swedish government has announced it is to withhold funding to a UN agency until its director resigns in a row over his ?€?dysfunctional leadership?€?.
UNAids, which spearheads the global fight against Aids and HIV, will receive no further funding until its executive director, Michel Sidibé, stands down, said Isabella Lövin, Sweden?€?s minister for international development cooperation and climate.
Geopolitical and economic rivalry between China and the US - not a breach of Trump?€?s Iran sanctions - is what?€?s really behind Meng Wanzhou?€?s arrest
Blame the British, as usual. In 1807, in the midst of a struggle with Napoleonic France, HMS Leopard, a Royal Navy ship of the line, attacked, boarded and captured an American frigate, USS Chesapeake, off Norfolk, Virginia. The British claimed their action was justified by the presence on the American ship of four English deserters, whom they arrested. But, for President Thomas Jefferson, it was an outrageous, illegal infringement of the sovereignty and independence of the infant republic, eventually leading to the 1812 war.
It?€?s fair to say the Americans never forgot lessons drawn from the Chesapeake humiliation - and have been faithfully following Britain?€?s script ever since. As its power grew, the US, too, assumed the right to extend its national writ beyond its shores. One modern example is the way the US justice department ruthlessly pursues foreign nationals, such as the Scottish hacker Gary McKinnon, who are deemed to have broken US law. McKinnon?€?s extradition was ultimately blocked in 2012 by Britain?€?s then home secretary, Theresa May, after a public outcry.
From Kevin Hart to Lena Dunham to Christmas songs, sometimes it?€?s a good idea to look critically at the past. But you can?€?t just ban everything
If 2016 was the year of the celebrity death, and 2017 the year of the celebrity sex scandal, then 2018 has been the year celebrities have been held to account for things they said in the past that no longer wash in these suddenly, if somewhat belatedly, enlightened times. Quite what to do next remains slightly TBD.
Many high-profile comedians have come under this kind of fire, from Sarah Silverman to Amy Schumer to Ricky Gervais, and last week it was the turn of Kevin Hart. He lasted precisely two seconds as the named host of the 2019 Oscars before his prior fondness for outrageously homophobic comedy, including a routine about how awful it would be to have a gay child, and his predilection for similarly hilarious witticisms on Twitter (including one tweet describing someone as looking like ?€?a gay billboard for Aids?€?) were deemed, as the modern lingo goes, problematic.
That one of the world?€?s biggest companies rides roughshod over a court order tells you all you need to know about the giants of Silicon Valley
Imagine if a media company told you the name of the man accused of killing Grace Millane. Imagine if, in defiance of a very clear court ruling of interim name suppression, that company told you his name in an email - spelling it out, even, in the subject header.
Unthinkable? That?€?s exactly what happened in the early hours of Tuesday.
Twenty-eight passengers and pedestrians have been injured after a tram derailed and flipped over in the Portuguese capital. Officials say the tram went off the rails on a bend at the bottom of a steep hill at around 6pm on Friday
The alleged shooter in Strasbourg, Chérif Chekatt, has been killed by police, it has been confirmed. In a brief statement released on Thursday night, French police said the man had been 'neutralised'. Earlier reports from various news agencies, citing police sources, had said Chekatt had been shot at about 9pm near where he launched the attack on Tuesday, which left three people dead and 13 wounded. According to l?€?Obs news magazine, he was traced to the Neudorf area of Strasbourg and shot at about 9pm local time (8pm GMT)
?€?It?€?s almost like during the Soviet Union, when bands used to have their gigs in secret?€? - these are the words of one half of experimental electronic duo Ic3peak. The group has been caught up in a crackdown on popular music acts across provincial Russia. So much so that Ic3peak have had six of their shows shut down in the last month. The provocative imagery in their videos may be what has spooked local officials
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