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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Domestic abuse will now be harder to ignore | Barbara Ellen

Theresa May’s proposed legisaltion on coercive and controlling behaviour is to be welcomedWell done to home secretary Theresa May on the new domestic violence legislation – “coercive and controlling behaviour”, stopping short of physical violence, could carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine.There have been mixed reactions. Domestic abuse charity Refuge made the point that

Glasgow’s living-wage policy shames corporate giants | Kevin McKenna

The council’s decision to make contractors commit to paying the city’s living wage shames Celtic FC and the Labour partyBy any instrument you wish to measure it, 2014 has been an outstanding year for Glasgow. As our biggest city is the boiler house that heats the nation’s economy and culture, that means that this has been a year like no other for the rest of the country too. The Commonwealth Ga

The View... from Birmingham | Josh Allen

It may be hip and happening, but budget cuts are having a terrible impact on the city’s poorIt has been a good week and a bad week to be a Birmingham resident. The good news is that in its 2015 list of hip and happening places Rough Guides declared Birmingham the ninth best place in the world to visit.“Ninth!” you exclaim? Yup, the city best known to most Britons for Spaghetti Junction and N

Ukip tells members: ‘Don’t go on Twitter’

Nigel Farage’s party moves to ban unauthorised use of Ukip logo after embarrassing string of gaffesNigel Farage is cracking down on Ukip supporters’ social media activity after a series of scandals over racist comments. The party has changed its constitution to prevent unauthorised use of the Ukip logo by supporters, members and officials, while Ukip’s chairman has warned those tempted to joi

Poverty: Labour’s priority should be to ensure the poor have a voice | The big issue

With so many going hungry and so few young people going to the polls, the answer is surely to make voting compulsoryWith so much discussion about the plight of the poor (“It’s shameful that so many go hungry in our wealthy country”, leader), the Labour party needs to consider how to make the opinions of the poorest and the youngest in our society count. The Audit of Political Engagement in 2

NHS crisis grows as young Britons turn their backs on family doctors

Growing number of 18- to 34-year-olds ‘head straight to A&E’ as health service fails to match new lifestylesAn alarming new dimension to the NHS crisis has been revealed as data shows young adults are bypassing GPs and heading straight to overstretched A&E departments because they can’t get suitable appointments.A stark generational divide in the way people use the NHS is highlighted in a

Labour races into seven-point lead as ratings for Nigel Farage show sharp fall

Observer/Opinium poll puts Labour on 36%, with the Tories on 29% and Ukip down three points to 16%Labour has opened up a seven-point lead over the Conservatives in the latest Opinium/_Observer_ poll, which also shows a sharp fall in the personal approval ratings for the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage.The survey will be a boost for Labour and its leader, Ed Miliband, who has endured a torrid time

Alex Salmond calls for ‘peasants’ revolt’ vote to abolish House of Lords

Former Scottish first minister says English referendum needed to ‘clean out the stables’ and provoke a ‘constitutional revolution’Alex Salmond has called for a “peasants’ revolt-type” referendum in England to abolish the House of Lords.The former Scottish first minister said such a vote was needed to “clean out the stables” and provoke a “constitutional revolution — let’s get rid of the Hous

Women to be hit hardest by tax-credit and benefits freeze - study

Figures show more than 75% of estimated savings will come from women under cuts planned by Tories if they win electionWomen will overwhelmingly bear the brunt of a freeze in tax credits and benefits that will be introduced by George Osborne if the Tories win the general election next year, according to an analysis by the House of Commons library.The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, accused the T

Britain’s immigration system in intensive care, say MPs

Committee report says failure to introduce system of ‘counting everyone in and out’ risks security and more illegal immigrationBritain’s immigration system has gone into intensive care, with serious doubts that a pledge to introduce 100% exit checks on all passengers leaving the country can be in place by the general election, say MPs.The Commons home affairs select committee says a failure

New Era residents toast Christmas victory after charity buys London estate

Families celebrate after US investor Westbrook Partners abandons plans to evict families and triple rentsTo the sound of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” on the jukebox and with open fires crackling in the grates of the Stag pub, the residents of the New Era estate in east London last night toasted a remarkable Christmas victory.At 2pm on Friday it was confirmed that the 93 familie

Oil price fall poses challenge for North Sea industry – and Scottish nationalists

Independence blueprint was predicated on an oil price of $110 barrel, but many forecast a decline to nearly $50If there is one thing guaranteed to punch a hole in the Scottish economy it is a plunging oil price. Since the summer the wholesale value of Brent crude, the key North Sea price used as a global benchmark, has nearly halved from last year’s average of $109 a barrel. This month it fell

NHS still struggling to cope with extra patients as funding deal agreed

Health budget set to increase as doctors say services ‘running just to stand still’ amid winter spike in patient numbersNHS leaders in England say the problems caused by the funding squeeze are greater than ever, with hospitals struggling to cope with record levels of emergency admissions and unions threatening fresh strike action in the new year over pay curbs.There were more than 111,000 e

Jim Murphy: ‘The SNP know they’re up against someone who isn’t crap’

… except ‘crap’ wasn’t the word he used. So can the new leader rebuild Scottish Labour – and escape Ed Miliband’s shadow? He explains why he’s up for the fight (and why he’s teetotal)Jim Murphy has had a busy week. Since his victory in the Scottish Labour leadership election last Saturday, his timetable has been carefully choreographed, with speeches, events and photo opportunities almost daily

The Guardian view on Britain’s broken council tax | Editorial

It once promised local control, public benefit from property wealth and protection for the poor. Today Britain’s council tax fails on all three countsBy factoring out inflation, and then factoring in various things that it didn’t happen to be cutting this week, the government is able to claim that local councils resources are “only” being reduced by 1.8% next year. The councils themselves came

Mandy Rice-Davies: fabled player in a very British scandal

Rice-Davies was only 18 when she was called upon to play a part in framing an innocent, but politically inconvenient manIt has taken 50 years, but Britain has gradually caught up with Mandy Rice-Davies. A confidence, a swagger, a certain arrogance surrounds the young who carve their very public niche in contemporary Britain. Rice-Davies had it half a century ago.Inevitably she changed. In th

Unite and the ongoing debate in Scotland | Letters

The recent attack on Unite (Editorial, 15 December) ought to be beneath your paper. It made incorrect accusations and in doing so exposed a fundamental lack of understanding of how trade unions function. Unite did not spend “enormous amounts of money” to “thwart” Jim Murphy. The money we spent to support Neil Findlay was used to communicate to Unite members, entirely in keeping with Labour party

‘A breath of fresh air’ – Sharon White takes over at Ofcom to chorus of plaudits

She’s the exact opposite of everyone else – meet the new chief of the communications regulatorSharon White is no stranger to breaking through glass ceilings. Consistently hailed as the first black woman in a string of senior Whitehall roles, her appointment last week to lead the media regulator Ofcom has made White at a stroke one of the most prominent figures in the public sector.“She comes

Northern Ireland parties reach breakthrough in talks

Parties agree on position paper on welfare reform during negotiations aimed at saving power-sharing executiveNorthern Ireland’s political parties have reached a breakthrough in talks aimed at saving the power-sharing executive in Belfast and dealing with controversies hanging over from the peace process.The five unionist and nationalist parties have agreed on a position paper on welfare refo

US spy Roland Trujillo missing after reportedly being freed in Cuba deal

*Former US intelligence official says convicted spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo was freed from Cuban prison in trade for three Cuban intelligence agents *Sarraff’s current whereabouts are unknown*Behind the scenes of the US-Cuba dealWhen convicted spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo failed to call home from prison, his parents went to see if their son had fallen ill. Officials told the elderly cou

UK government borrowing lower than expected in November

Higher tax receipts boost public finances, taking borrowing so far this financial year to £75.8bn, £500m less than in 2013George Osborne has been handed a small early Christmas gift as government borrowing fell in November, bucking a recent run of bad news on the deficit.Borrowing was £14.1bn last month, £1.6bn lower than in November 2013 and less than the £15bn predicted by economists. The

Thames garden bridge plan gets green light from London mayor

Approval means construction of crossing could begin next year, but no deal reached over bridge’s £3.5m annual running costsA garden bridge over the Thames has been approved by the mayor of London but doubts remain over who will meet its substantial annual running costs.The bridge has attracted criticism for the £60m of public money it will cost to build, despite initially being privately fin

London garden bridge: the Thames is now a playground for private fantasies

It’s no surprise that Boris ‘self-styled tsar of novelty infrastructure projects’ Johnson has rubber-stamped this bridge folly*Thames garden bridge plan gets green light from London mayor*London’s garden bridge: the public park where groups and cyclists aren’t welcomeThe news that Boris Johnson has rubber-stamped the garden bridge should come as no surprise. Since taking office he has b

Nigel Farage: I feel sorry for Kerry Smith over racist language

Ukip leader defends former candidate who was recorded also making homophobic remarksNigel Farage has defended a former Ukip parliamentary candidate who stood down after being recorded using derogatory terms about homosexuals and Chinese people.The Ukip leader said Kerry Smith was “not suitable” to stand for election to Parliament for the party, but insisted that Smith’s comments were not m

Keir Starmer: ‘2015 will be a defining election … I can’t walk away from it’

Britain’s former top prosecutor, who is contesting Frank Dobson’s old seat, believes Labour is the best party to tackle the growing inequality in the countryThe problem with being the nation’s top prosecutor, says Keir Starmer, was that people were just too nice to him. “People were so deferential,” he reflects, as though it were a bad thing. But if he wins the safe Holborn and St Pancras seat

McGuinness hints at breakthrough in Northern Ireland negotiations

Deputy first minister says there has been a ‘step change’ in multi-party talks aimed at resolving issues from peace processNorthern Ireland’s deputy first minister has hinted at a possible breakthrough in political negotiations over outstanding issues from the peace process.Martin McGuinness tweeted on Friday that there had been a “step change” in the multi-party talks which ran on late into

Women in military combat is nothing new, just not British

Other countries have allowed women to serve in combat zones for decades, but the MoD says the definition is not fully clearWhile some in the military have dismissed the move by the UK’s Ministry of Defence on Friday towards allowing women soldiers to fight in combat roles as a political move, when it happens it will not represent such a big change for the troops on the ground. British soldiers

Mandy Rice-Davies obituary

Showgirl and key player in the Profumo scandal who thrived on the publicity it broughtOf the many characters caught up in the 1960s sex and spying saga of the Profumo scandal, Mandy Rice-Davies, who has died aged 70 of cancer, managed to make the best use of the celebrity the whole affair brought. While others lost their reputations and jobs – and her friend the society osteopath Stephen Ward l

Five things we can learn from Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box

Do young people struggle to engage with politics? And why do ethnic minorities vote Labour? Here are the answers according to a political book attempting to shed light on such questionsThe British general election is firmly on the horizon - and you can count on there being piles of political analysis prior to, during and after the votes being cast. What is the effect of a low turnout? Do t

BBC Radio Scotland to put politics at its core after independence referendum

Kaye Adams to host new daily three-hour programme as station chief acknowledges content needs to be ‘quicker and cleverer’BBC Radio Scotland has announced a new schedule that puts politics and current affairs at its core, as a direct result of the listener participation during the independence referendum campaign that “brought the station to life”.Speaking to the Guardian following the annou


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