• West Yorkshire police and agencies 'failed to protect' groomed girl

    Review finds several agencies failed multiple times to act on reports of rape and assault by men who were eventually jailed
    Police and social services in West Yorkshire were guilty of “a serious systematic failure” to safeguard a vulnerable girl who was groomed and raped by at least 13 men, an investigation has found.A serious case review by the Bradford Safeguarding Children Board found insufficient steps were taken to protect the girl from exploitation. Continue reading...
  • Alan Pardew has chairman’s backing before critical fixture at Hull City

    • Steve Parish: Crystal Palace manager’s job is ‘totally safe’
    •’If we’re in crisis then there are a lot of clubs in crisis’Alan Pardew has received public backing from his chairman at Crystal Palace, Steve Parish, but will go into the critical fixture at Hull City this weekend acutely aware he still faces a battle to convince the club’s investors that he is the right man to remain in charge.Palace checked a run of six successive defeats with a
  • Nancy Banks-Smith on The Archers: the tipplers of Ambridge eye up the homemade gin

    Toby is turning Blossom Cottage into an illicit distillery, while Lynda’s Mother Goose is ruffling lots of feathers. Yes, panto season has arrived in Ambridge!A friend going to church in the country saw one sheep holding a dustbin lid while another sheep ran at it. Several psalms later, they were still at it though they might have changed sides. Hard to tell with sheep. Even sheep have to make their own entertainment in Ambridge because there are acres and acres when nothing whatsoeve
  • Moana and Sully bobbing in the wake of Fantastic Beasts at UK box office

    JK Rowling’s enduring pre-Potter blockbuster casts a spell over Tom Hanks’ hero pilot and Disney’s Polynesian princessWith three weeks to go, Disney released its big family film for Christmas: Polynesia-set animation Moana. The seafaring adventure failed to dislodge Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, now in its third week. An opening gross of £2.21m (including previews of £33,000) seems rather modest for a Disney animation – Zootropolis kicked off in Mar
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  • Shippea Hill: just 'one person a month' uses UK's quietest train station

    Cambridgeshire station was used only 12 times in 2015-16, figures show, while nearly 100m journeys were made through London WaterlooThe quietest train station in Britain is used by the equivalent of just one passenger per month, latest figures show.Shippea Hill station in Cambridgeshire had only 12 entries and exits during 2015-16, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Continue reading...
  • Plans for Transport for London to take over capital's rail lines ditched

    Transport secretary instead says TfL will be involved in new Southeastern franchise that will hand more control to private firmsPlans for the capital’s rail lines to be run by Transport for London have been scuttled, as the government instead said it would make the Southeastern franchise a testbed for controversial reforms that will lead to private train companies taking joint control of the tracks.The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has blocked a deal announced in January by his pred
  • Peter Vaughan: Porridge and Game of Thrones star dies aged 93 – video obituary

    The character actor Peter Vaughan has died aged 93 on Tuesday morning. Vaughan was a familiar face on British TV, best known performing alongside Ronnie Barker in the prison sitcom Porridge playing Harry Grout, and more recently as Maester Aemon in Game of ThronesPeter Vaughan, star of Porridge and Game of Thrones, dies aged 93Continue reading...
  • May says she will reveal Brexit plan before triggering article 50

    Government accepts Labour motion to publish plan for leaving EU but calls on MPs to vote for process to begin by late March
    Theresa May has sought to fend off a parliamentary revolt over Brexit by promising to publish a negotiating plan, but says she will challenge MPs to vote in favour of triggering article 50 by the end of March.The prime minister caved in to pressure from Labour and some formerly pro-remain Tory MPs, as No 10 largely accepted an opposition motion calling on her to publish a p
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  • US supreme court rules for Samsung in $399m patent dispute with Apple

    Unanimous decision holds that patent violators do not have to surrender profits from sales of products that use stolen designs for componentsThe US supreme court on Tuesday sided with Samsung in its big-money smartphone patent fight with Apple, throwing out an appeals court ruling that said the South Korean company had to pay a $399m penalty to its American rival for copying key iPhone designs. The justices in their 8-0 ruling sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings. Contin
  • Grammy nominations 2017: Beyoncé and R&B artists shine while rock suffers

    Beyoncé’s nine dominating nods, along with impressive showings for Rihanna, Kanye West, Drake and Chance the Rapper, reflect a stellar year for black artistsTuesday’s announcement of the nominations for the 59th annual Grammy awards, which will be handed out on 12 February, had some expected outcomes – Beyoncé dominated, with Lemonade and its affiliated properties receiving nine nominations, while Adele’s 25 scored her five nominations. As with any attempt t
  • Keaton Jennings puts the accent on runs as England’s Mumbai Test looms

    Young batsman owes his heady rise to the no-nonsense coaching of his South African father and is unfazed by the prospect of opening against IndiaIf Keaton Jennings bats with the same composure and confidence as he speaks then England may be on to something. He was presented to the press at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday after a training session in which he batted – and bowled – for a long time.Currently England are more interested in his batting. The universal expectation is th
  • Twenty reasons why Brexit will be even trickier than we thought

    From the wrong kind of fish off our coasts, to divorcees stuck in marital limbo, Britain’s painful extraction from the EU will send shockwaves through almost every part of our lives. Here are just some of the side-effects...After he took the role of international trade secretary, Fox boasted that he would have “about a dozen free trade deals outside the EU” ready for when Britain left. But it is illegal for Britain, as an EU member state, to negotiate bilateral trade deals. Fox
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  • Danielle de Niese webchat – post your questions now

    The classical soprano is joining us to answer your questions in a live webchat from 12pm GMT on Thursday 8 December – post them in the comments below 4.17pm GMTAfter a whirlwind early start in LA, winning an Emmy for TV presenting while still in her teens, the soprano Danielle de Niese has brought vigour and freshness to the global opera scene. At the age of 19, she was already singing alongside Bryn Terfel and Cecilia Bartoli at New York’s Met Opera. Productions at Glyndebourne led
  • Calling Gordon Gekko: how old mobile phones became £1,000 collector items

    With the market for retro cell phones booming, here’s a selection of desirable designs, from a 10kg monster to a clamshell classicWhen it debuted in 1989, the MicroTAC was hailed as a “game-changer”, one that Motorola argued would bring mobile phones out of the hands of top execs and into the hands of senior mid-level execs. Competively price at $2,995, the size of a Dutch brick rather than the preceding concrete breezeblock, it had an amazing half-hour’s talk time with o
  • Peter Vaughan: from godfather Grouty to Game of Thrones

    He was the big-framed character actor who rose to fame as Ronnie Barker’s tormentor in Porridge. But Peter Vaughan had immense range and power – and was still starring in Game of Thrones at the age of 92• Peter Vaughan has died aged 93
    Peter Vaughan was a star example of the sort of performer known as a “character actor” – he rarely led a cast, but he attracted a devoted following from audiences, critics and producers.
    Remarkably, three generations of TV viewer
  • Chile can seek extradition of agents wanted in 1976 US attack, court rules

    Chilean supreme court reaches unanimous decision on two former secret police agents wanted in a car bombing in Washington that killed two peopleChile’s supreme court has ruled that the government can file an extradition request to the United States for two former secret police agents wanted for a 1976 car bombing in Washington that killed a former Chilean ambassador and a US citizen. Continue reading...
  • Thomas Bjorn named captain of Europe for 2018 Ryder Cup in France

    • ‘This is one of the greatest days in my career,’ says Dane
    • Dane was runaway favourite for role after Padraig Harrington pulled outConfirmation of golf’s most open secret owes everything to perfect timing. From the moment Padraig Harrington insisted he has his heart set on playing in the 2018 Ryder Cup rather than chasing the European captaincy, Thomas Bjorn’s status was assured.“This is one of the greatest days in my career,” said the 45-year-old
  • Bird flu hits French foie gras industry at busiest time of year

    Thousands of birds slaughtered and export ban extended as France is put on high alert following outbreak in south-westFrench foie gras producers have been forced to slaughter thousands of birds being prepared for the lucrative Christmas market to prevent the spread of a virulent strain of bird flu.The agriculture ministry raised the risk level of the virus spreading from moderate to high on Tuesday across the country, at a crucial time for the industry. Continue reading...
  • UK unveils big error in trade data, cuts current account deficit

    Britain's statistics agency made big cuts to its estimates for the country's trade and current account deficits on Tuesday after it found a "processing error" in its trade statistics. The Office for National Statistics said the error in the 'erratics' category of British trade - which includes gold, gems, aircraft and ships - affected trade and current account data from January 2015 through December 2016. The current account deficit for 2015 was revised down to 5.0 percent of gross domestic prod
  • What is financial spread betting and why do most people lose at it?

    Financial Conduct Authority has stepped in to protect customers from heavy losses, but this is not a new phenomenonThe Financial Conduct Authority has studied a sample of spread-betting customers and found that 82% lost money on products offered by the industry called contracts for difference (CFDs). Is the regulator correct?The FCA’s figure is broadly accurate, but it is not a new development. The ratio of losers to winners – about 80% of customers have always lost money – has
  • Fidel Castro worked on Gabriel García Márquez's manuscripts

    The Nobel laureate sent the Cuban dictator all of his books and received his factual and grammatical notes before submitting them to his publisherFeted as a revolutionary hero and demonised as an enemy of the free world, Fidel Castro also played an unexpected role in global literature. The Cuban president, who died on 25 November, acted as unofficial copy editor for the acclaimed novelist Gabriel García Márquez, providing line-by-line corrections for the writer after the two struck
  • Who said it, Arron Banks or Mary Beard?

    Ukip donor Arron Banks got a Roman tangle with classical historian Mary Beard on TwitterInsurance multi-millionaire and Ukip funder Arron Banks found himself in a Twitter debate with prominent classicist and historian Mary Beard on Monday evening. The topic: ancient Rome, and whether immigration was to blame for the Empire’s fall.Our quiz is taken from their social media exchanges (no peeking). Can you tell who said what? Continue reading...
  • Paris hopes to raise €100,000 for refugees with love locks sale

    The 65 tonnes of love locks removed from Paris’s bridges in the last 18 months are to be sold – and could raise €100,000 for refugee groupsFor the past two years, Paris has committed itself to taking on the love lock trend, in which couples, particularly tourists, attach padlocks to the city’s bridges as a symbol of their love. And since the authorities made the decision to start removing them 18 months ago – cutting down an incredible one million padlocks in the pro
  • Independent thinking: can music shops survive on today's high street?

    Small retailers everywhere are struggling to compete with online competition. But one classical music store in north London is surviving - and even thrivingThree years ago Ian Rosenblatt went into his local music shop in Muswell Hill, north London. He came out having bought a couple of CDs and, to his own surprise, the shop. Rosenblatt, a city lawyer and classical music lover, had been chatting with the owner and learned he was planning to close it down. In the 60s this shop sold the Davies both
  • Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories are a generation in the making | Jill Abramson

    Clinton’s supporters aren’t ‘sore losers,’ and Donald Trump’s way of working isn’t normal. The far right has spent years building opposition to herSince Trump won the election, the focus on his fringe connections has largely receded. Coverage of the new administration has quickly normalized. Washington reporters seem relieved to be covering a familiar ritual, the competition for top jobs in the Trump administration. Stories on Trump’s many conflicts of i
  • Past 'allowances' towards stars no longer acceptable, says BBC

    In its response to the Dame Janet Smith Review, the corporation said it would “continue to do more” to change its general approach towards its stars.
  • Martin Creed's bleak anti-carol should be Christmas No 1

    With his song It’s You, Turner-winning artist Martin Creed has made the perfect antidote to the commercialised positivity of ChristmasChristmas is a time for thinking about the fundamental isolation of being human, if you are Martin Creed. The artist who made the lights go on and off appears in a succession of Christmassy hats and jumpers in the music video for his song It’s You, beside a Christmas tree, with a small dog in his arms, accompanied by a serious-looking family and a choi
  • Cookie monsters: why your browsing history could mean rip-off prices | Arwa Mahdawi

    By collecting data on how desperate we are to buy and how much we can afford to pay, companies are finding sophisticated new ways to squeeze extra cash from unwitting shoppersEven rocket scientists, I would wager, are befuddled by airline pricing. One minute, a flight you’re looking at costs £400; 30 seconds later it has increased by £100. Panic sets in; you buy a ticket before it ascends out of your price range.I experienced this fluctuation frustration recently while trying t
  • Treasure Island review – horrors on the high seas

    Birmingham Rep
    Long John Silver swaggers perilously close to child abuse while his parrot pecks out dissenters’ eyes in this darkened voyage through Stevenson’s taleRobert Louis Stevenson conceived Treasure Island to entertain his stepson on a wet Scottish holiday. He noted that “it was to be a story for boys; no need of psychology or fine writing. Women were excluded.” Bryony Lavery’s adaptation, originally commissioned by the National Theatre two years ago, begs t
  • Theresa May called for a 'red, white and blue' Brexit and no-one has a clue what she's on about

    What about a “Land of Hope and Glory” Brexit?
  • Matteo Renzi already plotting return to power, Italian reports say

    PM is quitting after referendum defeat but is said to want to stay on as party leader and contest a general election in FebruaryHe has not even left yet, his resignation after a bruising defeat at the hands of the Italian electorate having been put on ice by the country’s president.But Matteo Renzi is already plotting his return to the prime minister’s office, according to Italian media reports, and has signalled his desire for elections to be called as soon as February, despite his
  • Israel refuses visa to theologian over boycott and divestment activism

    Isabel Phiri is first foreigner denied entry because of alleged involvement with Palestinian-led BDS movementIsrael has denied entry to a prominent theologian and academic for her alleged activism in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – the first time officials say a foreign national has been refused entry for that reason.Isabel Phiri, who is an assistant general secretary with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, was refused a visa at Israel’s Ben Gurion airpo
  • Labour has never had an open-door immigration policy | Diane Abbott

    Whether it’s Irish labour or the Windrush generation, migration has always been driven by economic necessityOne of the great myths of public life in the UK is that we are not allowed to talk about immigration, yet an objective observer might feel we talk about little else. At the heart of the debate, there has been a pervasive “post-truth” narrative that Labour governments operated an open-door immigration policy – one that they maintain in opposition today. Related: How
  • Angela Merkel endorses party's call for partial ban on burqa and niqab

    German chancellor tells CDU conference ‘full facial veil is inappropriate and should be banned wherever it is legally possible’Angela Merkel has for the first time endorsed her party’s call for a partial ban on burqa and niqab in Germany, telling delegates at the Christian Democratic Union’s conference in Essen “the full facial veil is inappropriate and should be banned wherever it is legally possible”.The German chancellor’s CDU party is expected this w
  • Sajid Javid: many immigrants in UK 'leading parallel lives'

    Communities secretary defends findings of controversial Casey report, which criticised ministerial attempts to boost integration Sajid Javid has warned that people in Britain have been allowed for too long to lead “parallel lives” as politicians ducked the controversial issues of social integration for fear of being called racist.The communities secretary made the comments in response to Louise Casey’s review into community cohesion with findings that he said rang true to him p
  • Our prison restraint techniques can kill children. Why aren’t we using alternatives? | Eric Allison and Simon Hattenstone

    Children’s prisons use the MMPR regime which is not humane, not safe and not the only option. Our government is responsible for appalling abusesThe Guardian revealed on Tuesday that the Ministry of Justice had been told that the restraint techniques it had approved for use on children in custody could kill them. A risk assessment carried out by an independent medical adviser concluded that 28 of the 66 sanctioned restraints had a 40% to 60% chance of resulting in injuries involving the air
  • Disabled people to get more from UK aid, says development minister

    NGOs surprised and ‘delighted’ at Priti Patel’s promise that Britain ‘will do the heavy lifting’ to improve the lives of 800 million disabled people Priti Patel has made a strong commitment to disability rights in her role as secretary of state for international development, firmly stating that UK aid will improve lives for disabled people in developing countries.Disability should be entwined in “every single aspect of what we do in the development space as th
  • Billy goat's rough: video of Northern Ireland goat rampage goes viral

    Story of animal terrorising people in Carrickfergus shop is ‘talk of the store’, manager tells mediaNever mind the proverbial bull in a china shop – a goat in Northern Ireland has shot to internet fame after causing chaos at a County Antrim shop.Video footage of the rogue goat terrorising shoppers at a Eurostar convenience store in the coastal town of Carrickfergus, north of Belfast, has gone viral. Continue reading...
  • Why does Bill Gates want you to read The Myth of the Strong Leader?

    The Microsoft billionaire’s annual reading list includes a 2014 study by British political scholar Archie Brown – a choice, he says, that was inspired by the US electionIf there’s one thing more valuable to an author than a Richard and Judy endorsement circa 2006, it’s a Bill Gates plug circa this week. The man has reach, and the luxury of reading time that comes with being a semi-retired billionaire. And he has weight. So, while four of the books on his annual list cover
  • Man who shot former NFL player Joe McKnight charged with manslaughter

    Ronald Gasser, 54, had earlier been released without chargeJefferson parish sheriff Newell Normand: ‘This is not about race’Former New York Jet died last week after shooting in LouisianaRonald Gasser, the man who fatally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight in an apparent road rage incident last week, was arrested on Monday on one count of manslaughter charge, Jefferson parish sheriff Newell Normand said. Related: Joe McKnight is dead because his life didn't matter enough for him to be al
  • The sense of an ending: why Alastair Cook deserves to go on his own terms | Andy Bull

    Unlike the long-term England captains before him, Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain, the incumbent has the chance to leave his post before he falls out of love with cricketEngland are bad at endings. The last Englishman to win his final series as captain was Keith Fletcher, who led his side to victory over Sri Lanka in a one‑off Test in Colombo and was promptly sacked by Peter May. It doesn’t have to be that way. Imran Khan’s Pakistan won his last series a
  • Peter Vaughan: a life in pictures

    Peter Vaughan, who played Grouty in Porridge and Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones, died today aged 93. When asked the secret of his longevity, the actor once replied ‘luck, good wine and beer’• Peter Vaughan dies aged 93 Continue reading...
  • It's impossible for robots to steal your job - no matter what the Daily Mail says | Dean Burnett

    The Daily Mail has reported that robots could ‘steal’ 15 million UK jobs. But It’s practically impossible to ‘steal’ a job, so why is the notion so persistent?Stealing. Most dictionaries define “steal” as some variation of “taking another person’s property without permission or legal right, and with no intention to return it”. You can steal a wide range of things from someone, and you can even do it metaphorically (“stolen my hear
  • Brexit deal possible by October 2018 - EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier

    A final deal on Britain's exit from the EU could be reached by October 2018, the European Commission's chief negotiator says. Setting out the European Commission's plans for the first time, Michel Barnier said: "Time will be short. Mr Barnier said if Britain triggers Article 50 by the end of March - as Theresa May has said she wants to do - an agreement would be needed by October the following year to get it through the European Parliament by March 2019.
  • Liz Truss calls for rapid completion of probation privatisation review

    Justice secretary sets April deadline amid criticism of failing service after part-privatisation introduced by Chris GraylingThe justice secretary, Liz Truss, has ordered the rapid completion of an official review into the failing performance of the government’s privatisation of the probation service.Truss told MPs that the review into the privatised probation companies’ performance introduced by her predecessor Chris Grayling would be completed by April and would include a major ove
  • Rouhani: we won't let Trump tear up US–Iran nuclear deal

    Iranian president says 10-year extension of US sanctions could be violation of the accord signed in July 2015The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has said his country will not allow Donald Trump to tear up the landmark nuclear agreement with the west as he warned that an extension of sanctions, which passed Congress last week, could be a violation of the deal. Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections has raised questions about whether the landmark nuclear accord, signed in July 2
  • 'Keep calm and negotiate': EU sees Oct 2018 Brexit deal

    By Alastair Macdonald and Philip Blenkinsop BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's chief negotiator set a target of agreeing a Brexit deal with Britain by October 2018, assuming London keeps a promise to formally launch the process of leaving the EU by the end of March. Michel Barnier, at a news conference on Tuesday, said the two-year deadline for final withdrawal fixed in Article 50 of the EU treaty meant there would be less than 18 months for actual negotiations. British Prime Minister The
  • Holidays, equal pay – Brexit threatens these rights. We are fighting to keep them | Jason Moyer Lee

    As the sole union involved in the most important case for workers in a generation, the IWGB doesn’t want to block Brexit, but fight for employment rightsOne could be forgiven for wondering what the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) – a small trade union that represents mainly low-paid migrants and workers in the “gig economy” and relies on crowdfunding to help finance its initiatives – is doing intervening in the UK’s most important cour
  • Google to be powered 100% by renewable energy from 2017

    Internet giant says renewable energy is increasingly lowest cost option and it will not rule out investing in nuclear powerGoogle’s data centres and the offices for its 60,000 staff will be powered entirely by renewable energy from next year, in what the company has called a “landmark moment”.
    The internet giant is already the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable electricity, last year buying 44% of its power from wind and solar farms. Now it will be 100%, and an
  • We’ve swapped Rich Tea for Oreos: what happened to the UK’s dunking spirit?

    The country’s biscuit habits are changing – in favour of brands that won’t stand up to being immersed in a cup of teaNever let it be said that 2016 was not, at least, creative in the ways in which it delivered bad news. We have had Bowie, Brexit, Trump and, now, in this darkest of 12 months, it seems even the beloved British biscuit scene is crumbling.In a harsh world, you may hope to find unique comfort in a big brew and a few biscuits. However, it seems that, even i

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