The Lords has no business amending the Brexit bill

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February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

Eurosceptics urge May to block merger of exchanges

Carsten Kengeter, the Deutsche Börse chief executive who would lead the entity created by a merger with the London Stock Exchange, denies allegations of insider dealing KAI PFAFFENBACH/REUTERSTheresa May has been urged to “protect” the City by blocking the planned £21 billion merger of London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse. The prime minister was warned that the deal was “not in the public interest” and would be “detrimental” to the UK. Anne Marie Morris, the Conservative MP, added that it “flies in the face” of Mrs May’s pledge to create a “proper industrial strategy” that defends British companies from overseas acquisition. On the eve of a parliamentary debate this afternoon, Sir William Cash, the veteran Eurosceptic Tory backbencher, suggested that there were “question marks” over Carsten Kengeter, the Deutsche Börse chief executive who would lead the merged entity. Mr Kengeter is facing a German police investigation over alleged insider dealing.

February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

Investors give RBS plan the thumbs up

RBS wants to resolve American litigation over sub-prime mortgages and perform well in Bank of England stress tests before resuming dividend payments OLI SCARFF/GETTY IMAGESShares in Royal Bank of Scotland surged yesterday to their highest level since the European Union referendum amid fresh hopes that the bank may be moving towards privatisation and paying dividends. It follows the announcement on Friday of a plan to drop the sale of Williams & Glyn, a move that Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has said is key to the government selling any of its 72 per cent shareholding. RBS has identified the sale of the 300-branch retail bank, resolving American litigation over sub-prime mortgages and performing well in this year’s Bank of England stress tests as prerequisites to resuming dividend payments. RBS shares rose 16½p, nearly 7 per cent, to almost 259p last night. That still represents a loss on the 502p a…

February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

VW boss tells ‘blatant lies’ about diesel emissions scandal

MPs condemned the boss of Volkswagen in Britain for telling “blatant lies” yesterday after he denied that the carmaker deceived customers during the diesel emissions scandal. Paul Willis played down the affair that led to the recall of 1.2 million vehicles in the UK as the German car company fights a potentially huge compensation claim from British motorists. Appearing before the transport select committee, the managing director of Volkswagen UK said that it had “not misled customers in any way” and denied that it fitted “defeat devices” to European cars to cheat emissions tests. The recall was being carried out even though “there is nothing wrong with any of [the cars] at all”, he claimed, and was designed simply to “remove any doubt” in motorists’…

February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

Combating traffic pollution and congestion

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February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

NHS shows a healthy interest in monitoring technology

A healthcare analytics company has agreed a £1 million deal to carry out NHS trials of its technology. The data is sent to the company’s software platform, which uses artificial intelligence to recognise when a person’s health may be deteriorating. If the risk is high, an alert is sent to clinical staff who can decide on a course of action. About 500 patients will be part of the trial on wards at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Victoria hospital in Fife. The funding comes from the small business research initiative for healthcare, an NHS England scheme.

February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

Corbyn is making Tories veer to the right

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February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

Buy essays online and you’ll be kicked out, student cheats told

Jo Johnson, the universities minister, has launched the crackdown on “essay mill” websites after an investigation by The Times. Figures obtained by this newspaper last year revealed that almost 50,000 students at British universities had been caught cheating in the previous three years. The investigation revealed significant disparities in the punishments handed out at different institutions. Only 362 students were kicked out for cheating during the three-year period, less than 1 per cent of those found guilty of academic misconduct. Hundreds of websites offer to write university assignments for fees ranging from £10 for coursework answers to £6,750 for a PhD dissertation.

February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

A waste of time, energy and money

To counsel someone to get out of a stock just after a 30 per cent crash in the shares may be seen as the investment advice of the charlatan. Especially a stock like Interserve that crashed 20 per cent in November over the same issue and had collapsed by a third back in May when the issue had first arisen. But while the horse has not so much bolted as gone steeplechasing over hedges in the next county, there are very good reasons to get as far away from Interserve as possible. After three attempts at explaining what has gone wrong in its fledgling £450 million waste incineration business — four, if you include a misguided statement of reassurance in August — Interserve yesterday admitted it could…

February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

Moonlight's Mahershala Ali: anti-Islam prejudice 'not a shock' if you have grown up black

The actor Mahershala Ali, whose performance in the widely acclaimed Moonlight has made him a favourite for the best supporting actor Academy award, has spoken out about the discrimination he has experienced as an African American and a Muslim. Ali said he found out that he was on an FBI watchlist after 9/11 and that, as a black man, anti-Islam prejudice “does not feel like a shock”. Why I love Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali Read moreSpeaking to the Radio Times, he said: “If you convert to Islam after a couple of decades of being a black man in the US, the discrimination you receive as a Muslim doesn’t feel like a shock. I’ve been pulled over, asked where my gun is, asked if I’m a pimp, had my car pulled apart. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Ali with Moonlight co-star Alex R Hibbert.

February 21, 2017 00:01 UTC

Milo Yiannopoulos book deal cancelled following outrage over child abuse comments

Simon & Schuster has cancelled the publication of Milo Yiannopoulos’ book, and his fellow Breitbart employees have reportedly threatened to quit if he is not fired. According to Yiannopoulos’ Facebook page, the book – an autobiography titled Dangerous – was due out on 13 June. Because it’s led to confusion.”Roxane Gay pulls book from Simon & Schuster over Milo Yiannopoulos deal Read moreThe video was no longer available on Facebook three hours after it was posted. Yiannopoulos’ book deal with Simon & Schuster was condemned by many who perceived the publishers to be giving him a mainstream platform for his often offensive and controversial views. Color of Change, a US organisation for racial justice, had campaigned online against Simon & Schuster since the book was announced.

February 20, 2017 23:06 UTC

The Guardian view on Trump’s Sweden: another country | Editorial

For most of the last 30 years, Sweden has been one of the most welcoming countries in the world for refugees. Until the entire system was overwhelmed last winter, and the brakes slammed on hard, the country took its humanitarian obligations very seriously. In 2015 more than one in six of the inhabitants of Sweden had been born abroad. For a European social democratic country to remind us of American levels of violence and insecurity is deeply shocking. The immediate effect of Mr Trump’s remarks will probably be good for Sweden.

February 20, 2017 19:20 UTC

More than 70% believe Coalition not doing enough on energy – poll

More than 70% of voters think the Turnbull government is not doing enough to ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy for Australian households and businesses – and a clear majority also supports Labor’s goal of sourcing 50% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. The poll shows 71% of the sample think the federal government is not doing enough to ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy – and only 12% rate the current effort as satisfactory. When asked about the ALP’s aspirational goal to source 50% of energy from renewable sources by 2030, 65% of voters registered their approval of the concept. The energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, has indicated the government is considering changing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation rules to fund new coal-powered plants. Nineteen per cent think the blackouts are mainly due to privatisation of electricity supply and only 16% think they are a result of too much reliance on renewable energy.

February 20, 2017 19:11 UTC

Cost of Trump family security vexes New York and Florida officials

“It’s simply unfair to have New York City taxpayers alone bear the burden of NYPD protection at Trump Tower. In contrast, the cost of protecting former president Obama during his four trips to the city last year came to just $4.1m. Trump’s frequent trips to his self-styled Winter White House in Florida are burdening local businesses. “He is not vacationing when he goes to Mar-a-Lago,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told The Washington Post last week. Meanwhile, Eric Trump’s trip to visit a Trump-brand condo tower in Uruguay cost an estimated $100,000 in hotel bills.

February 20, 2017 19:07 UTC

Post-Brexit customs gridlock could choke UK trade, experts warn

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Drivers with their documentation inside the freight clearance offices at Dover. “We do not believe that HMRC is at all resourced to do this at the moment.”Facebook Twitter Pinterest Freight clearance documents. He says many customs experts in the port retired or were made redundant when trade barriers were lifted in 1992. British police already conduct passport checks in Calais – extending that to include customs checks would require talks with France. “Customs and freight agents would need a vast amount of additional staff to cope with the volume of vehicles that will require customs clearance.

February 20, 2017 18:00 UTC

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