Since then, I have had a satisfying career in industry and academia, living the high life in various places in Europe and China along the way. I was a normal working-class 18-year-old with more hormonal imbalances, distractions and self-doubt than you could shake a stick at. To any university that is “mindful” of accepting candidates with lower grades, I offer nothing but raspberries. Dr Andy SowterNottingham• Join the debate – email firstname.lastname@example.org• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters• Do you have a photo you’d like to share with Guardian readers? Click here to upload it and we’ll publish the best submissions in the letters spread of our print edition
December 14, 2018 16:18 UTC
Colombian singer alleged to have avoided £13m tax by saying she lived in BahamasSpanish prosecutors have charged the Colombian singer and philanthropist Shakira with tax evasion, alleging she avoided €14.5m (£13m) in taxes by claiming to live in the Bahamas while actually resident in Catalonia. Shakira changed residences in 2015 from the Bahamas to Barcelona, where she lives with her partner, the Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, and the couple’s two sons. They argue she was resident in Spain for most of the year, only travelling abroad for short periods. In July 2016, the Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi, and his father, Jorge, were given suspended 21-month sentences after being found guilty of evading tax on the player’s image rights. The suspended sentences were later replaced with fines.
December 14, 2018 16:05 UTC
If you are a theatre critic, it is hard not to feel haunted by a certain Charles Dickens at this time of year. It is, of course, the season for productions of A Christmas Carol, but this year they are sprouting up with positively Fezziwigian levels of unbridled enthusiasm. Scrooge seems to be everywhere: Bristol, Reading, Leeds, Newcastle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Glasgow and Liverpool, among others. This month he has appeared simultaneously on three stages in the West End of London, a feat no other literary character has achieved. It’s easy to greet the news of yet another production with a grumpy “bah…
December 14, 2018 15:33 UTC
But it appeared he was getting no such love from his 15-year-old daughter Gemma. Owen posted a hilarious video of his eldest child swinging wild slaps towards her dad this morning. The pair were both in stitches of laughter before the ex-England striker got Gemma in a lock and took her to the ground. Not to be outdone, Gemma fought back before the legendary footballer told her: "You're going to create blood here!"
December 14, 2018 15:22 UTC
• Premiership Rugby may hold back players until mid-August • Wales and Scotland among those who would be hardest hitAn insurance wrangle between World Rugby and the Premiership is threatening to severely hamper World Cup preparations for nations such as Wales and Scotland who could be deprived of their players in the buildup to the tournament. Sanzaar players may find themselves in limbo between the end of the Rugby Championship and the start of the official World Cup window, however. The sticking point for PRL is insurance for players covering injuries sustained while on international duty. Before the 2015 World Cup, an agreement, facilitated by World Rugby, was reached for the early release of Premiership players but without further concessions, PRL is expected to strictly enforce the relevant Regulation 9 next year. “The club season is finished and the players are going to be back with their clubs early, anyway.
December 14, 2018 15:00 UTC
British Cycling coaches had “absolute control” over cyclists and disapproved of them questioning their training regimes, according to a doctor’s evidence at the employment tribunal of the Olympic cyclist Jess Varnish. Varnish was accused of telling “half-truths” and having “gravely misrepresented” her coaches at British Cycling. In his final submission, Thomas Linden QC, representing British Cycling, said Varnish put self-interest before the public interest. I am not sure I am able to say the same of the claimant.”Linden disputed Varnish’s evidence about the amount of control British Cycling coaches had over riders. Varnish had alleged coaches punished riders for minor transgressions, and told them what to wear, eat and say in public.
December 14, 2018 14:18 UTC
United are struggling this season and a whopping 16 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool in sixth as it stands. Mourinho has come under intense pressure as a result and reports suggest he could face the sack if he fails to secure a top-four finish and Champions League football next season. However, Klopp was quick to praise the Portuguese and pointed towards the trophies he has won as proof of his quality. “Manchester United never ever show a lack of ambition,” he said.
December 14, 2018 14:15 UTC
Martial’s Manchester United future is currently far from certain with the France international yet to put pen to paper on a new contract. The 22-year-old has regained his swagger in recent times and, back in October, insisted he had no issues with manager Jose Mourinho. Manchester United transfer news - click here for LIVE updates But the brutal fact is that Manchester United are a shadow of their former selves and, ultimately, the buck lies with the manager. Man Utd news: Anthony Martial has rocked the Red DevilsAnthony Martial wants Manchester United to sack Jose MourinhoAnd it appears Martial will leave the club if they continue to back Mourinho. Man Utd news: Anthony Martial has often struggled under Jose Mourinho
December 14, 2018 12:56 UTC
My sister lives the closest of all of us to our 85-year-old mother, but completely ignored her birthday. My sister, however, lives 15 minutes away but rarely visits or phones, preferring Mum to go to her. My mum didn’t want a fuss made for her birthday, but I went up to see her and we booked a nice lunch. Mum was upset, but won’t say anything – she would hate my sister to do anything out of duty – but she would love it if my sister visited more often. I don’t think my sister knows she is hurting Mum.
December 14, 2018 12:45 UTC
We are sorry, you need to be a subscriber to watch this videoWe are sorry, you need to be a subscriber to watch this videoEuropean leaders reneged on an agreement to help Theresa May sell her Brexit deal to parliament, The Times has learnt. British negotiators had agreed a draft statement with the most senior EU officials, to be released after Mrs May met European leaders, that would have provided “political comfort” to Mrs May that the bloc was prepared to compromise on the Irish backstop. At a dinner last night, held without her, European leaders went back on the joint agreement in order to send a message to MPs that no further concessions would be forthcoming from Brussels. “To use a Christmas theme, we want all parties and factions in the British parliament to feel the bleak midwinter,” said a senior EU source. The Dutch prime minister, Mark…
December 14, 2018 12:06 UTC
The outsourcing company was censured by the National Audit Office after missing its recruiting targets in 37 out of 38 months Andrew Milligan / PACapita tumbled almost 5 per cent after a report by the government’s auditor found that the outsourcer had consistently missed British army recruitment targets as part of a £495 million ten-year contract. The FTSE 250 group has repeatedly missed the army’s recruitment targets, with the total shortfall ranging from 21 per cent to 45 per cent, the National Audit Office said. The report said that Capita had been hit by a £26 million deduction in payments between August 2015 and 2018 as a penalty for missing its performance targets for the number of recruits in 37 out of 38 months. The company’s shares fell 5p, or 4.5 per cent, to 109¼p in morning trading. London stocks were sent lower by weak economic data from China…
Their incredible talent for mimicry has led them to be called the Einsteins of the bird world and now an African grey parrot has put his skills to use by ordering shopping on his owner’s Amazon Alexa device. Rocco the parrot, who had to be removed from his Berkshire sanctuary for swearing too much, has been communicating with the voice-activated personal assistant to request treats. So far he has managed to place orders for strawberries, watermelon and ice cream. Marion Wischnewski, who works at the National Animal Welfare Trust, said that when she got back to her home in Blewbury, Oxfordshire, she would find her Amazon account had pending orders for items such as a kite, light bulbs and a kettle. Rocco has also figured…
Reuben McNulty was attacked by two Staffordshire bull terriers in November and had been in hospital since ENTERPRISE NEWS AND PICTURESA baby attacked by two Staffordshire bull terriers at his home has died in hospital. Reuben McNulty died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on Thursday, police confirmed, almost a month after the attack. The baby, who was a month old had been fighting for his life since the attack in Yaxley, Cambridgeshire, on November 18. Paramedics were called to a property in the early hours of the morning and two Staffordshire bull terriers were removed and placed in police kennels. The couple who live at the property are believed to be Daniel McNulty and his partner Amy Litchfield.
Today marks 100 years since the first general election in which women were allowed to stand as candidates, and in which the UK’s first female MP was elected. The December 1918 election followed the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, and was the first in which all eligible electors voted on a single day. It was the first national poll to take place after the Representation of the People Act, which extended the franchise to all men over 21 and to some women. Before this there had been no law expressly forbidding women standing for parliament but they were excluded by convention and the House of Commons passed a resolution to confirm their eligibility.
Sajed Choudry had been in a coma since he and his son were attacked in BlackburnA man who had his ears cut off in a machete attack has died in hospital, police have said. Sajed Choudry, 43, had been in a coma since the assault on him and his son Ashan, 24, in Blackburn last month. He is said to have undergone a 14-hour operation to have his ears reattached using a skin graft from his legs. Lancashire police said Choudry had died from his injuries on Thursday and his family had asked for privacy. Last week, Sajed Choudry’s daughter, Mariya, 22, said the family were in shock and felt “totally numb” after the attack.
December 14, 2018 11:03 UTC