The end of EU-style subsidies based on land ownership after the Brexit transition period ends could spell trouble for Scotland as a wholeFarmers in Scotland will continue to be subsidised to produce food, avoiding the “potentially dire” consequences of a decision to phase out grants to their English counterparts. Fergus Ewing, the cabinet secretary for rural economy, has insisted Scottish “farmers and crofters both earn and deserve continued financial support”. He also poured scorn on Westminster’s decision to end EU-style subsidies based on land ownership after the Brexit transition period ends. England’s countryside is expected to undergo significant changes after the transition period as a new system, named Environmental Land Management (ELM), will pay farmers if they prevent floods, plant woods and help wildlife. This will lead to more trees and wetlands and fewer sheep and cows.
December 03, 2020 00:03 UTC
The chancellor Rishi Sunak visits Hamleys in central London. He said that borrowing £394million was the right thing to do to rescue the vulnerableApproval of a vaccine to tackle the coronavirus is “the start of a march back” for the economy, the chancellor said yesterday. Speaking to Times Radio, Rishi Sunak said that the licensing of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine was “a positive step on our journey to beat this thing” and “a moment of great hope and opportunity”. It meant that the country could “look forward to having less restrictions”, he said, as he labelled lockdowns a “blunt instrument” that should be used onlyas “a last resort”. “Confidence is critical, especially in an economy
Marines firing mortars in Syria. The Pentagon has hailed the military fight to destroy to so-called caliphate as a successThe man in charge of America’s fight against Islamic State has been fired and his unit disbanded, the latest victims of a pre-departure purge of the Pentagon by President Trump. The Pentagon said that Christopher Maier, whose title since 2017 had been head of the Defeat Isis Task Force, had been a victim of his own success, but he is one of multiple officials to have lost their jobs since Mr Trump lost the US presidential election last month. Critics have said that at best Mr Trump was hoping to cement his legacy by declaring that he had “defeated Isis”, and installing loyalists to make this claim. However, Mr Maier was also said to be playing a key role in preparing the incoming Biden administration
Government forces fighting in Tripoli. Rival factions have been trying to gain control of Libya since the outbreak of conflict in 2014The Pentagon has said that the UAE is funding Russian mercenaries to fight the US-backed government of Libya as the Trump administration prepares to sell the Gulf state $23 billion of weapons. President Trump is attempting to rush through the proposed arms sale to Abu Dhabi, including F-35 fighter jets and armed Reaper drones, before he leaves office. Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE de facto leader, aims to blunt the influence of Islamists DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/GETTY IMAGESA report by the Pentagon’s inspector general, however, determines that the UAE is the main financial backer of Wagner, the Russian mercenary group in Libya, as its agents fight against the internationally recognised government in Tripoli, in the first official public linking of the two. One US diplomat said that it amounted to a warning to the UAE over their aggressive role in a conflict, which
Pranav Bhanot does not recall a chapter on cancelled weddings in his law student case book and guidance has remained pretty scarce since. It explains why when coronavirus disrupted nuptials across the UK and shifted wedding litigation from a niche concern to half his caseload, the solicitor had to go back to basics. “I’ve returned to the first principles of consumer law to find the answers,” says Bhanot of Meaby & Cotells, adding: “In this climate the wedding industry is moving faster than the law with lots of uncertainty over how judges will adjudicate when more cases actually reach court.”In the past the firm would handle a wedding-related enquiry every few months, but by the time mass gatherings were banned in March, Bhanot says,
The appearance of a hole in the clouds is called a fallstreak hole or a hole-punch cloudIt looked like something out of The X-Files, a big hole that had opened up in the clouds over Shepton Mallet, Somerset, on Monday (News, December 2). This unearthly sight was a fallstreak hole, also called a hole-punch cloud. But fear not, these holes are simply made by aircraft climbing up or descending through a layer of cloud. The clouds consist of supercooled water droplets at about minus 15C, but they remain liquid. As an aircraft flies through the cloud, it makes the air expand and cool, and the cloud’s water droplets freeze into tiny ice particles that tumble out of the cloud leaving a large hole behind.
Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty is one of those books that stand like a waymarker in my life. Horses have always been important to me. I can see the two horses that I live with out of my window as I write this, winding their way up from the valley, wading knee-deep in mist. Buckthorn is the leader: a gold-coloured gelding of indeterminate origins, although there must be a teddy bear somewhere down the line. Blackbird, the follower (because at four years old he
Donald Trump could offer pre-emptive pardons to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter IvankaPresident Trump is being urged by his allies to use his powers of pardon for himself and family members to block a “witch-hunt” by the Democrats once he leaves office. There is a long tradition of US presidents issuing a batch of pardons at the end of their tenure. Sean Hannity, a Fox News presenter, and Matt Gaetz, a Florida congressman, are pressing him publicly to follow suit. Mr Trump, 74, has tweeted about a potential self-pardon, although legal experts say he would have to list specific crimes, and doubt whether he could place himself above the law indefinitely. He has taken advice on pre-emptive pardons for his three eldest children and son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to The New York Times and NBC
Julian Assange’s extradition hearing has finished and on January 4 the judge, Vanessa Baraitser, is scheduled either to set him free or have his case sent to the secretary of state to consider the final extradition order. Assange faces the prospect of a 175-year sentence served in an American super-max prison. If extradited, his trial for espionage will set alarm bells ringing in editorial offices and be seen by some as a battle between a free press and an over-zealous US administration. The election of Joe Biden as president may affect Assange’s situation, but the oral and written arguments have been made and will be decided on that basis. His battle against extradition faces considerable hurdles; the arguments must overcome UK extradition law and jurisprudence
Harvard has been targeted by several alleged Chinese spies looking to steal its world-leading medical researchA Chinese research student accused of stealing medical samples from a Harvard laboratory and attempting to smuggle them out of the United States in his luggage will plead guilty to lying to customs officials and be deported. Zheng Zaosong, 30, arrived in 2018 to conduct research work on cancer cells at one of the laboratories of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, in a placement sponsored by the university. On December 9 last year he was stopped by customs officials at Boston airport as he was about to board a non-stop flight to Beijing. Kara Spice, an FBI agent, said in an affidavit that Mr Zheng had been identified as “a high risk for possibly exporting undeclared biological material”. Customs officials found 21 vials wrapped
For full TV listings for the week, see thetimes.co.uk/tvplannerViewing guide, by Joe ClayNew Elizabethans with Andrew MarrBBC Two, 9pmIn the opening of this new three-part series based on his book, Andrew Marr stands at the dispatch box in the House of Commons doing a dodgy impression of Winston Churchill announcing the dawn of a new Elizabethan era in February 1952. “She comes to the throne at a time when a tormented mankind stands uncertainly poised between world catastrophe and a golden age,” Churchill said. For the prime minister, the young Queen Elizabeth II embodied the chance for a new beginning for a country devastated by the Second World War, and for most of her years on the throne she has presided
Neymar scored twice against United to leave them still needing a point to reach the Champions League knockoutsThis deserved defeat for Manchester United was self-inflicted. As good as Paris Saint-Germain attackers such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are, United have only themselves to blame, especially the foolish Fred, who was eventually dismissed, and their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose decision-making came under intense scrutiny. United were all ifs and butts last night. With Fred diving in to challenges, risking cautions by going to ground and almost comically fortunate to escape dismissal for a first-half headbutt, the situation cried out for Solskjaer to remove him at the break. PSG players had been at the referee, Daniele Orsato, going down the tunnel at the interval, inquiring loudly as to why Fred had not been sent off after pushing his forehead into the face of
December 02, 2020 22:30 UTC
If he does, it is one that most managers would term, in the argot of the trade, a nice problem to have. Olivier Giroud didn’t appear to have much of a future at Chelsea at the start of this season, with the club having used the transfer market to assemble an all-star cast of young attackers. But the 33-year-old Frenchman is making an increasingly irresistible case to play the central role. Tammy Abraham already has five goals this season, Timo Werner is Germany’s first-choice centre forward, Kai Havertz played much of his best football last season as a false nine. But Giroud, an old-fashioned centre forward,
December 02, 2020 22:30 UTC
Sterling called out Donald Trump and other Republicans for stoking conspiracy theories about the election and encouraging an atmosphere of intimidation against people trying to do their jobs. Joe diGenova [an attorney for the Trump campaign] today asked for Chris Krebs, a patriot who ran [the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency], to be shot. Georgia Republican warns Trump is inciting violence over election: 'Someone will get hurt' Read moreMy boss, [Georgia secretary of state Brad] Raffensperger, his address is out there. Death threats, physical threats, intimidation, it’s too much. Someone is going to get hurt, someone is going to get shot, someone is going to get killed, and it’s not right.
December 02, 2020 17:26 UTC
British horse racing is in dire financial trouble. Jobs are under threat — some estimate as many as 20 per cent in an industry that employs 85,000 people in the UK. Only last week at John Gosden’s yard in Newmarket a single vacancy attracted 14 applicants, all of whom had been made redundant from their previous jobs. As with many sports in this country, racing has suffered a heavy toll as a result of Covid-19. Punters returned in limited numbers yesterday but the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) estimates the bill is as much as £300 million and counting.
December 02, 2020 17:06 UTC