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Updated 2017-08-24 08:35
Pound steadies and shares edge higher ahead of UK GDP figures - business live
Sterling in focus again as analysts expect 0.3% growth to be confirmed9.26am BSTSpain’s economy grew by 0.9% in the second quarter compared to the first, new figures have confirmed.This is a rise from 0.8% in the first quarter and equates to annual growth of 3.1%. Geoffrey Minne at ING said:Spanish growth is not only strong and impressive, but it also seems to be on a more sustainable footing than it was before the housing crisis. The combination of strong domestic demand and a positive contribution of external demand should lead GDP growth to top 3% for a third consecutive year. To repeat this result in 2018, several political issues will need to be resolved, notably in Catalonia.9.23am BSTEarlier, a new report showed a rise in French business confidence, with morale in the industrial sector hitting a near ten year high.According to statistics office INSEE, the overall confidence index rose to 109 from 108 in July with the industrial figure rising from 108 to 111, its best level since December 2007. Economist Julien Manceaux at ING Bank said:Business climate indicators by INSEE showed another improvement for August this morning. The trend is led by manufacturing but confidence in the service sector remains very high. The main disappointing points in this release were the weaker hiring intentions shown in the service survey while future retail sales prospects declined strongly...All in all, this week’s surveys are an indication of the continuing recovery in France, especially in manufacturing. French growth – having slowed from 1.2% in 2015 to 1.1% in 2016 - is set to rebound to 1.5% in 2017. Afterwards, if the new Government can take profit from the accelerating recovery to implement reforms, GDP growth could accelerate towards 1.7% in 2018. Continue reading...
'Full truth needs to be told': Descendants of ‘blackbirded’ South Sea Islanders want memorials amended
Attention on the plight of forced labourers and the Queensland pioneers who profited from them is the latest in the global debate over historical statuesMemorials to Queensland pioneers who were involved in the “blackbirding” of South Sea Islanders should be amended to more fully reflect history, say descendants of the islanders forcibly brought to Australia.The call comes as the global debate over historical monuments continues. In the US, statues of confederate generals have been removed for being representatives of the transatlantic slave trade, secession and the Jim Crow laws, while in Sydney, there are calls to amend the epigraph of a statue of James Cook that claims he discovered the continent of Australia. Continue reading...
Allah-Las gig cancelled in Rotterdam due to terrorism warning
Driver held as Spanish-registered van containing gas bottles is found after tipoff from police in Spain
KFC says workers 'no worse off' for not receiving penalty rates
Fast-food giant tells a Senate inquiry the company ‘haven’t paid penalty rates in a very long time’ due to an agreement offering a higher base rate of payWorkers at fast-food giant KFC haven’t been paid penalty rates for years but are no worse off due to an agreement offering a higher base rate of pay, the company argues.At a Senate committee hearing in Melbourne on Thursday, the senator Nick Xenophon suggested the deal was far from a good one for staff. Continue reading...
UK immigration levels could be lower than previously thought, new border checks find
Fresh evidence that 97% of international students leave country after finishing studies, throwing previous figures into doubtNinety-seven percent of international students leave the UK after finishing their studies, new border checks have reportedly found, suggesting levels of immigration in the UK are much lower than previously thought.It has been claimed that tens of thousands of international students remain in the country illegally after completing their studies but new exit checks introduced last year found evidence to the contrary, the Telegraph reported. Continue reading...
ACT offers to resettle refugees held in 'inhumane' offshore detention centres
Motion passes without division and declares government willing to settle people from Manus Island and NauruThe ACT government has offered to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
Serbian villages turning into ghost towns – in pictures
In the municipality of Knjaževac, mass depopulation is turning villages into ghost towns. The closure of state factories and the mechanisation of the country’s economy has resulted in a mass exodus from the Balkan nation, with Knjaževac’s population now almost what it was during the first world war Continue reading...
Indian court rules privacy a 'fundamental right' in battle over national ID cards
Landmark decision follows criticism that Aadhaar identity card reveals profile of a person’s spending habits, friends and propertyIndia’s top court has ruled that individual privacy is a fundamental right, a verdict that could derail the world’s largest biometric ID card programme now under way.
Cambodia calls US democracy 'bloody and brutal' as charity row escalates
Phnom Penh accuses Washington of interference after lobby group is expelled, and blames it for aiding the rise of the Khmer RougeCambodia has hit back at criticism over its decision to expel a US-funded pro-democracy group, accusing Washington of political interference and describing American democracy as “bloody and brutal”.
BBC correspondent Jonathan Head has criminal defamation suit dropped in Thailand
Lawyer drops charges agains Head, the broadcaster’s south-east Asia reporter, but another Briton still faces prosecutionA Thai lawyer has dropped his criminal defamation suit against a BBC correspondent who investigated foreigners being scammed of their retirement homes in the country, the broadcaster has said.
India warned plan to deport Rohingya refugees will only inflame persecution
Move to expel illegal immigrants will exacerbate religious tensions and prove ‘legally, procedurally and practically impossible’ to enforce, claim activistsA plan by the Indian government to deport tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees will increase harassment of the persecuted Muslim minority while proving impossible to implement, activists have warned.Earlier this month, India’s ministry of home affairs sent a letter to each of the country’s state governments asking them to identify and deport all illegal immigrants, including Rohingya refugees. Continue reading...
Malcolm Roberts's election may have been invalid, government solicitor tells court
Barnaby Joyce rival Tony Windsor given permission to join citizenship proceedings set down to return to high court on 10 OctoberMalcolm Roberts could be the exception among sitting parliamentarians ensnared in the dual citizen saga in that his election in 2016 may have been invalid, the high court has heard.Roberts and former senator Scott Ludlam were different to the other three politicians so far referred to the high court – Barnaby Joyce, Larissa Waters and Matt Canavan – because they knew they had been citizens of other countries, the solicitor-general, Stephen Donaghue, told the court on Thursday. Continue reading...
Thursday briefing: 'Freaked out yet?' Fears of Trump nuclear tantrum
‘Pretty damn scary’ that he carries around missile codes … today’s new-look GCSEs bound to be confusing … and was ‘killer cyclist’ prosecuted too harshly?Hello – it’s Warren Murray keeping you in the loop this morning. Continue reading...
China will use 'all necessary means' against US trade probe
Commerce ministry adds to previous condemnation of plans by Trump administration to investigate alleged theft of US intellectual propertyChina will use all necessary means to defend the interests of the country and its companies against a US trade investigation, the Beijing government has warned.
No alternative to austerity? That lie has now been nailed | Owen Jones
For years we’ve been told that only deep cuts can save our economy. Portugal’s socialist-led government has proved the oppositeEver since the banks plunged the western world into economic chaos, we have been told that only cuts offer economic salvation. When the Conservatives and the Lib Dems formed their austerity coalition in 2010, they told the electorate – in apocalyptic tones – that without George Osborne’s scalpel, Britain would go the way of Greece. The economically illiterate metaphor of a household budget was relentlessly deployed – you shouldn’t spend more if you’re personally in debt, so why should the nation? – to popularise an ideologically driven fallacy.Related: Greek debt crisis: ‘People can’t see any light at the end of any tunnel’ Continue reading...
The school beneath the wave: the unimaginable tragedy of Japan’s tsunami
In 2011 a tsunami engulfed Japan’s north-east coast. More than 18,000 people were killed. Six years later, in one community, survivors are still tormented by a catastrophic split-second decision. By Richard Lloyd ParryThe earthquake that struck Japan on Friday 11 March 2011 was the fourth most powerful in the history of seismology. It knocked the Earth six and a half inches off its axis; it moved Japan four metres closer to America. In the tsunami that followed, more than 18,000 people were killed. At its peak, the water was 40 metres high. Half a million people were driven out of their homes. Three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi power station melted down, spilling their radioactivity across the countryside, the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The earthquake and tsunami caused more than $210bn of damage, making it the most costly natural disaster ever.Pain and anxiety proliferated in ways that are still difficult to measure, even among people remote from the destructive events. Farmers, suddenly unable to sell their produce, killed themselves. Blameless workers in electricity companies found themselves the object of abuse and discrimination. A generalised dread took hold, the fear of an invisible poison spread through air, through water – even, it was said, through mothers’ milk. Continue reading...
Australian spy chief criticised for 'fist bump' gesture with Philippines leader Duterte
Asis head Nick Warner criticised for ‘inappropriate’ photo with president whose drug war has left an estimated 5,500 people deadThe head of Australia’s overseas intelligence agency has been criticised after being photographed posing with a clenched fist beside the controversial Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte.Related: Philippine police kill 32 in bloodiest night of Duterte’s war on drugs Continue reading...
'We know how to live next to Russia': Lithuania builds border fence with Kaliningrad
Russia’s recent Baltic moves – huge military exercise, cyber-attacks, missile deployment and seizure of Estonian official – prompt action by VilniusFor those approaching the border crossing from the Lithuanian side, the Russian guards and military personnel are obscured by a bend in the road and the trees of the Ramoniškiai forest. Only a towering communication pole, watching and listening, shows how close they are.Barely 50 vehicles a day pass through here making their way between Lithuania, once part of the Soviet Union, and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea. Wedged between Lithuania to its north and east, and Poland to its south, Kaliningrad is about 800 miles (1,300km) from Moscow. Continue reading...
Peter Dutton says religious schools must have right to teach own definition of marriage
Minister weighs in on side of Coalition MPs who argue religious freedom and freedom of speech at stake in postal vote
Three bodies found on Mont Blanc after being hidden by glacier for decades
The corpses were discovered roped together by a French climber according to local authoritiesThe bodies of three climbers suspected to have died more than two decades ago have been discovered on the Italian side of western Europe’s highest peak Mont Blanc, local police have said.“The glacier is constantly shifting and we can say that the deaths occurred around 1995,” said a spokesman for the Alpine rescue police service in Italy’s northwestern Val d’Aoste region. Continue reading...
Food and drink industry says EU staff exodus will damage economy
Brexit warnings from trade bodies come as businesses across UK struggle to recruit skilled labourThe food and drink industry has issued a warning of significant disruption and economic damage if the government fails to stem the flow of EU nationals leaving the UK.Nearly a third of British food and drink businesses have had non-UK EU workers leave their employment since last summer’s Brexit vote, according to a survey of more than 600 businesses representing nearly a quarter of the food chain’s 4 million workforce. Almost half said more planned to leave because of uncertainty about their future. Continue reading...
Husband pays tribute to wife killed by fixed-wheel cyclist – video
Matthew Briggs, whose wife Kim was killed when then 18-year-old cyclist Charlie Alliston collided with her on his bike in London last year, pays tribute to the “beautiful, fun-loving woman who adored her children”. Alliston was cleared of manslaughter in the case on Wednesday but convicted of causing bodily harm
Fiona Richardson: Labor pays tribute to Victorian MP after her death from cancer
MP and advocate for family violence survivors dies just a day after revealing she had been diagnosed with multiple tumoursThe long-serving Victorian MP Fiona Richardson has been remembered as a fearless advocate for family violence survivors after her death from cancer.Richardson died aged 50 on Wednesday night, just a day after revealing she had been diagnosed with multiple tumours. Her family said the mother-of-two was an unwavering advocate for family violence survivors. Continue reading...
Merseyside social worker struck off for 'deplorable' conduct
Kevin Sinclair alerted a violent abuser to the whereabouts of his pregnant victim and gave advice on how to avoid getting caughtA senior social worker alerted a domestic violence perpetrator to the whereabouts of his pregnant victim, weeks after she jumped out of a bedroom window when he threatened to pour boiling hot oil over her.Kevin Sinclair, a child protection officer for Sefton council in Merseyside, was struck off for what a tribunal called “disgraceful” and “deplorable” conduct that put the victim at serious risk of further harm. Continue reading...
Britain 'could remain under direct control of European court for years'
Scale of Theresa May’s climbdown shown as Britain faces having to implement ECJ rulings on key issues such as immigrationBritain could remain under the direct control of the European court of justice for years after Brexit, it has emerged, and still be forced to implement the court’s rulings on vexed issues such as immigration.The expanding scale of the prime minister’s climbdown over her promise to “take back control of British law” was revealed as the government published its latest position paper on dispute resolution before the next round of Brexit talks. Continue reading...
Why ECB president is still flooding the system with cheap money
While the eurozone is looking healthy, inflation remains subdued – and warning signs remain over the global economyThere was little in Mario Draghi’s comments in Germany on Wednesday to indicate that the European Central Bank plans to stop pumping cheap money in to the eurozone anytime soon.Some expected him to use the platform of a speech to a gathering of Nobel economics laureates and students to say that a long period of growth across the 19-member currency bloc warranted a reduction in the ECB’s quantitative easing stimulus programme. Continue reading...
Ditch bipartisanship and debate Australia's defence and security, politicians urged
Exclusive: Trump’s election threatens longstanding assumptions and turbulent times require return to an ‘adversarial’ democratic approach, new report arguesAn Australian National University defence analyst says the world is entering the most difficult and dangerous period since the cold war, and Australian politicians need to openly debate defence and security issues, rather than strive endlessly for contrived bipartisanship.
GetUp to launch marriage equality campaign tool after electoral rolls close
Until midnight Thursday, campaign is exclusively focused on getting people enrolled and with updated details. After that it has a new online tool ready to goProgressive group, GetUp, has developed a website to coordinate groups campaigning for marriage equality after the rolls close for Australians wanting to participate in the same-sex marriage postal survey.The new campaigning tool, built in conjunction with the Equality Campaign, will be launched as early as Friday, after the Australian Electoral Commission cutoff for the last enrolment applications at midnight on Thursday. Continue reading...
Inquests open into deaths of four Grenfell Tower fire victims
Coroner opens and adjourns inquests into deaths of Sakineh and Fatemeh Afrasiabi, Mariem Elgwahry and Deborah LamprellThe inquests of four people who died in the Grenfell Tower fire were opened at Westminster coroner’s court on Wednesday.Iranian-born sisters Sakineh Afrasiabi, 65, and Fatemeh Afrasiabi, 59, were both identified by their dental records after their remains were found on the 23rd floor of the tower block. They lived in an 18th-floor flat after moving to Britain in 1997. Continue reading...
Theresa May: deportation letters sent to EU nationals was ‘unfortunate error’ – video
The prime minister says it was an ‘unfortunate error’ for the Home Office to send letters to EU nationals threatening them with detention and deportation and that the department moved quickly to correct it and reassure recipients. May also reiterates that the rights and status of EU citizens living in Britain have not changed
The lack of legality in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan | Letters
Ian Sinclair takes issue with the idea that the 2001 invasion was legal. Plus Dr Richard Lawson suggests that the west buy Afghan farmers’ opium crop, medicalise it, and use it medicinally in AfricaWas the 2001 US-led invasion and subsequent ongoing occupation of Afghanistan “never an illegal war”, as the Guardian asserts (Editorial, 23 August)?Written in 2010, the official House of Commons Library briefing paper on the subject makes interesting reading: “The military campaign in Afghanistan was not specifically mandated by the UN, but was widely (although not universally) perceived to be a legitimate form of self-defence under the UN charter.” Continue reading...
Featherstone Massacre shouldn’t be forgotten | Letter
When two people were killed during a coal dispute in 1893, it was the last time British citizens were killed by British troops on English soil, writes Tony HuftonWhile we are remembering the victims of Peterloo and Burslem (Letters, 23 August), we should not forget those who died in the Featherstone Massacre of 1893. Two people were killed when soldiers fired on Yorkshire miners who were attempting to prevent the movement of coal during a dispute. This was the last time British citizens were killed by British troops on English soil. At the inquest it was reported that when the magistrate announced he was about to read the Riot Act and the crowd must take the consequences, a voice was heard to shout: “Read it, you old b—, and don’t talk so much about it”. When, further, the crowd was told the soldiers were about to open fire, there were cries of: “We’d rather be shot down than hungered to death.”
Proper tea for Troyes and Biarritz visitors | Brief letters
Fixed-odds betting terminals | Salons de thé | Academic titles | In the pink with Middlesex | Legal hatredsYour excellent editorial on fixed-odds betting terminals (21 August) omitted an important factor in the debate. Last year I submitted a freedom of information request to the Metropolitan police which revealed that since 2010 there has been a 68% rise in violent crime associated with betting shops in London. Customers, having lost large sums of money, can resort to violence out of anger or frustration. On occasion they attack the machines, but at other times assault the staff who may be working alone in the premises.
UK's leading musicians fight church's ban on secular bookings
Judith Weir and Aled Jones among signatories to petition urging reversal of ban at St Sepulchre-without-NewgateDozens of Britain’s most distinguished musicians have backed a campaign to keep a central London church open as an important concert venue and rehearsal space after its management banned “non-religious hiring” of the facilities.Aled Jones, Julian Lloyd Webber and Judith Weir, the first female master of the Queen’s music, are among more than 50 signatories to a letter urging a reversal of the ban, saying they cannot understand why the church is willing to abandon its “unique national cultural remit”. Continue reading...
Man caught with pipe bomb at Manchester airport jailed
Nadeem Muhammad, 43, sentenced to 18 years after attempting to board Ryanair flight to Italy with bomb in hand luggageA man who tried to smuggle a pipe bomb onboard a flight from Manchester to Italy has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.Nadeem Muhammad, 43, was was found to be carrying the “crude explosive device” when he was searched as he tried to board a flight to Bergamo on 30 January. Security officers found the bomb, made from batteries, tape, a marker pen and pins, in the zip lining of a small green suitcase he was carrying.
Judge condemns Amber Rudd for ignoring orders to release torture victim
Home secretary has failed to adequately explain delays in freeing asylum seeker from detention, says high court judgeA high court judge has said she is “deeply concerned” about the behaviour of Amber Rudd for failing to release a survivor of torture from detention despite repeated court orders requiring her to do so.On Wednesday Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE presided over an emergency high court hearing to examine the home secretary’s delay in releasing an asylum seeker who had been tortured in a Libyan prison with electrocution and falaka – beating on the soles of the feet. Continue reading...
Viable suicide vest found in rubble of Spain attackers' bomb factory
Vest went unnoticed when blast was initially dismissed as gas explosion, raising questions about Catalan police responseThe terror cell that killed 15 people and injured more than 130 in north-east Spain last week had created a suicide vest packed with viable explosives and were in the process of making several more when a blast ripped through their bomb factory, police have said.A search of the rubble at the factory in a disused house in Alcanar in southern Catalonia resulted in the discovery of the vest, which had gone unnoticed on Thursday last week when the blast was initially dismissed as an accidental gas explosion. Continue reading...
Cheshire chief constable suspended over gross misconduct allegations
Police commissioner says Simon Byrne has case to answer after initial investigation, but does not reveal nature of claims
Number of EU citizens detained in UK up by 27%, figures show
Home Office statistics also show sixfold increase since 2009 in those held for suspected immigration offencesThe number of EU citizens detained for suspected immigration offences has risen by 27% in the past year alone, Home Office figures have revealed.The statistics emerge after the Home Office admitted mistakenly sending out 100 letters to a number of EU nationals living in the UK, telling them that they had to leave the country or face deportation.
Ex-courier convicted for mowing down woman on his track bike
Charlie Alliston, 20, found guilty of causing bodily harm over collision with Kim Briggs, who sustained ‘catastrophic’ head injuries and diedA former courier has been convicted of causing bodily harm to a mother-of-two who died after he mowed her down on a bicycle in east London.Charlie Alliston, 20, who was acquitted of manslaughter, was a fan of “dangerous” bike race videos, never wore a helmet and did not have a front brake on his track bike – a legal requirement if ridden on the road. Continue reading...
Chris Grayling accused of 'passing the buck' on northern transport
Minister’s call for region to sort out its own transport problems is an abdication of responsibility, northern leaders sayThe transport secretary has been accused of an “abdication of responsibility” after telling the north of England to sort out its own transport problems.
The whole world must join the battle for Venezuela’s El Sistema | Marshall Marcus
President Maduro’s cancellation of conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s tour is a clear bid to weaponise the country’s greatest export, its musical education programmeIn the music business, the occasional tour cancellation is almost a way of life. Lack of money, indisposed artists, terror attacks, ash clouds and much more can easily cause the best laid plans to crumble. But on Monday came something exceptional as the media reported that Venezuela’s most celebrated orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela, had had its forthcoming US tour cancelled by the office of the president of Venezuela.Related: Gustavo Dudamel attacks Venezuelan president Maduro: 'Enough is enough' Continue reading...
Danish police confirm headless torso is missing journalist Kim Wall
Police find DNA match to Swedish reporter who is believed to have been killed on a homemade submarineDanish police have identified a headless female torso found in the Copenhagen waterside as that of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who police believe was killed on a homemade submarine.
Charlottesville: United Nations warns US over 'alarming' racism
UN committee on elimination of racial discrimination expresses alarm at growth of far-right groups and hate crimesA UN committee charged with tackling racism has issued an “early warning” over conditions in the US and urged the Trump administration to “unequivocally and unconditionally” reject discrimination.The warning specifically refers to events last week in Charlottesville, Virginia, where civil rights activist Heather Heyer was killed when a car rammed into a group of people protesting against a white nationalist rally. Continue reading...
Are you a Scottish voter who has turned back to Labour?
We want to hear from voters in Scotland on the political mood, as Jeremy Corbyn begins a five-day tour of marginal constituencies
Cambodia threatens purge of critical media and US charity
As general election looms, prime minister Hun Sen tells English-language newspaper Cambodia Daily to pay $6m tax bill or leaveCambodia has threatened to close three foreign media outlets and a US charity, accusing them of operating illegally or owing millions in back taxes, in what appears to be a coordinated purge of government critics.The Cambodia Daily, one of three English-language daily newspapers in the country, was handed a $6.3m (£4.9m) tax bill and threatened with closure if it does not pay by 4 September. Continue reading...
'Why are you having sex?': women bear brunt of Uganda's high HIV rate
National survey shows women and girls disproportionately affected, with 570 infections a week among those aged 15-24, despite decline in overall rateThe prevalence of HIV in Uganda is more than 3% higher among women than men, according to research revealed by the government.While the overall rate of those aged between 15 and 49 living with the infection has declined in the past five years to 6% – from 7.3% – women remain disproportionately affected by the epidemic. Continue reading...
Briton arrested in Turkey over coins he found while snorkelling
Toby Robyns, 52, from West Sussex, arrested at Bodrum airport on suspicion of failing to declare findA British man has been arrested in Turkey accused of taking historical artefacts he found during a snorkelling trip.Toby Robyns, who was on holiday, was reportedly found with 13 coins when he was stopped by police at an airport as he and his family prepared to travel home. Continue reading...
Grenfell Tower fire: May accepts Tory-led council did not help quickly enough
Prime minister acknowledges concerns about Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council’s response at private meeting with victims of the disasterTheresa May has attended a private meeting for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire where she accepted that their Conservative-led council did not provide help quickly enough after the disaster that killed about 80 people.The prime minister was invited to the meeting by residents to hear about the challenges they continue to face, amid some anger that the public inquiry into the fire will only look at the practical causes and not wider issues around the quality of social housing. Continue reading...
'Cocky' Bill Shorten wants to inflict socialism on a new generation, Mathias Cormann says
Finance minister says Labor leader has overreached in shift to the left – and a Jeremy Corbyn-style politics-of-envy campaign is doomed to failThe finance minister, Mathias Cormann, says Bill Shorten is banking on enough young Australians forgetting the “historical failure of socialism” to prosecute a Jeremy Corbyn-style politics-of-envy campaign – which would deliver only “economic decline and social division”.