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1 day ago
  • 57 secs
  • #politics
  • #theguardian.com
  • Summary

In July 2023, the centre-right Volkspartij voor Vrijheid (VVD) of the outgoing prime minister, Mark Rutte, chose to dismantle its governing coalition, citing insurmountable conflicts over policies aimed at managing and deterring asylum seekers.

Soon after, Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, stepping in as the new party leader, declared an end to “murky compromises” on immigration and proclaimed the lifting of the decade-old cordon sanitaire with the far-right Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) in order to reinforce her pledge.

The manifesto included a large number of proposals specifically targeting asylum seekers, ranging from invasive phone checks to a move towards providing even more austere accommodation.

1 day ago
  • 54 secs
  • #politics
  • #theguardian.com
  • Summary

“As a result, seven in 10 working-age families eligible for means-tested benefit support will be worse off under ‘universal credit Britain’ than with the pre-reform system,” it added.

Alex Clegg, an economist at the Resolution Foundation, said UC was conceived in an era of high unemployment, and was ill-equipped for a post-pandemic age when many claimants were suffering from long-term illnesses and disabilities.

“Alongside efforts from the NHS, education, and labour market policy to address the drivers of ill-health, UC will need to change to tackle Britain’s new challenge of long-term sickness.”

1 day ago
  • 54 secs
  • #politics
  • #theguardian.com
  • Summary

Millions of patients are being put at risk in crumbling hospitals that are unfit for purpose, MPs have said, as figures reveal more than 2,000 NHS buildings are older than the health service itself.

The Liberal Democrats’ health and social care spokesperson, Daisy Cooper, described the situation as a “national scandal”, with millions of people “treated in old and crumbling hospitals that are no longer fit for purpose”.

Hospital bosses are having to spend millions of pounds on pest control after discovering lice, flies and rodents in children’s wards, breast clinics, maternity units, A&E departments and kitchens.

1 day ago
  • 1 min, 18 secs
  • #politics
  • #theguardian.com
  • Summary

News that the British government and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are engaged in clandestine negotiations has prompted warnings that such talks risk legitimising the notorious militia – which continues to commit multiple war crimes – while undermining Britain’s moral credibility in the region.

Srinivasan, an expert on the failures of peacemaking in Sudan, added: “On top of that, when [the RSF are] committing untold levels of targeted violence against ethnic groups, and women and children, at a scale that is absolutely horrific and was, even 20 years ago, you’re putting a lot of moral credibility and decency on the line.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The UK continues to pursue all diplomatic avenues to end the violence – to prevent further atrocities from occurring, to press both parties into a permanent ceasefire, to allow unrestricted humanitarian access, to protect civilians, and to commit to a sustained and meaningful peace process.

1 day ago
  • 1 min, 1 sec
  • #politics
  • #theguardian.com
  • Summary

The UK foreign secretary, David Cameron, has urged Israel to act with its head as well as its heart and not escalate the conflict by mounting a revenge raid on Iran.

In one of a series of interviews, he said on Sky News the UK would have responded if a UK diplomatic facility had been attacked by missiles – but he condemned the scale of the Iranian response to the attack on its consulate in Damascus involving drones, cruise and ballistic and missiles, saying: “If those weapons got through it could have led to thousands of civilian casualties.”

Pressed on LBC on the wisdom of the Israeli embassy attack in Damascus, the former Conservative prime minister said: “It is a matter for Israel.

1 day ago
  • 53 secs
  • #politics
  • #theguardian.com
  • Summary

These include bullying, harassment, discrimination, abuse of position, theft corruption, fraud or forgery – while a further 63 received written warnings for these disciplinary offences.

Louise Calvey, the executive director of the charity Asylum Matters, said: “It’s hugely alarming and worrying to hear that such a large number of people involved in making decisions on immigration status have such significant concerns being investigated against them.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We expect the highest standards from staff processing visa applications and assessing asylum claims to ensure decisions are sound and that protection is granted to those who genuinely need it.

#Entertainment

BBC's Clive Myrie bids sad farewell to colleague as Nigella Lawson admits 'it's our loss'
1 day ago

BBC's Clive Myrie bids sad farewell to colleague as Nigella Lawson admits 'it's our loss'

49 secs

Summary

BBC's Clive Myrie bids sad farewell to colleague as Nigella Lawson admits 'it's our loss' (Image: BBC)After Mark shared the news on X (formerly Twitter), Clive shared his announcement and wrote: "Very sad news and a big loss for us.

The BBC's top TV chef Nigella echoed Clive's thoughts on the matter, telling Mark: "It's our loss."

Jonathan Aspinwall was appointed as the show's new editor, promising to "lead Newsnight as it evolves into a debate, discussion and an interview-based programme".

Amanda Holden shares cheeky post about her peachy bum as she snubs Sharon Osbourne drama
1 day ago

Amanda Holden shares cheeky post about her peachy bum as she snubs Sharon Osbourne drama

58 secs

Summary

She told MailOnline in an interview published on Friday: "I hated seeing certain people in a reality show dissing Simon - he's the person who's given them all the chances, given them a lot of money and a lifestyle they probably wouldn't have had.

"There are many countries that I could work in if I choose to, however, I don’t have the ambition or time to do so... the truth is, my money and success were not due to doing a couple of Simon Cowell talent shows.

In the snap, Amanda was pictured turning her head over her sholder to face the camera in a chic blue suit and black sunglasses as she smiled from ear-to-ear, with her bum highlighted in her fitted pants.

Channel 4 Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud addresses health fears as live show returns
1 day ago

Channel 4 Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud addresses health fears as live show returns

53 secs

Summary

Kevin was speaking via Zoom in advance of this year's live show, and was clearly feeling excited about it, as he spoke animatedly every time it was mentioned, although he admits he doesn't get involved in the organising.

"Every year we get about 50 experts and they give their time freely - architects, engineers to designers, landscapers, surveyors - and they come and they sit and you can turn up without an appointment [with your questions], although you can book on the website.

Kevin McCloud was speaking ahead of Grand Designs Live, the premier home exhibition, taking place at London ExCel between 4 – 12 May.

#Entertainment

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#Science

Cancer patients can now be 'matched' to best treatment with DNA and lab-dish experiments
1 day ago

Cancer patients can now be 'matched' to best treatment with DNA and lab-dish experiments

51 secs

Summary

My team and I do this by testing different medications on a patient's own cancer cells before administering treatment, tailoring therapies that are most likely to selectively kill tumors while minimizing toxic effects.

My colleague Arlet Maria Acanda de la Rocha was instrumental in helping return drug sensitivity data to patients as fast as possible.

Most importantly, our study showed that 83% of cancer patients who received treatments guided by our approach had clinical benefit, including improved response and survival.

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
1 day ago

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

1 min, 1 sec

Summary

Most machine learning systems are trained to solve a particular problem —, such as detecting faces in a video feed or translating from one language to another —, to a superhuman level, in that they are much faster and perform better than a human could.

AGI refers to a hypothetical future AI capable of mastering any cognitive task a human can, reasoning abstractly about problems, and adapting to new situations without specific training.

According to detractors, these models have simply memorized vast amounts of information, which they recombine in ways that give the false impression of deeper understanding; it means they are limited by training data and are not fundamentally different from other narrow AI tools.

#Science

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#Politics

Sunak’s satisfaction rating among Tory members hits record low – UK politics live
1 day ago

Sunak’s satisfaction rating among Tory members hits record low – UK politics live

53 secs

Summary

Rishi Sunak is likely to face renewed calls in the Commons afternoon to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group.

Survey of Tory members Photograph: ConHomeGeorge Osborne rates David Cameron so highly that, as well as describing him as “acting like the British prime minister” on the world stage (see ), he even suggested in one recent edition of his Political Currency podcast that Keir Starmer should keep him on as foreign secretary.

Sunak’s team won’t have been happy about George Osborne, Cameron’s friend and former chancellor, describing him on his podcast recently as “acting like the British prime minister” on the world stage.

Tobacco firms lobbying MPs to derail smoking phase-out, charity warns
1 day ago

Tobacco firms lobbying MPs to derail smoking phase-out, charity warns

1 min, 8 secs

Summary

Tobacco firms are lobbying MPs and peers in an effort to derail Rishi Sunak’s flagship policy to phase out smoking, the head of Britain’s biggest cancer charity has said.

The prime minister’s landmark legislation – which would bar anyone born after 2009 from buying cigarettes and make England the first country in the world to ban smoking – is due to be debated in parliament for the first time on Tuesday.

The tobacco industry is lobbying MPs and peers to oppose the legislation and seeking support for instead raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 in an attempt to avoid an outright ban on buying cigarettes for anyone who turns 15 this year, Mitchell said.

Childcare in England failing and falling behind much of world, charity says
1 day ago

Childcare in England failing and falling behind much of world, charity says

57 secs

Summary

The charity looked at early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision in Australia, Canada, Estonia, France, and Ireland – all countries that have recently completed or are undergoing government-led transformation in the sector – and found England’s childcare fell short in ambition and delivery.

The charity argues in its report that the government should offer free “universal” hours of ECEC provision for all children from the end of parental leave until school age.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “This government is delivering the largest ever expansion of childcare in England’s history, set to save parents taking up the full 30 hours an average of £6,900 for the new entitlements.

#Politics

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