Ghislaine Maxwell’s legal team files request for retrial over juror’s revelation

Lawyers submit documents under seal seeking a new trial after a juror said he was a victim of sexual abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell’s legal team on Wednesday filed documents requesting a new trial following revelations that a juror may not have disclosed childhood sexual abuse during jury selection.

In a letter to the court, Maxwell’s lawyers wrote that they filed her “motion for a New Trial … and accompanying exhibits under seal.” The documents were filed under seal, and their contents were not known.

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Liz Truss: the ‘human hand grenade’ Tories have taken to their hearts

Party members love her, but in the leadership stakes some say the foreign secretary went off too early

In her early years in Whitehall, Liz Truss was known to civil servants as the “human hand grenade”, a nickname for her that Boris Johnson has since adopted. Like many of the memes around Truss, it is one she has embraced with gusto.

Those close to the prime minister say it was not always intended as an accolade. “She does tend to blow things up. He used to say anything passed her way needed to be handled with care,” one staffer recalled.

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Tower twice Grenfell’s height planned nearby with single staircase

Survivors of 2017 disaster shocked by application as some safety experts call current staircase rules ‘madness’

A new apartment skyscraper with just one fire escape staircase is being planned just a few hundred metres from Grenfell Tower in a move that survivors of the disaster have called “shocking”.

The proposed tower would be around twice the height of Grenfell and accommodate hundreds of households, but it will rely on the same “stay put” strategy that failed on 14 June 2017 contributing to deaths, according to planning documents. That means that under current building regulations it will require only a single escape staircase.

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UK pupils taught about alcohol with ‘misleading’ industry-funded resources

Researchers say teaching materials play down harms and shift responsibility on to young people

Schools are using “misleading and biased” information materials funded by the alcohol industry to educate pupils as young as nine about drinking, according to a study.

Teachers in thousands of UK schools employ lesson plans, factsheets and films produced by bodies with close ties to the drinks trade even though they “portray alcohol as a normal consumer product to impressionable young minds”, the researchers found.

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‘Hanging by a thread’: what the papers say about Johnson’s fight to stay in power

On a day of drama, demands and a defection, the newspaper front pages reflect the political battle lines being drawn

A fiery demand by former minister David Davis for Boris Johnson to resign fills many front pages, while others hone in on the prime minister’s defiance in the face of a Conservative rebellion.

The Guardian splashes with “‘In the name of God, go’: Tory anger builds as Boris Johnson clings on”. Davis’s outrage came on the heels of Christian Wakeford, the MP for Bury South, quitting the Conservatives to join Labour. The prime minister vowed to battle on in No 10 and his supporters insisted he now had the breathing space for a fightback, with many MPs awaiting the outcome of the Sue Gray inquiry into the parties at No 10.

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How MI5 uncovered a Chinese ‘agent’ in parliament

Britain’s security services have named Christine Lee as an ‘agent’ of the Chinese state attempting to run influence operations in parliament. Dan Sabbagh explains what is behind the extraordinary statement and what it means for British politics

Last week Britain’s security services issued an extraordinary warning to parliament naming Christine Lee, a well-known lawyer in London’s Chinese community, as an agent working covertly for the Chinese government.

It is the first time MI5 has issued an “interference alert” relating to China and it cast a spotlight on the Labour MP Barry Gardiner, whose office received £584,177 worth of donations from Lee.

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Covid driving record numbers in England to become nurses

Figures from Ucas show more than 56,000 people signed up to nursing courses since early 2020

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage

The Covid pandemic has inspired record numbers of people to become nurses, with more than 56,000 signing up to nursing courses or apprenticeships in England since the outbreak in early 2020, according to a report.

Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) show that more 18-year-old school leavers are applying for and accepting places to study nursing than before the pandemic, with applications up by 38% since 2019, while applications from those over the age of 21 have also risen by more than a third.

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Stalkers review – Stacey Dooley is perfect in this utterly terrifying documentary

Women who live in fear of obsessed former partners open their hearts to a gifted presenter with the common touch

“It’s not really about feeling safe,” Katie explains as she installs the CCTV camera outside her house. Those days are, in essence, behind her. The comfort the cameras offer is that now “if anything happens, there’ll be evidence”.

One-in-five women are the victims of stalking in their lifetime – and Katie is one of them. Stalking seems too weak a word to describe the experience that, in the new BBC documentary Stalkers, presented by Stacey Dooley, is quickly shown to amount to a kind of terrorism, even before you learn that it is also the experience of most of the women who are murdered every year in the UK.

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Misogyny towards women’s sport common among male football fans, study finds

Survey discovers ‘openly misogynistic masculinities’‘There was a pronounced anti-feminist backlash’

Researchers have claimed that more than two-thirds of male football fans harbour hostile, sexist or misogynistic attitudes towards women’s sport.

A study led by Durham University, based on a survey of almost 2,000 male football supporters, detected what it terms “openly misogynistic masculinities”, irrespective of age.

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‘In the name of God, go’: Tory fury spills over as Boris Johnson clings on

Former minister demands PM’s resignation in Commons, one Conservative defects and others clamour for concessions

Boris Johnson faced a defection and a demand to quit from one of his most senior MPs during a dramatic day in Westminster, with even allies of the prime minister warning the current situation cannot go on.

David Davis caused shockwaves when he told Johnson in the Commons: “In the name of God, go.” Less than an hour earlier, Christian Wakeford, MP for Bury South, quit the Conservatives and joined Labour in fury at the Downing Street parties scandal.

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A day of anger and defection keeps the partygate scandal boiling

‘In the name of God, go!’ said one top Tory, but some think there has been pause for thought about toppling Boris Johnson

MPs arrived sore-headed and sleepless into Westminster on Wednesday, many anticipating an imminent vote of no confidence in the prime minister. The opposition were already giddy. “I couldn’t sleep last night,” one Labour MP said. “But my office manager joked: ‘If you don’t go to sleep, Graham Brady won’t come.’”

Some rebel Tories had stayed late at the members-only Carlton Club, suspicious of being spied on amid their plotting. An indignant Nadine Dorries, who was there with her special adviser, said it was only for a long-planned work dinner. Other veteran MPs – no friends of Boris Johnson – had stayed up late too, but in their case to call colleagues to urge caution.

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Senior UK ministers head to Australia to cement defence and trade ties

Liz Truss and Ben Wallace aim to build on Aukus defence pact with Britain’s key ally

The UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, and the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, are to travel to Australia to try to cement security and trade ties in the aftermath of the Aukus deal involving the two countries and the US.

The fact that two key cabinet figures are willing to leave the UK at a time of high domestic political tension, with Boris Johnson’s future as prime minister in doubt and amid the threat of a Russian invasion in Ukraine, shows the importance the Conservative government attaches to the relationship with Australia.

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Sajid Javid’s axing of all Covid restrictions draws warnings from NHS

Health secretary plans to ‘get life completely back to normal’ in England with end of plan B and compulsory self-isolation

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage

The government has pledged to abolish almost every existing Covid restriction over the coming weeks in England and “get life completely back to normal”, a course popular with Conservative MPs but which immediately prompted stark warnings from health groups.

The NHS Confederation said the move would inevitably place renewed pressure on hospitals, while the British Medical Association said the changes planned were “not guided by the data”.

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Commons backs suspension for MP who ‘undermined’ own apology for bullying

Daniel Kawczynski makes second apology in parliament after he told BBC he had no choice but to say sorry the first time

MPs have voted to approve a one-day suspension for the Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski after he “undermined” an apology he gave in the Commons for bullying staff.

The standards watchdog found that the Shrewsbury MP had indicated in media interviews that he did not fully mean the gesture, and recommended his suspension should be limited to one day as Kawczynski had committed to undertaking further work on his behaviour.

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Removal of Covid rules in UK risks premature signal of victory

Analysis: Many scientists expect ‘exit wave’ of infections if behavioural guards drop too fast

Boris Johnson’s decision to remove all plan B measures in England – and to signal the end of the legal requirement to self-isolate – comes as the Omicron surge in the UK appears to have peaked.

The move means compulsory mask wearing in shops and on public transport, guidance to work from home and vaccine certificates will be scrapped in England next week, with the need to self-isolate lapsing on 24 March if not before.

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Pork pie putsch and curry coup: the history of Downing Street plots

Boris Johnson joins a list of plotted-against prime ministers that includes Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown

The “pork pie putsch”, named in reference to Alicia Kearns, the Melton Mowbray MP allegedly seeking to topple Boris Johnson, is part of a long tradition of British political conspiracy.

It is the lot of a modern British prime minister not just to govern, but to survive relentless internal intrigue, some hatched in Midlands curry houses, some in Commons tearooms, and some in country houses or on the boundaries of a Test match at Lord’s.

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UK judge rules age assessment of asylum seekers was unlawful

Two asylum seekers wrongly assessed as adults by Home Office social workers have won a victory in the high court

Two asylum seekers who arrived in the UK as children but were wrongly assessed as adults by Home Office social workers have won a victory in the high court after it ruled that the way they were treated was unlawful.

In his ruling on Wednesday, Mr Justice Henshaw found that the Home Office policy of conducting age assessments soon after arrival in the UK was unlawful, the decision to detain young people for them was unlawful, and the lack of an appropriate adult present for the assessments was also unlawful.

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14-year-old boy one of youngest in UK to be convicted of terror charges

Boy, who cannot be named because of his age, charged with possessing a terrorist publication

A 14-year-old schoolboy from Darlington has become one of the youngest people in the UK to be convicted of terror charges.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, on Tuesday appeared before Westminster magistrates court after being been charged with possessing a terrorist publication.

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Bruised Boris Johnson comes out boosting after TV humiliation

Analysis: The PM was steered back to comfortable territory, with his allies trying to instil some fight in him

Boris Johnson’s habitual boosterism was back on display on Wednesday after a humiliating TV interview a day earlier raised questions about his state of mind.

By scheduling a House of Commons statement on lifting Covid restrictions in England immediately after prime minister’s questions, Johnson’s team enabled him to return to comfortable territory, hailing the UK’s booster vaccine rollout and bashing Keir Starmer.

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Tracey Emin wants artwork removed from Downing St

Artist attacks Johnson’s ‘lack of contrition’ and says More Passion’s sentiment is inappropriate in setting

Tracey Emin has demanded that an artwork she donated to the government’s collection be removed from 10 Downing Street, saying the “current situation is shameful”.

More Passion, a neon artwork, was installed in Downing Street in 2011 when David Cameron was prime minister.

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Water firm fined £240,000 over County Durham sewage discharges

Northumbrian Water admitted two breaches of law after manhole collapse led to sewer blockage

A water company has been fined £240,000 after a damaged manhole led to two unauthorised sewage discharges into a stream.

Untreated sewage leaked into Coundon Burn in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, on 13 March 2017. A member of the public rang Northumbrian Water after seeing effluent in the stream, and the firm – which had a turnover of £834.6m that year – sent workers to free a sewer blockage.

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Don’t let No 10 chaos distract us from damage to public services | Letter

The danger is that we won’t notice how institutions such as the NHS and BBC are being meddled with, writes Yvonne Williams

Marina Hyde’s article (How will the great wrecker Boris Johnson break himself out of this bind?, 18 January) is the best in-depth commentary on the fallout of partygate, and makes us realise that the daily cross-questioning on our screens is far more serious than mere scandal.

As No 10’s actions become a spectator sport, the danger is that we don’t notice our NHS being bled dry, our national broadcaster being softened up for private sale, our schools hosting a virus that can be deadly and life-changing for our children, and more than £4bn being lost to fraudsters and not recouped.

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Plans to allow ‘double-jobbing’ in Northern Irish politics dropped

PM says amendment is being pulled after Tory Northern Ireland affairs committee chair spoke out against it

The government has abandoned plans to introduce a law that would have allowed the leader of the Democratic Unionist party to potentially “double-job” in the Stormont assembly while remaining a Westminster MP.

Ahead of a debate on the legislation in the Lords on Wednesday afternoon, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that an amendment enabling dual mandates was being withdrawn.

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Who are the outside bets for Tory leader if Boris Johnson goes?

Analysis: With a leadership race potentially imminent, we look at six possible dark-horse candidates

Follow all the day’s political news – live updates

With a Conservative leadership campaign appearing imminent, hopeful Tory MPs are checking their contacts and quietly ringing colleagues to gauge support – and not just the ones everyone expects. Away from Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and the other perceived favourites, here are some others who could give it a try.

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Prince Andrew’s social media accounts deleted as he fights US lawsuit

Twitter and YouTube pages no longer accessible, while royal website refers to his role in the past tense

The Duke of York’s social media accounts are being deleted as he continues his legal battle to fight a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him in the US.

Last week the Queen stripped her second son of his honorary military affiliations and royal patronages, and he agreed not to use his royal style HRH in any official capacity.

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Terrorism convict ordered to read classics is jailed after sentence overturned

Ben John had been given suspended sentence for terrorism offence and told to read classic literature

A former student given a suspended prison sentence and told to read classic literature after being convicted of a terrorism offence has been jailed at the court of appeal.

Ben John, 22, gave no external reaction as Lord Justice Holroyde quashed the original sentence, finding it was unlawful.

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Police appeal for help to find 12 of UK’s most wanted suspects in Spain

Names and faces of men thought to be hiding in Spain, wanted for alleged crimes including murder, are released

The names and faces of 12 of the most wanted British criminal suspects thought to be hiding in Spain have been published by police in a bid to track them down.

A joint campaign involving Spanish and UK police forces was launched on Wednesday in Madrid with a picture gallery of men wanted in connection with crimes including murder, drug trafficking and arms smuggling.

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‘The Taliban are seeking revenge’: ex-cultural worker on a UK project

Omar is in hiding – concerned about his five daughters, he has applied to move to Britain

Omar* worked for a UK-funded cultural programme, working on human rights and cultural projects. He lost his work when the Taliban arrived, and has applied to move to Britain. He has five daughters and is particularly concerned about their welfare.

After the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, our lives changed completely because of my work for a British organisation. Although the Taliban said in a statement that they had declared an amnesty for government workers, they have not kept that promise. They are seeking revenge against those who worked with foreign institutions. I’ve heard reports of people being arrested at night and taken to unknown places.

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More than a roar: exhibition broadens notions of the 1920s

Curators at National Archives showcase a decade of discontent, protest – and the ‘Nightclub Queen’

From state surveillance of communists, to all women finally winning the vote, and a peek inside the No 43 Soho nightclub, a new exhibition on the roaring 20s aims to highlight a decade not just of postwar decadence but of huge discontent and social upheaval.

Anchored on the recent release of the 1921 census, the free exhibition The 1920s: Beyond the Roar, which opens at the National Archives in Kew this week, covers international peace treaties, textile samples and lonely hearts adverts, alongside a reconstruction of the No 43, run by the “Nightclub Queen”, Kate Meyrick.

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Covid denier fined for filming in Gloucester hospital

Debbie Hicks said she was acting as ‘guerrilla journalist’ to prove lockdown measures disproportionate

A woman acting as a “guerrilla journalist” when she filmed inside a hospital in an attempt to prove her belief that lockdown measures were disproportionate has been convicted of a public order offence.

Debbie Hicks, 47, a former teacher and psychologist, filmed twice at the Gloucestershire Royal hospital in Gloucester in December 2020 and told staff who challenged her she could do what she wanted as she paid her taxes.

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All plan B Covid restrictions, including mask wearing, to end in England

PM says plan B measures will stop on 26 January and compulsory self-isolation for people with Covid on 24 March

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage

Boris Johnson has announced the end of all Covid measures introduced to combat the Omicron variant from next week, including compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, guidance to work from home and vaccine certificates.

The prime minister also said the legal requirement on people with coronavirus to self-isolate would be allowed to lapse when the regulations expired on 24 March, and that date could be brought forward.

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Boris Johnson grilled by Line of Duty team in spoof video viewed by 5m

Led By Donkeys ‘partygate’ video goes viral after being retweeted by the TV drama’s writer Jed Mercurio

The final nail-biting episode of the sixth series of Line of Duty was watched by 12.8 million people last May, the biggest audience for a television drama for 20 years.

Now more than 5 million people have watched a four-minute clip of AC-12’s feared officers interrogating the man at the heart of a real-life scandal gripping the nation: Boris Johnson.

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Hostile review – documentary highlights nastiness of UK immigration policy

Sonita Gale’s film reveals how the ‘hostile environment’ declared in 2013 by Theresa May pressured foreign nationals, a good number of whom were keeping the NHS going

One of the ugliest and most fatuous chapters in Home Office history arrived in 2013, when under the auspices of the then home secretary Theresa May, vans toured London areas with high immigrant populations displaying the sign: “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest.” Of course, this ridiculous piece of toxic bossiness was not really addressed to illegal immigrants: Home Office officials were well aware that they themselves would be unable or unwilling to respond. It was a piece of taxpayer-funded party-political posturing, dogwhistling or humanwhistling to the bigots and intended as part of a charmless new policy of “hostile environment” – making things unpleasant in the country generally, a way of trying to pressure people to leave of their own free will.

Sonita Gale’s interesting and highly pertinent documentary is about how that nasty little malaise spread outwards, but is coming to a crisis now that Brexit has brought it home to the governing classes just how reliant our service industry is on casual labour, and how reliant the NHS is on immigrants. Many of these are former students applying for leave to remain, but have thereby been denied public funds, and so were ineligible for furlough payments or any support as the lockdown hit. It has meant utter poverty and Kafkaesque bureaucracy – for once, that adjective really is justified.

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Marnie Clayton: man charged with stalking over teen’s disappearance

Abid Khan to appear in court after 18-year-old, who had been last seen at Windsor nightclub, is found

A 21-year-old man has been charged with a stalking offence over the disappearance of a teenager who went missing after leaving a Windsor nightclub.

Abid Khan, of Reading, Berkshire, is accused of one count of stalking involving fear of violence and will appear at Reading magistrates court on Wednesday.

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Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour, blaming PM’s ‘disgraceful’ conduct

Bury South MP says Tory policies ‘doing nothing’ to help constituents, piling further pressure on Boris Johnson

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The Tory MP Christian Wakeford has defected to Labour, piling more pressure on Boris Johnson as growing numbers within his own party call on the prime minister to resign.

Just minutes before prime minister’s questions, Wakeford – elected as the MP for Bury South in 2019 – crossed the floor to sit with Keir Starmer’s party, declaring in a letter to Johnson resigning the Conservative whip that he was “incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves”.

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High court to hear claims Sarah Everard vigil ban breached human rights

Reclaim These Streets has raised tens of thousands of pounds to fund judicial review of Met’s decision

Women’s rights activists are at the high court to argue that the police’s decision to ban a vigil for Sarah Everard in London was a breach of their human rights.

The Metropolitan police were criticised last March after using force to break up the vigil on Clapham Common, close to where Everard, 33, was kidnapped by Wayne Couzens, an officer in an elite Met police firearms unit, then murdered.

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Sheffield council to decide fate of chief Kate Josephs following lockdown drinks

Sheffield city council has set up a committee to consider the position of its chief executive after she apologised for having leaving drinks in Whitehall during lockdown

A cross-party committee of councillors is to decide the future of Sheffield city council chief executive Kate Josephs a week after she apologised for having leaving drinks in Whitehall during lockdown.

Josephs led the government’s Covid-19 taskforce from July to December 2020. After details of the gathering emerged in the media she released a statement admitting it took place and saying she was “truly sorry”.

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Boris Johnson to face MPs as speculation mounts over confidence ballot – UK politics live

Latest updates: some Conservative MPs believed to be preparing letters of no confidence in PM ahead of PMQs

Tory MPs openly discuss Johnson challenge as mood ‘turns dramatically’Vote of no confidence, resignation or survival: what next for Boris Johnson?Coronavirus global updates – live

Boris Johnson will face MPs for prime minister’s questions later and will also seek to boost his position with Tory MPs and the public by announcing an easing of England’s coronavirus restrictions.

Armed forces minister James Heappey urged his colleagues to keep “cool heads” as he said now was not the time to change leader, with looming economic and international challenges.

The first time that what he was going into would have been brought into focus would have been in the pre-brief he had as he was going down the stairs.

I choose to believe what the prime minister has said. But I know that that’s not good enough for many of my constituents.

The ministerial code is clear: the highest responsibility that any minister has is to be accurate in what they say to the House of Commons. That is the very foundation of our parliamentary democracy.

I’ve got confidence in the prime minister. Clearly the revelations that have been coming out are damaging and it’s unsettled parts of the Conservative parliamentary party, there’s no denying that.

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Wetherspoon’s Tim Martin attacks No 10 ‘hypocrisy’ as sales crash

Trading update from pub chain shows like-for-like sales to mid-January down 15.6% on previous year

The pub chain JD Wetherspoon has criticised the government’s “hypocrisy” for holding parties at 10 Downing Street while restrictions forced pub sales to crash.

Wetherspoon also said the latest plan B restrictions brought in at the start of the Omicron wave of infections in December had depressed sales over the crucial festive period in the hospitality sector for a second year running.

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‘In Kabul there’s no justice’: the female student who fled to Pakistan

After the collapse of the Afghan capital, Amina says what followed was worse than she could imagine

Amina* used to work for an NGO in Kabul while studying at university. She was forced to flee to Pakistan with her family once the Taliban took over. She remains trapped and fearful for her and her sisters’ future.

I currently live in Pakistan with my family. Before I left Afghanistan, I was working as a programme administrator for an NGO and I also studied business at university. When the Taliban took over, I had no certain future. My education was not clear; my school was closed.

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Small gardens as vital as big ones for conserving bees, says study

Many urban gardens rich in pollinator-friendly plants and provide food all year round, find Bristol researchers

Small gardens are as important as big gardens for conserving bees and other pollinators in UK cities, a study has found.

Worldwide, bee populations are declining. Habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change have led to the disappearance of some pollinators, but researchers found that small urban gardens are some of the most pollinator-friendly places.

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Government pauses plans to rewrite UK copyright laws after authors protest

Intellectual property rule changes were mooted in the wake of Brexit but have been shelved after warnings about how this could hit writers’ incomes

After authors including Kate Mosse and Philip Pullman warned that proposals to change the UK’s copyright laws could be “devastating” for writers, the government has paused its plans.

The Intellectual Property Office launched a consultation last summer into UK copyright after Brexit. Writers and publishers had feared that if the “copyright exhaustion” rule were changed, governing when the control of a rights holder over the distribution of their property expires, it could lead to a flood of cheap international editions of books.

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UK inflation hits near-three-decade high rising to 5.4%

Cost of living crisis worsens, piling pressure on Bank of England to raise interest rates again

Britain’s cost of living crisis worsened in December after inflation jumped to 5.4% – its highest level in almost 30 years – driven by the higher cost of clothes, food and footwear.

Heaping further pressure on Bank of England policymakers to push up interest rates when they meet next month, the price of furniture and eating out also increased as shortages of staff and hold-ups at UK ports forced up the cost of imports.

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