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27 апреля, 00:00

Theresa May considering scrapping 'triple lock' on pensions

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Policy that guarantees increase in basic state pension each year could be ditched for a weaker ‘double lock’ and money used for social care insteadTheresa May is seriously considering replacing the “triple lock”, which guarantees a minimum increase in the state pension each year, with a less generous “double lock”, and spending some of the money saved on social care.The existing system guarantees that the basic state pension will increase each year by whichever is the largest of inflation, average earnings, or 2.5%, but it has become expensive to fund during a period when prices and wages growth have been low. Continue reading...

26 апреля, 23:56

Eriksen closes the gap for Tottenham with precious winner at Crystal Palace

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This was a victory which spoke volumes for Tottenham Hotspur’s stubborn conviction that the title race is not done and dusted – far from it, in fact. Mauricio Pochettino’s team laboured for a while and even when they were in the ascendancy after the interval reward eluded them for a while as Crystal Palace, a team reborn, resisted with everything they could. But in the end the visitors’ quality told.It was Christian Eriksen who broke the resistance, belting a low shot into the corner from 25 yards with Palace long since forced into a full-scale retreat, and ensured Chelsea must remain on edge for a while longer. An eighth league win in succession, a blistering run, has moved Spurs back to within four points of their rivals from across the capital, with Sunday’s fixtures suddenly looking critical yet again. While the leaders confront Everton at Goodison Park, Spurs must maintain their form in a north London derby. They will tear into that fixture with belief maintained that their pursuit can still yield the trophy. Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 23:55

Middlesbrough lifted by Marten de Roon to pile more misery on Sunderland

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Middlesbrough finally got round to winning their first Premier League game of 2017 as the so-called “derby of the doomed” represented a new nadir in David Moyes’s increasingly troubled Sunderland tenure.Sunk by Marten de Roon’s early goal, Sunderland fans were left calling for their manager’s sacking and contemplating an imminent relegation to the Championship which, depending on results, could be confirmed as early as Saturday tea-time. Continue reading...

26 апреля, 23:54

Robert Huth’s own goal gives Arsenal welcome win over Leicester City

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The Arsène Wenger celebration face at the end of it all was not as visceral or as liberating as the one he produced at Wembley on Sunday but the relief to snatch a win from the jaws of a dreary draw was still worth savouring. He might have the FA Cup in his sightlines but he can also cling to the possibility of a 19th consecutive Champions League qualification thanks to a freakish late goal.It felt like one of those ominous days that Arsenal are familiar with in these parts against a dogged opponent, where the sideways passes can be soporific and the chances kept at bay. In the 86th minute, the ball pinged around an increasingly anxious Arsenal attack only for a deflected cross to end up with Nacho Monreal, who swung a leg at it. The ball diverted off Robert Huth’s chest and bobbled past Kasper Schmeichel. With that stroke of fortune a Wembley hangover turned into an unexpected Emirates party. Continue reading...

26 апреля, 23:53

'It’s going to be a bloodbath': Tories target high-profile Labour seats

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Conservatives eye seats in Midlands and northern England in the hope of claiming scalps of current and former shadow ministersConservative campaigners are planning to target high-profile Labour MPs, some with large majorities, in the hope of unseating current and former shadow ministers including Liz Kendall, Tom Watson and Vernon Coaker.Labour is set to send resources for election battles in seats that the party would normally consider to be safe, including campaigns to shore up MPs in some northern England seats who have majorities of more than 10,000. Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 23:42

Lionel Messi scores twice as Barcelona thrash Osasuna 7-1

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• Barcelona move three points clear ahead of Real Madrid’s game• Javier Mascherano scores his first goal for BarcelonaBarcelona blitzed Osasuna with four goals in 10 second-half minutes to temporarily move three points clear at the top of La Liga with a 7-1 victory at the Camp Nou.Luis Enrique rested several of his regular starters, including Luis Suárez, Andrés Iniesta and Jordi Alba – an understandable move following gruelling matches against Juventus and Real Madrid, and before the weekend’s derby at Espanyol. Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 23:15

Laura Muir praises ‘brilliant’ London marathon run of Joshua Griffiths

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• Unknown club runner Griffiths finished as leading British athlete in 13th• His performance has catapulted him into the GB world championships teamLaura Muir has hailed the “brilliant” performance of Joshua Griffiths, the unknown club runner whose London marathon performance has now officially catapulted him into the British team at the world championships this summer, saying he has given inspiration to ordinary athletes everywhere. Related: British club runner Josh Griffiths bursts on to world stage at London Marathon Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 23:13

Sizing John completes Gold Cups treble with thrilling win at Punchestown

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• Seven-year-old held off Djakadam and Coneygree in closing stages• He also won Cheltenham and Leopardstown Gold Cups in recent weeksSizing John completed an unprecedented treble here on Wednesday evening as he added the Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup to his victories in the Gold Cups at Cheltenham and Leopardstown in recent weeks. It was not so much the scale of the chaser’s achievement as the manner of it which left the deepest impression, however, as Coneygree, the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, and the valiant Djakadam both played huge roles of their own in what many will remember as the race of the season.Sizing John got up in the final stride to beat Djakadam by a short-head with Coneygree a length and a half further away, but only after Coneygree had travelled and jumped for most of the race with the same zest and excellence that made him a Gold Cup winner as a novice. Mark Bradstock’s 10-year-old, unraced since November, was the favourite in-running with six fences to jump and, had it not been for a slow jump at the second-last, it could have been a three-way fight all the way to the line. Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 23:02

US Navy ship fires warning flare at Iranian vessel in Persian Gulf

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The Iranian vessel came within 1,000 meters of the USS Mahan, prompting the guided-missile destroyer to ‘deploy a flare to determine the vessel’s intentions’A US Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf, an American official said on Wednesday, the latest tense naval encounter between the two countries.The incident happened on Monday as the vessel attempted to draw closer to the USS Mahan despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it, said Lt Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 23:00

Boris Johnson: Brexit will usher in new era of free trade deals

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Speech comes as Tory sources dismiss idea foreign secretary will be sidelined during election campaign to minimise potential for gaffes Boris Johnson has used his first major speech of the general election campaign to say that Brexit will allow Theresa May to strike new trade deals that could allow the sale of haggis to the US and lower tariffs on whisky to India.The foreign secretary waded into the campaign as Conservative sources sought to dismiss the idea he would be sidelined by May to minimise the potential for gaffes and ensure she is able to claim full credit for any victory. Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 22:49

Maria Sharapova’s competitive instincts intact on her return from the wilderness | Jacob Steinberg

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Russian recovered from early nerves for an easy win in her first match following a 15-month ban, but she faces a testing path to true redemptionWhen the clock struck midnight here, Maria Sharapova’s interminable wait was finally over. An outcast no more, the gates to the world of tennis were open to her again and nobody could cross her name off the list. Nine hours and 15 minutes later, Sharapova strode purposefully on court, ignoring the cameras and journalists, and briefly it was possible to fall into the trap of thinking that this was just business as usual.But it was no ordinary occasion. Rarely, if ever, had there been this much interest in a practice hit before a first-round match at a tournament where players tune up on clay before the French Open next month. One of the sport’s most famous figures, and by far its most controversial, was back in the sceptical public eye after the rancour that followed her stunning revelation of a failed drug test last year and the troubling sense that even now she feels no shame about meldonium being found in her system. Continue reading...

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26 апреля, 22:34

Militants kill 10 Iranian border guards in attack on frontier with Pakistan

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Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl claims responsibility for killing of guards in Sistan-Baluchestan provinceTen Iranian border guards have been killed by Sunni militants in a cross-border attack on the frontier with Pakistan, according to the Tasnim news agency. The militant group Jaish al-Adl, or the Army of Justice, claimed responsibility, the report said. Continue reading...