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21 февраля, 10:15

The US travel ban would be bad news for American universities | Mary O’Hara

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No wonder leading US higher education institutions opposed the president’s executive order – the benefits offered by international students are clearWhen Donald Trump issued his shambolic and destructive executive order shortly after his inauguration, attempting to suspend immigration to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries, the shockwaves were swift and far-reaching. Objections have come from campuses all over the country, and with good reason.The ban clearly affects Muslims, including current and prospective students, but its reach (even after clarifications on green-card holders) is far wider. Alongside other visa changes being mooted and talk of “extreme vetting” it makes for a disturbing climate. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 10:00

'Selfish' betting industry undermining efforts to help gambling addicts

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Bookmakers and arcades protecting their own interests over curbs on FOBTs while ignoring the plight of problem gamblersProblem gambling experts have criticised rival factions of the betting industry for waging a “selfish” war of words to protect their own interests amid the threat of tighter regulation.The UK’s leading gambling charity also warned that a “narrow” focus on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), potentially ignoring online betting and fruit machines in pubs, amusement arcades and casinos, risks undermining efforts to help addicts. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 10:00

The Ladybird phenomenon: the publishing craze that just won't go away

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The Books for Grown Ups series is worth nearly £30m – so it’s no wonder that retro books for ‘kids’ have spread to other publishers. Now, serious subjects are getting the toilet-book treatment, too In 1971, a book about the computer was published under the children’s imprint Ladybird as part of a series designed to show schoolchildren “How it Works”. In common with 645 other titles published between 1940 and 1980, it was a small hardback with 56 pages It cost 2/6 – or 12½p in nostalgists’ currency.“If you are interested in computers, their function and operation, but are discouraged by their complexity, you should read this book,” said the introduction. “It deals as simply as possible with the principles and does not delve too deeply into electronics.” Though it was intended for “older students,” which means ages 7+ in Ladybird parlance, legend has it that it was so well regarded that 100 copies were ordered by the Ministry of Defence to be circulated among its staff in plain wrapping so they wouldn’t know they were reading a book intended for kids. Continue reading...

21 февраля, 10:00

Council funding freeze 'means cuts to many essential services'

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Head of local government body issues warning after funding settlement offers no additional money for authorities in 2017/18A senior Conservative peer has warned that councils will need to slash a range of essential services after ministers released a funding settlement for councils that offered no additional money during 2017/18.Gary Porter, who chairs the Local Government Association, said authorities would have to cut back on filling potholes, collecting waste, maintaining parks and running children’s centres and libraries in order to plug growing funding gaps. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 10:00

Copeland byelection: Corbyn proving 'barrier' in Sellafield seat

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Labour pins its hopes on antipathy to Tory-backed plans to downgrade maternity unit to retain seat it has held for 80 yearsEven the most committed Labour campaigners in the once safe seat of Copeland admit there is one topic of conversation that comes up more often than most: the leader. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 09:55

Tuesday briefing: State of anger over Trump visit

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Theresa May censured for ‘fawning’ to president … Mary Berry on leaving Great British Bake Off … and exclusive interview with Kim Jong-nam confidantHello, this is Warren Murray with today’s Guardian morning briefing. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 09:50

Government failure to act means gender pay gap will remain, say MPs

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Women and equalities committee makes claim after ministers reject proposals aimed at helping women back into workforceThe gender pay gap is likely to persist for more than a generation in the UK after the government rejected proposals to encourage flexible working and help women back into the workforce, MPs have said.Without ministers putting their weight behind measures needed to end the “pay penalty” suffered by millions of women, the government will fail to meet its target of closing the gap within the next couple of decades, said the cross-party women and equalities committee. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 09:30

Darjeeling’s new Himalayan cycle trail

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As cycling grows in popularity among Indians, Darjeeling has opened the country’s first hill station bike path, with views of the world’s highest mountainsI am eating peanut butter straight from the jar with my hands. It’s not my finest moment but my body needs fuel: I have just cycled 20km at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. It is worth it, though. Around me is a thick pine forest under clear blue skies. In the distance I can see the Himalayas, notably Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world.I am testing out Darjeeling’s new cycle-only path, which runs through Senchal wildlife sanctuary, one of India’s oldest nature reserves. Darjeeling is reportedly the first hill station in the country to get such a trail, and it is a welcome escape from India’s diesel-belching vehicles and tooting horns. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 09:27

Tokyo Olympic golf course must give female members equal rights or lose event, says IOC

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Kasumigaseki Country Club is due to host the men’s and women’s tournaments in 2020 but the IOC has demanded it allows full access to both sexesThe venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf tournament could have the event taken away unless it grants equal playing rights to female members, the International Committee (IOC) has warned.Kasumigaseki Country Club, a private golf course in Saitama prefecture, north-west of Tokyo, forbids women from becoming full members and from playing on Sundays. Continue reading...

21 февраля, 09:00

In Paul Nuttall, Ukip’s hypocrisy is finally being revealed | Zoe Williams

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With its leader’s untruths over Hillsborough now exposed, the party’s claim to champion the common man is falling apartDouble standards in the media and in parliamentary rhetoric, as they relate to political parties, are so flagrant as to be barely worth mentioning. Some parties are simply expected to be more consistent than others. Indeed, to question out loud how the Conservative party can move from the free market libertarianism of David Cameron to the bunkered protectionism of Theresa May, while the Labour party cannot be permitted a London mayor who dresses a little bit differently to its leader, would be so obvious as to sound almost boorish. So it’s easy to forget that ideological inconsistency can have a greater significance than how it initially plays to the audience.So it is with Ukip: this party has made no rational sense since it captured the name from its anti-federalist founders and wrestled it into a one-man, anti-everything machine. It is the party that wants to protect British people’s access to their pressurised public services, while at the same time privatise the NHS; it’s on the side of the little guy and wants to fight for fair wages, at the same time as wanting to deregulate worker protection in the interests of cutting red tape. It thinks it an outrage that you can’t afford your rent, but has nothing to say on social housing, beyond that migrants shouldn’t be allowed it. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 09:00

Can we trust the Rorschach test? | Damion Searls

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To its critics, it is dangerous pseudoscience. To its supporters, it offers unique insights. What is the future of this controversial psychological test?Victor Norris had reached the final round in his application for a job working with young children, but he still had to undergo a psychological evaluation. Over two long November afternoons, he spent eight hours at the office of Caroline Hill, an assessment psychologist working in Chicago.Norris had seemed an ideal candidate in interviews – charming and friendly, with a suitable résumé and unimpeachable references. Hill liked him. His scores were normal to high on the cognitive tests she gave him, as were his results on the personality test he took. When Hill showed him a series of pictures without captions and asked him to tell her a story about what was happening in each one – another standard assessment – Norris gave answers that were a bit obvious, but harmless enough. Continue reading...

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21 февраля, 07:40

China orders hundreds of thousands of private cars to have GPS trackers installed for monitoring

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Hundreds of thousands of vehicles affected by edict covering part of Xinjiang following outbreaks of violence – and no petrol for owners who don’t comply Security officials in China’s violence-stricken north-west have ordered residents to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles so authorities are able to keep permanent tabs on their movements.The compulsory measure, which came into force this week and could eventually affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles, is being rolled out in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang, a sprawling region that borders Central Asia and sees regular eruptions of deadly violence. Continue reading...