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politics Blair Warns Of 'Growing' Radical Islam Threat

Blair Warns Of 'Growing' Radical Islam Threat+581 views

Former prime minister Tony Blair has told Sky News the West must work with countries like Russia and China to combat the growing threat of radical Islam. The ex-Labour leader also stressed the importance of taking sides in what he described as a "war", and warned there were consequences to not intervening. Earlier, in a speech in London, he said the crisis in Ukraine had pushed the situations in the Middle East off the agenda, despite the chaos in the region. The Middle East envoy branded the turmoil in Syria "an unmitigated disaster" and pressed for an agreement to be reached with...

POLITICS

politics East Belfast MP claims Alliance party is target of sinister campaign

East Belfast MP claims Alliance party is target of sinister campaign+30 views

A Northern Ireland MP has said there is an organised and sinister campaign to disrupt the centrist Alliance party's efforts in the local and European elections next month. Alliance has been the target of grassroots loyalist anger after the party used its "balance-of-power" votes on Belfast city council to restrict the flying of the union flag over city hall last year.Long also said that images had emerged on social networks over the weekend which showed two individuals in paramilitary style clothing where an Alliance poster had been stolen and replaced with a union jack. Not only is it theft,...
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politics Blair Blames Inquiry For Iraq Report Delay

Blair Blames Inquiry For Iraq Report Delay+110 views

By Alistair Bunkall, Defence CorrespondentTony Blair has told Sky News that "the people who run the inquiry" are to blame for a delay in the publication of the Chilcot report. The Iraq Inquiry, to give it its official name, was launched almost four-and-a-half years ago. The inquiry, headed by Sir John Chilcot, was originally supposed to report its findings two years ago, but it has been repeatedly delayed and there is still no set publication date. The inquiry's remit, as defined on its website, is to examine "the UK's involvement in Iraq, including the way decisions were made and actions...
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politics Blair Warns Of 'Growing' Radical Islam Threat

Blair Warns Of 'Growing' Radical Islam Threat+581 views

Former prime minister Tony Blair has told Sky News the West must work with countries like Russia and China to combat the growing threat of radical Islam. The ex-Labour leader also stressed the importance of taking sides in what he described as a "war", and warned there were consequences to not intervening. Earlier, in a speech in London, he said the crisis in Ukraine had pushed the situations in the Middle East off the agenda, despite the chaos in the region. The Middle East envoy branded the turmoil in Syria "an unmitigated disaster" and pressed for an agreement to be reached with...
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politics Is Boris On His Bike Back To Westminster?

Is Boris On His Bike Back To Westminster?+138 views

London Mayor Boris Johnson has insisted he is "getting on with his job" amid renewed speculation he will stand as an MP in next year's general election. Speaking to Sky News outside his home, Mr Johnson sought to shrug off rumours he will run for Parliament in 2015. After months of dodging questions about his political future, it is reported Mr Johnson will announce he intends to return this summer ahead of the autumn party conference, in order to avoid speculation overshadowing the Tory campaign. He has also been accused of dithering over the issue and supporters are concerned this is...
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politics David Cameron calls on Scots to remain united with England

David Cameron calls on Scots to remain united with England+32 views

David Cameron has issued a St George's Day plea for the people of Scotland to remain united with England in the "world's greatest family of nations".The prime minister said it was possible to be proud of the individual nations in the United Kingdom while remaining committed to the union.He described the UK as a global success story and said that "no matter how great we are alone, we will always be greater together".Scottish voters will decide on 18 September whether to split from the rest of the UK in favour of an independent future.Cameron said: "This St George's Day, I want us to reflect...
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politics Headteachers' union to open ranks to middle tier of school leadership

Headteachers' union to open ranks to middle tier of school leadership+34 views

The biggest headteachers' union in England and Wales is to launch a new offshoot which will extend its reach into school classrooms by opening its ranks to the middle tier of school leadership.The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) will launch the new union NAHTEdge in September. Members of the new union will be concurrent members of the NAHT and receive the same benefits, although NAHTEdge will be managed separately.Russell Hobby, general secretary of the 177-year-old NAHT, said the body was designed to attract "the next generation of school leaders," such as heads of department...
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politics Barclays faces rough ride at AGM over tax havens and bankers' bonuses

Barclays faces rough ride at AGM over tax havens and bankers' bonuses+39 views

Barclays is braced for a stormy annual shareholder meeting on Thursday with protesters pledging to question its role in tax havens, funding of coal mines and the 9bn of bonuses paid out to its investment bankers since the financial crisis.Amid warnings from the business secretary, Vince Cable, that major companies need to do more to improve their public image over pay deals, Barclays is expected to face scrutiny from shareholders over its decision to increase bonuses by 10% to 2.4bn in 2013 even though its profits fell by 32%.Figures compiled by the Robin Hood Tax campaign, which wants a...
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politics Iain Duncan Smith warns over costs of Scottish welfare pledges

Iain Duncan Smith warns over costs of Scottish welfare pledges+81 views

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has challenged first minister Alex Salmond to explain how Scotland could afford extra pension and benefits costs of up 1.55bn a year after independence.Duncan Smith released figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) asserting that the first minister's pledges on social security post-independence would cost each working-age adult in Scotland an extra 450 a year over the next 20 years.He said promises such as delaying the retirement age increase to 67, cancelling the new universal credit benefit system and setting up a separate...
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politics University tuition fee rise may not save taxpayers any money, says thinktank

University tuition fee rise may not save taxpayers any money, says thinktank+141 views

Long-term weaknesses in the UK economy mean that raising university tuition fees in England to 9,000 may not save taxpayers any money and students could still be forced to pay even more, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).A report by the thinktank suggests many of the claims made by the government in favour of the changes to higher education funding in 2012 may take decades to be tested, and that the returns on student loans are likely to be much lower than previously forecast because graduates are not earning enough to pay back their loans.Liberal Democrat support for...
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politics Optimism in Britain's factories at four-decade high

Optimism in Britain's factories at four-decade high+42 views

The mood in Britain's factories is at its most upbeat in more than 40 years, a survey by the CBI shows, in what could prove to be an important pre-election boost for the government.A combination of strong growth in orders both at home and abroad is driving a rapid rise in confidence among manufacturers, according to the business lobby group.The CBI said 41% of manufacturers surveyed were more optimistic about business than three months ago, with just 8% less optimistic. That gave a balance of +33 points the highest since April 1973.Rising optimism in the sector, which accounts for about 10%...
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politics Nigel Farage: UKIP Policies Not Racist

Nigel Farage: UKIP Policies Not Racist+554 views

Nigel Farage has rejected claims that UKIP's policies heading into the European elections are racist. The UKIP leader launched his party's election drive in Sheffield on Tuesday afternoon, amid controversy over their campaign posters. Labour MP Mike Gapes said one of the posters - which implied 26 million Europeans were after British jobs - was "racist". But asked whether giving British workers preferential treatment was indeed racist, Mr Farage told Sky News: "I think it's the job of the Government to make sure it puts British people and their interests first, yes. Of that there is no...
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politics Cardinal Slams 'Alarmist' Immigration Debate

Cardinal Slams 'Alarmist' Immigration Debate+152 views

A senior church leader has called on politicians to stop using "alarmist and evocative" language in the debate on immigration amid controversy about a UKIP poster campaign. UKIP leader Nigel Farage launched his party's European election bid in Sheffield amid criticism over the posters, which were labelled "racist" by Labour MP Mike Gapes. The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, did not refer to any political party but said it was wrong to use expressions that suggest "dismay or distress at all these people coming to this country". "What I would...
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politics Coulson Denies Hearing Sienna Message To Craig

Coulson Denies Hearing Sienna Message To Craig+28 views

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has told the hacking trial he was never played a voicemail left on Daniel Craig's phone by Sienna Miller, which exposed the actors were having an affair. Coulson, also a former Number 10 spin doctor, denied the allegations made by former NOTWjournalist Dan Evans that he was present when a tape of the message left on the James Bond star's phone was played. Giving evidence in his defence for a fourth day in the Old Bailey trial, Coulson said he was not even in the office on the day Evans claimed he played the tape, referring to his diary on the...
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politics Family Court 'Revolution' To Help Children

Family Court 'Revolution' To Help Children+177 views

A new Family Court to deal with divorce and child custody proceedings is due to be introduced in England and Wales. The court will replace the previous three-tier system as part of a "revolution" in family justice. Another significant change is a 26-week time limit on care proceedings aimed at protecting children. It follows the Family Justice Review in 2011, which found vulnerable and damaged children were having their "futures undermined". Care and supervision cases have taken an average of 56 weeks. Conservative Edward Timpson, children and families minister, said: "Every child...
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politics Almost 15,000 adopted children to miss out on support payments

Almost 15,000 adopted children to miss out on support payments+30 views

Almost 15,000 adopted children, many of them teenagers, will miss out on a 1,900 "pupil premium" for publicly funded schools in England, to provide extra help for them, according to the support group Adoption UK.The payments will only be for those adopted after 2005 but the organisation wants the scheme to be extended to all such children up to the age of 16. A pupil premium, for children entitled to free school meals and those in care, was introduced by the coalition government in 2011, andextended to adopted children this year.
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politics David Cameron and Ed Miliband don't matter as much as they think

David Cameron and Ed Miliband don't matter as much as they think+20 views

We live in a presidential political culture. The next general election will be billed as a battle between David Cameron and Ed Miliband, the only two candidates with a chance of being prime minister. Most days of the week I read commentators wondering why Labour leads in the polls when Miliband's personal ratings are so low. Contrary to mythology, in British general elections leaders are never pivotal in determining the outcome. The context in which they lead is much more decisive, a background over which leaders have only limited power to shape.Let us take a brief tour of recent elections to...
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politics Tony Blair to say battle against Islamic extremism is paramount

Tony Blair to say battle against Islamic extremism is paramount+308 views

Tony Blair will warn the west it needs to take sides in the Middle East and move the battle against Islamist extremism to the top of the political agenda.In a speech to Bloomberg in London on Wednesday, the former Labour prime minister will say: "The important point for western opinion is that this is a struggle with two sides. It is in fact a struggle in which our own strategic interests are intimately involved; where there are indeed people we should support and who, ironically, are probably in the majority if only that majority were mobilised, organised and helped."But what is absolutely...
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politics David Cameron makes play for Ukip voters with St George's Day message

David Cameron makes play for Ukip voters with St George's Day message+28 views

David Cameron is to argue that England's national day has for too long been overlooked, in a St George's Day message that is calculated to woo Ukip voters while avoiding alienating Scots.With the flag of St George due to fly above Downing Street on Wednesday, Cameron says: "More and more people are coming together on or around 23 April, eager to celebrate everything it is to be English."But in a careful nod to September's Scottish referendum on independence, he adds that one of England's greatest achievements has been its role in creating the world's greatest family of nations the United...
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politics 'Muslim School Plot': Governor Slams Ofsted

'Muslim School Plot': Governor Slams Ofsted+24 views

By Adele Robinson, Sky News CorrespondentA governor of a Birmingham school under investigation over allegations of an Islamist takeover plot is questioning the fairness of recent Ofsted inspections. Up to 18 schools are being looked at by the education watchdog amid allegations that hard-line Muslims are trying to seize control of schools in the city. The man, who wants to remain anonymous, told Sky News he believed inspectors had come into the school with preconceptions about education there. "The questioning was very inappropriate compared to a normal Ofsted. They were more focused on...
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politics Farage Defends 'Racist' UKIP Poster Campaign

Farage Defends 'Racist' UKIP Poster Campaign+1,171 views

Nigel Farage has hit back at claims a new UKIP poster campaign centred on immigration is "racist". The party is using 1.5m of funding from millionaire former Conservative donor Paul Skyes to launch a "hard-hitting reflection of reality" publicity drive. The drive comes ahead of elections in the European Parliament next month. The posters claim that "British workers are hit hard by unlimited foreign labour" and that 26 million unemployed people in Europe are "after" jobs in the UK. They also call on people to "take back control of our country" and state that 75% of British laws are made by...
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politics Nigel Farage targets Labour heartland as poll shows Ukip support undamaged

Nigel Farage targets Labour heartland as poll shows Ukip support undamaged+21 views

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, will try to eat into Labour's heartland working-class vote in next month's European elections by travelling to Sheffield this week to deliver a strong anti-immigration message, with polls showing that his party has so far been undamaged by allegations of expenses misuse.An ICM poll for the Telegraph found Ukip three points below Labour on 30% with the Tories trailing on 22% and the Liberal Democrats on 8%, very close to the threshold that would see Lib Dem MEPs wiped out in the European parliament.One-third of Tory voters in 2010 say they will back Ukip in next...
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politics PM 'Divides' UK Over Christianity Comments

PM 'Divides' UK Over Christianity Comments+71 views

A group of leading public figures have warned that comments made by David Cameron about the UK being a Christian country could cause "alienation and division". More than 50 writers, scientists, broadcasters and academics have signed an open letter expressing concern at the "negative consequences" of the Prime Minister's assertion in a country where most people do not describe themselves as Christian. It follows the article last week for the Church Times by Mr Cameron in which he wrote of his own faith and his desire to infuse politics with Christian ideals and values. The open letter says...
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politics Welfare cuts drive UK's poorest families deeper into poverty, says Oxfam

Welfare cuts drive UK's poorest families deeper into poverty, says Oxfam+181 views

The coalition's welfare cuts have pushed 1.75 million of the UK's poorest households deeper into poverty, leaving more families struggling to cover food and energy bills, according to a report.The report by Oxfam and the New Policy Institute highlights a drop in the overall value of benefits, which rose by less than inflation, as well as changes to housing benefit and council tax support that have forced some families into paying housing costs they were previously deemed too poor to pay.It finds that together those changes mean about 1.75 million of the poorest families have seen an absolute...
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politics Downing Street double act hail infrastructure jobs boost

Downing Street double act hail infrastructure jobs boost+34 views

David Cameron and George Osborne are to make a rare joint appearance on Tuesday to publicise an infrastructure programme that they claim will support more than 150,000 construction jobs.Visiting a transport project in the east Midlands, the prime minister and the chancellor will say that more than 200 infrastructure projects are due to be completed in 2014-15, and that more than 200 infrastructure projects are due to be started over the same period.The schemes are ones that have already been itemised in the government's national infrastructure plan, but Cameron and Osborne are keen to...
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politics Scots are not morally superior. That's why I believe in solidarity with the folk living south of Carlisle

Scots are not morally superior. That's why I believe in solidarity with the folk living south of Carlisle+10 views

"Their morality," thundersqueaked Nicola Sturgeon at the recent SNP conference in Perth, "is not our morality." They're not like "us", "down there"."Civic nationalism" is the buzzphrase used by the separatist camp to deflect any hint of comparison with the kind of nationalism that led to bloody mayhem in the Balkans. Civic nationalism defines a community not by its borders or ethnicity, but by a shared set of political values, and the shared democratic visions of its people. But I can't see why folk from Auld Reekie, Glasgow, that Dear Green Place or any other part of Scotland should be...
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politics Can you put a price on the beauty of the natural world?

Can you put a price on the beauty of the natural world?+10 views

George Orwell warned that "the logical end of mechanical progress is to reduce the human being to something resembling a brain in a bottle". No longer.When the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, first began talking about biodiversity offsetting replacing habitats you trash with new ones created elsewhere his officials made itclear that it would not apply to ancientwoodland. Who cares whether atree is a hunched and fissured coppiced oak, worked by people for centuries, or a sapling planted beside a slip-road with a rabbit guard around it?As Ronald Reagan remarked, when contemplating the...
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politics Farage 'Slandered' Front National, Le Pen Claims

Farage 'Slandered' Front National, Le Pen Claims+224 views

The leader of the French Front National has claimed Nigel Farage slandered her party by calling it "anti-semitic". Marine Le Pen, 45, told The Sunday Times Mr Farage had made "defamatory" and "extremely disagreeable" statements about her party. Mr Farage has refused to join Ms Le Pen's right-wing alliance in the European parliament, siding with Nicolas Dupont-Aignan - a member of the EU Democrats party. He claimed "anti-semitism is still embedded" in the FN and last week referred to the party's "compromising historic baggage", the newspaper reported. But Ms Le Pen has hit back, saying:...
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politics Islamist Extremism 'A Deadly Problem For Charity'

Islamist Extremism 'A Deadly Problem For Charity'+363 views

A charities' watchdog has warned that Islamist extremism is the "most deadly" problem the sector faces. William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission, said it was "ludicrous" that people convicted of terrorism offences or money laundering are not barred from setting up charities. He told The Sunday Times the commission was taking action against any charity that was "sending cash to extremist groups in Syria" or "dispatching young Britons for training in Syria by al Qaeda or other extremist groups". He said: "The problem of Islamist extremism and charities... And it is, alas,...
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politics Nurse 'Lost Her Job Over Christian Beliefs'

Nurse 'Lost Her Job Over Christian Beliefs'+1,184 views

A nursery nurse has said she lost her job after telling a gay colleague her beliefs on homosexuality as a Christian. Sarah Mbuyi said she made the comment after she was asked about her Christian beliefs by a co-worker at New Park Childcare in Highbury, north London, in January. Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is assisting Ms Mbuyi, said the Government has "seriously let down" the Christian community. Ms Mbuyi is claiming unfair dismissal on the grounds of religious discrimination. She said: "When I said 'no, God does not condone the practice of...
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politics CCTV in classrooms turning teachers into lab rats, union warns

CCTV in classrooms turning teachers into lab rats, union warns+55 views

The use of closed-circuit video cameras is creeping into classrooms in Britain and turning teachers into "lab rats", according to a survey by the NASUWT union that found 8% of teachers reporting CCTV had been installed inside their schools and observing their lessons.Worryingly, while staff and pupil safety was the most widely-cited reason for the installation of CCTV, a small percentage of teachers said the footage was used to directly monitor their performance.The majority of teachers with CCTV-equipped classrooms said they could not turn off the cameras, and that they were recorded...
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