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Bomber who plotted 'death and carnage' on Tube at Parsons Green jailed for 34 years 

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The teenager asylum seeker who planted a bomb on a Tube train at Parsons Green which injured 51 passengers was jailed today for life with a minimum term of 34 years. Ahmed Hassan, 18, plotted to cause carnage in the capital with a bomb packed with nails using a 'Mother of Satan' explosive he made at home. The Old Bailey heard he wanted to avenge the death of his father in Iraq and was "disappointed" when the bomb only partly detonated in a huge fireball. A jury deliberated for just over four hours to reject his explanation that he only wanted to act out a fantasy like the Tom Cruise film Mission: Impossible. Hassan, 18, is accused of packing shrapnel into a plastic bucket containing 400g of explosives then leaving it to go off on a timer (PA) The judge said Hassan was a "dangerous and devious individual" who quietly went about plotting his attack with "ruthless determination and almost military efficiency while pretending to be a model asylum seeker". Sentencing Hassan, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said: "Your intention that morning was to kill as many members of the British public as possible by planting the IED on a busy commuter Tube train." The aftermath of the attempted Tube bombing at Parsons Green Had his bomb fully exploded, there would have been "numerous fatalities", he said. "I am satisfied you were determined to create as much death and carnage that day as possible, " the judge added. He said Hassan had "targeted" a Tube line he was familiar with and knew the train would be "crowded with passengers". This story is being updated... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 18:15:01 Categories: Evening Standard logo

England football fans spark fury after hurling beer over tourists and jumping into canal in Amsterdam 

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England football fans have sparked fury after footage showed them hurling beer onto unsuspecting tourists and jumping into the canal in Amsterdam ahead of tonight's clash against the Netherlands. One clips shows fans hurling pints of beer over tourists in a boat sailing under a bridge, while another video shows a man ripping off his shirt and jumping into the canal. The footage is believed to have been filmed on Friday as thousands of fans descended on the Dutch capital for England's friendly. Twenty-five England fans were detained overnight on Thursday in Amsterdam for drunken behaviour, Dutch police said. The rowdy England supporters have been slammed for their behaviour by critics who branded them an "embarrassment". England fans in Amsterdam - Football Away Days (@footyawayday) March 23, 2018... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 18:14:59 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Ant 'could lose custody of beloved dog Hurley' 

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Ant McPartlin could be set to lose custody of his beloved pet dog Hurley in the wake of his drink-driving charge.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 17:45:27 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Teenager crashes into driving school while taking test 

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23. maaliskuuta 2018 17:45:02 Categories: Evening Standard logo

The UK student taking aim at the US gun lobby 

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Over the past month, Lewis Mizen, a 17-year-old student at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has talked a lot about Valentine's Day. He has been asked about it often but still there's a catch in his voice as he speaks. "I remember walking on the campus," he says. "There was such a feeling of optimism. There was pink and red everywhere. There was a great feeling. It was a really good day." Early in the mo rning there was a fire drill. Towards the end of the afternoon the alarm rang again. "We all began walking out and administrators began screaming at us: 'Code Red!' which means 'active shooter'. We all thought it was a drill. So we ran back in the classroom. After about half an hour of hiding under the desk we got an update from the police department that this wasn't a drill. That's when we moved to the closet. "We were in the closet for maybe an hour and a half. While we were in there we were getting updates from all sorts of news agencies telling us different things. Finally, about two hours after the Code Red was announced, the army reserves and the SWAT came in to get us out. We had to run across campus with these people carrying assault rifles guarding us, then we had to put our backpacks in a pile to make sure that there weren't any bombs. Once we had done that we were able to walk towards our families. Most of the parents were a mile away but they began walking towards the school, and they didn't know where their kids were. They didn't know if they got out. So when we got maybe half a mile away there was just this surge of all these parents looking for their kids. But they weren't allowed to get too close - the FBI were there, there were so many people it was like a movie set." In the aftermath, Mizen found his own way of dealing with the event. "It all happens so fast, you don't consider how real it is" he says. "I guess everyone has their coping mechanism but for me, I didn't think it was real. It wasn't until that night that it hit, that this was real. That people had died, and life has changed forever." It wasn't until that night it hit me that this was real. People had died and life has changed forever - Lewis Mizen It wasn't a drill. It wasn't a movie. The horror was real. In a nightmare which has grown all too familiar on American school campuses, 17 students and teachers were massacred on February 14, allegedly by former school student Nikolas Cruz, who has been charged with firing an AR-15 rifle (legally acquired, according to his lawyer) into four classrooms. Since Columbine in 1999 (13 innocents murdered), through Virginia Tech in 2007 (32 dead) to Sandy Hook in 2012 (26 students and teachers killed), school shootings have developed their own numb grammar. Generally, this amounts to expressions of sympathy, a call for action, thoughts and prayers, and then nothing, until the next mass shooting, when the process is rinsed and repeated. This time, things may be different. The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High have seized the political initiative. Five of the Parkland survivors are on the cover of this week's TIME magazine, and this weekend they have organised the March For Our Lives in Washington DC, with supporting events around the world. Mizen, who is originally from Coventry and moved to the US three years ago, will be flying from Florida to Washington to cover the event for his student newspaper. He says the mood in Parkland was bleak in the immediate aftermath of the shootings but turned quickly. "The day after, there was a feeling of hopelessness. Especially around the vigils there was a sense of: 'Where do we go from here?' But a day after that, everyone mobilised the media and people they knew who they thought could have the power to make change. The student body has moved fantastically - we really do feel like this is different than any other movement. We feel like we've hit breaking point because we're not going to let things stay the way they are. Something is going to change." The stumbling block in arguments about US gun control is the lobbying power of the National Rifle Association (NRA), which manages to distort the broad (and rising) support within the populace for tougher legislation. The Parkland students don't all agree on tactics, though they share a common understanding of where they want to go. "The Second Amendment [the right to bear arms] is a constitutional right," Mizen concedes. "Some of my classmates have been very radical in stating what they want. The problem with that is it pushes people away. Instead of trying to build bridges they're insulting the opposition, and that's not how anything is going to change. One thing I and some of my classmates who are more moderate are trying to get across is that we don't want to attack anyone. We don't want to place the emphasis on gun control, we want to put it on keeping kids safe. If we change the conversation to keeping kids safe then it makes it more difficult for the people who love guns to argue with us, because to come out against us would be to come out against keeping kids safe. When they do argue, it makes them look evil. "On the one-month anniversary [of the shooting] the NRA posted a video saying how much they love guns - kind of a threatening video. They did exactly the opposite of what they should have done. It's made it easier for us as students to mobilise against them and to try and push for change, because they're appearing like the bad guys." There have been some signs of political change. The tactic of targeting companies which offered benefits to NRA members or support to the organisation has resulted in several of them cutting their ties, including Delta and United Airlines, and car rental firms Enterprise and Hertz. "American government is mobilised by money," says Mizen. "If you weaken the bargaining power of interest groups by pulling their funds away then it weakens them and it makes it easier to move forward. That's real, that's hard-hitting, and that's something we can do to damage the people who don't want change." Florida governor Rick Scott - once an ardent NRA supporter - was one of the first politicians to switch sides, signing into law a gun control measure which requires the buyers of rifles and shotguns to be 21 (Cruz was 18 when he bought his weapon). This modest change promoted an immediate NRA lawsuit. "Some of my classmates went on 60 Minutes and they said they'd give Rick Scott's bill a C minus. I think it's an A plus. It's a great start. More has happened in a month than happened in the past 20 years. It's not the end of the line and we're going to keep pushing. The fact that the NRA is now suing proves we are moving in the right direction. I'm really proud of the state of Florida and I hope other states follow suit. Then, eventually, the Federal government can issue a mandate and laws that help make sure that every kid in every school across the United States is safe." Mizen says the activism and the excitement of campaigning has given him and the other Parkland students something positive to focus on but it is a process. "Every day it's getting easier. But every day it's also becoming that little more real. It's kind of setting in that this is the new normal. This has actually happened. It's no longer a nightmare. But having other people around, having friends, having family, makes it easier; to learn to live with this new normal, to learn to move past it, to always keep it in your heart and your mind, but to be able to live your life." In the longer term, the students are focused on the US midterm elections in November. "We don't care whether Republicans win or Democrats win, we just want the people who win to be focusing on gun control. We don't care what party you're in. We want serious change. Voter registration has spi... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 17:45:00 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Could these empowering t-shirts boost Cynthia Nixon's gubernational campaign? 

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From MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporters to p***y hat-wearing Women's March protesters and a black out dress code at awards season, fashion has firmly established its place in politics in 2018. And just days after Cynthia Nixon announced she will run for Governor of New York, it's found a voice in the action once again. Hours after Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called Cynthia Nixon an "unqualified lesbian," comedian Marie Connor (openly gay) reclaimed the insult by creating a pro-Nixon T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "unqualified lesbian." Speaking to the New York Post, politician Christine Quinn (also openly gay) said, "Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City. Now she wants an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York." "When I announced yesterday that I'm running for gov, one of Cuomo's top surrogates dismissed me as an "unqualified lesbian." It's true that I never received my certificate from the Department of Lesbian Affairs, though in my defense there's a lot of paperwork required." 🤷??? - Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) March 21, 2018... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 17:14:15 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Labour reveals plans for slave link firms to donate money to new charity 

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Firms with historic links to the slave trade will be asked to donate money for a new educational charity and bursary scheme under plans being drawn up by Labour. Jeremy Corbyn wants institutions to "give back" to the descendants of the Atlantic slave trade through bursaries for education and training for black, Asian and ethnic minority communities in the UK. Labour would also set up a new Slavery Educational Trust to run school programmes and visits to historical sites and the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. In the US, a repatriation scheme saw bank J.P Morgan Chase set up a $5 million scholarship programme for black students. Dawn Butler, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities said: "I welcome our plans for a Slavery Educational Trust. Slavery is an abhorrent crime and it is important that the African slave trade and the role of Britain is never forgotten and that we learn the lessons. "This new body will go some way to addressing this historic injustice and I look forward to working with groups to get this up and running under a Labour government, and to discussing ways in which organisations can tackle the underrepresentation of our diverse communities." Labour have suggested that their Slavery Educational Trust would operate in a similar way to the Holocaust Educational Trust, which was set up in 1988 by Labour MPs and has received Government grants since 2005. Labour would provide an initial grant for it to be set up and then hope an independent charity would take on its running. For their proposed repatriation scheme, banks and businesses with historic links would be consulted about ways they can support the "primary descendants" of the Atlantic slave trade in the UK. One way they might be able to help it through sponsoring bursaries for under-represented groups to work in the finance sector. Firms with well-known historic links to the slave trade include Lloyd's bank, which financed slave fleets. It is estimated about 12.5 million people were transported and enslaved from Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean between the 16th century and 1807. Ms Butler said the victims of slavery and their descendants never received any kind of compensation for the crimes committed against them, while Britain's 46,000 slave owners received financial compensation of £20 million - valued at £16 billion today.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 17:14:06 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Inside the £26m bunker powering the City from down below 

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Deep beneath central London, a hi-tech power plant in a former meat warehouse is helping drive down the environmental impact of London's growing energy addiction. The Standard was given a tour of the Citigen generator as nearly 150 landmarks and famous buildings in the capital prepare to go dark tomorrow night to mark Earth Hour. Four storeys down, the £26 million E.ON plant generates enough electricity annually to boil two billion cups of tea, enough cold water to run 42,000 fridges, and enough hot water to fill 70 million baths. The site - below the Port of London Authority building in Charterhouse Street - produces power for 11,300 homes and provides heat to 17 commercial buildings in the Square Mile through a network of tunnels. It is unique because electricity created by gas turbines generates heat as a by-product instead of it needing to be created separately. The site also creates chilled water for air conditioning. In the basement, water is heated to over 100C, while on the roof huge chiller units cool it down. The bunker was originally used for storing meat at Smithfield Market and drawings for the PLA building, which dates from 1908, measure distances in the number of carcasses per square foot. In the Eighties it was fitted out with two coal-powered 350-tonne ship diesel engines. Later it was refurbished by E.ON, which installed two 8.6-megawatt, 53-tonne higher-efficiency gas-powered generators. These are so large the equipment had to be brought down in pieces and reassembled underground. The refurbishment was completed in 2016. John Armstrong, E.ON's head of operations: "There are more residential and office developments looking for a lower-carbon energy. In future, there will be more electricity generation locally." Between 8.30pm and 9.30pm tomorrow landmarks including the Shard, Buckingham Palace, City Hall and the Emirates Stadium will turn out their lights for an hour to mark the World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour. Londoners are asked to pledge to "make one change in their own lives to reduce their environmental footprint", such as reducing the amount of meat they eat or not using plastic cutlery.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:59:04 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Simpsons fans convinced 2004 episode titled 'Marge vs Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays,'predicted closure of Toys R Us 

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Fans of The Simpsons are claiming the show predicted the end of 'Toys R Us'. A video has emerged of one episode of the popular show titled 'Marge vs Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays,' in which the town of Springfield can be seen removing a letter from the sign of the toy shop. It isn't the first time the show has predicted current events. The Simpsons also predicted Donald Trump's presidency, Siegfried and Roy's tiger attack and the Ebola crisis. All 100 stores are closing in the UK (PA) In the episode first screened in 2004, adults decide to get rid of child-friendly things in the town. Moe the bartender can be seen moving the R off the front of the store. Simpsons fans have taken to Twitter to share their amazement at the prediction. the simpsons predicted toys r us closing back in 2003. i just put on that show to find out how the world will end up 🤷🏽??? - don pablo. (@hell_boy96) March 21, 2018... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:59:02 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Sergei Skripal poisoning: EU countries to follow UK's lead in expelling Moscow diplomats in Russia spy row 

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Several European Union countries have vowed to take measures against Russia over the poisoning of a former spy on UK spoil and could follow the UK's lead in expelling Moscow diplomats. At a summit in Brussels, the 28 EU leaders agreed with Britain that it is "highly likely Russia is responsible" for the nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. The bloc is recalling its ambassador from Moscow for consultations over an incident it called "a grave challenge to our shared security." The president of Lithuania said on Friday that individual EU countries plan to take their own actions against Russia within days. Dalia Grybauskaite said that "from the beginning of next week, a lot of countries, we will go for our national measures." Group of Russian diplomats leave the UK Mr Grybauskaite has said Lithuania may expel Russian diplomats over the attack on the former double agent and his daughter in Salisbury, Wiltshire, earlier this month. Britain and Russia have expelled 23 of each other's diplomats since the attack, which has sparked an east-west diplomatic crisis reminiscent of the Cold War. Britain said the 23 expelled Russians were undeclared intelligence agents. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said his country would conduct a security assessment of Russian diplomats with a view to possibly expelling those who are not legitimate. Russian spy 'poisoning': Sergei and YuliaSkripal are fighting for life in hospital (PA) "We will make that decision, I would say, in the early part of next week," he said. Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said his country would also consider "whether we should take unilateral steps." The EU leaders' statements came after a summit dinner where Theresa May shared information about why Britain is convinced Moscow was behind the attack, including the type of poison used - a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok - and intelligence that Russia has produced it within the past decade. Mr Grybauskaite said: "We got more detailed information from the prime minister May and it was very good information." On Thursday, Mrs May called the Salisbury attack "part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbours, from the western Balkans to the Middle East." Mr Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter remain unconscious in critical but stable condition in hospital. Additional reporting by Press Association.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:59:00 Categories: Evening Standard logo

'Hated' neighbour who left abuse on ambulances kicked out of her house 

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A woman who was fined for hurling abuse at paramedics has been kicked out of her house. Mother-of-two Kirsty Sharman from Stoke-on-Trent will have to search for a new home after a court imposed a closure order on her current residence on Thursday. The court came to the decision after her neighbours made 150 complaints against her in just 16 months. Stoke-on-Trent City Council stuck an eviction notice on the front door of her home. Today, working with partners, we have placed a closure notice on an address in Parsonage Street, Tunstall. The matter will be placed before the Court on Thursday. - CI John Owen (@StokePoliceNrth) March 20, 2018... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:58:59 Categories: Evening Standard logo

These are officially the 10 most addictive foods 

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Hi, I'm Laura and I am addicted to chocolate. Look, I know it's not good for me, but it tastes delicious, okay? Everyone has their vice, whether it be chocolate, lollies, pizza, wine or a cheese board - there's a certain food we just can't say no to. Studies have shown that foods high in fat and sugar are more addictive than healthier foods due to the signals they send to your brain, and now researchers from Colorado State University have found the 10 most addictive foods. Their preliminary research found that highly processed foods are more likely to be addictive and of the 35 foods studied, below are the 10 most addictive. Read more A single blueberry muffin contains more than a days' worth of sugar 1. Pizza 2. Chocolate 3. Crisps 4. Biscuits 5. Ice cream 6. Chips 7. Cheeseburgers 8. Fizzy drinks 9. Cake 10. Cheese I knew my chocolate addiction wasn't unfounded. What these foods have in common is they're high in fat and likely to raise your blood sugar levels quickly. On the other end of the spectrum, cucumber's were crowned the least addictive, followed by carrots, beans, apples and brown rice. Read more This is why eating fat won't make you fat - but sugar will Study co-author, Dr Nicole Avena, said in a statement: "This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response. "This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of 'cutting back' on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use." Time to jump back on my New Year's resolution of quitting chocolate then .... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:29:45 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Clodagh McKenna's butternut pappardelle recipe that will transport you to Rome 

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A few months ago, on a cold, miserable grey Monday, I was having a catch-up with Phoebe (my right-hand girl). She was just back from a weekend trip to Rome and was in a state of euphoria as she recounted this simple but delicious dish of pasta she had eaten there. I was immediately "foodscaped" from cloudy London to dazzling Rome. I simply had to try this dish. I jumped on the Tube to Fortnum & Mason to buy some Café Murano fresh pasta, which chef Angela Hartnett is now making and selling in the food hall. I have been lucky enough to watch her make fresh pasta and cook it for a memorable Sunday lunch. Angela has the lightest touch when making pasta that gives such beautiful silkiness in texture. Roast butternut squash, cashel blue and saffron pappardelle (ClodaghMckenna) When I returned home, Phoebe had roasted the butternut squash. An important note: if you have the butternut squash roasted or some left over from a previous roast, this dish takes just 15 minutes. Frying pan set over a high heat, I crumble in the Cashel Blue cheese. Next, a little crème fraiche to loosen it up, and then comes the sunshine, as threads of saffron share their smokiness and colour with the sauce. Boil pasta for two minutes then add the sauce, so the pasta absorbs the flavours. Toss in the butternut squash and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top, open a bottle of Barbera d'Asti, which has blackberry and morello cherry flavours, and goes perfectly with this pasta, and we are (almost) in Rome. Roast butternut squash, cashel blue and saffron pappardelle Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Serve with: Barbera d'Asti Ingredients (serves 2) 600g butternut squash (or 400g peeled and seeds removed) 2 tablespoons olive oil 200ml crème fraîche 100g cashel blue cheese ½ teaspoon saffron sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 250g fresh pappardelle 20g pumpkin seeds Method 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. 2. Halve the butternut squash and peel the outer skin (get a good peeler for easy work). Slice the flesh into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1cm (1/2in) cubes and place on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes (you will notice the squash getting wrinkly). Stir once every 10 minutes to coat the squash with the oil. Read more Clodagh McKenna's ultimate fish pie recipe 3. Place a frying pan over a low heat, add the crème fraîche and Cashel blue cheese and whisk together. Next whisk in the saffron, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to cook for another three minutes - the sauce will begin to thicken. 4. Put a large saucepan of salted water over a high heat, and when it comes to the boil drop in the fresh pasta. It will only take three minutes to cook - it overcooks really easily. Drain off all the water. 5. Place the cooked fresh pasta back in the saucepan and stir in the blue cheese saffron sauce and roast butternut squash. Toss together really well, and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:29:44 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Meghan Markle sports a green midi skirt and £175 handbag for surprise visit to Northern Ireland 

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This afternoon Meghan Markle and Prince Harry caught everyone by surprise as they stepped out in Belfast for an unannounced stop on their pre-wedding tour. For her first official visit to Northern Ireland 36-year-old Meghan fittingly wore a chic bottle green midi skirt with ruffled detail by Toronto based brand, Greta Constantine. She paired the figure-hugging skirt with a Victoria Beckham cream cashmere jumper, which she first debuted in her engagement portraits with Prince Harry late last year. Always one for coordination, the bride-to-be complimented the knitwear with a $750 sand coloured coat by Mackage. Meghan Markle sports a green midi skirt in Belfast (PA) Mackage is another of Meghan's favourite Canadian brands, which she has already sported several times, including on her first official engagement to Nottingham with Prince Harry. The Suits star also continued to show off her penchant for handbags, debuting a very affordable £175 Bloomsbury Bag by British designer Charlotte Elizabeth. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrive in Belfast (Getty Images) Possibly giving a nod towards her royal future, the handbag brand is proudly supported by The Prince's Trust, a youth charity founded in 1976 by the Prince of Wales. Although the bag is already on pre-order, we are sure that the independent brand is going to be inundated with orders over the coming days as this is by far the most affordable accessory Meghan has worn so far. On their website, Charlotte Elizabeth describe The Bloomsbury style as "the bag that started it all" and go on to say that "with its classic, simplistic and unique design, The Bloomsbury is easily distinguishable amongst other bags of its kind. Made for everyday adventures." Even those of a princess (well, kind of).... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:29:42 Categories: Evening Standard logo

We must act together to end horror of knife crime, says policing czar 

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London's policing czar today called for a unified approach to tackling knife crime amid warnings that 2018 could see a record number of murders. Sophie Linden, the deputy mayor for policing, urged the Government and other agencies to come together to fight the "root causes" of violence. She spoke as representatives of the police, local councils, hospitals, Ofsted and youth and charity workers met at City Hall to discuss a "public health" approach to tackling violence. Ms Linden said: "Every single young Londoner needlessly lost to knife crime is an absolute tragedy. "We cannot tackle some of the root causes and drivers of violence and find out why young people are choosing to pick up knives without having other services working properly together, including schools, mental health, NHS and courts. That is why we need government to work alongside us." Her comments came after more than 500 people marched through Camden last night demanding an end to violence. New figures show the scale of serious youth violence there has soared by 70 per cent in the past 12 months. Dawn Verrall, 42, a mother of three, said: "My youngest was two when she found a knife in a bush. When she was four she found a gun." Campaigners warned that violence levels in 2018 could exceed previous record years in 2007 and 2008. Today's City Hall meeting comes after eight murders in London since Wednesday last week. The latest victim was Beniamin Pieknyi, 20, a Romanian takeaway worker who died in his best friend's arms after being stabbed by a gang in Stratford shopping centre on Tuesday. He had come to Britain just two months ago and was living in Milton Keynes.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 16:29:29 Categories: Evening Standard logo

The Opioid Timebomb: Victory for the Standard with addiction warnings planned for painkiller packaging 

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Addiction warnings are set to appear on the packaging of prescription opioids for the first time after the Standard's groundbreaking investigation. In the past week the Standard has reported on Britain's rising dependency on the drugs, which in 90 per cent of cases do not relieve chronic pain. Despite this, prescriptions in England have risen 80 per cent in 10 years. The Standard also highlighted the fact that none of the five strongest opioids - fentanyl, morphine sulfate, buprenorphine, oxycodone or tramadol - had an explicit addiction warning on its packaging. In the US, these drugs are required by law to contain boxed warnings in bold capital letters stating their "risk of addiction". We exposed the contrasting approach of Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which did not even require drug firms to warn explicitly of the risk in the information leaflet inside the packet. It is now looking at putting "prominent" warnings on the outside of oral opioid painkiller packets, with clearer wording on the leaflet. Roger Knaggs, associate professor in clinical pharmacy practice at Nottingham University, said: "This is a very big change in the stance of the MHRA and I don't think it would have happened without the Evening Standard. "We in the industry have been trying to get the MHRA to listen to us about the harms of prescription opioids for a very, very long time but with no success and you have managed to achieve this in five days. Your investigation made a compelling argument and I am thrilled they have listened to it." June Raine, the MHRA's director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: "We are actively reviewing how we can make sure the strong warnings on opioid medicines are consistent, clear and represent the known risks of tolerance and dependence/addiction. "We will be looking at including a prominent addiction warning on the outside of opioid packaging as well as stronger, clearer wording on the patient information leaflet. "Patient safety is our highest priority and we assess all patient information leaflets to make sure they are clear, concise, and accurately convey all warnings on a medicine and we are always looking to do better." The MHRA said "the Evening Standard investigation has played a part in further strengthening concerns about the issue". It said its review is "likely to take some months". Cathy Stannard, a top opioid expert, said: "This constructive and flexible response from the regulator is welcome. We need to share everything we know about harms and benefits of medicines to support patients in making informed choices about their treatment." The Standard also exposed how opioid packaging and patient information leaflets do not warn patients about the limited effectiveness of the drugs in tackling chronic pain. The MHRA had said it was a matter for GPs to discuss with patients. Asked if the new warnings would include effectiveness, it said: "We will be looking specifically at warnings concerning addiction and all oral opioid medicines will be in scope." After we revealed that almost no inpatient drug addiction treatment centres were left in London other than private clinics, several written questions were put down in Parliament. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, a Labour peer, asked if the Government had plans to provide a network of support for people affected by dependence on prescribed drugs.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 15:59:22 Categories: Evening Standard logo

The Opioid Timebomb: Drugs warning could save lives, say MPs praising Evening Standard investigation 

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The Evcening Standard's opioids investigation was today hailed for "sounding a warning that could be a major life-saver". MPs praised our series of articles, including heartbreaking stories of individuals whose lives were torn apart by the drugs. Paul Flynn, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for prescribed drug dependence, said: "The Standard has sounded a warning that could be a major life-saver. "It has given a great boost to realising the deadly danger in the medicine cupboard. These things are as dangerous as addictive, illegal drugs." The MP urged doctors to be more "reluctant" to prescribe opioids. He added: "It's a very great temptation for doctors to empty their waiting rooms by giving patients the stronger drugs that they crave. "Addictions and deaths from opioids are the greatest drug threat to the UK. Unfortunately, we tend to follow the American trends. Many opioids are legal drugs but they still have a deadly impact in some cases, creating addiction leading to overdoses." Read more Addiction warnings planned for painkiller packaging after campaign The parliamentary group is campaigning for a national 24-hour helpline to support patients suffering from prescribed drug dependence. Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour's shadow health secretary, said: "Congratulations to the Evening Standard for shining a light on this crucial issue. "Tackling substance addiction in all its forms is a personal priority of mine as shadow health secretary, and I welcome this important campaign to raise public awareness around the responsible use of prescription painkillers." The former Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb also "massively applauded" our campaign. He said: "This is a public health scandal. It needs to be given top priority by Government. The loss of life is intolerable. "Obviously it's imperative that people have full access to a range of medication to help them manage pain but we should look at a review of what alternative therapies are available." Lord Luce, the former lord chamberlain and governor of Gibraltar who is now a crossbench peer, said the Standard's investigation was "a highly significant, pioneering piece of work". He asked if the Government would request GPs to carry out an annual check on all patients who have been prescribed opioids for chronic pain. He also queried if it would consider, with the NHS, introducing a helpline for patients prescribed opioids to seek advice. You can read the Evening Standard's investigation, with enhanced digital content, at read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 15:59:20 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Cambridge Analytica bragged: We have vast data for Brexit vote 

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The company at the heart of the Facebook scandal boasted of having "vast amounts of data" that could sway the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union. A 10-page document written by Cambridge Analytica, headed "Big Data Solutions for the EU Referendum", claimed it could single out Brexiteers among voters, donors, politicians and even journalists. MPs today called for a wider investigation into the firm, which has been accused of obtaining 50 million people's private details harvested from Facebook, amid questions over the role it may have played in the referendum. The vote was won by Leave by a four-point margin. Cambridge Analytica has denied wrongdoing. Alexander Nix, who has been suspended as CA's chief executive The document was made for Leave.EU, one of the two main Brexit campaign groups, in a pitch for business. It bragged: "We use vast amounts of data, including consumer histories, lifestyle information... and "state-of-the-art psychological analysis." Cambridge Analytica said it could pick out likely Leave supporters by identifying their "top-line issues" and "voters' personality traits" using its own data. It said Leave.EU would have to pass over its own Facebook data to get the full benefit. Explaining the power of its analysis, Cambridge Analytica (CA) said: "Voters and businesses alike see the coming referendum as an opportunity to voice their concerns over issues caused by Britain's membership of the EU. "Whether it is regulation, border controls or Britain's international profile, British people have real worries." Read more Zuckerberg apologises for 'major breach of trust' over data scandal Dominic Grieve, the Tory ex-attorney general, said there was a case for a wide-ranging investigation into CA's activities. "The more one hears about this case, the more public disquiet there must be about these allegations," he told the Standard. "They need to be seriously investigated." Three official investigations involving Cambridge Analytica (CA) are under way. The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, is seeking a warrant to see if its computers contain data that was allegedly obtained without proper consent. This follows the 2014 Facebook incident, when people were paid to take a personality test which unlocked their own details and those of their friends. In addition, the Electoral Commission is probing whether Leave.EU correctly declared that it received no services, paid or unpaid, from CA. Meanwhile, the House of Commons culture committee, chaired by Damian Collins, has recalled CA's suspended chief executive, Alexander Nix, for an inquiry into fake news. CA's 2015 document, written a year after the Facebook data harvesting, was placed on the committee's page of the Parliament website as part of its evidence-gathering. Contradictory statements appear to have been made by CA and senior figures in Leave.EU about whether or not the pitch was accepted. Mr Nix was quoted in 2016 in Campaign magazine saying: "We have already helped supercharge Leave.EU's social media campaign." However, in evidence to the select committee, he assured Mr Collins: "We did not work with them." Mr Nix, an Old Etonian, was suspended by CA on Wednesday after he was secretly recorded by Channel 4 allegedly discussing potential bribery and entrapment. He denies any wrongdoing. The founder of Leave.EU, Arron Banks, referred in his book The Bad Boys Of Brexit to CA being "hired" in October 2015. But he told the committee this simply referred to an early meeting and an intention to work together if Leave.EU won lead status, entitling it to spend up to £7 million, get a free mailshot, TV broadcasts and £600,000 public funds, in the referendum campaign. He insisted the group "devised and implemented its own social media strategy ... without any input from Cambridge Analytica". Confusingly, a CA staffer, Brittany Kaiser, appeared on the platform of a Leave.EU press conference in November 2015 alongside Mr Banks, seemingly to present their campaign plans. She has since left the data company. Whatever the role played in the referendum, some MPs believe the introduction of micro-targeting, in which millions of voters may be sent individual private messages, raises serious questions for a healthy democracy. For example, some believe that voters identified as being worried about "borders" were sent the notorious false claims that Turkey would join the EU in 2020, flooding the UK with millions of migrants. The Tory former business minister Anna Soubry said micro-targeting meant voters could be bombarded with claims that sidestepped normal scrutiny, challenges and fact-checking by the Press. "This really is dabbling in the dark arts," she said. "If this takes place 'under the radar' then there is no way for people to complain or question what they are seeing in the privacy of reading their phone in their living room." One Conservative believes a form of micro-targeting triggered death threats sent to her and fellow MPs. Vicky Ford told the Commons in a debate about CA this week: "I have been the victim of false news stories being micro-targeted at Facebook accounts in my constituency to deliberately undermine me and cause hate." The Chelmsford MP was one of 15 Conservatives branded "mutineers" by sections of the media last year for considering rebelling against Theresa May's attempt to fix a Brexit date in law. Afterwards, a Facebook advert was sent to Conservatives in her constituency accusing her of "trying to sabotage Brexit" and, above an unflattering photograph, urged the recipients: "We need you to hold this woman to account." Soon after this Ms Ford says she received an anonymous message warning: "We think you should all be hanged." The adverts bore the name Voter Consultancy Ltd, a firm run by Thomas Borwick, the son of the former Tory MP for Kensington, Victoria Borwick. Mr Borwick was chief technology officer at the Vote Leave campaign group in the referendum, responsible for planning a central database system for 43 million voters. He told the Standard that CA had used a doorstep canvassing app that he developed. He confirmed that at Vote Leave he "worked with" Aggregate IQ, a Canadian data firm that has been linked in the media with CA and which earned £3.5 million working on the referendum. Asked about the ads, Mr Borwick defended them as "entirely factual, merely highlighting the way that Vicky Ford voted on a particular issue". He said: "This advertisement was sent to Facebook users who self-declared as Conservatives in her constituency. "Voter Consultancy spent £0.67p and the advertisement was viewed by 87 people. It is noted that Vicky and the Conservative party spent about £2,000 on advertising in the constituency and perhaps much more in the most recent elections." He scorned the idea that the adverts triggered death threats to Ms Ford and others, including Ms Soubry and the former education secretary Nicky Morgan. Mr Borwick said: "I condemn abhorrent threats of this nature against MPs and any insinuation that this advertisement was responsible for these threats is farcical."... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 15:29:35 Categories: Evening Standard logo

Ant McPartlin 'could lose custody of beloved dog Hurley' 

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Ant McPartlin could be set to lose custody of his beloved pet dog Hurley in the wake of his drink-driving charge.... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 15:29:28 Categories: Evening Standard logo

10 of England's must-see sites 

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Often people don't explore their own countries in the way that they do when they're visiting somewhere new. ... read more
23. maaliskuuta 2018 15:13:43 Categories: Evening Standard logo
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