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The Independent - 7 March 2018

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Ben Chu
Should water firms be
Matthew Norman
May must do much
better on housing
May Bulman
Simon Calder
Yarl s Wood case raised Revealed: BA s least
in Parliament
comfortable seats
Boris wades into Russian spy case
New pictures emerged of Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia, who remain in a critical condition
North Korea ready for
nuclear peace talks
Kim offers to attend summit following thaw at Winter Olympics
North Korea is willing to hold
talks on giving up its nuclear
arsenal and freeze its missle
and nuclear programmes if
there is a direct
dialogue with
the US in what is a dramatic
breakthrough following
months of tension between
the two countries. Returning
from the two-day visit to the
North s capital of Pyongyang,
South Korean officials said that
Mr Kim had also agreed to
meet with South Korean
President Moon Jae-in next
month and that he saw no
need for the North s nuclear
weaponry if his country s
security was assured. The US
President Donald Trump has
hailed the possible
progress and said that
Pyongyang had sounded
sincere .
Britain s economic response to
the poisoned spy drama will be
The case of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is, as almost everyone readily acknowledges, a highly
suspicious affair. Those suspicions focus on whether they were victims of an officially sanctioned attack by
the Russian authorities, motivated perhaps by Mr Skripal revenge hardly ameliorated by a judicial pardon granted to him some years ago as part of an exchange of
agents with the British.
While we must let investigations take their course, there are unavoidable echoes of the fate of Alexander
Litvinenko in 2006, and the Foreign Secretary has said as much, adding, that Russia has become a and disruptive force.
Boris Johnson shooting from the lip and robustly. The Government, he went on, will the lives of the people in this country, our values and our freedoms. These may include the absence of
British diplomats at the football World Cup in the summer, but will presumably stop short of the England
team boycotting the event. There could be economic sanctions too, though the Foreign Office may be
overestimating British financial clout these days.
Even the absence of Harry Kane from matches in Moscow or St Petersburg would be unlikely to change
the course of Russian foreign policy. Vladimir Putin, after all, is the man who annexed Crimea under the
noses of an astonished and anguished international community. Mr Putin it was who decided to call
President Obama ! " #
endured international sanctions, arguably interfered in a US presidential election and, if so, played
Donald Trump like a fool for the past two years. We can be relatively confident Mr Johnson does not
represent an intimidating figure to the Kremlin.
Even if Britain were not leaving the European Union, persuading the Russians to abide by the usual
international courtesies and the domestic laws of other nations would be a challenge. It is at least
conceivable that serious economic sanctions imposed by France, Germany, Britain and the other EU
members $ marginal decision to liquidate a traitor or dissident. As thing stand now though, with Brexit fracturing
longstanding friendships and alliances, Britain ! % rather as if Andorra or San Marino were to try to threaten the UK. As so often in the past, the British
independent nuclear deterrent is of no use in this dispute.
More than that, what this present episode reminds us is that Brexit will force the British Government to
compromise and accommodate itself to all manner of questionable regimes around the world Russia !
The problem with so many of the emerging nations that Liam Fox approaches is that they often share few
of the values that the UK holds dear, and certainly not to the degree that most of our close neighbours do.
Still, at least it can be said that on this occasion &
' ( British authorities have been quick to react to the possibility of involvement by a foreign state on UK soil.
If our diplomatic response may be compromised by the consequences of our decision to depart the EU, it
is nonetheless vital that ministers take the proper action to ensure the safety of people living here.
The recent Winter Olympics may one day be remembered as the moment when peace broke out on the
Korean Peninsula, but a post-Brexit Britain is going to have to find a more meaningful arena in which to
play power games than the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow.
Johnson accuses Russia of
undermining international
order over spy poisoning
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in critical condition
Boris Johnson has accused Russia of undermining the fundamental basis of international order as a
poisoned former double agent and his daughter fight for their lives in hospital.
Intelligence agencies updated the National Security Council on the attack in Salisbury as investigators
raced to identify the unknown substance Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to.
Counter-terror police took over the investigation because of the specialist expertise required but did not
confirm speculation that Mr Skripal was targeted for turning against his country to spy for Britain.
It came as experts suggested fentanyl, ricin and sarin among the possible toxins used in the apparent
assassination attempt.
Responding to an urgent question in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said MPs would note the
echoes of the death of Alexander Litvinenko, another former Russian spy who was poisoned with
radioactive polonium in 2006.
If those suspicions [of Russian involvement] prove to be well-founded than this Government will take
whatever measures we deem necessary to protect the lives of people in this country, our values and our
freedoms, the Foreign Secretary added.
I say to governments around the world that no attempt to take innocent life on UK soil will go either
unsanctioned or unpunished.
Branding Vladimir Putins government a malign and disruptive force, Mr Johnson said harsher
international sanctions could be imposed if it is found to have had a hand in the attack on Mr Skripal.
He also suggested that British representation at the football World Cup to be held in Russia in July would
not be able to go ahead in the normal way, but aides stressed that the Foreign Secretary was referring to
dignitaries rather than the players themselves.
Some MPs demanded investigations into 14 deaths with potential links to Russian actors in the UK, while
asking the Government to review how it protects allies like Mr Skripal.
The 66-year-old and his daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on a bench in Salisburys Maltings
shopping centre at 4.15pm on Sunday.
Suspicion turned to the Russian government, which jailed Mr Skripal for treason, or former spies he
betrayed while working for MI6 during his time a colonel in the GRU military intelligence service.
He was given refuge in Britain after being exchanged in 2010 for Russian agents caught in the West as part
of a Cold War-style swap in Vienna.
Among his opposites was former model Anna Chapman, who posted pictures online of herself on holiday
in Thailand as the scandal deepened.
The Russian embassy characterised the reaction to his illness as a a new phase of the anti-Russian
campaign in Britain and denied involvement by the Kremlins security services.
Police or other British authorities have not provided the embassy with any official information regarding
this incident, a spokesperson said. Media reports create an impression of a planned operation by the
Russian special services, which is completely untrue.
The Counter Terrorism Policing network took the lead in the investigation from Wiltshire Police as the
situation developed yesterday because the unusual circumstances required its specialist expertise.
Police at the scene of the incident in Salisbury
(Reuters/Toby Melville)
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the outgoing head of Counter Terrorism Policing, said the
investigation was in its early stages and called speculation unhelpful.
The focus at this time is to establish what has caused these people to become critically ill, he added. We
would like to reassure members of the public that this incident is being taken extremely seriously and we
currently do not believe there is any risk to the wider public.
Mr Skripal was said to have lived a quiet life in a semidetached home in Salisbury, where he lived with his
wife before she died in 2012.
The former spy was said to fear for his life after his son, Alexandr, died suddenly while on holiday in Russia
last year, leaving Yulia his only living child.
Mr Skripal was excited for his 33-year-old daughters visit from Russia, recently telling a cleaner to ready a
room for her at his home.
CCTV appeared to show the pair walking past a nearby gym just half an hour before police were called and
officers are understood to be interviewing dozens of witnesses.
Officers cordoned off the bench, a branch of the Italian chain restaurant Zizzi and The Bishops Mill pub,
where Mr Skripal and his daughter are believed to have eaten and drunk before falling suddenly ill.
They had no visible injuries and were taken to Salisbury District Hospital, where they remain in a critical
condition in intensive care.
Wiltshire Police said they had been exposed to an unknown substance and several members of the
emergency services were themselves taken ill after responding to the incident, with one still in hospital.
Freya Church, a 27-year-old local resident who saw the pair on the bench, said: She [Ms Skripal] was
leaning on him, slumped. She looked passed out and he was looking up, doing these hand movements. His
eyes were glazed.
One of the victims appeared to have vomited, while up to a dozen people at the hospital A&E department
were also sick after they arrived, sparking a temporary quarantine.
Investigators have not confirmed the results of toxicology tests but experts said both nerve agents and the
deadly synthetic opiod fentanyl could cause the symptoms.
Dr Patricia Lewis, research director for International Security at Chatham House, said the symptoms of
respiratory difficulties, vomiting and eye irritation are shared by several toxins that could be administered
in numerous ways with different timeframes for impact .
But she told The Independent that police should already have a good idea of what they were exposed to,
adding: The first thing they would do is try to get the antidote, because there are ways to treat them..
Once they work out what it was they will be able to find traces of it anywhere else, because they will know
what to look for, and they can work out the route and where it was administered.
Only then will investigators be able to start narrowing down the field of suspects using witnesses and
CCTV, although if Mr Skripal and his daughter regain consciousness they may be able to identify the
attacker themselves.
Dr Lewis said ricin, a deadly poison that can be made in someones bedroom, is among the possible
poisons alongside organophosphates like sarin, which can be transferred on clothing.
An even more powerful nerve agent, VX, was used to assassinate the brother of North Korean leader Kim
Jong-un at Kuala Lumpur international airport last year but experts believe such an extreme and dangerous
method an unlikely choice in Salisbury.
The polonium used to kill another spy, Litvinenko, was administered using a pot of tea but he did not die
for several weeks and the method is now well-known.
Dr Jennifer Cole, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security
Studies, said there would be no reason for a banned chemical weapon to be used when other toxins
would have the same deadly effect.
She said the most likely candidate is a type of opiod like fentanyl, which has already been linked to
numerous accidental deaths across the UK and US after being mixed with heroin.
American police and paramedics have fallen ill after responding to overdoses, while a gas based on fentanyl
killed 130 hostages in a 2002 Moscow siege after Russian security forces tried to use it to subdue terrorists.
Appears to be something fast acting, which would point to a chemical, and we know theres Russian
history of using agents which would have a similar effect, Dr Cole said.
Prohibited substances like VX are extremely difficult to get hold of and smuggle into a country, but
something like fentanyl could be reasonably easily made up by someone who knew what they were doing.
It could be administered in lots of ways ) *+,--.* /01, 2,,* ,+ 3 *+/045 ,+ /06.71.*89
A former associate of Litvinenko, Yuri Felshtinsky, alleged the incident in Salisbury bears the hallmarks of
a state-ordered assassination, while another spy swapped in the same deal as Mr Skripal urged caution.
There are lots of former security officers that deserted to the West, Igor Sutyagin noted.
Litvinenkos widow, Marina, said the news felt like d:6;<=>9 3? 1@. A,0B C3/1 2,+ 6>?1/7. ,=.+ @.+
husbands death continues. He must have thought he was safe, she told The Independent. He was not a
defector, he was not attacking Putin, he kept a low profile, so why should he be a target?
Litvinenko wife questions why
spy would be a target
Marina Litvinenko s husband had been a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin (Getty)
thought he could live a normal life, reflected Marina Litvinenko. DEF PLI VNJ L UFQFYJNXZ KF PLI VNJ
attacking Putin, he kept a low profile, so why should he be a target?
and the Kremlin and a public inquiry into his death by radioactive poisoning 12 years ago concluded that
connections, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, were accused of carrying out the murder. They have
denied involvement.
Ms Litvinenko spoke of the dreadful memories of Alexanderhi jklmn okpqr sktpqjukj ov wnlm nlxxkqkj my
Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia. z{kkpqr iy|kmnpqr uptk mnlm} mnk xyup~k} mnk yp~plui wklspqr sljplmpyq
suits, the possible contamination, restaurant being shut down, it was so familiar in such a bad way. It is
horrible to hear of two people being so ill. But then the questions on whether the Russians did it, if so why
would they do it?
There are no publicly available answers to what led to 66-year-old Mr Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter
ending up unconscious in hospital, eight years after the former colonel in Russian military intelligence
(GRU) was released by Moscow as part of a prisoner exchange. Mr Skripal, as part of his resettlement
package in the UK, was receiving an MI6 pension, but this is standard procedure and not one which
should put him in the Kremlinhi ~syiinlpsi€ k luiy rl‚k y~~lipyqlu uk~mƒski yq „ƒiiplq ixv~slm my jkkq~k
academies. But people who have attended these say the talks contained nothing highly classified and didnhm
offer any explosive revelations.
One possible explanation for what happened came from a senior British diplomat who had served in
Moscow. z{tspxlu wli lq …†‡ lrkqm wny wli nprnuv iƒ~~kiiƒu lqj wny xliikj yq mnk pjkqmpmpki y „ƒiiplq
spies, supposedly in return for money. So he had betrayed lots of his comrades, he had made lots of
enemies. Maybe this was payback.
A former intelligence officer who had served with MI6 and GCHQ acknowledged: z†m wli l nprnuv
successful operation. Skripal was in place as an asset for more than a decade and all at a cost of around
ˆ‰ŠŠ}ŠŠŠ xlpj my np|€ ‹ƒm wk nl‚k my l~~kxm mnk i~kqlspy mnlm ys ƒi nk wli l rsklm lrkqm} oƒm ys mnk ymnks
side he was a traitor. Could this be something carried out by a group of Russian intelligence operatives
without necessary sanctions from the top? That may be improbable but not necessarily impossible.
The attackers did not appear to worry about collateral damage. Two police officers who were the first to
come into contact with the Skripal were taken to hospital after suddenly suffering itchy eyes, rashes and
wheezing along with a member of the emergency services. Ten others had symptoms of illness including
vomiting. Mr Skripalhi ny|k} mnk xlst wnksk lmnks lqj jlƒrnmks wksk yƒqj} lq †mluplq skimlƒslqm lqj l
pub have all been sealed off. Russia has categorically denied any responsibility for what happened. Dmitry
Peskov, the Kremlinhi yp~plu ixytki|lq} ilpj npi ry‚ksq|kqm wli zyxkq ys ~yyxkslmpyqŒ yq mnk |lmmks
but has not been approached by British investigators.
Alexander Litvinenko in the intensive care unit
of University College Hospital in London
But Ben Emmerson, QC, who appeared for Ms Litvinenko at the inquiry into her husbandhi jklmn}
stressed that the possibility of Russian culpability must be fully investigated. Ž ‘’“‘” •’”–—˜ ™š’›œ š™ ™
have been the target of a Russian assassination attempt, the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary must
promptly announce a public inquiry to determine the extent of Kremlin involvement, he said. žŸ‘’‘œ—
May initially refused to set up a public inquiry into the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko through the
administration of the radioactive isotope polonium-210, which the Kremlin thought was undetectable.
 ›‘  ™Ÿ‘ ’‘—œ›œ ¡’œ ¡—¢ “—£‘ ’ ™Ÿ”œ ¤¥—’¦˜¢ ¦‘¤”œ”› ¥—œ ™Ÿ—™ — –š§˜”¤ ”›¨š”’¢ ¥š˜¦ Ÿ—’© ™Ÿ‘
UKªœ ’‘˜—™”›œŸ”– ¥”™Ÿ «šœœ”—¬ žŸ”œ ”œ ›™ ™Ÿ‘ ™”©‘ ’ –’‘£—’”¤—™”›¬ ¡’œ ¡—¢ ›‘‘¦œ ™ —¤™ ¨š”¤•˜¢ —›¦
decisively and show the Russian state that if they send murder squads to Britain, we will be dogged in our
search for the truth, without fear of the diplomatic fallout.
Alexander Goldfarb, a Russian dissident, who was a friend of Alexander Litvinenko and also knows Mr
Skripal, maintained it was justified to suspect the Kremlin. ­›¢ ’‘—œ›—§˜‘ –‘’œ› ¥š˜¦ ™Ÿ”›•
immediately that Russia had the opportunity, motive and a prior history of this kind of crime so it is
reasonable to think it was involved in this attack. This is the Kremlinªœ ©¦šœ –‘’—›¦”¬ žŸ‘’‘ —’‘ –˜‘›™¢
of precedents, insisted Mr Goldfarb.
®Ÿ—™ªœ ”›™‘’‘œ™”›“ ›¥ ”œ ™Ÿ—™ ™Ÿ”œ Ÿ—––‘›œ ¯šœ™ §‘’‘ «šœœ”—ªœ –’‘œ”¦‘›™”—˜ ‘˜‘¤™”›¬ °š™”› —¥—’¦‘¦
Lugovoi a state honour and made him a national hero. He apparently sees positive electoral gain from this
kind of activity. Russia is a nationalistic country where state-run propaganda portrays the UK as the enemy
and people like Skripal as traitors.
The former British diplomat, however, is sceptical of the election connection. ®‘ —˜˜ •›¥ ¥Ÿ—™ ™Ÿ‘
election result it going to be and in any case who would Putin want to impress with this kind of thing?
Those who would approve of such an attack would vote for him anyway, he said.
Robert Emerson, a security analyst, also could not see any direct link with the Russian election: žŸ‘’‘ ”œ
simply no need for Putin to do it, the electionªœ Ÿ—’¦˜¢ › — •›”‘ ‘¦“‘¬ Ž ”™ ¥—œ —› —œœ—œœ”›—™”› —™™‘©–™±
then it seems more likely it was carried out without official sanction. It is, however, very worrying that
people were able to do this in Britain.
Marina Litvinenko believes that the scenario for what had happened has been created by lax British
attitudes towards certain types of Russians. Ž™ œ‘‘©œ ™Ÿ—™ ” ¢š Ÿ—£‘ ‘›š“Ÿ ©›‘¢ ¢š —’‘ —˜˜¥‘¦ ”›¬
And some of these people have all kinds of dirty links, we hear of all this money laundering taking place
here. The British Government should, perhaps, think less about the money these people are bringing in
and more about the safety of people in this country.
Russia accuses UK media of
hysteria over spy story
Sergei Skripal in 2006. The former Russian colonel was given refuge in the UK after being jailed in his home country for treason (AP)
Ever since the story broke on Monday night, news that a former Russian colonel who spied for the UK is
critically ill in hospital has dominated world news. In Russia, however, the story was initially met with
stony silence on most state publications. Later on Tuesday, that silence was replaced by angry accusations
of ²³´µ¶·¸¹º ²´»³¼¹ ¸½¾ ²´»¿À¼Á·¸¹Â
Those Russians who woke up early on Tuesday morning enjoyed a varied news-line up. The leading story
was from Syria à ÄÅ¿¿·¸½ ´ÅƸ½·À¸Á·¸½ ǵ½Èµ»¿ ¼½À¼Á·½É ʸ¿À¼Á½ Ë´µÅÀ¸Â Ì´¼Á¼ ͸¿ ½¼Í¿ ÎÁµÆ ϵÁÀ´
Korea, bad news from Ukraine with the conflict gas supplies, analysis from the Italian elections, and a light
touch with suggestions on what to buy ladies on International WomenÐÑ ÒÓÔ ÕÖ×Ñ ØÙÙÚÙÛÜÝ ÞßÕ ÕÖÙàÙ ØÓÑ
an obvious omission.
Sergei Skripal, who was given refuge in the UK after being jailed in his home country for treason, was
found unconscious on a bench alongside a 33-year-old woman in a local shopping centre in Salisbury. The
cause of their illness has not yet been confirmed, but it drew inevitable comparison with the 2006 murder
of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko using radioactive polonium-210.
Izvestia, a paper understood to enjoy strong links with the countryÐÑ á×â×ÕÓàÔ ÓÛÜ ÑÙãßà×ÕÔ ÑÙàä×ãÙÑå ãÖæÑÙ
not to dwell on the spy story. Its main story was an çÙèãâßÑ×äÙé ÓêæßÕ ëáÙà×ãÓÛ ÛÙìæÕ×ÓÕ×æÛÑ Ø×ÕÖ àÓÜ×ãÓâ
fighters in Afghanistan.
Life News, an internet portal that styles itself on breaking news, and also seems to enjoy a direct link to
security services, led with RussiaÐÑ íæàÕÖãæá×Ûì îàÙÑ×ÜÙÛÕ×Óâ ÙâÙãÕ×æÛÝ ïÖÙ×à áÓ×Û ÑÕæàÔ æí ÕÖÙ ÜÓÔ ð ÓÑ ×Ñ æÛ
most most days ð ØÓÑ Ó ÑãÓÛÜÓâæßÑ ÙèîæÑÙ æí ÕÖÙ ñæááßÛ×ÑÕ òÓàÕÔ ãÓÛÜ×ÜÓÕÙ òÓäÙâ óàßÜ×Û×Û ôÕÖÙ ÙÓÑÔõ
talking Mr Grudinin is, some say, proving more than is comfortable for the Kremlin).
Life News also carried an çÙèãâßÑ×äÙé ÑÕæàÔ ÓêæßÕ ÑÙãàÙÕ ëáÙà×ãÓÛ îàæìàÓááÙÑ Õæ ÕÙÓãÖ äÓâßÙÑ æí
çÕæâÙàÓÛãÙé Õæ ößÑÑ×ÓÛ ÔæßÕÖÑÝ
By lunchtime on Monday, state news television began covering the British story in detail. But this time the
angle was a debunking story: the British press were, they said, actively çÖÔî×Ûìé ßî ÕÖÙ ÛÙØÑÝ
A similar line was taken by Andrei Lugovoi, the man British authorities accuse of poisoning Litvinenko in
Former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was
murdered using radioactive polonium-210 in
2006 (Getty)
çïÖÙ ÷Ûìâ×ÑÖ ÑßííÙà íàæá îÖæê×ÓÑåé ÖÙ ÕæâÜ ÕÖÙ øÛÕÙàíÓè ÛÙØÑ ÓìÙÛãÔÝ çøí ÑæáÙÕÖ×Ûì ÖÓîîÙÛÑ Ø×ÕÖ ößÑÑ×ÓÛÑå
they always look for a Russia connection. There has been no official statement yet, but you shouldnÐÕ àßâÙ
out this being the latest attempt by (British) media to create a scandal [...] about Russian security services.
Later on Tuesday, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said çãÙàÕÓ×Ûé ãæßÛÕà×ÙÑ ØÙàÙ îàÙîÓàÙÜ Õæ ßÑÙ ÓÛÔ îàÙÕÙèÕ
to increase pressure on Russia. çùÙÐäÙ ÙäÙÛ ÑÙÙÛ íàÙÙú×Ûì ØÙÓÕÖÙà êâÓáÙÜ æÛ ÕÖÙ ûàÙáâ×Ûåé ÖÙ ÕæâÜ
journalists during a press conference on an official visit to Namibia.
Since President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, Russian media has increasingly come under the
direct or indirect control of the state. In the early years, only mass private television channels were
targeted. A short while later, mass printed mass media followed. In recent years, even niche opposition
media and internet sites have come under the spotlight. The usual tool has been restricting advertising
flow or placing pressure on businessmen owners. In several cases, the editorial teams of influential outlets
changed under pressure.
As a result, much of the Russian media operates within agreed talking points. When news is deemed
particularly controversial, this often results in a breaking news vacuum.
ÿÿ ÿ
ÿÿ ÿÿ þ ÿ ÿÿ ÿ
Remover, a site investigating fake news in the Russian press. ü ÿ
þÿ ÿ pretend nothing is happening until the Kremlin have had a chance to develop an agreed treatment.
The long history of Russian deaths in the UK under mysterious circumstances
Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), suddenly fell ill on 6
November 2006. His illness and death weeks later attributed to poisoning with the rare and highly toxic
The Health Protection Agency found significant amounts of the radioactive substance in his body. It is
believed that it was administered in a cup of tea.
Before his death Litvinenko, had repeatedly criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin and made
numerous allegations of corruption against the country's security services. He claimed he met two KGB
agents, Mitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy in the Millenium hotel bar in Mayfair on the day he was fatally
poisoned. Both have denied any wrongdoing.
But a leaked US diplomatic cable revealed that Mr Kovtun had left polonium traces in the house and car he
had used in Hamburg.
A 2015 British court hearing found ü þÿ ÿ
ÿÿ ÿ
þÿ ÿ
ÿ ÿ
or another the Russian state is involved in Litvinenko ÿ
ÿ Another famous case is that of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov, who was poisoned with an umbrella
while waiting for a bus on Waterloo Bridge in 1978. The 49-year-old said he felt a sharp sting on the back
of his thigh. After developing a fever, he died four days later. An autopsy found a deadly 1.7mm-wide pellet
of poisonous ricin in his skin.
More recently, in March 2012, exiled Russian banker German Gorbuntsov survived an assassination
attempt as he stepped out of a taxi in east London. A hitman shot him with a silenced pistol, but he
survived the attack and now lives under a 24-hour security detail.
Later that year, he told The Independent that he believed his former business partners were behind the
attack. The men he named claimed to be friends of Mr Putin, which, Mr Gorbuntsov claimed had slowed
an investigation by Russian authorities. No one was ever caught for the shooting.
Also in 2012, Alexander Perepilichnyy, who was helping Swiss prosecutors uncover a multimillion-pound
money laundering scheme used by corrupt Russian officials, died in mysterious circumstances outside his
home in Weybridge, Surrey. The businessman collapsed while out running and it was intially believed he
had suffered a heart attack. However, traces of a poison that can be found in the gelsemium plant were
later found in his stomach.
The British Government was accused of turning a blind eye to evidence that he was assassinated on
Vladimir Putin ÿ ÿ üÿ ÿÿÿ þ ÿÿþ ÿ
ÿ ÿ
from Putin or people close to him, a senior US intelligence official said at the time.
Chris Phillips, the former head of Britain !"#$%&"' (%)&#*+ ,*++%+$- .*/)+$#0 122$/* "'% "$34 5,6*+*
no way it wasn# " 6$#7 8# +$3$/)'%)75
The following year, oligarch Boris Berezovsky, a vocal critic of Mr Putin +*9$-*: ;" 2%)&3 6"&9*3 $&
March 2013 in an apparent suicide. But the pathologist who conducted his postmortem said he was unable
to rule out murder and a coroner recorded an open verdict on his death.
Then in December 2014, one of his associates, Scot Young, was found impaled on railings in Marylebone
after allegedly falling from his flat. He told his partner he was planning on jumping moments before he was
found, but a coroner ruled there was insufficient evidence to rule his death was a suicide.
Elsewhere in the world, nine high-profile Russians have died in mysterious circumstances since the US
presidential election on 8 November 2016.
Six Russian diplomats have died since Donald Trump <$/#%+0: "'#6%)96 -"&0 %2 #6*$+ 3*"#6 6"<* =**&
ruled 5&"#)+"'> %+ &%# )?$/$%)7
In January, Russia's ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, died after a short illness. A spokesperson for
the Russian embassy in New Delhi said there was nothing special or extraordinary about the
circumstances that led to his death.
Senior diplomat at the Russian embassy in Greece Andrey Malanin was found dead the same month.
Russia "-=""3%+ #% #6* @&$#*3 !"#$%& A@!B: C$#"'0 (6)+D$&: "'% 3$*3 )33*&'0 '"# E*=+)"+0 2+%- "&
apparent heart attack. He was 5$& 6$ %22$/* 2)'2$''$&9 6$ 3)#$*> ;6*& 6* 3$*3: "//%+3$&9 #% " #"#*-*&#
from the Russian mission at the UN.
In March 2017, Denis Voronenkov, a Russian politician who fled to Ukraine, was shot outside a hotel in
the country's capital Kiev. Ukraine ?+*$3*&# /"''*3 #6* 6%%#$&9 " 5F)$"& #"#* #*++%+$# "/#> G "'#6%)96
authorities in Moscow have denied the country player a role in his death.
In August, Russia "-=""3%+ #% .)3"& H$9"0" .6$+$&D$0 3$*3 %2 "& "/)#* 6*"+# "##"/D ;6$'* ;$--$&9
in his pool in the Khartoum.
Lucy Pasha-Robinson
The sedate suburban life of a
former MI6 double-agent
Sergei Skribal s house on the outskirts of Salisbury (Getty)
oligarchs, or the high-gated, heavily patrolled Surrey estates of wealthier fellow Russians who had reason
to fear Vladimir Putin.
No, Mr Skripal preferred the suburban anonymity of a modern brick semi in a quiet little residential estate
on the edge of Salisbury.
To neighbours, Mr Skripal was the politely friendly if not overly forthcoming gent who was never too
flashy, and never that smartly dressed ^ _`abcd` _ecfcgh i jkl m n`ec`ao
To local officials, Mr Skripal was nothing more exciting than a retired local government planning officer.
Not the Russian colonel who became MI6pa qabr scdt dt` uvwca xwcddvg yihzo
with something to fear from the men in the Kremlin.
{g_ |`edicg}r gvd av~`vg`
He seems a happy person, said one neighbour as the first reporters arrived to look at a door that was
already being guarded by a pair of police officers.
Nor did the experienced double agent fall into the trap of drawing attention to himself with obsessive
furtiveness. Although, who knows? If he lives to tell the tale, Mr Skripal may even explain that in the
charming cathedral city of Salisbury, he thought there was no danger, no need for secrecy.
Whatever the reasoning, when he bought his m€‚ tv~` iyvwd i r`ie iƒd`e }`ifcgh „waaci cg dt`
biggest spy swap since the Cold War, Mr Skripal invited all his new neighbours to a party.
Wiltshire Police Assistant Chief
Constable Kier Pritchard speaking at a
press conference in Devizes (PA)
He had a housewarming party when he moved in, put a note through the door, recalled James Puttock,
47, a taxi driver who lived across the road.
But no, he didnpd …gvs tca g`chtyvwe ti_ y``g i abr‚ a}cbbcgh a`|e`da dv k†‡ stc}` sve…cgh ƒve „waacig
military intelligence, jailed for high treason in 2006, released in 2010, in exchange for spies including
Anna Chapman ^ q„waacipa ~vad h}i~vevwa a`|e`d ih`gdz‚ ia at` y`|i~` …gvsgo
Ms Chapman, of course, went on to present a weekly Russian TV show in between modelling assignments
and heading a youth council for her grateful government.
That wasnpd ke n…ecbi}pa adr}`o qlt`g t` si}…`_ biad‚ † svw}_ air t`}}v‚ t` svw}_ air t`}}v‚ dtid sia cdz‚
explained Mr Puttock. He was very quiet.
In fact, as Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, lay critically ill following suspected exposure to an
unknown substance, it seemed that in Salisbury there was no clearly established, uncontested version of
his life in England.
Mr Skripal is thought to have arrived in Salisbury with his daughter, his wife Liudmila, and son Alexandr,
before Yulia returned to Moscow after a few years.
But now neighbours were unsure exactly how many people were still living in the Salisbury house.
And nowhere was the confusion more obvious than in the conflicting accounts of how Liudmila and
Alexandr came to die ˆ ‰Š ‹ŒŽ ŽŽ ‘’ ’ŒŽ “”‘Œ Ž” •Œ ŒŒŠ  ‰–—’ “”ŠŽ˜”™Œ˜‰—š
Liudmila died aged 59, in 2012. One neighbour thought this had been in a car crash. The death certificate
filed with Wiltshire Council Register office, though, suggests she had cancer, the cause of death being
given as disseminated endometrial carcinoma.
The death certificate, the Daily Mail reported, was filled in by Yulia, who gave her father› ”““œŽ‰”Š 
retired local government planning officer.
Alexandr› ‹ŒŽž –Œ‹ Ÿ ‰Š ¡¢£¤ž ¥ —” ‰Š‰Ž‰——’ ‰‹ Ž” ™Œ •ŒŒŠ ŽŒ ˜Œœ—Ž ”¦  “˜ “˜š §œŽ ŽŒŠ ŽŒ
BBC reported a potentially far more disturbing tale.
Alexandr, it was said, had suddenly fallen ill and died of liver problems while on holiday in St Petersburg,
Russia, with his girlfriend.
The Italian restaurant Zizzi was
temporarily closed as a precaution,
police said (Getty)
At the time, the BBC reported, family members had been suspicious. There were also reports that Mr
Skripal had gone to British police expressing fears for his safety. Even without the fear they potentially
generated, it seems the deaths would have hurt him badly.
Igor Sutyagin, who was part of the same prisoner swap as Mr Skripal, has recalled talking to him as they
prepared for freedom.
Sergei was excited about being reunited with his family, said Mr Sutyagin. It seemed to me they were
his major joy. I think family played a very important role in his life.
And then came the events of Sunday. Yulia had come to visit from Russia. Mr Skripal› “—ŒŠŒ˜ •œ˜Ž ‰ŠŽ”
tears as she recalled how the lovely, friendly and kind-hearted man had asked her to get a room nice and
tidy for his daughter.
Salisbury city centre was just a short drive away. Mr Skripal and Yulia were seen on CCTV going round
the corner from the Italian restaurant Zizzi, through Market Walk, over a small bridge across the River
Avon to the Maltings, and a bench near the children› —’ ˜Œš
And there, it seems, they were overcome by an as yet unidentified substance.
Gym worker Freya Church spotted them half-collapsed, looking like they had been taking something
quite strong.
She was leaning on him, she said. She looked passed out and he was looking up, doing these hand
movements. His eyes were glazed. To be honest, I thought they were just homeless.
The police were called at about 4.15pm.
And then came the surreal sight of investigators in lurid green hazchem suits in central Salisbury, taking
every precaution as they examined what may in time be confirmed as a crime scene.
On a sunny, spring-like day in Salisbury yesterday there was still a sense of unreality ¨ ©ª « ¬­®¯°±«²°³
British kind. In the market place, pensioners carried on with their shopping as if the young policeman
guarding the closed door of Zizzi wasn´µ µ¶­²­·
One 80-year-old, on his way to feed the ducks with his great-grandchildren, was rather peeved to be
confronted by the police cordon and the sight of a forensics tent covering the bench where the two
Russians had been found.
Stupid things keep happening these days, he sighed. The world´¸ ±¹ « ²±º¶µ »­¸¸·¼ ½¯µ ¶­ «¹¾ µ¶­ º²­«µ¿
grandchildren were still going to feed the ducks.
Neil Skelton, 69, a retired Churches Conservation Trust administrator, gazed over the wide cordon. In
Salisbury of all places, he mused.
Mr Skelton looked a little more intently, towards the far side of the cordon and the supermarket beyond.
I´» À¯¸µ Á©¹¾­²±¹º ±ª «±¹¸Ã¯²³´¸ Á±°° ¸µ±°° í ©¬­¹·¼
So, yes, in Salisbury everyone was being very British about it ¨ «¸ ±¹ Ä©¹¾©¹ µ¶­³ Á©¹¾­²­¾ Á¶­µ¶­²
everyone had been too British about things in 2006 when Alexander Litvinenko was killed by tea laced
with radioactive polonium. That operation was said by a British inquiry to have been probably approved
by Vladimir Putin.
If Mr Skripal had fallen prey to a similar operation, the commentators fulminated, was that because the
Russians saw us as a soft touch?
At a press conference on the steps of Wiltshire Police headquarters in Devizes, Angus Macpherson drew
upon his full authority as Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.
It is particularly shocking, he intoned, that an incident such as this appears to have taken place, on a
quiet Sunday afternoon, in the cathedral city of Salisbury.
Temporary Chief Constable Kier Pritchard talked about a full multi-agency response and a fast-paced
investigation, but not about potential leads or toxicology tests.
He confirmed that the Metropolitan Police´¸ Å©¯¹µ­² Æ­²²©²±¸» ¹­µÁ©²Ç Á«¸ ¹©Á °­«¾±¹º µ¶­
investigation, but stressed that no-one had declared a terrorist incident. Investigators were still keeping an
open mind.
The advice from Public Health England, Mr Pritchard gently added, remains that currently there
doesn´µ «¬¬­«² µ© í «¹³ ±»»­¾±«µ­ ²±¸Ç µ© µ¶­ ¬¯Ã°±®¼·
The two men withdrew inside police HQ. They did not take questions, about Mr Skripal or anything else.
News / Exclusive
seats and bigger TVs
what seat shrinkage cost?
Economy passengers on 777s at Gatwick are likely to have 9 per cent less space but row 42 is the answer (Nick Morrish/British
British Airways is promising much bigger seatback entertainment screens on its high-density Boeing 777
As The Independent first revealed in 2016, BA is squeezing an extra 52 seats into its wide-bodied Boeings
based at Gatwick.
Most of the additional capacity is achieved by adding one extra seat to each economy row. At present they
are nine abreast, in a 3-3-3 configuration. The refit adds a 10th seat, with a 3-4-3 formation.
Some space is saved by narrowing the two aisles by a couple of inches. But in addition each economy seat Þ
known by BA as World Traveller Þ ßàáâ áãäåæçè
British Airways will not reveal how much narrower the new seats will be. But its part-owner, Qatar
Airways, has already densified some 777s. In that process, the economy seat width shrank from about 18.5
inches to 17 inches, ie by around 9 per cent.
BAéá äêëåâ åá ìåçêìí âî äêëìêïâ áåßåìðä ëåñàäêáè òêðâ óåâïã Þ âãê ôåáâðæïê ëäîß âãê ëäîæâ îë îæê áêðâ âî âãê ëäîæâ
of the next, used to assess legroom Þ äêßðåæá ðâ õö åæïãêáè
The Independent can reveal that there are 27 rows of economy seats, all but five of them with 10-abreast
seating. For couples, the optimal seats are in row 42: either A and B, or J and K. This is where the cabin
begins to narrow, with only eight seats in a row.
Squeeze in: seat map for the reconfigured
Boeing 777s at Gatwick (British Airways)
The densification programme aims to reduce BAéá ïîáâá óêä áêðâ âî ïîßóêâê ÷åâã øîä÷êñåðæù ÷ãåïã åá
expanding rapidly at the Sussex airport.
But while the seats are getting smaller, seatback screens are getting larger. In economy, the entertainment
screen area will be almost three times larger than currently.
Screens have gesture control to navigate the interface like using a tablet, says BA. In addition, there will
be USB sockets at every seat, for recharging mobile.
The first of the high-density aircraft will be deployed on routes to Cancun in Mexico, the Dominican
Republic resort of Punta Cana and the Jamaican capital, Kingston. But passengers on all long-haul routes
from Gatwick will experience it by next year Þ åæïìàôåæñ îæ âãê öúûãîàäûóìàá âäåó âî üðàäåâåàáè
Passenger prepared to pay extra for World Traveller Plus, BAéá óäêßåàß êïîæîßí ïðýåæù ÷åìì ñêâ þð ëàììí
adjustable six-way headrest to suit customers of all heights, plus a cocktail table and a mains socket for
British, European and US plugs. The screen area will be four times larger.
Sean Doyle, British Airwaysé ôåäêïâîä îë æêâ÷îäç ðæô ðììåðæïêáù áðåôÿ þ
broad mix of both leisure and business travellers.
äð êììêä
ìàá ðóóêðìá âî ð
In response to demand weéäê åæïäêðáåæñ âãê áå ê îë âãê ïðýåæ áî ÷ê ïðæ îëëêä ßîäê îë âãêáê óîóàìðä áêðâá
to our customers, while keeping the cabin intimate and retaining the expert, attentive service that our
travellers love.
British Airways was once the largest carrier at Gatwick, but ceded that position to easyJet
÷ãîáê ýåññêáâ
base is at the Sussex airport. BAéá îóêäðâåîæ ðâ ðâ÷åïç ãðá ñäî÷æ ýí
óêä ïêæâ åæ âãê óðáâ ëå ê íêðäáè
This summer it has 28 per cent more slots as a result of buying take-off and landing rights that belonged to
the now-defunct Monarch.
Man and two boys found dead
at Eastbourne beach after
mother killed at home
Police are not seeking anyone else in connection with the investigation (Getty)
The bodies of a man and two young boys were found dead on an Eastbourne beach before the body of their
mother was discovered with stab wounds more than 80 miles away in London.
Scotland Yard launched a murder investigation after the woman, believed to be in her forties, was found at
her home in South Road, Twickenham, just before 6pm on Monday.
Detectives attempted to trace her husband, 57, and two boys, aged seven and 10. They were contacted by
Sussex Police officers who had found the bodies of a man and two children at Birling Gap seafront, in
Eastbourne, East Sussex, around 5pm on the same day.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: While formal identification awaits, police believe that they are
the deceased woman s immediate family.
No arrests have been made and the Met said officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the
A vehicle was recovered near the seafront scene by Sussex Police and a crime scene remains in place at the
Twickenham address.
Postmortem examinations have yet to take place and next of kin have been informed.
Brexit trade deal for financial
The Chancellor met France s Economy Minister at Downing Street yesterday (Reuters)
Chancellor Philip Hammond is to challenge sceptics in Brussels who say agreeing a trade deal with the
UK that includes financial services is impossible. The cabinet minister will say every deal the EU has ever
struck is unique, and it is time the bloc accepted a future trade agreement with the UK should include
access for the City of London. But Mr Hammond
adviser to the EU
adhering to the EU
! " " ! " # $ % &
Ms May repeated her desire in a keynote speech last week for a future trade deal covering financial
services, something no existing agreement in the world currently does, but other figures in Europe
including French President Emmanuel Macron and chief negotiator Michel Barnier have also previously
questioned the idea. Mr Hammond will say: It is time to address the sceptics who say a trade deal
including financial services cannot be done because it has never been done before.
' ()(*+ ,*-.( .(-/ ,0( 12 0-3 ()(* .45( 0-3 6((5 75897(: ;0( 12 0-3 5()(* 5(<4,8-,(. ,0(
' ,0-, 47*
To them I say
same arrangement twice. It has bespoke relationships with Turkey, Canada, Singapore, South Korea,
Switzerland. A trade deal between the UK and the EU must start from the reality of today
economies, including in financial services, are interconnected; that our regulatory frameworks are
identical and that our businesses and citizens depend on cross-border financial services trade in their dayto-day lives.
He will go on to point out that the EU itself pursued ambitious financial services cooperation in its
proposals for trade deals with the US and Canada. Mr Hammond will underline that while the two North
American markets had very different rules from the EU, the UK has almost identical rules
easing the possibility of a deal covering financial services.
' 85 083 )8(=
In an apparent reference to opposition in Paris, the Chancellor will highlight that British and French
officials worked hand-in-hand on the proposals for the US and Canada deals. He will add: If it could be
done with Canada or the US it could be done with the UK
far. So I am clear not only that it is possible to include financial services within a trade deal but that it is
very much in our mutual interest to do so.
' ,0( 12>3 ?/43(3, @85-5?8-/ 3(*)8?(3 A-*,5(* 6+
In her Mansion House speech last week, Ms May suggested the EU and UK could move towards a
financial services agreement by mutually recognising each-others
regulatory outcomes, with a third-party independent court overseeing disputes. But Stefaan de Rynck,
advisor to Mr Barnier, said yesterday that the EU
> *7/(3 -, ,0( 47,3(, -3 46,-8585< ,0( 3-B(
>3 ?7**(5, -AA*4-?0 ,4 ,*-.( 5(?(338,-,(. - C385</( 12
' =08?0 =47/. -AA(-* -, 4..3 =8,0 ,0( DE>3 /-,(3, 8.(-:
He told an audience at LSE: The EU has moved away in the wake of the financial crisis from mutual
recognition of national standards to a centralised approach with a single EU rulebook and common
enforcement structures and single supervisory structures. If you are in a very integrated market but you
>, 0-)( ,0( F485, (5@4*?(B(5, 3,*7?,7*(3 ,0(5 +47 ?-5 3(( ,0( A4,(5,8-/ @4* -// G85.3 4@ .8@@8?7/,8(3:H
Mr Barnier himself has warned that British banks will lose passporting rights to do business in the
European Union after Brexit. Meanwhile, Mr Macron has previously said giving the UK
services full access to the single market without accepting its rules is not feasible.
>3 @85-5?8-/
Brexit deal issues on which UK
and EU disagree
The Brexit Secretary said there were about 11 areas of difference with a crucial EU summit intended to seal the deal just over two
weeks away (AP)
David Davis says Britain and the EU still disagree on so many aspects of the planned Brexit transition deal
that he cannot remember them all.
There are about 11 areas of difference with a crucial EU summit intended to seal the deal only just over
two weeks away, the Brexit Secretary said before an inquiry by MPs.
I can
Scrutiny Committee.
Mr Davis said the Irish border was the biggest and most obvious issue, but also pointed to the UKIM
It came as Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament
demand to be able to challenge new EU laws and the rights of EU citizens as other hurdles.
Nevertheless, he insisted: The prospects of getting to an outcome by 23 March are good
is there.
The March deadline is crucial because UK businesses have warned they will start to implement
contingency plans to move some of their operations abroad if it is missed.
This week, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said it was vital for the aviation industry, because airlines
will need to know on 1 April whether they can safely schedule flights in April 2019.
But Mr Davis acknowledged London and Brussels were still in conflict over an arbitration mechanism to
prevent any new regulations harming Britain, once its voting rights are lost.
The prospect has triggered protests from both Brexiteers and pro-EU MPs that the UK would be a vassal
state during the transition, mooted to last about two years.
The Brexit Secretary also pointed to lingering disagreement over EU citizens who arrive in the UK during
the transition, despite Theresa May
residency rights.
Some EU figures have warned that a refusal to allow entry for family members, or to give oversight of cases
to the European Court of Justice, are still unacceptable.
Mr Davis said they were all issues that will still be in play approaching the summit in Brussels, adding:
Those are the biggest.
Other disagreements are likely to include the ECJ being the ultimate arbiter of any disagreement with the
UK over the withdrawal agreement, as the EU wants.
Future atomic energy arrangements, after the UK leaves Euratom, rules for data protection and public
procurement, and even the status of goods on the market on Brexit Day of 29 March 29, 2019, all remain
unresolved, it is thought.
During the evidence session, Mr Davis reopened the row with Ireland over Theresa May
the US-Canada border as a model for Ireland after Brexit.
Leo Varadkar, the Irish Prime Minister, stamped on the idea, saying: I visited it back in August, and I saw
a hard border with physical infrastructure with customs posts, people in uniforms with arms and dogs.
Mr Davis admitted Mr Varadkar would jump on me for saying it, but insisted it was a very open border
about from some choke points.
And he again argued that MPs would not be able to block or delay Brexit, even if they throw out the Prime
There would be no overruling the referendum, he told the committee, adding: We will leave under all
Speaking after a meeting with the Prime Minister at Downing Street yesterday, Mr Verhofstadt warned
l mnopqr qpsq ntuvwuxr ynrzmn{ntsqnvt
that the European Parliament will not accept any deal on citizens
against people who come to the UK during the transition period.
lr |vrrn}wx qpsq nt qpx zv{nto ys~r sty xx€r x {s€x |mvomxrr vt qpnr znqn‚xtrl mnopqrƒ
He said: I think it
we can conclude.
News / Sketch
The Brexit Secretary brings out
his secret weapon
„… †‡ˆ ‰ ˆŠ‹‹ Š…Œ‰‹Ž…Š ‘‰’Œ Œ‰Œ ŒŠ “”Š•ŽŒ –Š’”ŠŒ‰”—„… ˆ‡”… ˜ŠŠ™ ‰‡šŒ ‰… ˆŠ‹‹ ‰… ‰ ‡ˆ‹ ‡‘ ™”‰ˆ†…
stored by accident in an airing cupboard. So if you still want to approach them after the two hour mark,
then you do so at your own risk.
„… ™”Š›Ž‡š… šŒŒŠ”‰†’Š… ‡† Ž… ‘‰›‡š”ŽŒŠ Œ‡™Ž’ ‡‘ “”Š•ŽŒ Ž… ”ŽŠ‘‹— Œ‡
œ‡— ‘‰”…ž ‡’’‰…Ž‡†‰‹‹— ‘Š‰Œš”Š Ž† ŽŸ‰””Š ‡’šŠ†Œ‰”ŽŠ… ˆŠ”Š …’ŽŠ†ŒŽ…Œ… …Œ‡”Š
In fact, to line up all of David Davis
become one of those
decomposing human remains in holes in the ground for fifty years or more, occasionally taking them out to
record the hideous transfigurations that have been visited on upon them.
„… …Œ‰ŒŠŠ†Œ… ‘”‡ Š‘‡”Š ŒŠ ”Š‘Š”Š†š †‡ˆ ‰† …‡ ŒŠ””Ž‘—Ž†¡ ‰›Š ŒŠ— Š’‡Š
Excavate some of Davis
it takes a giant leap of imagination ever to imagine them having emerged alive from his permanently
chuckling gob. The bilateral trade deal with the German car industry that was going to be signed on 24
June 2016
¢ Œ‰Œ ˜Ž† ‡‘ ŒŽ†¡£
Yesterday afternoon we had more of the same. His interrogator was not so tough. There are two Brexit
select committees you see. There is the Exiting the European Select Committee, chaired by Hilary Benn,
which is best understood as the Remain Committee. And then there is the European Scrutiny Committee
led, for something like the last one hundred thousand years by Sir Bill Cash. According to the Mohs scale
of hardness, diamond is the hardest substance on earth, but scientists are rumoured to be considering
downgrading it to make room at the top for the kind of Brexit Sir Bill Cash desperately wants.
œ¤Š ¥š”‡…’Š™ŒŽ’ ˆ‡”‹ Ž… ‰ ›Š”— ‡‹
It was the former Vote Leave chief Dominic Cummings who said:
world populated by very odd people. Generally, not always but generally, the longer they have been
involved in it, the higher the probability that they will be odd.
On a personal note, it was not so long ago that I was watching Sir Bill Cash tell the House of Commons for
around the hundredth time that Britain
message arrived from a friend. He had had to go home from work because his young son had been sent
home from play group for taking his trousers down, colouring his penis blue with a felt tip and shouting
abuse at anyone that tried to come near him. Since that time I confess I have not been able to shake from
my mind the fear that if for whatever reason Brexit doesn
„… ˆ‰” Š‰ ŽŠ ‘‡” “”Š•ŽŒ ˆŠ† ‰† Š†ŒŽ”Š‹— š†”Š‹‰ŒŠ ¦‰Œ…‰™™
„Œ ‰™™Š† –Ž” “Ž‹‹ §‰… ‰— ›Š”— ˆŠ‹‹ ‡ Š•‰’Œ‹—
„… Œ”‰†…ŽŒŽ‡†‰‹
œ’‡š‹†„Œ ”ŠŠŠ” ŒŠ
I digress. We are almost two weeks away from the point at which a deal on the UK
arrangements with the EU have to be signed at an EU summit. Two weeks. Mr Davis was asked where
there were outstanding areas of disagreement. Naturally, he laughed and said he
all but could provide a list later.
He was asked about what appears to be the UK
„… ‡†¡‡Ž†¡ ’‡ŽŒŠ†Œ Œ‡ œ’Š””—¨™Ž’˜Ž†¡ž ˆŽ’ Ž… Œ‡ …‰—
wanting to remain part of some aspects of EU life but not others, a reality the EU has been utterly
unflinchingly brazenly unswervingly relentlessly singularly devoted to carry on saying at all times without
hesitation or deviation definitely isn
©ª «¬­®« ª¬ ¯°±±²®³
´µ¯ ¶¯²··¸¹±­¶º­®«»¼ ½°¾­¿ ·²±À­²Á³ ´Â©¾² ª²°¿²Á ª¯²Ã Ä°¶º °Ä¬Åª ª¯°ª» ¯° ¯° ¯°³¼
Such a consistently deployed weapon in the Davis armoury is this trick Æ ª¯¬Å«¯ ª¯² Ǭ·Á ª·­¶º ÈÀ°ªª²·¿ Æ ¬È
laughing at difficult questions rather than attempting to answer them it has almost become unsettling to
listen to. So often is Davis the only person in the room laughing, he has almost come to represent some
curious character from an ITV psycho-thriller.
´É¯¸ Ç°¿ ¿¯² ¿²²® ¶¬Ã­®« ¬Åª ¬È ¸¬Å· ¯¬Å¿²» Ê· ½°¾­¿Ë¼
´Ha ha ha ha.
´Ì¬Å Dz·² ²­ª¯²· ª¯²·² °ª ª¯² ®­«¯ª ¬È ª¯² ÃÅ·Á²· ¬· ¸¬Å Dz·² ®¬ª» Ê· ½°¾­¿Ë¼
´Ha ha ha ha.
´É¯¸ Dz·² ¸¬Å· È­®«²·±·­®ª¿ ȬŮÁ ¬® ª¯² º®­È²» Ê· ½°¾­¿Ë¼
´Ha ha ha ha.
´É² ¯°¾² ·²°¶¯²Á ° ¾²·Á­¶ª ¸¬Å· ¯¬®¬Å·³ ɲ È­®Á ª¯² Á²È²®Á°®ª «Å­Àª¸³¼
´Ha ha ha ha.
´Â ¿²®ª²®¶² ¸¬Å ª¬ À­È² ­Ã±·­¿¬®Ã²®ª Ê· ½°¾­¿» Ç­ª¯ ®¬ ¬±±¬·ªÅ®­ª¸ Ȭ· ±°·¬À²³¼
´Ha ha ha ha. Wait, what?
Whenever that ´À­¿ª ¬È °·²°¿ ¬È Á­¿°«·²²Ã²®ª¼ °··­¾²¿ ­® Í­ÀÀ ΰ¿¯©¿ ¬ÈÈ­¶²» ª¯²·² ­¿ ¶²·ª°­® ª¯°ª ¬®² ª¯­®«
won©ª IJ ¬® ­ª³ ϯ²·² ­¿ °Ä¿¬ÀŪ²À¸ ®¬ ¬®² À²Èª ­® Á­¿°«·²²Ã²®ª Ç­ª¯ ª¯² ®¬ª­¬® ª¯°ª ¸¬Å ·²°ÀÀ¸ ®²¾²· ®²²Á
listen to a word David Davis says, ever again.
May trade plan
single market access
Stefaan de Rynck, main adviser to the EU s chief negotiator, said the current approach necessitated a single rulebook
The EU
deal, warning that her suggestion of mutual recognition of standards is not enough to secure access to the
single market. Stefaan de Rynck, the main adviser to chief negotiator Michel Barnier, said the EU
approach to trade necessitated a single EU rulebook
In her Mansion House speech last week, Ms May suggested that the EU and UK could negotiate a trade
é êëìíî ïðñ îòïðñïêñî ïî óôòïõðõðö ò÷í îïøí ùêíöëìïòóêú
deal where they mutually recognised each others
outcomes, with a third-party independent court overseeing disputes. But Mr De Rynck said in a lecture at
LSE on Monday: The EU has moved away in the wake of the financial crisis from mutual recognition of
national standards to a centralised approach with a single EU rule book and common enforcement
structures and single supervisory structures.
éò ÷ïûí ò÷í üóõðò íðýóêþíøíðò îòêëþòëêíî ò÷íð úóë þïð
éî þ÷õíý ïñûõîóê îïõñ ò÷í ÿ óëìñ ôí ïôìí òó ñíþìïêí
If you are in a very integrated market but you don
see the potential for all kinds of difficulties. The EU
the mutual recognition of standards invalid if it undermined single market integrity, and that this was
fundamental to the idea of what the single market was.
éî ìïòíîò î ííþ÷
éî ñêïýò òêïñí öëõñíìõðíî ÷õþ÷
His comments are the most detailed response from the European Commission to the PM
yet. Chief negotiator Michel Barnier gave a fairly muted reaction last week, saying he welcomed the
address and that it would be taken into account when drawing up the EU
are expected to be released today. Others in Brussels, however, gave a more frosty suggestion, with
European Parliament chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt saying the PM needed to move beyond vague
Mr De Rynck also warned the UK against trying to break EU unity, suggesting that businesses he had
encountered are more concerned with maintaining the integrity of the EU single market than any loss of
access to British markets and would be unlikely to press the EU to compromise.
News / Exclusive
Tone down war rhetoric on
Brexit, MEPs tell Johnson
Don t mention the war: ministers warned the Foreign Secretary that the casual use of violent imagery was undermining
negotiations (Getty)
A cross-party group of British MEPs has told Boris Johnson that he and other Brexiteers risk undermining
negotiations with the EU and ruining Britains image abroad with their repeated use of violent war imagery
when talking about Brexit. The Foreign Secretary has been sent a letter, seen by The Independent, from 20
British MEPs in six different parties, including Mr Johnsons own. They argue that the casual use of the
language of war and conflict to describe talks with the UKs allies is dangerous, undermines
negotiations and does not promote an image of a deep and special relationship, but a hostile one.
Criticising the language used by many senior politicians and much of the press, the MEPs single out
terms such as used by the Foreign Secretary himself. In the last week utterly inappropriate terms such as protocol on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, they wrote.
Aside from the extremely questionable morality of the use of such terms, they also serve to damage the
UKs future prospects greatly. Their use is self-defeating in every respect. The prosperity of the UK will be
deeply affected by the Article 50 negotiations, and achieving any outcome that minimises the harm of
Brexit requires goodwill, patience and trust on all sides, the letter said. The use of inflammatory
language undermines any efforts to build such trust, and serves to limit EU27 leaders room for manoeuvre
with their own electorates. Concessions and compromises cannot be justified in a climate of hostility.
Future partnerships are hard to build with those who seek to portray one as the enemy.
At the same time, there is a danger that the rest of the world is being shown a picture of the UKs
approach that is not the cooperative and pragmatic one they once knew.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly used warlike imagery and Second World War references when discussing talks,
including last year telling EU leaders not to give the UK punishment beatings for Brexit in the manner
of some World War Two movie. He has also accused the EU of extortion over the financial settlement.
Other Brexiteers have stepped up the language in recent weeks, with David Jones, a former Brexit
minister, suggesting the EUs plan to solve the Irish border problem amounted to wanting to annex the
province from Britain.
Mr Johnson has been mostly sidelined in Brexit talks and played little direct role, but his reputation looms
large in the EUs de-facto capital, where he tends to attract derision and bemused pity in equal measure
from officials. One quip by Mr Johnson, that the UK could have its cake and eat it after Brexit, has
entered the unofficial Eurocrat lexicon ! sometimes even in contexts beyond Brexit.
Calling on the Government to lead by example and cut out violent language, the MEPs said the Foreign
Secretary should unreservedly condemn this dangerous and harmful use of hostile language. Copies of
the letter have also been sent to David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, and the UKs chief diplomat in
The MEPs continued: Much of the world already sees Brexit as a needless act of self-harm that diminishes
the UKs standing in the world. The mantra of a global Britain rings hollow when it is accompanied by
needlessly aggressive language directed at our closest partners. Finally, this language is dangerous for the
UKs own culture and cohesion.
For those millions of EU27 citizens in the UK, including the many married to British citizens, and UK
Citizens in the EU that are very far from reassured about their futures, this language is genuinely
threatening. Many who have made their homes and lives in the UK are already deeply concerned that a
hostile environment is developing. Hostile language can only add to the worries and uncertainty for them
and for the UK Citizens in the EU27 whose rights are still far from guaranteed.
The letter of admonishment was signed by Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP; Charles Tannock
and Julie Girling, who were elected as Conservatives; Alyn Smith, an SNP MEP; Molly Scott Cato, Keith
Taylor and Jean Lambert, Green MEPs, and Jill Evans, from Plaid Cymru. It was also signed by Labour
MEPs Richard Corbett, Seb Dance, Derek Vaughan, John Howarth, Catherine Stihler, Paul Brannen,
Theresa Griffin, Mary Honeyball, Jude Kirton-Darling, Clare Moody, Julie Ward and Si" #
Water companies criticised
after fourth day of shortages
Residents of Balham in south-west London queuing to collect water yesterday (Reuters)
Water companies have faced a barrage of criticism as many households in London and south-east England
faced their fourth day without running water. Industry regulator Ofwat condemned water companies for
failing to do enough to prepare for the freezing weather conditions that recently swept the country and in
turn led to burst pipes and leaks. Chief executive Rachel Fletcher warned water suppliers they would
%&'( )*+,(-(* (' ,&(*./*&*0 ,& ()*,. '1*.-(,'&+2 -+ ()'3+-&4+ '5 )'3+*)'64+ 7*.* 5'.8*4 (' (3.& (' 9'((6*4
water for drinking, flushing toilets and bathing.
Many took to social media to vent their frustrations. Thames Water, Welsh Water, Affinity Water, South
East Water and Southern Water were among those facing criticism. One Twitter user said in a post
addressed to Thames Water: :; <=>?= =@ =ABCD =A>= B= B< E@?F GBDFGH =@ IBCJ K>=F? BC =AF JF<F?= =A>C BC
London after almost four days without water.
Many were annoyed at what they deemed to be generic responses from water companiesL M@EENCBM>=B@C
teams and a lack of a clear timeline as to when water pressure would return to normal. Another said:
copy and paste response! DonL= Q@=AF? KB=A =AF >BJ <=>=B@C B=< >C >GG@M>=B@C @I @CGH VG WW =@ DFFW H@N?<FGI
clean and hydrated.
Thames Water apologised for the time it was taking to restore water and explained it was working to
remove airlocks from pipes in London postcodes including SW12, SW16, SW17 and SW18. One
person tweeted South East Water to say: :X@K ENMA G@CRF? I@? Y?@KQ@?@NRAZ OFLPF E>JF C>=B@C>G
news and been without water for days now, our business is unable to function properly and had to send
staff home. This is not acceptable.
Many more questioned what they were supposed to do in households with vulnerable family members,
including those who said they could not get to bottled water supplies. Others, who finally saw some water
return, questioned why it was coming out from taps in unusual colours, which companies explained was
due to :>B? BC =AF K>=F? <NWWGH[ >CJ <>BJ <A@NGJ <@@C <F==GF\ ]IIBCB=H O>=F?S ^@N=A _><= O>=F? >CJ
Southern Water all urged customers to only use water when :F<<FC=B>G[\
OfwatL< `< aGF=MAF? =@GJ K>=F? IB?E<b :TAF @CR@BCR K>=F? <NWWGH W?@QGFE< >IIFM=BCR =AF M@NC=?HS E@<=
particularly parts of London and the south-east of England, have been deeply distressing for all those
affected. While the recent severe freeze and thaw have undoubtedly had an impact on pipes and
infrastructure, this weather was forecast in advance. A number of water companies appear to have fallen
well short on their forward planning and the quality of support and communication theyLPF QFFC
providing, leaving some customers high and dry.
Ms Fletcher added that while the current priority was supporting all those affected, further action
would be taken once the water is flowing once more. :OAFC =AF =>W< >?F Q>MD @CS KF KBGG =>DF > G@CRS A>?J
look at what has happened here and we wonL= AF<B=>=F =@ BC=F?PFCF BI KF IBCJ =A>= M@EW>CBF< A>PF C@= A>J
the right structures and mechanisms in place to be resilient enough, she added.
Her words come after further criticism for Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who warned water
companies that they would face tougher regulation if they did not clean up their act. Speaking at the Water
UK City conference, he said that water companies had not been acting :<NIIBMBFC=GH BC =AF WNQGBM BC=F?F<=[
and accused some companies of :WG>HBCR =AF <H<=FE I@? =AF QFCFIB= @I KF>G=AH E>C>RF?< >CJ @KCF?<S >= =AF
expense of consumers and the environment.
The Conservative MP added that companies :A>PF <ABFGJFJ =AFE<FGPF< I?@E <M?N=BCH[ I@? :=@@ G@CR[\ XF
said that some firms had :ABJJFC QFABCJ M@EWGFc IBC>CMB>G <=?NM=N?F<S >P@BJFJ W>HBCR =>cF<S A>PF
rewarded the already well-off, kept charges higher than they needed to be and allowed leaks, pollution and
other failures to persist for far too long. Water companies insisted they were doing all they could to get
the water flow back to normal, as they worked to repair burst pipes and leaks as the weather became
Jaguar Land Rover and Cadbury plants in the Midlands were forced to close temporarily due to the
problems d QN= ^FPF?C T?FC= O>=F? <>BJ =AF :<B=N>=B@C B< C@K ?F<@GPFJ >CJ =AFH >?F >QGF =@ N<F =AFB? K>=F?
as normal. A spokesperson for the water company said: :OFL?F A>WWH =@ <>H =A>= =AF E>U@?B=H @I @N?
customers are starting to see their water returning, but some areas may still be experiencing intermittent
supply as the network starts to get back to normal. We were working with the Jaguar Land Rover site in
Solihull and CadburyL< BC eB?EBCRA>E =@ ?FJNMF =AF >E@NC= @I K>=F? =AFH N<FJ HF<=F?J>H\ TAB< K>< >< >
result of an unprecedented number of burst pipes in the area from the recent thaw.
Forecasters at the Met Office said the UK was likely to be over the worst of the freezing weather that
caused the problems. fghi jkill mn omlp qirshit hrj oitsruvlw omxi sm rv ivpyz jrup {is |nnuoi
spokeswoman Nicola Maxey. Showers are expected to come in overnight and fxrw s}tv sm jvmq m~it shi
hills, but in towns and cities across the Midlands and southern England, temperatures are expected to
stay between seven and 10 degrees tomorrow.
Additional reporting by Press Association
MPs and religious leaders tell
Education Secretary to keep
cap on faith schools
Damian Hinds has spoken publicly about lifting the 50% limit (AFP)
Faith schools should not be allowed to admit more children on the basis of religion, politicians, public
figures and religious leaders have urged in a new joint letter to the Education Secretary. The group  €‚ƒ
includes the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams  ƒ„……†‡ ˆ‰ Š„‹‚„‰ Œ‚‰‡ Žˆ
reconsider his plans to allow new faith schools to take fewer pupils from different backgrounds, as they
argued it would be ‘’‘“‘”•–—˜ “– ˜–™•š’ ™–›‘˜•–œ šœ ”‘˜‘™“žŸ
The letter said it is difficult to bring to mind š –”‘ •¡•˜•¡‘ –’•™¢ž “›šœ ’•£“•œ¤ “›‘ ¥¦ ‘” ™‘œ“ £š•“› ™š§
which stops faith schools from selecting more than half of their pupils based on religion. Among the 70
signatories are authors Philip Pullman and Ian McEwan, Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, Green Party co-leader
Caroline Lucas, Professor Richard Dawkins and Dame Joan Bakewell.
It has been sent to Catholic school-educated Mr Hinds after he indicated to the The Sunday Times last
month that he was pushing ahead with plans to scrap the cap on new faith schools. The letter, organised by
the Humanists UK, said: ¨›‘ ©–¡‘”œ ‘œ“ ”•¤›“’¢ •‘œ“•£•‘˜ “›‘ ”– –“•–œ –£ —“—š’ —œ‘”˜“šœ•œ¤ šœ
tolerance for those of different religions and beliefs as one of the most important roles for schools.
ª˜ «‘ š”‘ š’’ š«š”‘§ ™›•’”‘œ š”‘ ¬’•œ “– “›‘ •££‘”‘œ™‘˜ šœ • —œ‘ “– “›‘ ”‘­—•™‘˜ “›š“ ˜– –£“‘œ
divide society. The duty of the education system, therefore, should not be to highlight and entrench such
differences in the eyes and minds of young people, but to emphasise instead the common values that we all
share. It adds that removing the 50 per cent cap on religious selection at faith-based free schools runs
‘œ“•”‘’¢ ™–—œ“‘” “– “›•˜ š ¬•“•–œžŸ
Former Archbiship of Canterbury
Rowan Williams called on Damian
Hinds to leave the 50% limit (Getty)
®“ •˜ •££•™—’“ “– ¬”•œ¤ “– •œ š –”‘ •¡•˜•¡‘ –’•™¢§ –” –œ‘ –”‘ ‘’‘“‘”•–—˜ “– ˜–™•š’ ™–›‘˜•–œ šœ
respect, than one which allows schools to label children at the start of their lives with certain beliefs and
then divide them up on that basis, the letter said. Last month, The Independent revealed that campaigners
were calling for a parliamentary inquiry to investigate the proposal to increase religious selection in free
Andrew Copson, chief executive of Humanists UK, said: People from across the political spectrum,
representing a range of different religions and beliefs, are united on this one point: whatever your views on
faith schools themselves, it cannot be right for taxpayer-funded schools to divide and discriminate against
children. That is the principle that underpins this letter ¯ šœ •“ –—¤›“ “– ¬‘ “›‘ ”•œ™•’‘ “›š“ —œ‘”•œ˜
our education system, too.
But the Catholic Education Service has welcomed the plan to scrap the cap as it will allow them to open
new Catholic schools in areas of high demand. Despite the Mr Hind°˜ ™– ‘œ“˜ ’š˜“ –œ“›§ “›‘
Department for Education has not formally announced plans for the faith cap.
News / Feature
Two decades of The Dude: The
Big Lebowski turns 20
The film, starring Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi and John Goodman, was a box office flop but is widely considered as the Coen
brothers best work (Working Title)
In 2007, almost a decade after the release of The Big Lebowski, a book was written about the film±² ³´µ¶·¸¹
Joel and Ethan Coen, the filmmakers responsible for the cult classic, contributed just one line. The tome±²
first sentence, in reference to the writing of the book, reads simply: º»¼´¸ ¼¶½´ ¾´¿À¼´Á ÂÃÁ ij´²²¿¾µ ¾ÂÁ
our curse.
It±² ¶ À¸Å¿·¶³³¸ Æ´¾´²Çô Á´²Å¾²´ À À¼´ ´¾ÈÃÁ¿¾µ ¶ÅÅ´¶³ ÂÉ À¼´ ʽ¿´Ë À¼´ ÄÁÂÀ¼´Á² ¼¶½¿¾µ Á´Å´¶À´È³¸
reiterated their confusion at the way Lebowski seems to have taken on a life of its own. The movie±² ²À¶ÁË
Jeff Bridges, one of the finest actors of his generation, is less perplexed. The Oscar winner is on record as
ºÌÂʴ¾´ ¶²Í´È Ê´Ë ÎÏÂÐ ÐÂÃ³È ¸Âà ɴ´³ ¶À À¼´ ´¾È ÂÉ ¸ÂÃÁ ·¶Á´´Á ¿É À¼´ Á³´ ¸Âà дÁ´ ʲÀ ɶÊÂò ÉÂÁ
was The Dude?± ÎÑ±È Ä´ É÷Ϳ¾µ È´³¿µ¼À´È˱ Ñ ÀÂ³È ¼¿Ê¹Ò
The story of The Big Lebowski, released twenty years ago today, starts with the failure of The Hudsucker
Proxy, the Coen brothers± ÓÔÔÕ ¶ÀÀ´ÊÅÀ ¶À ¶ Ä¿µ ÄÃȵ´À ɶʿ³¸ ·Âʴȸ¹ Ö Ä¿È ÉÂÁ ʶ¿¾²ÀÁ´¶Ê ¶··´ÅÀ¶¾·´
buoyed by a brilliant performance from a bona fide star (Paul Newman), Hudsucker was a major flop at the
box office. For their next project, the Coens returned to their roots and made Fargo, a darkly comic thriller
set in and around the Minnesota of their childhoods, for just $7 million. Fargo was a critical and
commercial hit, won two Oscars and spawned an acclaimed television series. Years later, Ethan
×ØÙ ÚÛÜÝ ÞßÝ àá âãÛÝäåà äæ àÞÛ ßçèàãßåà ÚÞäåÞ ÚáéêÝ çÛ àÞÛ ëáãÛ èéååÛèèÙéêì Fargo or Hudsucker, we would
have certainly bet on Hudsucker. Fargo seemed like a very obscure, regional exercise. In fact, Hudsucker
made less than any other film weÜíÛ ãÛêÛßèÛÝì ßæÝ Fargo made the most. ItÜè îéèà íÛãïì íÛãï ÞßãÝ àá
Or, in the words of Hollywood titan William Goldman: ×ðáçáÝï ñæáÚè ßæïàÞäæòó ðáà áæÛ âÛãèáæ äæ àÞÛ
entire motion picture field knows for a certainty whatÜè òáäæò àá Úáãñôõ
After a decade and a half as cult favourites, the Coens suddenly discovered they were industry darlings.
The obvious next move would be to make a picture in the vein of Fargo and capitalise on the renewed
interest in their work. The siblings have never been too interested in such things, however, and followed
up with a rambling shaggy-dog story about an unemployed stoner and his attempts to replace a rug that is
×ëäåàéãßàÛÝõ áæ äæ àÞÛ ÙäêëÜè Ùäãèà ÙÛÚ ëäæéàÛèô Øæ öàÞßæÜè ÚáãÝè÷ ×ØÙ ß ëáíäÛ êäñÛ Fargo succeeds, then
clearly nothing makes much sense. You might as well make whatever kind of movie you want and hope for
the best.
Inspired in equal parts by Raymond Chandler and Cheech and Chong, The Big Lebowski was a box office
disappointment and received mixed reviews (although credit to Ian Nathan, whose five-star Empire writeup concluded with the maxim: ×Øæ ß âÛãÙÛåà ÚáãêÝ ßêê ëáíäÛè ÚáéêÝ çÛ ëßÝÛ çï àÞÛ øáÛæ çãáàÞÛãèôõù
Like other modern comedy classics such as Withnail and I and This Is Spinal Tap, the plot is almost beside
the point. The characters are so expertly drawn that repeat viewings are essential to fully appreciate the
sheer number of hilarious players. Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi are sensational in the leads
with their unusual quasi-family dynamic, but there is something to savour in every scene, from the taxi
driver with an unhealthy affection for the music of The Eagles to John TurturroÜè ÞïèàÛãäåßê àéãæ ßè úÛèéè
Like Withnail, this is a film that is dismissed by detractors as studenty, perhaps as a result of the
protagonistÜè âãáâÛæèäàï àá Ýãäæñ ÚÞäàÛ ûéèèäßæ åáåñàßäêè ßæÝ èëáñÛ îáäæàè üýãäÝòÛè Þßè èàßàÛÝ àÞßà ÞÛ
would frequently ask the filmmakers before shooting a scene: ×þäÝ àÞÛ þéÝÛ çéãæ áæÛ áæ àÞÛ Úßï áíÛãÿõùô
In reality, itÜè âßåñÛÝ ÚäàÞ èáëÛ áÙ àÞÛ ëáèà éáàßçêÛ êäæÛè ßæÝ ÙéææäÛèà åÞßãßåàÛãè äæ åÛêêéêáäÝ Þäèàáãï çéà
also possesses a depth most comedies canÜà ëßàåÞô Øà äè æáà Ùáã æáàÞäæò àÞßà àÞäè Þßè çÛåáëÛ áæÛ áÙ àÞÛ
most beloved movies of the last few decades.
The Big Lebowski, released in 1998 but set in 1991, is a film about the recent past. The Dude harks back to
the golden age of the hippies a few decades earlier while GoodmanÜè ßêàÛã äè áçèÛèèÛÝ ÚäàÞ Þäè
experiences in Vietnam and his ex-wife. The bowling alley at the heart of the action, aesthetically stunning,
recalls the halcyon days of the 1950s.
Fargo famously opens with text claiming that the events of the film are entirely true, although Joel later
conceded: ×ÞÛ áæêï àÞäæò àãéÛ ßçáéà äà äè àÞßà äàÜè ß èàáãïôõ ÛçáÚèñäì ÞáÚÛíÛãì ÝäÝ ßåàéßêêï ÞßíÛ çßèäè äæ
fact despite no such on-screen claims. When promoting their debut feature, Blood Simple, the Coens met
one Jeffrey Dowd, a man who had been a member of the Seattle Seven, drank White Russians and was
referred to almost exclusively as The Dude. The writer and director John Milius, most famous for scripting
Apocalypse Now, formed the basis for the Walter character both in appearance and character, not least his
enthusiasm for guns and obsession with all things militaristic.
Perhaps the reason this film has become the Coens Lebowski Fest at which fans of the film ( favourite characters, is its warmth. The siblings have often been accused of cynicism in their work but,
even after a moment as bleakly hilarious as Walter inadvertently covering The Dude with cremated
remains, there is heart; the pair share a beautiful hug and head off bowling. This is the Coens and as such will never be as popular with critics and academics as the likes of Miller s Crossing and No
Country for Old Men. Such detractors might claim it is a minor work from the masters but let them
disagree all they want, us Achievers have the perfect riposte:
Advertising regulator bans
ticket resale websites from
Companies must also ensure their pricing and fees information is transparent (Reuters)
The advertising regulator has cracked down on four of the biggest operators in the secondary ticketing
sector, accusing StubHub UK, Viagogo, Seatwave and GetMeIn of misleading customers when trying to
sell tickets for music concerts and other events. The Advertising Standards Authority said that it had
conducted formal investigations as part of a sector-wide sweep and had found that the four companies
had not been upfront and transparent with consumers about ticket fees and charges added at the end of the
booking process.
As a result, it said that it had banned the operators from using certain terms and claims in its adverts.
Viagogo, for example, will have to stop using the term official site when advertising, because it
misleadingly implies that it is an official primary ticket outlet rather than a second-hand ticket website.
The company will also no longer be allowed to make the claim 100 per cent guarantee when trying to sell
tickets. The ASA said that this statement suggests that consumers are guaranteed entry to a particular
venue when there is in fact a reasonable risk that buyers might not be able to gain entry.
The ASA said that UK advertising rules require quoted prices to include non-optional taxes and fees that
apply to all or at least most buyers, and that all operators must comply with this. Secondary ticketing
companies must ensure that their pricing is transparent by including clear and relevant information about
additional fees at the beginning of the customer journey " #$ %&'$(& ) *$+&,+-). %/0&( 1)2&# ) 3&4-#-$,
about whether to go ahead with a purchase, the ASA said.
Many of us will recognise the frustration of being happy with the initial price of tickets on a secondary
website only to be stung by hefty fees when we come to book, said ASA chief executive Guy Parker. The
message from our rulings is simple and it5# 4.&)(6 +7& *(-4& 0$/ #&& )+ +7& #+)(+ #7$/.3 %& +7& *(-4& 0$/ *)0
at the end.
Secondary ticketing websites have been the subject of investigation and scrutiny for months and several
artists, including Ed Sheeran, Radiohead and Amy Macdonald, have in the past urged concertgoers to
refrain from using certain sites. In a report published in November last year, the Competition and Markets
Authority (CMA) said that it had identified widespread concerns about the information people are given
on the websites when considering whether to buy tickets.
It said that it was raising its concerns with a number of these websites and would be requiring them to take
action where necessary. Secondary ticketing websites can offer an important service " %0 )..$8-,9 *&$*.&
the chance to buy tickets at the last minute or giving them a chance to re-sell tickets they can no longer
use, the CMA5# 47-&' &:&4/+-;&< =,3(&) >$#4&..-< #)-3 )+ +7& +-1&? @A/+ $/( -,;&#+-9)+-$, 7)# -3&,+-'-&3
concerns that the law protecting consumers is being broken.
In response to the ASA announcement, a spokesperson for StubHub said that the company supports any
measures which make ticket buying easier, more convenient and more transparent for fans. They added:
We welcome this opportunity to work closely with the ASA and we will be fully compliant with its
decision. We hope that other players in the ticketing industry, including primary issuers, follow suit.
A spokesperson for Ticketmaster, which owns Seatwave and GetMeIn, said: Our ticket resale sites
already ensure fans know exactly what they will pay at every stage of the buying process, displaying all fees
as soon as the customer selects and submits the number of tickets they are looking to buy. We will
continue to work with both the ASA and the CMA to further develop levels of transparency and consumer
protection within the UK ticketing sector.
Viagogo was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Independent.
Woman detained in Yarl
Wood after reporting domestic
abuse to police
We detained a woman who was a victim, MP Jess Phillips told Parliament
to the Home Office and taken to the removal centre after she called the police for help.
Following intervention from her MP, Jess Phillips, the woman was removed from YarlBC DEEF LNF JKLNMPF
indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Ms Phillips raised the matter in Parliament after Shadow Home
Secretary Diane Abbott questioned the immigration minister Caroline Nokes about a letter sent to women
on hunger strike in Yarlef ghhij klmnl fomi plqr sonqi tonnquqvopqiw iqxhvpopmhy ms plqr nhypmyzqi kmpl
the protest.
Ms Abbott said the letter, which was exclusively revealed by The Independent this weekend, amounted to a
threat of txzympm{q iqxhvpopmhyf shv kh|qy klh iovqi ph }h hy lzy}qv fpvm~qw €hysmv|my} plop plq plvqop
of accelerated deportation was part of official Home Office policy, Ms Nokes said it had been published
online last November. It tkof o}vqqi ospqv nhyfzupopmhy kmpl ‚ƒ „y}uoyij …qimnou †zfpmnqj plq
Immigration Law Practitionerse ‡ffhnmopmhy oyi hplqv ˆ‰fwj flq fomi
Medical Justice, a charity that offers help to those held in detention centres across the UK, has since said
that it was tlm}lur nvmpmnouw hs plq xhumnr izvmy} plq nhyfzupopmhy Šlqmv {mqkf kqvq tuov}qur m}yhvqiwj mp
said. A spokesperson told The Independent it was timfmy}qyzhzfw shv plq ‚h|q ‰ssmnq ph nuom| plqr loi
agreed on the policy.
During the debate, Ms Phillips disputed Ms Nokese nuom| plop xqhxuq ovq hyur iqpomyqi klqy plqr ovq top
risk of absconding. She said she did not recognise it from immigration casework in her own constituency.
t‡ kh|oy my |r nhyfpmpzqynr voy} plq xhumnq ‹qnozfq hs o plvqop ph ~muu lqv svh| o {mhuqyp qŒlzf‹oyi ƒlq
was then taken to Yarlef ghhi Ž yhp ph o xuonq hs fosqprjw flq fomi tgq iqpomyqi o kh|oy klh kof o
victim. She has now been given indefinite leave to remain because her case was ongoing through the
process. This is not an isolated case.
The Labour MP went on to ask: thqf plq ‚h|q ‰ssmnq plmy~ plop mp ~qqxf {zuyqvo‹uq kh|qyj klh ovq op
risk of rape, sexual violence and domestic abuse, safe by basically deterring them from calling the police
because they will be sent to a detention centre? Ms Nokes replied that she would toukorfw koyp ph uhh~ op
such cases personally, but said MPs must remember that immigration policy tfqq~f ph m|xuq|qyp plq vzuqf
as they are set out.
Sheffield MP Gill Furniss then explained that a constituent of hers was detained in Yarlef ghhi kmpl o
serious eye condition. tƒlq kof op vmf~ hs uhfmy} lqv qrqfm}lpjw flq fomij oiimy} plop mp tloi ouvqoir uqsp lqv
blind in one eye, and if left untreated for any short amount of time risked her going blind in the other.
Although Yarlef ghhi loi ‹qqy t|oiq okovq hs plmf myshv|opmhy flq kof uqsp shv fh|q pm|q ‹qshvq ‹qmy}
seen by a nurse, she said. ty plq qyi |r hssmnq loi ph mypqv{qyq imvqnpur my hviqv ph qyfzvq zv}qyp
medical assistance was provided to my constituent so as to avoid her losing her sight.
tŠlmf oxxouumy} nofq mf hyq hs |oyr gmuu plq |mymfpqv |o~q oy offqff|qyp oyi h{qvouu vq{mqk hs plq
conditions women in Yarlef ghhi ovq ‹qmy} fz‹‘qnpqi ph’w flq of~qi …f h~qf vqxumqi plop myim{mizouf
are given access to a health professional within two hours of their arrival at the centre and then have the
ability to make an appointment with the GP within 24 hours. tp mf vqouur m|xhvpoyp plop kq xvh{miq
healthcare to all of those in detention, which is why itef o{omuo‹uq “” lhzvf o iorj fq{qy iorf o kqq~jw flq
Broader concerns were also raised during the debate that MPs were having to tvqfhvp ph kqq~qyi
telephone calls in order to prevent their constituents from being wrongly removed from the country.
They focused particularly on the case of Opelo Kgari, who was served a deportation notice over the
weekend along with her mother Florence, days after she spoke out to The Independent about Yarlef ghhi
The 27-year-old, who came to the UK from Botswana when she was 13-years-old, narrowly escaped
deportation following an intervention by MPs. The pair were taken to Heathrow Airport on Saturday and
told they were going to be deported on a flight at 8.15pm.
Labour MP Ed Davey, speaking on behalf of his colleague Ruth Smeeth, who intervened in the case as MP
for the two women, questioned Ms Nokes on this matter. tghzui plq |mymfpqv o}vqq plop plq sonp plop …•f
have to resort to weekend telephone calls to speak directly to ministers to have constituents stopped from
being deported before they–—˜ ™š› œ™˜ž ›Ÿ˜ ž¡¢˜££ £ š £¤¥ œ™šœ œ™˜ ¦¦¤žšœ¡¥ £§£œ˜¦ ¥ œ™£ ¢¡Ÿ¥œž§
simply is failing? he asked. Ms Nokes declined to comment on individual cases, but she insisted the
Home Office does follow due process.
Former BBC Breakfast host
says he has prostate cancer
Bill Turnbull wants to encourage more men to visit their GP if they feel unwell (BBC)
The veteran BBC presenter Bill Turnbull has revealed he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The
62-year-old, who was an anchor on BBC Breakfast from 2001 until 2016, said the disease was
discovered in November and that it had spread to his legs, hips, pelvis and ribs.
Turnbull said he was diagnosed with the disease after experiencing aches and pains he had simply
attributed to ¨©ª« ¬­®¯° ±²® ³´®µ®¶·®´¸ ¹²© ¶©¹ ²©µ·µ ¬ µ²©¹ ©¶ ´¬«º© µ·¬·º©¶ »ª¬µµº¼ ½¾¸ µ¬º« ²® ¹¬¶·®«
his announcement to encourage others to get tested.
¨¾¬¿À® ºÁ Âë ­©· º· ®¬´ªº®´ ¬¶« µ·©³³®« º· ¬· ·²® ³´©µ·¬·®¸ Âë À® º¶ ¬ Äż² À®··®´ µ·¬·®¸¯ ²® ·©ª« ·²® Radio
Turnbull, who also presents Songs of Praise and the Think Tank game show, said he had had prostate
tests at the age of 40 and then again at 50. He was interviewed by Sian Williams, his former colleague on
the BBC Breakfast sofa, who underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer in 2014.
Turnbull told her he was angry with himself for being proud of the fact he did not visit a GP in four years.
He said he only pursued help when his discomfort could no longer be eased with pills.
the worst days of my life. Turnbull, who is married with three children, added: ÆâÓË ãä ÐÍÔÑØ åÇÏÙÐ ×ÚËÍÕ
you have prostate cancer and that itÙÐ ÐÝÕËÍÑ ÏÉ ÏÓË àÉÊËÙÛ æÊÑ ÍÚÚ ÉÈ Í ÐßÑÑËÊ áÉßÙÕË ÔÊ ÏÓÔÐ ÑÍÕÞ ×ÓÍÐÌÛÜ
The broadcaster, who said he now cannot plan beyond 12 years, said it upset him that he was not going to
be around with his wife and family as much as he had presumed.
morning and it comes to you again, he said. ÆÇ ÓÍÖË ÎÉÏ ×ÍÊ×ËÕÛ ÇÙÖË ÐÏÔÚÚ ÎÉÏ ×ÍÊ×ËÕÛ ÇÏ ÒÍÐÊÙÏ Í àÍÑ ÑÕËÍÌÛ
And that takes a lot of dealing with.
He explained that it had totally changed his life, saying: Æçá ÚÔÈËØ ÍÐ Ç ÞÊËÒ ÔÏØ ÔÐ ÔÊ ÏÓË ÝÍÐÏ ÏËÊÐËÛ èÉß
have BC, Before Cancer, when you had a normal life, and then thereÙÐ æÈÏËÕ éÍÊ×ËÕØ ÒÓËÊ ÏÓÔÊÎÐ ÍÕË ÖËÕá
He said he was diagnosed with the illness while recording an episode of The Great Celebrity Bake Off for
Stand Up To Cancer on Channel 4.
Turnbull announced his departure from BBC Breakfast in September 2015, revealing he would be leaving
to spend more time with his family and pursue his hobby of beekeeping.
After 15-years on the sofa, he said goodbye the following year, holding back tears on his final episode as he
thanked the nation for letting him into their homes every morning.
pay rise for store workers
The retailer also said it was reducing the number of job types from 22 to five
Sainsburyêë ìíë íîîïðîñòó ôìíô õô ö÷íîë ôï øïïëô ôìò øíëò ùíôò ïú ìïðù÷û öíû íñùïëë õôë ëôïùòë úùïü ýþ ôï
ýÿ íë öíùô ïú í ýü õîòëôüòîô ö÷íî
The retailer yesterday said that in London it will increase the hourly rate of compensation to ýÿ þ ìò
pay rises will mean that Sainsburyêë ìíë õîñùòíëòó ôìò øíëò ùíôò ïú öíû øû öòù ñòîô úùïü ý þ öòù ìïðù
back in 2015.
ìò ùòôíõ÷ ëòñôïù ìíë îòòù øòòî üïùò ñïüöòôõôõò íîó ò îï ôìíô ïðù ñðëôïüòùë ùòí÷÷û í÷ðò ïðù
colleagues and the excellent service they provide in our shops, Sainsbury Simon Roberts said. !"
delivering the best possible service for our customers.
As part of the investment, Sainsbury ## # $%&"&&& ## with the aim of ensuring ! # " # # '(
It said that it would streamline operations, by reducing the number of role types from 22 to five: trading
assistant; food services assistant; online assistant; general merchandise and clothing assistant; and services
assistant. I will also get rid of a discretionary bonus scheme for hourly paid workers, and paid breaks.
Some workers currently get a discretionary bonus that #) *" ( +* until now been paid and while workers will still be entitled to take breaks in compliance with the law,
those will no longer be paid. A spokesperson for Sainsbury )! ,- !
don ! ## # *(
The company said that ) # )! ! ) ! '
and that to support these it )* . !) # $/ ) earns less than they do today during this time.
A consultation on the proposed changes began yesterday and will last over the coming months. If the plans
are approved, staff will get the new rate of pay from September onwards, Sainsbury (
UK firms
Britain may have missed EU targets for years because of a flaw in the way the recycling rate is calculated by companies
UK businesses are drastically underestimating the amount of plastic packaging waste they produce while
paying barely anything to deal with the problem, new research claims.
Britain generated 2.26 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste in 2015, according to the latest available
Government figures. But the true figure is likely to be more than 50 per cent higher 0 123 4566578 9788:; 0
according to sustainability consultancy Eunomia.
It analysed the composition of UK waste and found that the system for calculating recycling rates is
structurally inclined to over-estimate success.
Official figures state that 39 per cent of plastic packaging produced is recycled but the true figure could be
just 23 to 29 per cent because of fundamental flaws in the way waste is measured, according to the report
published yesterday.
Even the highest rate that the researchers consider plausible would have meant the UK missed its EU
plastic packaging recycling targets in every year from 2008 to 2012.
The official estimate of the total amount of plastic packaging is based on a study conducted for the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by Valpak, the UK<= >?@AB=C @BDED>FGA DHIJ>F?GDB
The key issue is that the quantity reported as recycled often reflects a measurement of waste which
includes moisture and other contaminants. The amount that companies say they produce, on the other
hand, is reported when it is clean, dry and free from extraneous material and contaminants, according to
This tendency to overestimate the amount recycled is especially prevalent when waste is exported for
processing which most of the UK<= J>?=CFD @BKL=B F=M CNB DHG=L>C?GDE ?OOBOP
UK businesses that are required by law to pay for recycling generally pay into compliance schemes to
discharge their legal obligations: the more packaging they produce, the more they pay.
Critics, including MPs on the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, have said that the cost of
compliance to businesses is too low and that they should be charged more under a polluter pays
Eunomia recommends if companies use unadjusted figures for what is produced Q ?= ? IB?=L@B HK CNB
Alternatively, if recycling is assessed based on data regarding packaging waste as received, then the figure
for packaging generated should be the quantity Q FGD>LOFGA IHF=CL@B ?GO DHGC?IFG?GC= Q KHLGO FG CNB
waste stream, not what is placed on the market.
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of campaign group A Plastic Planet, said a new approach to the problem was
For years the onus has been placed on recycling to solve the plastic crisis we are facing but it simply isn<C
a viable solution, she said.
Plastic is down-cycled and will eventually end up in a landfill or in our oceans. If we look at what is
recycled compared to what is collected for recycling every European country is way out in terms of their
calculations. This is further evidence that we need to turn off the plastic tap.
Life support for terminally ill
baby should be turned off,
High Court judges rule
Kate James and Tom Evans had wanted to move their son Alfie to a hospital in Europe (PA)
The parents of a 21-month-old boy have lost the latest stage of a fight to continue his life support. A High
Court judge ruled last month that doctors can stop treating Alfie Evans, against the wishes of his parents
Kate James and Tom Evans. Three Court of Appeal judges upheld that decision yesterday
Judges heard that Alfie, who was born on May 9 2016, is in a semi-vegetative state and has a
degenerative neurological condition doctors had not definitively diagnosed. Mr Justice Hayden had
analysed the case at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.
Specialists at Alder Hey Children s Hospital in Liverpool said life support treatment could stop and the
judge said he accepted medical evidence that showed further treatment was futile. Alfie s parents, who are
both in their twenties, challenged Mr Justice Hayden s ruling and asked the Court of Appeal to consider
the case.
Lord Justice McFarlane, Lord Justice McCombe and Lady Justice King, who examined issues at a Court of
Appeal hearing in London last Thursday, dismissed the couple s challenge. Alfie s parents were not at the
appeal hearing in London but listened via a telephone link.
Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, who is leading Alfie s parents legal team, said the state had wrongly
interfered with parental choice . He said Alfie s parents wanted to move him to a hospital in Europe but
Mr Justice Hayden s ruling had prevented them from doing that.
Pictures of the Day
Five of the best images from around the world
Pizza protector
A police officer guards a branch of the Italian chain restaurant Zizzi close to The Maltings shopping centre
in Salisbury, which was closed after a former Russian spy and his daughterwere found critically ill on a
bench at the shopping centre. AFP/Getty
The black parade
A model presents a creation by German designer Karl Lagerfeld as part of his Autumn/Winter 2018-19
women's ready-to-wear collection show for fashion house Chanel at the Grand Palais during Paris Fashion
Week. Reuters
Ice ahoy
A boat makes its way through the icy water in Nybroviken bay in Stockholm. AFP/Getty
Motor heads
The 88th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland. Reuters
Go fish
Two sea lions reach out to snap a fish during lunchtime at SchTUVWXUUYW Z[[ \U ]\YUU^_ `XabW\^c
Home news in brief
Mark Hemmings admitted to raping Margaret Gordon in 1993 (West Mercia Police)
Rapist finally caught after 25 years
Mark Hemmings, 58, raped Margaret Gordon in Telford Town Park in February 1993. But he was never
caught. Detectives took samples of the rapistde fgh ijklj ime nopqr oq se touroqv ijo ime wx my yjz
time, but it failed to produce a match. However it was kept on the police database.
Hemmings was finally caught last summer, when police raided his home in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, after
receiving reports of a man waving a knife. German Shepherd Canto leapt at Hemmings who stabbed the
five-year-old dog in the chest with the eight-inch blade.
Canto, who has since made a full recovery, received a bravery award last week.
After Hemmings was arrested, officers took a DNA sample which produced a match for the 1993 attack.
Gordon died in 2014, so never lived to see her rapist brought to justice. But members of her family
attended Shrewsbury Crown Court to watch him admit to the rape. He was sentenced to 10 years and six
Military veterans offered £40k bursaries to retrain as teachers
Military veterans will be offered {|}~}}} €‚ƒ„…‚ †‡ …†ƒ„ˆ ƒ‚ †…ƒ‰Š…‚ †‡ Š…‹Œ „ˆ‚†„‹ ‚…‹Ž„‚‰„Œ‹„ˆ… ƒˆ
leadership skills in young people, the Government has announced. Former military personnel who begin
teacher training courses in priority subjects  „ˆ‰‹€„ˆ‘ ’ƒ†Š‚~ †Š… ‚‰„…ˆ‰…‚ ƒˆ ’‡…ˆ ‡…„‘ˆ ‹ƒˆ‘€ƒ‘…‚
 ‰ƒˆ ‘…† ƒ €‚ƒ“ ‡’ ”…Œ†…’…•
The Department for Education and Ministry of Defence want ex-servicemen and women to whom
discipline is second nature to share the ethos with pupils. But headteacher unions have responded by
warning piecemeal announcements from the Government are unlikely to make a substantial difference
to the recruitment and retention crisis facing the sector.
Their warnings come after Ucas last week revealed the numbers applying to start postgraduate teacher
training in September are 23 per cent down on last year. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association
of School and College Leaders, said: We welcome any initiative to recruit more people into teaching
because there are severe teacher shortages in many schools in many parts of the country.
Ousted Ukip leader Bolton to launch new party
The former Ukip leader Henry Bolton yesterday announced he is founding a new political party. Mr
Bolton, who quit Ukip after losing members– ‚€ŒŒ‡† ‡—… Š„‚ …‹ƒ†„‡ˆ‚Š„Œ ˜„†Š ƒ “‡€ˆ‘… ˜‡’ƒˆ~ ‚ƒ„ †Šƒ†
the OneNation party would represent voters who want to see a confident, optimistic, prosperous and
secure UK emerge from Brexit. The new party–‚ ‚†€‰†€…‚ ƒˆ ’ƒˆƒ‘…’…ˆ† ˜„‹‹ ™’„‡ ‚‡’… ‡ †Š…
changes that I sought to bring to Ukip when its leader, he said.
Mr Bolton, 55, lasted less than 150 days as Ukip leader after being elected last September.
His romance with 25-year-old model Jo Marney caused controversy after racist texts she had previously
sent became public and he was voted out by members on 17 February.
Mr Bolton said that OneNation would be dedicated to building a Britain that was outward-looking while
preserving its own heritage and culture  ƒ ˆƒ†„‡ˆ †Šƒ† Šƒ‚ ƒ ‰‹…ƒ ƒˆ ‰‡’‡†ƒ‹… „…ˆ†„†“ ƒˆ „‚ Œ‡€ †‡
be called British.
Explaining the new party–‚ ˆƒ’…  ‡‡˜… ‡’ š„‰†‡„ƒˆŽ…ƒ ›œ …ˆžƒ’„ˆ Ÿ„‚ƒ…‹„  œ ‡‹†‡ˆ ‚ƒ„ Following a highly divisive Brexit debate and as we leave the European Union, the success of the United
Kingdom can only be assured if we unite; if we pull together as One Nation.
Man jailed for fatal hammer attack on housemate
An obsessed man was jailed yesterday for at least 20 years for killing a primary school teacher in a horrific
hammer attack. Lucian Stinci, 34, was infatuated with Florina Pastina, 36, the court heard. They shared
house in Croydon, south London.
The night before the killing, he spent six hours drinking cider, taking 6 grams of cocaine and a Viagra-like
drug as he watched sadomasochistic videos of women being tortured, raped, restrained and killed. On the
morning of 19 July last year, armed with a hammer, he hit Ms Pastina from behind as she made coffee in
the kitchen. He then continued to batter her over the head as she lay on the floor, causing blood to spatter
over the walls and ceiling.
Last Friday, Stinci pleaded guilty to her murder as well as assault occasioning actual bodily harm, unlawful
wounding and possession of cocaine. Jailing him for life with a minimum of 20 years, Judge Marks said it
was a vicious assault, fuelled by cocaine and disgusting porn material. The court heard Ms Pastina
came to Britain from Romania in 2010 while the defendant had lived in the UK for 10 years and worked as
a supervisor for Mayday Hotels in Croydon.
North Korea agrees to nuclear
talks at summit
South Korea says key commitments have been secured in Pyongyang
discussions, although as ever scepticism remains
South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong (right) announced the summit after meeting North Korean leader Kim Jongun (AFP/Getty)
North Korea is willing to hold talks on giving up its nuclear arsenal and freeze its missle and nuclear
programmes if there is a direct dialogue with the US in what is a dramatic breakthrough following months
of tension between the two countries.
Returning from a two-day visit to the North¡¢ £¤¥¦§¤¨ ©ª «¬©­®¬¤­®¯ °©±§² ³©´µ¤­ ©ªª¦£¦¤¨¢ ¢¤¦¶ §²¤§ ³¦·
Jong-un had also agreed to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next month in the first such
summit for more than a decade. And that Mr Kim saw no need for the North¡¢ ­±£¨µ¤´ ¸µ¤¥©­´¬ ¦ª ²¦¢
country¡¢ ¢µ£±´¦§¬ ¸¤¢ ¤¢¢±´µ¶¹
US President Donald Trump hailed the º¥©¢¢¦»¨µ ¥´©®´µ¢¢¼ ©½µ´ §¤¨¾¢ ¤­¶ ¢¤¦¶ «¬©­®¬¤­® ¢©±­¶µ¶
º¢¦­£µ´µ¼¯ »±§ ¦­ ¤ ¢¦®­ §²¤§ §²µ ¿° ¦¢ ­©§ ´µ¤¶¬ §© §¤¾µ §²µ ©¥§¦©­ ©ª ·¦¨¦§¤´¬ ¤£§©­ ©ªª §²µ §¤»¨µ À ¤ §²´µ¤§
that has been a constant in the escalating rhetoric between the too nations over the last year - Vice
President Mike Pence said the administration is waiting for º£´µ¶¦»¨µ¼ ¢§µ¥¢ §© »µ §¤¾µ­ §©¸¤´¶¢
The sudden announcement of talks between Mr Kim and Mr Moon marks a dramatic potential step
towards inter-Korean harmony Á ¤­¶ ¤ ¶¦½¦¶µ­¶ ©ª ·©½µ¢ §©¸¤´¶¢ ¥µ¤£µ ¦­¦§¦¤§µ¶ ¤§ ¨¤¢§ ·©­§²¡¢ ¦­§µ´
Olympics in the South Korean mountain district of Pyeongchang.
Chung Eui-yong, Mr Moon¡¢ ­¤§¦©­¤¨ ¢µ£±´¦§¬ ¤¶½¦¢µ´ ¤­¶ ©§²µ´ ·µ·»µ´¢ ©ª ²¦¢ ¶µ¨µ®¤§¦©­ ¸µ´µ ²©¢§µ¶ §©
dinner by Mr Kim, with he North Korean leader said to have described that conversation as º©¥µ­À
hearted. Mr Kim had invited Mr Moon to the summit three weeks ago in a letter that his younger sister,
Kim Yo-jong, personally delivered after attending the Pyeongchang opening ceremony.
First and foremost, said Mr Chung, Mr Kim agreed º§²µ ¶µ­±£¨µ¤´¦¢¤§¦©­ ¦¢¢±µ ·¤¬ »µ ¶¦¢£±¢¢µ¶ ¤¢ ¤­
agenda for the North-US dialogue Á ¤­ ±­¶µ´¢§¤­¶¦­® §²¤§ ·¤´¾µ¶ ¤ £¨µ¤´ ¶µ¥¤´§±´µ ª´©· é´§² ³©´µ¤¡¢
previous refusal to discuss the nuclear issue at all.
Indeed, said Mr Chung, Mr Kim º²¤¢ £¨µ¤´¨¬ ¢§¤§µ¶ §²¤§ §²µ ¶µ­±£¨µ¤´¦¢¤§¦©­ ©ª §²µ ³©´µ¤­ «µ­¦­¢±¨¤ ¸¤¢
an instruction of his predecessor Á §²¤§ ¦¢¯ ²¦¢ ª¤§²µ´¯ ³¦· Ä©­®À¦¨¹ Å´ ³¦·¯ ¢¤¦¶ Å´ Ʋ±­®¯ ¢¤¦¶ º§²µ´µ ²¤¢
been no change to such an instruction.
On the streets of Seoul, Koreans responded with feelings ranging from exhilaration to scepticism. ºÇ²¦¢ ¦¢
great, said Kim Han-jin, a young businessman. ºÂµ ¢²©±¨¶ ¾µµ¥ §¤¨¾¦­® ±­§¦¨ §²µ é´§² ¦¢ ¶µ­±£¨µ¤´¦¢µ¶¹¼
Another person, who did not want her name used, said: ºÇ²µ ¿° ¢²©±¨¶ £©©¥µ´¤§µ ¦­¢§µ¤¶ ©ª ·¤¾¦­®
threats against North Korea. Korean conservatives, however, took quite a different view. º«´µ¢¦¶µ­§
Moon is falling for Kim Jong-un¡¢ ¶©±»¨µ §¤¨¾¯¼ ¢¤¦¶ ¤ ·¦¶¶¨µÀ¤®µ¶ ·¤­¹ ºÈµ ¸©­¡§ ®¦½µ ±¥ ¤­¬§²¦­®¹ ȵ
wants to weaken our defences.
As for Mr Trump, he declined to say whether he had any preconditions for talks with Pyongyang as
officials in the United States, Japan and China responded with caution and guarded optimism to the
possibility following months of insults and threats of war between the US president and Mr Kim. ºÂµ¡´µ
going to see what happens, Mr Trump said.
ºÉ §²¦­¾ §²¤§ Ê«©­®¬¤­®Ë ¤´µ ¢¦­£µ´µ¹ Ì­¶ É §²¦­¾ §²µ¬Í´µ ¢¦­£µ´µ ¤¨¢© »µ£¤±¢µ ©ª §²µ ¢¤­£§¦©­¢ ¤­¶ ¸²¤§
we're doing with respect to North Korea, including the great help that we've been given from China, Mr
Trump added at a news conference after meeting with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden, which
represents US interests in North Korea. Two officials from South Korea who met Mr Kim are due to travel
to Washington this week to brief US officials on their visit.
The White House also issued a brief statement from Mr Pence suggesting that all options were available.
ºÌ¨¨ ©¥§¦©­¢ ¤´µ ©­ §²µ §¤»¨µ¯ ¤­¶ ©±´ ¥©¢§±´µ §©¸¤´¶ §²µ ´µ®¦·µ ¸¦¨¨ ­©§ £²¤­®µ ±­§¦¨ ¸µ ¢µµ £´µ¶¦»¨µ¯
verifiable and concrete steps toward denuclearisation, Mr Pence said. Any reaction may also be
complicated by the US State Department announcing late yesterday that that it had decided Pyongyang
used the chemical warfare agent VX to assassinate the half-brother of Mr Kim in Malaysia in 2017 and had
imposed additional sanctions on the country which went into effect on Monday.
On the other side, analysts quickly noted that Mr Kim probably hoped that by agreeing to holding a
summit so soon it would throw off planning for joint US-Korean military exercises set to begin early next
Both Mr Moon and President Donald Trump have insisted the war games will be held as scheduled, but
South Koreans are sure to express doubts as to whether they are such a good idea in the run-up to what
would be the third inter-Korean summit Î ÏÐÑ ÒÓÔÕÏ ÕÓÖ×Ñ ÏÐÑ ØÙÏÑ ÚÛÐ ÜÛÛÝÐÞßÖ àÑÏ áÓà âÛÖãÝÓØ ÓÖ
Pyongyang in 2007. Mr RohäÕ åÔÑæÑ×ÑÕÕÛÔç ÏÐÑ ØÙÏÑ áÓà èÙÑÝéßÖãç ÒØÑê ÏÛ ëÞÛÖãÞÙÖã ÓÖ âßÖÑ ìííí ÒÛÔ ÏÐÑ
first inter-Korean summit Î Ù æÓîÓæÑÖæ ÛÒ ÛÒ Ù ïÕßÖÕÐÓÖÑ åÛØÓ×Þð ÛÒ ñÛÔÏÐÝòÛßÏÐ ÔÑ×ÛÖ×ÓØÓÙÏÓÛÖ ÒÔÛà ÐÓÕ
The agreement to meet at Panmunjom, where the Korean War armistice was signed in 1953, means that
Mr Moon would not be in the position of going as a supplicant to Pyongyang. Rather, the two would be
meeting on equal, neutral ground Î ÕÞàóÛØÓ× ÛÒ ÏÐÑÓÔ àßÏßÙØ æÑÕÓÔÑ ÏÛ ôÑÑå ßå ÏÐÑ àÛàÑÖÏßà ãÑÖÑÔÙÏÑæ
by the Olympics.
The North, said Mr Chung at his briefing at the Blue House, the presidential residence and office complex,
made clear it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be
guaranteed and military threats against North Korea removed. Indeed, he added, ïÏÐÑ ñÛÔÏÐ åÔÛàÓÕÑæ
not to use not only nuclear weapons but also conventional weapons against the South.
This policy, if followed, marks a sharp reversal from the pattern of missile and nuclear tests that have
characterised Kim Jong-unäÕ ÔßØÑõ ÜÔ áÓà ÐÙÕ ÛÔæÑÔÑæ öí àÓÕÕÓØÑ ÏÑÕÏÕç ÓÖ×ØßæÓÖã ÏÐÔÑÑ ÛÒ ØÛÖãÝÔÙÖãÑ
ballistic missiles theoretically capable of delivering a warhead to American targets, since Mr Moon won the
predecessor, Park Geun-hye. Mr Kim has also ordered two underground nuclear tests.
However,Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that ïÓÏ ÓÕ ÖÑ×ÑÕÕÙÔÞ ÏÛ ÙÕÕÑÕÕ êÐÑÏÐÑÔ ÏÐÑ
North-South summit will really lead to the [NorthäÕ÷ ÙóÙÖæÛÖàÑÖÏ ÛÒ Öß×ØÑÙÔ ÙÖæ àÓÕÕÓØÑ æÑîÑØÛåàÑÖÏõð
China merely issued a statement that encouraged North and South Korea to continue reconciliation
Even if South Korea and the US do stage possibly modified military exercises in the next few weeks, the
plan for the summit may force the US away from any thought of of exercising the ïàÓØÓÏÙÔÞ ÛåÏÓÛÖðç
possibly a preemptive strike on the NorthäÕ Öß×ØÑÙÔ ÙÖæ àÓÕÕÓØÑ ÒÙ×ÓØÓÏÓÑÕç æÑÕåÓÏÑ ÏÐÑ ÔÐÑÏÛÔÓ× ÒÔÛà ÜÔ
Pence. Mr Moon, while calling for strengthening of the SouthäÕ ÙÔàÑæ ÒÛÔ×ÑÕ ÙØÛÖã êÓÏÐ æÑÖß×ØÑÙÔÓÕÙÏÓÛÖç
has opposed any attack on North Korea as almost certain to invite a counter-attack on South KoreaäÕ
densely populated capital region of Seoul and the nearby west coast port Incheon.
Just to make sure nothing goes wrong, said Mr Chung, South and North Korea also agreed ïÏÛ ÕÑÏ ßå Ù
hotline between their leaders to allow close consultations and a reduction of military tension, while also
agreeing to hold the first phone conversation before the third South-North summit.
Pyongyang used agent
Kim Jong-nam murder
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (left) and his half-brother Kim Jong-Nam (AP)
The US announced new sanctions on North Korea yesterday after finding Pyongyang deployed a banned
chemical agent to assassinate leader Kim Jong-unøù úûüý þÿ úÿ
ú ÿ
ÿú ÿû ù ú úûü ûÿýûÿ û û û ûùùûùù
the Kuala Lumpur airport, the State Department said in a statement.
ú ûù ùÿ ü ù ú ù
úûü û ù û ûùùûùùû û
spokesman added, saying the North Korean regime had shown ý ÿ ÿùûü ÿù ûûù
chemical weapons.
Kim Jong-nam died last year after two women attacked him at Kuala Lumpur !"# $%&'( )$*'
authorities to charge the alleged assailants with murder, which they deny.
The UN has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Pyongyang after a series of nuclear and
intercontinental ballistic missile tests, but the State Department ''!+',%-%'" !. '%/ %'$"% ,-%
as the Trump administration eyed a rare diplomatic opening.
After North Korea used the Winter Olympics to make an overture to Seoul, leading to a rare meeting in
Pyongyang between officials from the estranged nations, South Korea said the North had expressed a
willingness to talk with the US about renouncing its nuclear weapons.
Donald Trump welcomed the new developments on the peninsula as 01%* !"1%2 '& & 0/% 31%
come, certainly, a long way.
04!5$% !(% 5%'( -&% ' "$6 /"3 7!"3 8!%2# ) 9+- & !' 9/""%: 0;! "3% ." "-%
in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting!
May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!
Trump economic adviser
resigns amid tariff row
Donald Trump and Gary Cohn during a Republican retreat earlier this year (AFP)
Donald Trump s top economic adviser last night resigned as the White House contends with a broad
backlash to its announcement of steep tariffs on aluminium and steel.
It has been an honour to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the
American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform , National Economic Council director
Gary Cohn said in a statement issued by the White House. I am grateful to the President for giving me
this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future .
In a separate statement, Mr Trump said Mr Cohn did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to
deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again .
The imminent departure of Mr Cohn comes days after Mr Trump announced the new tariffs, prompting
fears of igniting a trade war as other countries have threatened retaliatory measures. Mr Cohen reportedly
sought to dissuade the President.
Pushback to the new levies has come from economists who argue the measures will hurt American
consumers and from members of Mr Trump's own party, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other
conservatives publicly assailing the proposal.
A registered Democrat and a free trade advocate, Mr Cohn made for a somewhat incongruous fit serving in
a Republican White House under a President who favours economic protectionism and regularly bemoans
international trade pacts as giving America a bad deal. In a factionalised White House, farther-right staffers
were said to derisively refer Mr Cohn and his allies as the Democrats .
He has broken with the President before, most notably when he added his voice to a chorus publicly
criticising Mr Trump for equating neo-Nazis with counter-protesters. Mr Cohn said at the time he was
facing enormous pressure to resign.
While Mr Trump closed out his presidential campaign with a campaign blasted the power of a handful of
large corporations and displayed an image of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Mr Trump showed
no qualms about elevating a Goldman Sachs alumnus in appointing Mr Cohn, the finance titan s former
Mr Cohn's departure adds to the cascade of top staffers who have left the Trump administration, coming
just days after communications chief Hope Hicks said she was leaving.
Sri Lanka declares state of
emergency over fear attacks on
Muslims could spread
The measures have been put in place for 10 days after violence in Kandy (Reuters)
Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency after a sudden spike in violence against Muslims in a central
town, and amid fears the unrest could spread to other parts of the country. President Maithripala Sirisena
said the declaration would <=>?@A=BC DE= F@GHDBIJK LB>=M N@BF=K LHM ?@OPF= D@ B=K?@HM D@ FOLKE=K PH DE=
hill town of Kandy.
The state of emergency would be put in place for an initial 10 days, a government spokesman said,
following an emergency cabinet meeting yesterday morning. Special measures would be enforced QRS
prevent the spread of communal riots.
On Monday, Buddhist mobs swept through the town and burnt down at least 11 Muslim-owned properties.
It came amid claims that a Buddhist man was reportedly killed by a group of Muslims.
The clashes raised the spectre of ethnic violence in a country where, just nine years ago, the government
ended a decades-long civil war with ethnic Tamil separatist rebels. While the specific details of the state of
emergency remain unclear, government spokesman Dayasiri Jayasekara hinted that it could include a
temporary crackdown on the use of social media. He said some people had been instigating violence on
Facebook T RUV WSXR YSYZ[\] XS^_\[ WV`_\ X_RV \WSab c]_ d\ae\aX T \a` f\]aV` RUVg h\^V` XV]_SZX
Elite forces and police officers stand guard
near a house that was burnt down in the
clashes (Reuters)
It was unclear what the practical implications of the state of emergency would be in the rest of the country
beyond Kandy itself. So far, no violence has been reported elsewhere in the island nation. A tweet from the
office of President Sirisena said the decree would Q]V`]VXX RUV ZaX\R_Xh\^RS]g XV^Z]_Rg X_RZ\R_Sa Y]Vi\_[_ab
in certain parts of the country. It said the countryjX XV^Z]_Rg hS]^VX QU\iV kVVa XZ_R\k[g VWYSfV]V` RS `V\[
with criminal elements in the society and urgently restore normalcy.
Kandy has seen a flare-up of violence in recent years as extremist Buddhist organisations have risen in
prominence. Sri Lanka as a whole has long been divided between the majority Sinhalese, making up 70 per
cent of the population and who are overwhelmingly Buddhist, minority Tamils who are mostly Hindu and
make up 13 per cent, and around 9 per cent of people who are Muslims. The country has a population of 21
Sri Lanka remains deeply scarred by its 1983-2009 civil war, when Tamil rebels fought to create an
independent homeland. While the rebels were eventually crushed, a religious divide has taken hold in
recent years, with hard-line Sinhalese groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and
destroying sacred Buddhist archaeological sites.
Some Buddhist nationalist groups have also protested against the presence of Rohingya Muslim refugees in
Sri Lanka. The Rohingya have fled majority-Buddhist Myanmar to neighbouring countries in their
hundreds of thousands, with Buddhist nationalism also on the rise in Myanmar. Lakshman Kiriella, a
lawmaker from Kandy, said in parliament that MondayjX \RR\^eX fV]V Q^\]]_V` SZR kg SZRX_`V]Xlm Qn \W
ashamed as a Buddhist and we must apologise to the Muslims, he declared.
The unrest began after a Buddhist truck driver died on Sunday, days after he was involved in an altercation
with four Muslims. Officials say the cause of the argument remains unclear, but after his funeral on
Monday, a Sinhalese mob gathered and attacked Muslim shops and houses. The body of a young Muslim
man was found in one of the burnt-out houses yesterday, police said. A curfew that was imposed in two
districts of Kandy on Monday has now been extended.
Eastern Ghouta aid cut short
amid reports of gas attack and
fresh air strikes
A Syrian Arab Red Crescent relief convoy rolls into the besieged town of Douma on Monday: government shelling forced a retreat
shortly after (Reuters)
The first aid delivery to reach a besieged rebel area of Damascus in weeks had to be cut short because of
government-led shelling while aid workers were still in the vicinity, the International Red Cross
Committee (ICRC) has said.
A convoy of 46 trucks entered eastern Ghouta on Monday for the first time since an intense government
assault on the area began two weeks ago. It carried enough food for approximately 27,500 of the areaop
estimated 400,000 population, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that up to 70 per cent of
the medical supplies on board had been offloaded q r stuutv wxrsyzs{ zv |}xzr~ €rx
While aid workers were still distributing the cargo in the town of Douma shelling from government-held
neighbourhoods resumed, the IRCR confirmed yesterday, leading nine of the trucks to evacuate with
supplies still on board.
The fresh strikes combined with the discovery of bodies in rubble from previous days upped Monday~
death toll to around 90 people, by local counts q y‚{ ‚zƒ‚{y zvs{ r „wwt{… †‡ s{r{ˆzx{ €r ‰xtŠ{x{…
on 24 February.
The humanitarian situation appears to be worsening due to the lack of food and adequate medical help and
significant internal displacement is starting to occur, local activists said.
Families who have spent the last two weeks hiding in basements are starting to flee further inside the
besieged zone to escape shelling and air strikes, sources on the ground and monitors confirmed.
Humanitarian corridors opened by Russia to allow civilians to flee the area remain empty, however, as
residents fear shelling of the routes by both government and rebel forces.
Yesterday the Russian defence ministry offered rebels safe passage out of eastern Ghouta with their
families q ‰„y „v‹zŠ{ zv ty‚{x z{ƒ{Œ „s‚ r {ry ‹{wwtŒ y‚{x{ z vt v{rx‰} x{‰{‹ yxtvƒ‚t‹… yt {Žrs„ry{
to.The Russian proposal did not specify where the rebels would go but in previous deals insurgents have
been given safe passage to Idlib province in northwest Syria.
More than 700 people have been killed in the two-week-old assault, monitors say, despite pleas from the
UN and humanitarian organisations for both sides to uphold the supposed 30-day-ceasefire.
Damascus and its allies in Moscow argue that the rebel fighters they are targeting are members of banned
terrorist groups who are not protected by the truce.
The Syrian army has captured more than a third of the enclave over the last three days in an attempt to
split it in two.
The UN hopes to be able to send another convoy tomorrow, Jens Laerke of the body~ ttx…zvryztv tˆ
Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) office told reporters.
Meanwhile, medical staff in Hammouriya in eastern Ghouta reported 12 people from two families were
admitted to hospital with chlorine gas inhalation symptoms after a strike late on Monday night. There were
no fatalities.
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron repeated their opposition to
chemical weapons usage as a x{… ‹zv{‘ zv |}xzr~ {Ž{v’}{rx’t‹… €rx ‹ry €{{Š
Rescue workers say President Bashar al-Assad~ ˆtxs{ ‚r x{w{ry{…‹} „{… s‚‹txzv{ ƒr r r €{rwtv zv
eastern Ghouta in recent weeks, claims which the government has strongly denied.
UAE linked to efforts to get
Trump to fire Tillerson over
Qatar, leaked emails reveal
The US Secretary of State was involved in regional mediation last year (Reuters)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been linked to efforts to get US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
removed from his post for his attempts at mediation in the Gulf states“ ”•–— ˜™š› š›• œ™ž—Ÿ Ÿ” ¡¢š¢£¤
leaked emails have revealed.
Correspondence obtained by the BBC from the inbox of Elliott Broidy, a major donor of President Donald
Trump with millions¥ ¦§ ¨¦©©ª«¬¥ ­¦«®¯ ¦§ °±² ³´¬µ¶·¬¬ ©µ¶¸¬¹ ¬¯¦­ ®¯ª® ¯· º·® ­µ®¯ »« ¼«´º½ µ¶ ¾¿®¦³·«
2017 and told that the US leader Mr Tillerson was À½·«§¦«ºµ¶Á ½¦¦«©Â ª¶¨ ¬¯¦´©¨ ³· §µ«·¨ ª® ª ½¦©µ®µ¿ª©©Â
convenient time.
He also reportedly called Mr Tillerson, the former CEO of oil giant Exxon Mobil, À­·ª¸Ã ª¶¨ ª À®¦­·« ¦§
Jello, that À¶··¨¬ ®¦ ³· ¬©ªºº·¨ÃÄ
A blow-by-blow account of the meeting was sent to dual Lebanese-American national George Nader, who
has recently been speculated to be person of interest in Special Counsel Robert Mueller¥¬ µ¶Å·¬®µÁª®µ¦¶
into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election which bought Mr Trump to office.
He also reportedly suggested Mr Trump meet with Abu Dhabi¥¬ ½¦­·«§´© ¿«¦­¶ ½«µ¶¿· »¦¯ªºº·¨ ³µ¶
Zayed as well as UAE military commanders to discuss setting up a regional counter-terrorism force.
Mr Broidy also met with Mr Trump¥¬ ¬¦¶Æµ¶Æ©ª­ ª¶¨ ª¨Åµ¬¦« Ǫ«·¨ È´¬¯¶·« ª«¦´¶¨ ®¯· ¬ªº· ®µº·¹ ¯· ¬ªµ¨¹
although Mr Kushner À¬··º·¨ ®¦ ¶¦® ­ª¶® ®¦ ·¶ÁªÁ· ¦¶ ®¯µ¬ µ¬¬´· ɦ§ ®¯· ʪ®ª«µ ³©¦¿¸ª¨·ËÃÄ
A spokesperson for Mr Broidy told the BBC the business leader¥¬ ·ºªµ©¬ ¯ª¨ ³··¶ ¯ª¿¸·¨ ³Â À³¦®¯
registered and unregistered agents of Qatar to À½´¶µ¬¯ »« Ì«¦µ¨Â §¦« ¯µ¬ ¬®«¦¶Á ¦½½¦¬µ®µ¦¶ ®¦ ¬®ª®·Æ
sponsored terrorism. Some of the emails ÀºªÂ ¯ªÅ· ³··¶ ª©®·«·¨Ã¹ ¯· ª¨¨·¨Ä
Qatari government representatives categorically denied hacking Mr Broidy¥¬ ·ºªµ©¹ ¿ª©©µ¶Á ®¯· ¿©ªµº ª
À³ª¬·©·¬¬ ª¿¿´¬ª®µ¦¶ÃÄ
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt abruptly cut off all diplomatic and trade ties with tiny Qatar in
June last year, alleging that the state interfered in the affairs of its neighbours and funded terror
In initial crisis talks Mr Tillerson travelled to the region for mediation purposes, calling the the blockade to
be eased Í ª ¬®ª¶¿· ®¯ª® ¿¦¶®«ª¨µ¿®·¨ »« ¼«´º½¥¬ µ¶µ®µª© ¬´½½¦«® §¦« ®¯· Ϊ´¨µÆ©·¨ µ¶µ®µª®µÅ·Ä
Qatar is home to the US¥¬ ©ª«Á·¬® ºµ©µ®ª«Â ³ª¬· µ¶ ®¯· «·Áµ¦¶¹ §«¦º ­¯µ¿¯ »µ¨¨©· ²ª¬® ¦½·«ª®µ¦¶¬ µ¶¿©´¨µ¶Á
anti-Isis air strikes are conducted.
Relations between Mr Trump and Mr Tillerson have appeared strained during the first year of the
President¥¬ ®·¶´«·¹ ­µ®¯ «·½¦«®¬ ¿µ«¿´©ª®µ¶Á ©ª¬® Ϧŷº³·« ®¯ª® ®¯· Яµ®· Ѧ´¬· ­ª¬ ½«·½ª«µ¶Á ®¦ §µ«· ®¯·
Secretary of State. Mr Tillerson was forced to deny he called the President a Àº¦«¦¶Ã ©ª®· ©ª¬® ·ª«Ä
It was reported yesterday that the Gulf states are considering relaxing the boycott by allowing freedom of
movement for affected civilians ahead of a more wide-ranging deal.
Italian far-right leader pushes
for right to be PM
Matteo Salvini s Northern League became the strongest party in a broad right-wing alliance after the weekend s elections (Reuters)
The leader of ItalyÒÓ ÔÕÖ×ÖØÙÚÛ ÜÝÖÛÚÞÖß àÞÕÙáÞ âÕÖÛã ÚÕÓ ÓÕØä ÚÞ åØææ ßÝÛ ÓáââÝÖÛ Õßã çÕßäØäÕÛÞ ÔÝÖ âÖØèÞ
minister other than himself, as horse-trading to form a governing coalition begins after indecisive elections
at the weekend.
Matteo Salvini replied éßÝêë åÚÞß ÕÓìÞä íã ÖÞâÝÖÛÞÖÓ Øß îØæÕß ØÔ ÚÞ åÝáæä èÕìÞ åÕã ÔÝÖ ÕßÝÛÚÞÖ çÕßäØäÕÛÞ
government. The Northern League became the strongest party in a broader right-wing alliance, which
itself was the largest bloc in the weekendÒÓ ÞæÞçÛØÝßÓ åØÛÚ ñò âÞÖ çÞßÛ ÝÔ ÛÚÞ óÝÛÞô
The right-wing alliance, which also includes Silvio BerlusconiÒÓ õÝÖöÕ ðÛÕæØÕ âÕÖÛãë åØææ âÖÝíÕíæã ÓÞÞì ÓÝèÞ
kind of deal with the Five Star Movement, the populist anti-corruption and Eurosceptic party that won
32.7 per cent of the vote. Neither group has enough support in Parliament to form a governing majority by
itself ÷ øùú úûüý þÿù ÿÿ ü üûüü ÿ ùÿú ûü þü
úü üú þü ü øý úûü þùøü
Democratic Party, may also be tempted to do a deal to stay as the junior partner in a government after its
five parties took a combined 22.3 per cent, giving it a look in.
However, failed Italian centrist politician Matteo Renzi, who led the Democratic Party to its worst
showing ever (19 per cent) in the weekend ü üþúÿ
ùü û þÿ üùü úÿ ù ü ÿùú þü úû úûü
Five Star Movement rather than be tempted to hang on in power.
He took to social media to say that the Democratic Party should be the opposition to any government and
not be tempted to do a deal with any of the other parties, which he said ù úü ù ÿ ýü ûü
elections are over, the PD has lost, we must move on, he said. úûü üú ü ýü ûü úÿ
stand in opposition to extremists, he said.
ü ú úûü ûú ûü ù úü ù ÿ ýü üüü
ú úûü ÿÿúü ÿ ÿù ùü ûüý ü ú
Europeans, anti-politicians, they used hate language. We have been told that we are corrupt, mobsters,
collude, and that we have blood on our hands for immigration: I donú úû
úûüý þû
ü úûü suddenly. They can form a government if they can, we stay out. For me the PD must stay where the
citizens put it: to the opposition. If anyone from our party thinks otherwise, say it next Monday or in
parliamentary groups.
Speaking to reporters in Brussels, a spokesperson for the European Commission said: üü
ú ù
is following developments closely the European Union is a union of democracies. The Italian people
have expressed their opinions freely on Saturday and we reiterate our confidence in the president of the
Italian government ø úý úÿ ø
úûü úü úÿüúûü ÿ úø ü ÿü
ú ü ù
that the next steps in the Italian constitutional procedures is the election of the speaker of the parliament
later this month.
World news in brief
Tonya Illman found the bottle while walking on a sand dune (
World s oldest message in a bottle found on Australian beach
The world !"#$ %&'& (#)*# +& ) ,$$!# -) ,##& "+./#0#" ,1 ) .23!# & ) ,#).- +& 4#$#0&
Australia. Tonya Illman saw the 132-year-old bottle by chance while walking on a sand dune next to a
beach near Wedge Island in January. She said she picked up the bottle because she thought it might look
nice on display in my home.
Inside the gin bottle was a note written in German and dated 12 June 1886. Ms Illman -2,)&"5 6+(
Illman, later helped translate the note. The Western Australian Museum (WAM) confirmed the
authenticity of the find, saying it believed the bottle was thrown from a German sailing ship attempting to
find efficient shipping routes.
Between 1864 until 1933, German boats threw thousands bottles into the sea in attempts to track the
currents of the ocean. The messages in the bottles included the ship .0"+&)$#5 $-# ")$# )&" $-# &)(#
of the ship. The notes also asked the finder to write when and where the bottle had been found and return
it to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg or to the nearest German consulate.
Ross Anderson, from WAM, used the name written on the note, Paula, to confirm the age of the message.
He matched the name to maritime records of a German ship and found the handwriting was similar to a
captain78 9:;<=98 =: >?@A?78 B9;9C<CACD=E?A FC@<:?AG HI9 J<9K=C@8 LC<AM <9EC<M NC< ;I9 CAM98; B988?D9 =: ?
bottle was 108 years, four months and 18 days, according to WAM.
Belgium: man first to be convicted of sexism in public
A man has been convicted of sexism in a public place for the first time under a new law in Belgium. A court
in Brussels fined him 3,000OPQRSST
NC< =:8@A;=:D ? JCA=E9 CNN=E9< U9E?@89 CN I9< D9:M9<Q V9 WC=<
reported. It comes as France prepares to create an offence of street harassment, described as sexist and
sexual outrage.
The Belgian case involved a driver who was stopped for breaking the highway code. The young man X LIC
has not been identified X =:8@A;9M ;I9 JCA=E9 CNN=E9< U9E?@89 CN I9< D9:M9<Q ;I9 EC@<; I9?<MG Y9 L?8
reported to have said she would be better off doing a job adapted to women, in a scene witnessed by
several other people.
The driver was found guilty of three charges: contempt of a police officer, making threats and sexist
remarks in public and a serious violation of another person78 M=D:=;Z U9E?@89 CN I9< D9:M9<G Y9 L?8 L?<:9M
that if he fails to pay the fine, a prison term of a month will be imposed.
French couple banned from calling baby girl Liam
A French couple have been reported to the courts for deciding to name their baby girl Liam.
In many Western countries unisex names are on the rise with monikers like Alex, Bailey, River and Charlie
used for both boys and girls. But when an unnamed couple tried to give their third child, who was born in
November, a traditionally male name, French prosecutors intervened.
This, they say, is because it would be likely to create a risk of gender confusion and therefore contrary
to the interest of the child and could harm her in her social relations, The Local reports. As a result, the
prosecutor has asked the courts to ban the parents from using the name Liam and force them to give the
child another name chosen by the parents and, failing that, by the judge.
To support the argument, the prosecutor quoted examples of famous men with the name Liam including
former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and actor Liam Neeson. Despite having already been advised by
the registrar to give the child a more feminine name, the parents, who live in Morbihan, Brittany, are
battling the case and have requested the services of a lawyer.
Rohingya cannot be returned to Myanmar, says UN
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh cannot be safely returned to Myanmar because widespread and
systematic violence against them amounting to ethnic cleansing is continuing, the senior UN official for
human rights has said. Andrew Gilmour said during a four-day visit to Bangladesh refugees told him
credible accounts of continued killings, rape, torture and abductions, as well as forced starvation in
Rakhine state, western Myanmar.
Despite Myanmar saying it was ready to accept back refugees under an pact signed with Bangladesh in
November, he added: Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are, of course, impossible under current
conditions. Myanmar78 DCK9<:B9:; M9:=98 8@EI ?U@898 ?:M ?::C@:E9M =: [?:@?<Z =; L?8 <9?MZ ;C ?EE9J;
the return of refugees.
The idea privatisation could
improve the supply of water
remains a burst-pipe dream
Nationalisation could end all that financial engineering, grotesque cash extraction, endemic tax avoidance, and stratospheric
managerial pay (Rex)
Last year Thames Water was hit with a \]^_ `abc `de fdgghiabj ikc lmicelmno d`
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire with a billion and a half litres of raw sewage
between 2012 and 2014. The judge cited a p`maghec id ecfdei abqarcbios mbr m
pkaoiden d` bdbtqd_fgambqcs un ikc qd_fmbnv wxhaf_cbi lmo hb_mabimabcrv
Warnings from employees went unheeded by management.
Thamesyo qdbrhqi lmo uembrcr praojemqc`hgsz {hoia`nabj ikc gmejcoi `abmbqamg fcbmgin `de fdgghiadb ab |}
corporate history. While all that was going on Thamesyo udooz ikc mfign bm_cr ~meiab mjjoz ecqca€cr m ^
per cent pay rise, taking his total annual remuneration to above \]_v
Now Thames (along with three other private water companies) has let down its customers again, leaving
them high and uncomfortably dry after pipes burst in last weekyo uaj `ecc‚cv ƒbrz dbqc mjmabz aiyo
apparently corporate incompetence at work rather than just bad luck.
p„mice qd_fmbaco km€c uccb lmebcr ia_c mbr mjmab ikmi ikcn bccr id uc uciice mi fgmbbabj mkcmr id rcmg
with these sorts of situations, fumed Rachel Fletcher, the head of the regulator, Ofwat, today.
So presumably, if history is a guide, Thamesyo qheecbi qkac` c…cqhia€c qmb gdd† `delmer id m uh_fce
payday. Owning a water company isnyi m gaqcbqc id feabi _dbcnv hi ikc qmok rdco `gdl c…iemderabmeagn
freely in this sector. In the financial year ending in 2017, according to data collected by Ofwat, the private
water companies raked in total revenues from households and businesses of \‡‡vˆubv ‰kcae fed`aio uc`dec
tax were just under \]ubv
That equates to a profit margin of 17 per cent, which is extraordinarily elevated for a natural-monopoly
public utility. Such plump margins enabled the water companies to pay out \‡vŠub d` ra€arcbroz ab idimgz id
their shareholders. Between 2007 and 2016 total dividends summed \‡‹ubv
The industry points to higher levels of investment by water companies since the 1980s as evidence that
privatisation has worked in the public interest. But much of that capital spending was mandated under
European Union environmental regulation. It would have happened anyway, even if the regional water
companies had never been sold off by the Thatcher government back in 1989.
And that \‡‹ub ab ra€arcbro ab ikc rcqmrc id ]^‡z abqarcbimggnz lmo edhjkgn cxhmg id ikcae idimg fed`aio
over that period. Investment for the future pretty clearly ranks behind shareholder returns for these
companies. A broad survey of the state of the privatised water industry reveals a scene almost as
unpleasant as those befouled Oxford waterways.
We see tax avoidance through the creation of complex webs of offshore holding companies. We see firms
loading up on debt to benefit from lower interest rates. We see the gains from lower borrowing costs not
being adequately shared with customers, who have seen bills rising well above the rate of inflation over the
past 30 years. We see remuneration for executives beyond the dreams of any equivalently senior public
sector employee.
Even the quondam Thaterchite Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, now accepts most of this charge
sheet. And we can reasonably supplement it with proven managerial incompetence and regulatory
There are reasons to be sceptical of Labouryo mejh_cbi ikmi lmice bmiadbmgaomiadb ldhgr gcmr ho id m
promised land of good customer service and efficiency. Pipes would still burst under national ownership.
Public servants are perfectly capable of bungling.
Yet it would also be a land without financial engineering, grotesque cash extraction, endemic tax
avoidance, and stratospheric managerial pay. Thatyo ldeik od_cikabjv Œ_fed€c mbr iajkicb ecjhgmiadb
instead, say some. But what should the new framework be? Where in the world is privatised water working
satisfactorily for consumers?
There is, in fact, a global trend of re-municipalisation of privatised water provision, driven by many of the
same problems of unwarranted private value extraction and managerial incompetence as we have seen
Given the failures of the past 30 years, the onus is surely on the defenders of the status quo to justify it; to
explain why in Britain water, and the financial rewards from its supply, should continue to flow uphill.
If you were ready to protest
against Trump, the Saudi visit
should enrage you...
We should be ending our arms deals with the regime, not rolling out the red carpet for the Crown Prince (Getty)
Britain is well and truly rolling out the red carpet for Prince Mohammed bin
Salman of Saudi Arabia this week. The so-called reformer and de facto leader of his
country wonŽ ‘Ž ’““Ž ”• –•—’“ ˜—™—‘Ž“• š™› ”Žœ“• Ž” ”žž—Ÿ—š ‘ Ž”’”••”¡¢ £“ be treated to dinner with the royals at Windsor as he looks to strike up deals
diplomats say could be worth more than $100bn (¤¥¦§¨©ª «¬­®¬¨®¯° ®±®¨ ²³´
mysterious welcome advertisements for the Prince alongside the M4 for the drive into London from
The reasons for the visit are clear. Saudi Arabia is trying to both project a new image of moderation to the
world, and also build upon the deep trade and business ties that already exist with the UK. The planned
initial public offering of state energy giant Saudi Aramco is expected to come up in discussions, with the
London Stock Exchange competing with New York and Hong Kong for a potential overseas listing by the
Britain¯° µ®¶·´¸¬¨°¹¸² º¸´¹ «·³»¸ ¼µ·§¸· ¹·° ¸¨½µ®·°®» ¸¨ ¸­²¬µ´·¨½® °¸¨½® ´¹® ¾¬±®µ¨­®¨´ »®½¸»®» ´¬ ®¨»
free trade with our closest neighbours. Now they¯µ® »®°²®µ·´® ´¬ »®®²®¨ ´¸®° º¸´¹ ¨¬¨¿ÀÁ ½¬³¨´µ¸®°
willing to buy our goods and services. The UK already sells the Saudis billions of pounds worth of military
hardware  ·¨» ´¹® ¾¬±®µ¨­®¨´ º·¨´° ´¹®­ ´¬ ³² ´¹®¸µ ¬µ»®µ°ª
Behind the smiles and handshakes on show tomorrow, and despite Prince Mohammed bin Salman¯°
attempts to be a poster boy for progress, there are some uncomfortable truths about his repressive
government that must not be forgotten.
Life inside Saudi Arabia is brutal, with floggings and executions commonplace and elected government a
distant dream. The country exports suffering, too. Their military intervention in Yemen¯° ½¸±¸¶ º·µ ¹·° ¶®»
to thousands of civilian deaths and famine. According to Amnesty International, the Saudi attacks appear
to have deliberately targeted civilians and civilian objects such as hospitals, schools, markets and
mosques. Mohammed bin Salman hasn¯´ §®®¨ · §Ã°´·¨»®µ ¸¨ ´¹®°® ·´´·½Ä°  ¹® ¹·° ¬±®µ°®®¨ ´¹® ´¹µ®®¿
year bombing campaign since day one.
And it¯° ¨¬´ ų°´ Æ®­®¨¸° º¹¬ ¹·±® °³ÇÇ®µ®» ·´ ´¹® ¹·¨»° ¬Ç «·³»¸ ¼µ·§¸·¨ §µ³´·¶¸´Ãª ȹ®µ®¯° ·¶°¬ ®±¸»®¨½®
to suggest Saudi Arabia has backed extremist Islamist groups wreaking terror across the world. The Saudis¯
links with Isis, for example, are made plain in emails leaked from the office of Hillary Clinton, US
Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. They might be considered a close ally by Downing Street, but
they¯µ® ·¶°¬ ·½½³°®» ¬Ç ·¸»¸¨É ·¨» ·§®´´¸¨É ´¹¬°® º¹¬ °®®Ä ´¬ ¹·µ­ ³°ª
The record of the Saudi regime  ·¨» ʵ¸¨½® ˬ¹·­­®» §¸¨ «·¶­·¨¯° µ¬¶®  ­·Ä® ¸´ ½¶®·µ ´¬ ­® ´¹·´ ¹®
should never have been offered the trappings of this visit. I was one of those who stood against a state visit
for Donald Trump, but the case against this Saudi royal trip is even stronger.
No one is saying we should cut diplomatic ties entirely, or assume that Saudi Arabia will never change. It is
the height of folly to refuse to speak with those whom you disagree with  ·¨» ´¹® ²¬°¸´¸±®Ì ¸Ç ±®µÃ °­·¶¶Ì
steps forward in Saudi domestic policy are indeed welcome. We¯µ® °¸­²¶Ã »®­·¨»¸¨É ´¹® ´®µ­° ¬Ç ¬³µ
relationship, and the lavishness of our welcome, are not set by the military industrial complex, or the
British Government¯° »®°²®µ·´® »®°¸µ® ´¬ °´µ¸Ä® ´µ·»® »®·¶° ·° º® ¹®·» ´¬º·µ»° ͵®Î¸´ª
Instead of falling over ourselves to appease Saudi Arabia, we should reset our relationship on equal footing,
by ending all arms sales to the regime. Such a move isn¯´ ®·°Ã §®½·³°® ´¹® ·µ­° ¸¨»³°´µÃ ®Î¸°´° ·´ ´¹® ¨®Î³°
between our country¯° ¸¨»³°´µ¸·¶ ·¨» Ǭµ®¸É¨ ²¬¶¸½¸®°ª Ϲ·¨É¸¨É ½¬³µ°® ¸°¨¯´ ų°´ · Ǭµ®¸É¨ ²¬¶¸½Ã »®½¸°¸¬¨Ð
it affects our industrial strategy too. That¯° º¹Ã º® ­³°´ ·½½¬­²·¨Ã ´¹® ®¨» ¬Ç ·µ­° ®Î²¬µ´° ´¬ µ®²µ®°°¸±®
regimes with a 21st-century industrial policy, which turns jobs in the industry into employment for the
Tory MPs are increasingly desperate to sling mud at political opponents for their relationships with foreign
regimes, but it¯° ·§¬³´ ´¸­® ´¹®Ã ɬ´ ´¹®¸µ ¬º¨ ¹¬³°® ¸¨ ¬µ»®µª Ñ® °¹¬³¶» §® ¸¨ ¨¬ »¬³§´ ´¹·´ ´¹® ·µ­°
sales that may be agreed this week could feed wars and repression in the future  ·¨» ·° °³½¹ º® °¹¬³¶» §®
banning those sales for our own security as much as anything else.
Tomorrow, people will gather outside Downing Street demanding this Government ends its cosy embrace
of the head-choppers of Riyadh. The message is clear: British diplomacy shouldnÒÓ ÔÕÖ×ØÕÖÙÚÛ ÕÜ ÝÞÖßÜ
rights, nor should it bend to the will of arms manufacturers.
At this most crucial time, Britain should send a signal to the world: we wonÒÓ ØÕàà ÕÞÓ ÓÝÛ ØÛá ÔßØ×ÛÓ âÕØ
dangerous men who refuse to comply with at least the minimum standards of decency towards their fellow
human beings.
Caroline Lucas is the co-leader of the Green Party
...but a demonstration against
the Prince could worsen the
Yemen conflict
If Mohammed bin Salman withdraws his forces from the besieged country unilaterally, the consequences would be catastrophic
Tomorrow, the young Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and heir to the throne,
Mohammed bin Salman, will visit the United Kingdom for the first time since he
dramatically escalated his reform agenda. The visit is shrouded in secrecy since
protests have been threatened in response to Saudi Arabiaãä åæçèéçêëêæì åæ ìíê
Yemen conflict.
No one doubts that the situation in Yemen is a tragedy, with 60 per cent of the countryîï ðñðòóôõöñ÷ øôùö÷ú
severe food shortages. Protestors are right to be concerned with the humanitarian situation and the
continuation of a devastating conflict. The United Kingdom, as well as the countries fighting in Yemen,
should be doing, and I am sure are doing, absolutely everything they can to bring this terrible war to an
I am quite confident that Saudi Arabia wants to get out of this war as much as, if not more than, anyone
else. It is spending around $200m (ûüýýþÿ ô ñ÷ õ ùôþðôöú÷ ô÷ öï ôùòõ ó ôô ñø ñ õ
war is eroding its international diplomatic standing.
Like many conflicts in history, the war, when it began three years ago, was intended to be a decisive and
surgical operation. It was designed to restore the internationally recognised government in Yemen and
provide stability on Saudi Arabiaîï ïñòõ ÷ ñ þ ÷ö úñ ÷þ ÷õ ô ÷ ñ õñ÷ ö÷ ô
coup by a rebel tribe with no legitimate claim to power.
What no one anticipated at the time was the extent to which Iran would get involved directly in the
conflict, sending heavy weaponry and financial assistance to the rebel Houthis in an apparent my enemyîï
enemy is my friend alliance. Iran seemed to be trying to enmesh its Saudi rival in a prolonged conflict in
order to destabilise the southern Gulf.
The collapse of the Yemeni state following this Iranian intervention has fractured tribal alliances and
divided the country to the extent that it might now be impossible for it to put itself back together again
without further bloodshed and instability. Worse still, the political vacuum has allowed al-Qaeda to move
in and establish itself in the more remote areas of Yemen. Estimates of their fighting force are in the
thousands, and despite a determined campaign by the Saudis and the UAE to drive them out, they still
retain the capacity and territory to be able to plan international attacks.
So the real question for the protesters this week is: what are you asking Mohammed bin Salman to do,
actually? Do you want the Saudi-led coalition to withdraw from Yemen unilaterally? The immediate
consequences of this would be catastrophic for the country, Gulf region and perhaps wider world. Iran
would build its Houthi clients into the predominant force in the country, turning them into a Hezbollahstyle group with missiles lined up along Saudiîï óñ÷ú ñ öõ þ ÷
It would also give al-Qaeda, which is biding its time until Isis fully collapses, a de-facto country the size of
Switzerland in the Middle East. When the terror group decides the time has come to take action again,
they will be able to do so from their strongest and most strategic territorial position ever. Al-Qaeda was
able to plan and launch devastating attacks from the distance of Afghanistan, consider what they might
accomplish from the proximity of the Gulf.
Or are the protestors simply asking for more humanitarian assistance? This is not an unrealistic demand
given the Saudis last month announced they were increasing aid to Yemen by $1.5bn, as well as giving
$40m to the expansion of ports, $30m to cover non-humanitarian transportation costs, $2bn for
humanitarian fuel costs and $2bn in urgently needed financial assistance to the Yemen Central Bank. The
UAE has been giving at a similar rate, and in many instances actually providing essential public services
themselves, taking the total amount of aid from the coalition to a level approaching the UKîï ÷õö
overseas aid budget. Indeed, the worst humanitarian crises are occurring in rebel Houthi-controlled areas,
which the coalition cannot access.
If the demonstrators cannot clearly articulate what they want from the Crown Prince, then there is a risk of
damaging diplomatic relations with a key intelligence and security ally. As the Prime Minister said last
week, it is a relationship that makes both of our countries safer through intelligence sharing which has
saved British lives. The Saudis will not forget who their friends were when they needed them most.
Mohammed bin Salman is beginning the demanding process of modernising Saudi society and economy at
a breathtaking pace, introducing in six months the freedoms and equalities that most analysts thought
would take decades to emerge !
exercising their rights next week should reflect upon what Iranian success in the Gulf might mean for the
people there. And the people here: Saudi Arabia and the UAE are our greatest Middle East partners in the
fight against terrorism and extremism. On that basis the Crown Prince should be supported, not
Geoff Hoon is a former Defence Secretary and Foreign Office minister
May s proposal to solve the
housing crisis? Turn us into a
nation of shopdwellers
The PM has suggested we could use empty shops to create new homes (PA)
Napoleon sneeringly called us a nation of shopkeepers. But if Theresa May wins
her personal Waterloo against the housing crisis, it may not be long before
Emmanuel Macron dismisses us as a nation of shopdwellers.
Her proposal that high street shops double up as homes has attracted a little sneering itself. Some detect a
frisson of let-them-eat-cakeism in her pronouncement. Perhaps they have a point, though it would be
asking too much for the PM and the Arthur Askey husband to relocate a mile from Downing Street to a
porn emporium in Soho. Damian Green would have made the case in the quest for a refreshing diversion
from traditional Cabinet business. But he"# $%&' &%() *&+ ,-' #'./01,2 13451.*,1%&# (%/5+ 6' -%00'&+%/#7
Meanwhile, council leaders, who were already exasperated at being unfairly blamed for the chronic
shortage, seem irritated that May"# #%5/,1%& 1$&%0'# #/.- '..'&,01. 3'*#/0'# *# 5',,1&$ .%/&.15# 6/15+ 3%0'
Once, it was different. Until the late 1970s, the post-war consensus held that it wasn", &'.'##*0152 * ,'00165'
thing if the state built enough properties to satisfy demand, and rented them out cheaply. But that was a
shameful era typified by socialist heresies designed to improve people"# 518'#7
When Margaret Thatcher rode into town to end all that, she had the brainwave of depleting social housing
stock by selling heavily discounted council homes. That was the perfect way to free the aspirants she
courted from the bondage of lifelong tenancies at very low rents (with a sprinkle of gerrymandering to
season the pot). The problem has been brewing and deepening ever since.
Famously, Thatcher herself was born and raised above a grocery store in Grantham. So here, as in other
areas, I guess her Tory detractors will see May as a comedown 9 1: %&52 62 * #,%0'2 9 :%0 *+8%.*,1&$ ,-*,
people live in them.
My complaint is that she needs to go further. She has restricted her proposal to disused shops. There are
too many of those, of course, and for that she blames the growth of internet commerce. She seems less
willing to blame the surge in commercial rents and business rates which this Government, like those of
both parties before it, has done nothing to check.
But there aren", &'*052 '&%/$- +1#/#'+ -1$- #,0'', 40'31#'# ,% *&#('0 ,-' &''+# %: ,-' 31551%&#) 4013*0152
young and possibly beginning to tire of their childhood bedrooms, who have a better chance of riding an
arthritic Tibetan mountain yak to a Cheltenham Gold Cup victory than ever being able to afford to rent, let
alone buy, a home.
The solution is to pass legislation conferring the right to live in used shops as well as the boarded up and
shuttered. Everyone will have a preference, and as a habitual problem gambler I"+ $% :%0 %&' %: ,-' ;<=
betting shops on every high street. You would need earplugs to cut out the noise of the simulated ivory ball
clicking around the wheel on the fixed-odds betting machines. But shove four of those together, and strap
a futon to the top, and you"+ 6' #&/$ *# *&2,-1&$ 1& * >*++2 >%('07
Others would opt for a kebab shop. The lamb fat stink on the clothes would be a nuisance. But living there
would save the bother of tramping the streets in search for one after a night in the pub, and during a cold
snap like the one just passed the heat from the grill would be a boon.
The fashion conscious could opt for a Zara, where the easy accessibility of soft materials would compensate
for any shortfall in conventional bedding supplies. The ironist might prefer a berth in an estate agency
(though the earplugs would be more of a necessity in a Winkworth than a Betfred). Oxfam would have a
golden chance to redeem its reputation by hosting all-night sex parties for new residents.
It would be over-sugaring the pill to claim such radical treatment for a debilitating social disease would be
free of side effects.
Although the maximum utilisation of shop space is a retailing imperative, some shopkeepers would object.
But a sharp reduction in business rates 9 ;? 4'0 .'&, 4'0 4'0#%&) *&+ @A 4'0 .'&, :%0 * :/55 :*3152 9 31$-, $%
a long way to assuaging them.
And it cannot be denied that the idea of people sleeping on or beneath counters has a stridently dystopian
flavour that might amuse and even gratify our soon-to-be-former EU partners. In their countries, or so itBC
rumoured, people in work can by and large afford conventional accommodation.
But more strikingly dystopian than that is the notion of sleeping in underground stations D EFG HIJ
ancestors assured us they were never happier than when singing Vera LynnBC CHFKC LMNOP QERNFK JPSIKP
from the Luftwaffe on tube platforms.
With this proposal, Theresa May would revive not only the ailing high street by repopulating it with
numbers unseen since the rises of the supermarket and internet. She would also revive the old Blitz spirit
absent from these parts since last we were isolated in a war with mainland Europe.
them eat cake. Let them live in a GreggBC[
Politicians haven t given up on
getting back at the press
The Data Protection Bill is being debated in Parliament this week and could pave the way for an investigation akin to Leveson II
It is nine years since the parliamentary expenses scandal erupted and we learnt the
juicy details of how some MPs were gaming the system to feather their own nests ]
and second nests; and duck houses. Yet nearly a decade on, it is hard to knock the
suspicion that a few of those who felt ambushed over their expenses remain
motivated by a desire for revenge.
Back in January, the former head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), Sir Ian
Kennedy, accused MPs of engaging in a ^_`abcde fghegiibjk lmgh imgn ocpqrge md_ bsspdhitghi ip b hgl
role as an electoral commissioner. Ipsa was the body set up in the wake of the expenses scandal to clean up
the system; Kennedy suggested that many in Parliament ^_dtscn lbhi img pce _n_igt obqrju
If MPs were sore about the way expenses rules had been overhauled, it is not difficult to imagine the anger
that they felt towards those who had exposed the scandal in the first place v img swg__u xheggek ypw bcc img
gracious words at the time about how the revelations demonstrated the need for reform, it also true that a
sizable number of MPs believed that the way in which information had been published was highly invasive.
When the newspaper industry was hit with its own scandal just two years later, therefore, it was
unsurprising perhaps that politicians had such sympathy for victims of media intrusion. Quite aside from
the fact that much of the behaviour exposed before and during the Leveson Inquiry was objectively
disgraceful, there was a sense that some MPs saw an opportunity to settle some scores. Sure enough, the
shameful exposure of so many misdeeds v ywpt smphg mbqrdhz ip ocbzzdhz bhe taqm dh ogilggh v qb_i b
considerable shadow over sections of the press and cost more than a few people their jobs (and in some
cases their liberty).
Yet for some in Parliament, just as for some campaigners for press reform, a final reckoning v dh img ypwt
of stricter, state-backed regulation v ede hpi qptg ip sb__u xh_igbek lg mbfg ghege as ldim img qawdpa_
situation in which the bulk of the press is self-regulated via the Independent Press Standards Organisation,
while a few, lesser-known titles have joined the system overseen by Impress v yahege bi bwt{_ cghzim on
Max Mosley and officially recognised by a panel which is funded by the Exchequer.
Quite aside from the fact that much of the behaviour exposed before and
during the Leveson Inquiry was objectively disgraceful, there was a sense
that some MPs saw an opportunity to settle some scores
Last week, it appeared that the Government had made a defining break with the past when it announced
that it had cancelled the second part of the Leveson Inquiry. Just as significantly, it reaffirmed its intention
not to trigger Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, a piece of legislation which would see those media
organisations not regulated by an officially recognised regulator (eg Impress, Ofcom) hit with heavy legal
costs, even when claims had no merit.
But if you thought this might be the end of the debate, you would be oh so wrong. This week, the Data
Protection Bill is being debated in the House of Commons; its primary purpose to bring some EU
regulations into UK law. Yet amendments introduced by the House of Lords would effectively establish a
statutory pathway to an investigation akin to Leveson II and create similar cost-shifting provisions to those
envisaged by Section 40.
In sum, those who believe the press ^zpi blbn ldim dij byigw |gfg_ph bwg a_dhz sbwcdbtghibwn ibqidq_ ip iwn
to outmanoeuvre the Government. For those genuinely wronged by the press v bhe imgwg bwgk di d_ iwagk
too many of those v di d_ gtdhghicn ahegw_ibhebocg imbi imgn _mpace yggc wgzacbidph bhe cgzbc sahd_mtghi_
are appropriate.
Yet the reality is that the amendments to the bill could have a hugely negative impact on journalism in this
country v g_sgqdbccn dhfg_idzbidfg wgspwidhzu xi lpacek bi b _iwprgk gtsplgw sgpscg dh sp_didph_ py splgw v
and with deep pockets v ldim img ippc_ imgn hgge ip _ips }pawhbcd_i_ swndhz dhip imdhz_ imbi imgn fgwn taqm
ought to be prying into.
If you assume they believe in democracy and a free press that seems an extraordinary thing for politicians
to want to achieve ~ € ‚ƒ „…† ‡ˆˆ‰Š Š‹‡Š ‚Š ‚Œ ‚Ž‹Š Š‹‡Š Œ …ƒ Š‹ ‰†‘‚ˆ ‡ ‰…ŠˆŠ’ ‡Ž‡‚ŒŠ
illegitimate intrusion. Fundamentally, the press has a duty to behave responsibly. But it must also be
empowered to act in the interests of the public by investigating dodgy deals, murky secrets, hypocrites and
charlatans of every sort ~ ‡’ €“ Œ‹…†‘’ Š‹ ’ ‡‚Œ“ Š‹ ”‡„ ‘ˆŠ’ ‰ŒŠ‡Š‚€Œ ‡ †‡Š’
beyond their basic salaries.
Is the Salisbury spy drama a
warning from the Kremlin?
Double agent Sergei Skripal remains in a critical condition after being found on a park bench in the Wiltshire city on Sunday (AP)
In praise of the Wiltshire police, they have shown more wit in their reaction to
Sunday•– –—–˜™š›™œ œ—žŸ™ ˜ –¡ ¡¢ ¡ £¤Ÿ –ž—¥¦ ›§¤¡ ›§™ ¥ šŸŸ™¤¢—™– ¡ £—¥¥™¦
did after a similar incident five years ago. Alexander Perepilichnyy, who died
suddenly in November 2012, was a Russian who sought refuge in the UK, just like
Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who are now critically ill in hospital.
If someone in Moscow commissioned an attempt on Skripal•– Ÿ ¨™© › ª ŸŸ §¤«™ ž™™¡ ¤ ª¤¥¡ ¡¢¬ ­™ –˜ ™œ ¨¥
the UK, did time in the gulag, but was enjoying what seemed to be a safe retirement here. Other would-be
spies have been put on notice that nobody escapes the long arm of Vladimir Putin®¯ °±²±³´±µ
This would reinforce the message conveyed by the slow, hideous death in 2006 of the former KGB officer,
Alexander Litvinenko, who was given a dose of polonium in his tea, in Mayfair. When I interviewed his
father for The Independent, the old man asserted categorically that the murder was sanctioned by Vladimir
Putin. Russia has refused to extradite the suspected killers, one of whom now has a seat in the Russian
Perepilichnyy was a whistleblower, who left Russia with information about the theft of $230m from the
Russian state treasury. The money was stolen from corporation tax paid by the London based Hermitage
Fund, run by investor Bill Browder. Hermitage®¯ ¶·¸¹±°º »±°´±¼ ½·´³¼¾¯¿¹º ¸·¯ ¼³²±¯¾¼´·¾¼³´ ¾À± ¯·Á±
scandal until the Russian police silenced him by holding him in prison for a year, then beating him to death
on 16 November 2009.
The Swiss authorities later wondered how a Russian tax official on a modest salary, named Olga Stepanova,
was able to deposit millions of dollars in Swiss banks. Perepilichnyy was due to go to Switzerland to assist
the inquiry when he dropped dead, aged 44, near his Surrey home, on 10 November 2012. The attitude of
the Surrey police, then and ever since, could be summarised as ³þÀ¼³´ ¾Ã ¯±± À±°± Ä Áò± ·¶Ã³´ Ŷ±·¯±Æµ
Being stone dead, Perepilichnyy was not going to regain consciousness in hospital and identify his
murderers, as Litvinenko did Ä ·³Çº ű°À·Å¯º »¿°¼Å·¶ ð À¼¯ Ç·È´À¾±° Á¼´À¾µ
The Hermitage Fund, and Legal & General, with whom Perepilichnyy had recently taken out life
insurance, did not share the Surrey constabulary®¯ ÉóʼDZ³É±º ·³Ç ÅȯÀ±Ç Êð ·³ ¼³Ëȱ¯¾º ¸À¼ÉÀ ±²±³¾È·¶¶¹
opened on 5 June last year. The next hearing is scheduled to begin in the Old Bailey on 10 April. These
cases suggest a general trend that whomsoever the Putin regime would like to see dead, no matter what
country they are living in, obligingly dies. Buzzfeed has compiled 14 examples, some of which may be
suicides or accidents.
The US Congress has passed a law called the Global Magnitsky Act, under which Magnitsky®¯ ÁȰDZ°±°¯
and other named villains from around the globe, including the leading instigator of the genocide in
Myanmar, are banned from entering the USA or using its banking system.
Nothing prevents these same undesirables from applying for a visa to enter the UK. In 2016, backbench
pressure from Dominic Raab, Margaret Hodge and others obliged the Home Office to accept an
amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill, giving the government power to prevent such people from
using the banking system, should ministers choose to exercise it. The former cabinet minister Andrew
Mitchell is trying to extend the law to include a visa ban.
But generally the British authorities appear to think that nothing should be done in these difficult times to
discourage Russian oligarchs from bringing their money to the UK. We do not yet know what happened on
that park bench in Salisbury, but if it proves to be the work of political assassins, the Government may feel
compelled to do something about the UK®¯ °±ÅȾ·¾¼Ã³ ·¯ · ¯Ãʾ Ŷ·¹´°ÃÈ³Ç Êð Ìȯ¯¼·³ É°¼Á¼³·¶¯µ
Andy McSmith is The Independent s former senior writer and political correspondent
When the banks we trust say
they ain t misbehaving but, erm,
are, what hope is there?
RBS is accused of taking advantage of small businesses facing a tough patch (Getty)
When is a crime a crime? I am thinking here of the wrongs committed by players in
the financial markets, banks, brokers, financial advisers and the like. Unlike
financial crimes, violent crimes and property crimes allow clear definition and
proof. If you have been assaulted, you may have a black eye. If you have been
burgled, perhaps a window has been broken and your desk ransacked. It is obvious
what has happened.
Financial crimes are not like that. Look at some recent examples. If a bank allows its facilities to be used for
money laundering, then it is enabling criminal activity. It is a bit like receiving stolen goods. Rather than
hiding the loot, the bank disguises it. But it is very hard for the outside observer to detect what is going on.
The full extent of the crime will be discovered only if an insider blows a whistle or a regulator makes some
astute enquiries. Yet it is a serious crime. Deutsche Bank was recently fined ÍÎÏÐÑ ÒÓÔ ÑÓÕÖ× ØÙÚÕÛÖÔÜÕÝÞ
The big banks also succeeded in rigging one of the most important interest rates, the London Interbank
Offered Rate, commonly referred to as Libor. This is an average interest rate calculated through
submissions of interest rates by major banks across the world and is thus is a sort of international marker.
Its presence increases the efficiency of financial markets.
Rope: sometimes you need to let customers hang themselves they know
what s coming when they fail to deliver
What happened was that a group of Barclays bankers decided that they would rig the system by falsely
inflating or deflating their rates so as to profit from trades they had made in preparation for this
manoeuvre, or to give the impression that they were more creditworthy than they really were. In 2016 four
bankers were jailed as a result.
They had engaged in fraud, which is a criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
This is a form of stealing. To be more precise, the bankers concerned were acting like sophisticated
pickpockets, taking money from somebody elses pocket and putting it into their own, albeit the setting
was international banking rather than, say, Oxford Circus in London, where notices warn against the
activities of such criminals.
One of the most dangerous features of financial crime is that it may go unnoticed by the victim ß ÜÒ ÕÓà
forever, then for a long time. An example would be when financial advisers give unsuitable
recommendations to their clients. If, for instance, you have been given bad advice about your pension
arrangements, you may not realise that this has happened until you retire, or even perhaps not then. You
just find that your pension isnt very good and that your friends and neighbours of a similar age seem
better off despite having had similar careers to your own.
A tragic case in point concerns British Steel workers. They had worked for the company when the
Government owned it. When it was privatised in 1988, a new pension scheme was set up. Later an Indian
conglomerate, Tata, gained control of British Steel. Then in March 2017 Tata closed the British Steel
pension scheme to future accruals.
Members could either go with a replacement scheme set up by the Pension Protection Fund or take their
benefits as a cash lump sum and transfer into a private pension. Its this last option that has sparked a
growing pension scandal. For now, in a perfect illustration of what I mean by financial crime, police in
South Wales are probing allegations that steelworkers at Port Talbot were victims of pension fraud.
What happened was that once it was known that British steelworkers might have cash lump sums available
for investment in financial products, they found themselves besieged by independent financial advisers
(IFAs). These are firms that are authorised to provide their clients with financial advice as well as to
recommend suitable pensions and investment products in return for a fee. Some IFAs even turned up at
the factory gates in search of business.
It seems a number of the IFAs were intent on ripping off steelworkers by misleading and deceiving them.
The aim was to get them to place their cash into funds with high charges (which would be shared with the
IFA introducing the business). Apparently, they purported to be providing information rather than advice,
a distinction that is unlikely to have been at all obvious. They werent terribly interested in what would be
best for the workers on a case-by-case basis.
The method by which the bank seeks to protect its interests on behalf of
its shareholders may then differ from the customer s preferred course of
In October the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) analysed the advice steelworkers had been given. It
found that the suitability of the recommended product could only be established in 35 per cent of cases,
with 24 per cent unsuitable and 40 per cent unclear.
What had the IFAs been doing in return for the fees from steelworkers seeking help? The FCA found that
some firms had áâãäåæçèâéêâæëäì çíëâè î çèéãæïëè ðåæâãëææ æñ çíéç çíëò óëèë ãñ êñãôëè ïñõåæëä ñã çíëâè
clients individual circumstances and needs. What the FCA means by industrialising their operations is
adopting a once-size-fits-all approach to the steelworkers business rather than paying careful attention to
individual circumstances.
An observer told the FCA that transfer plans that were recommended to steelworkers were sometimes
given a veneer of respectability, but which can consign a duped scheme member to a lifetime of poor
outcomes based on high charges, poor performance and unsuitable advice. One fund used by the IFA,
Active Wealth, levied annual charges of over 2 per cent of the investment value. This would put a high
strain on investment performance, commented one expert. Funnily enough, Active Wealth has recently
halted its operations.
While some IFAs were ripping off steelworkers, a specialist subsidiary of a major bank, Royal Bank of
Scotland (RBS), was taking unfair advantage of small businesses that were experiencing financial
difficulties. I am referring here to a so-called business support unit called Global Restructuring Group, or
GRG. The Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons recently stated that it had had
longstanding concerns about the treatment of small businesses referred to GRG.
The trouble is that RBS had given GRG conflicting objectives. On the one hand, GRG was charged with
seeking to support distressed businesses and achieve successful turnarounds. As these firms are already
RBS customers, that should have been sufficient reward in itself. Bad risks had been turned into
conventional lending opportunities. On the other hand, however, RBS has also required that over and
above making a bad debt good, GRG should handle these turnaround situations in such a way that extra
profits were made for the group.
In an internal document, RBS put it this way: GRG is a customer-facing business whose objective is to
improve our position and the financial condition of the customer. Note which objective comes first:
improve our position.
The same document, which the Treasury Select Committee has seen, gives a series of instructions and
recommendations to its restructuring staff. It is headed Just Hit Budget!, which implies that everything
must be subordinated to that aim. It then goes on to give a series of tips. Basket cases ö çâ÷ëøõñãæå÷âãô
but remunerative; Deal or no deal, no way; Missed opportunities will mean missed bonuses; and then
finally this one: Rope: sometimes you need to let customers hang themselves they know whats coming
when they fail to deliver.
The FCA doesnt like this at all. It argues that a banks own commercial interests and the fair treatment of
customers in a turnaround unit are potentially in conflict. The interests of customers and the bank can
become misaligned when a customer is facing financial difficulties. The method by which the bank seeks to
protect its interests on behalf of its shareholders may then differ from the customers preferred course of
action. A bank will seek to minimise the loss to which it is exposed were the business ultimately to fail and
be unable to repay the amount it owes.
The situation was made worse by the fact that the wider economic circumstances and the ongoing
challenges for many banks meant that for large numbers of small company customers there was little if any
prospect of obtaining alternative banking arrangements. The final protection available for customers ù
namely the threat or reality of taking business elsewhere ù úûü ýþÿ û ûýþ
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GRGs customers. In other words, they could be safely mistreated.
RBS now disowns the internal document headed Just Hit Budget! The chief executive, Ross McEwan,
told the Treasury Select Committee that the language used was completely unacceptable and the bank
does not condone it: It does not reflect bank policy or guidance.
Now see what the Treasury Select Committee discovered next. It asked RBS what proportion of the senior
staff currently engaged in restructuring small companies had previously worked at GRG. The answer came
back: 30 of the 32 senior managers, equivalent to 94 per cent. So, asked the impressive Nicky Morgan MP,
chair of the Committee, doesnt this mean that the recent reorganisation of GRG was merely a rebranding
exercise? Good point. You cannot really shame the banks. When caught out they will, if possible, merely
say sorry and carry on.
In fact RBSs behaviour was almost innocuous when compared with, say, the American bank, Wells Fargo,
which is the worlds second largest bank by market capitalisation and the third largest bank in the US by
assets. It was recently discovered that it created millions of fraudulent savings and checking accounts for
its clients without their consent. Its clients began to notice the fraud after being charged unanticipated fees
and receiving unexpected credit or debit cards or lines of credit.
Managers had been pressured by the senior executives to open as many accounts as possible. They saw
them as salespeople with customers rather than bank managers with clients. As a result, Wells Fargo has
agreed to a $142m national class action settlement to cover fake accounts that were opened as far back as
Faced with this misbehaviour, financial regulators have been active. Research by New City Agenda, a
financial services think-tank, earlier this year found that Britains banks and building societies had incurred
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to shareholders over the same period. The Bank of England estimated last year that misconduct costs had
reduced banks pre-tax profits by 40 per cent on average between 2011 and 2015.
Finally Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, recently described where this persistent bad
behaviour by banks, evidently untamed by heavy fines, leaves us: The incidence of financial sector
misconduct has risen to a level that has the potential to create systemic risks by undermining trust in both
financial institutions and markets.
It is amazing, isnt it, that our banks, trusted high street brands, should lead us onto this treacherous
Voices / Letters
Please can we abandon the use
of referendums in Britain
Lewis Chinchen claims that the electorate knew what they were voting for at the
EU referendum (The problem with elitist politicians, Letters, Monday). My advice
to him is to talk to some of those that voted Leave and ask them why they voted so.
I have asked six Leave voters why they voted Leave. Only one was clear that Leave would mean coming
out of the customs union and the single market. Two openly stated they didn
One said he voted Leave because he didn
leaving the EU meant controlling immigration from all over the world. Another said she doesn
" #$ %&'# ($#') $ ' ($"! * $) "
+,$$"- ($#') $ $ ($"! * . /' ' 0( 1
I say it is not true that people understood what they were voting for. We must have a referendum on the
negotiated outcome of the Brexit talks to settle this matter. Thereafter, we should abandon the use of
referenda as a far too divisive mechanism for making political decisions.
Name and address supplied
The English sporting gentleman is a myth
'#)' 2$ " 2 ' 3' "4
Further to the excellent article by Tom Peck (Don
Voices, yesterday), I should like to add that the concept of amateurism was a fabrication from the Victorian
establishment. They considered that to be
from rich toxophilites (archery)
nation. They rewrote history as if it had always been and many people still believe the myth now of the
eternal honest amateur.
+3'' -4 2$') # 5 " 4 $ $# ' $ " 2
5 $ . # 2/$# $ . ' ( ( /$ Before this there was plenty of money to be earned in sport. Mainly, of course from gambling and, surprise
surprise, there was plenty of cheating, violence and intimidation! Maybe in 200 years a different populist
movement will invent a new era for virtuosity in sport.
Robert Boston Kingshill
America is lagging behind on animal rights
The ban on fox hunting is supported by the majority of the British public, so what a shame that America
appears to be lagging behind in its desire to end such cruelty in the name of fun
generation will save the controversial sport.
5 6 $2') Some of this new generation are incorrect in their claims that foxes actually enjoy being hunted. Evidence
presented in the Burns Enquiry which looked at the facts surrounding hunting with hounds, found that in
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compromises the welfare of the fox N @? ;?I 9;O?AG8>9 GI G>>L P?M HC;I:;< :; QR9D:=G RGA HGK9 @CDK:K9E
war and revolution, but for the foxS@ @GJ9F T9 H?B9 :I E?9@;SI @CDK:K9 RC=H >?;<9DL
Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports Surrey
Divorce contributes to the housing shortage
S@ >9II9D UVH9; :I =?R9@ I? H?C@:;<F @BGD9 G IH?C<HI W?D IH9 A?CIHF X9II9D@F
S@ R?D9
In response to Ellen Jackson
yesterday), I would suggest that as birth rates on average have fallen over the past few decades, it
likely that the soaring divorce/separation rates (resulting in two households per family), could be an
important cause of the housing shortage. Just a thought.
Susan Jarosz Melrose
AI in the sky
I believe that recently voiced concerns about the possible future subjugation of humanity by AI are
misplaced. The evidence I have is the email I just received from a hotel review and booking website. In this
email are suggestions for a spring break at eight hotels
These were:
SK9 @IGA9E :; G;E D9K:9T9E ?; @G:E T98@:I9
One hotel ISE 8??J9E 8CI =G;=9>>9E
Four hotels ISE >??J9E GI :; IH9 >G@I R?;IH ?; ?IH9D H?I9> @9GD=H @:I9@
Three hotels I
If this is the best that AI can do when making personalised recommendations then we can all sleep soundly
in our beds!
Nick Haward Havant
Singer whose rich voice lit up
Spector-produced hits
Barbara Alston led the 1960s New York group The Crystals, best
known for Z[\ Doo Ron Ron] \^_ Z`ab^ cb deffb_ gb]
Alston (third from left) was pushed to the fore by Phil Spector, who had listened in on a Crystals rehearsal at the Brill Building
Those who were not around in the Sixties will have caught a whiff of it in the famous Steadicam shot in
Goodfellas. In a single take, the gangster Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, leads his date (Lorraine Bracco)
into a cabaret
the table, which a waiter carries for them and places in a prime position.
h ij klmmli nojp kqlp noj plpjrn oj osrtu ovu wsq xjy nl s zsmjn{ noql|}o noj xvnwojr{ nl
Key to making this induction into gangster privilege work, however, is the innocence of Barbara Alston
voice on the track He Kissed Me by The Crystals,.
Alston, who has died aged 74, was a founding member of the four-woman American girl group. Another
of their singles, Da Doo Ron Ron, is synonymous with the decade.
The singer was 17 when she became part of a quintet of Brooklyn high-school students organised in 1961 by
her uncle, Benny Wells. More interested in choreography than singing, she nevertheless served as the
Wright and Myrna Giraud.
~ €‚ƒ „…†‡ ˆ‰Š†„ƒ‹ Œ†Š…‡ ŒŽ €…„„‰ ‘…‚ ’‰„‰‚… “’…… ’……” •……Œ‚…‹ –†‚Ž —˜‰™†‹ š†ƒ‚Š†
Alston was pushed to the fore by producer Phil Spector, who was searching for up-and-coming acts for his
newly formed lable, Philles Records. Spector had listened in on a Crystals rehearsal at the Brill Building, a
music industry hub in Manhattan.
Then 21, Spector was beginning to develop the richly orchestrated wall of sound style that would make
him one of the 20th century
peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard charts in 1962, and Uptown, a Latin-tinged single about the sweet
charms of urban tenements.
~ ™‰ƒ †ŠŠ„†™…‡ ›‚‰‡œŠ…‚ ž‰‚ ƒ˜… ‘‚‰œ›~ …†‚„…ƒ ›‰› ˜ƒ‹ ˜… œ‚‚‰œ‡…‡
~ †„ƒ‰ ˆ‰Š… ƒ˜ „œ˜ ƒ‚‘ †‡ ‘œƒ†‚  ‰‘ œŠ˜ † “—˜…‚…~ Ÿ‰ ƒ˜…‚ ¡… –Ž ¢†ŒŽ”‹ ˜Š˜
~ …£ƒ ‘„…‹ “¤… ¤ƒ –… ¥¦ƒ ž…„ƒ ¡… † •§”‹ † † ‡†ƒ‚‰œ ‰‡… ƒ‰ ‡‰™…ƒŠ †Œœ… Š‰¨
The band
written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, who later said she regretted lending her name to the track.
Hit Me
hearts that it was going to be a controversial piece and argued on several occasions with Phil about
releasing it.
~ † †Œ‰„œƒ…„Ž‹ ›‰ƒˆ…„Ž ƒ˜… ‰… ‚…Š‰‚‡ ƒ˜†ƒ ‰… ‰€ œ „…‡‹” ª„ƒ‰ ‰Š… †‡ “«… …  ‰œ‚
The Crystals in 1964. The alto voiceAlston
(left) was a key component of their hits
Spector, who was later convicted of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson, prevailed but eventually
pulled the single after some radio stations refused to play it.
The Crystals maintained a strained relationship with the producer, who shocked the group when he used
their name on tracks sung by Darlene Love, including the No 1 hit He
Sure the Boy I Love.
~ † ¬…Œ…„” †‡ ƒ €‰„„‰¨œ›‹ “¤…~
In later years, Alston sued Spector to receive her share of royalties from the Crystals, who regrouped in
1963 without Thomas and with Dolores La La Brooks as lead singer. They released hits including Da
Doo Ron Ron and Then He Kissed Me before Alston left the group in 1965 to raise her son.
Barbara Ann Alston was born in Baltimore, and grew up in Brooklyn. She won a talent show with a group
­ ®¯°±²³ ´µ¶ ·°¸¶¹ º¹»¸¶¼ ®½»¾»¿À ¹¶Á¶Á¾¶¹´ µ»º º¶ °Á¶ ÃÄ ºÅ¸µ ¸µ°¸
­ ¾¶Æ»¹¶ Ç»ÅÈÅȱ ¸µ¶ ɹÀ´¸°·´Ê È°Á¶¿ Æ»¹ ° ¿°Ã±µ¸¶¹ »Æ ´»È±º¹Å¸¶¹
called the Delphi Thezonians
ridiculous name or what it even means
Leroy Bates.
Her two marriages, to Daniel Prophete and Kenneth Pitter, ended in divorce. In addition to her daughter,
survivors include two children from her second marriage and seven great-grandchildren. Alston also had a
son, Tony Alston, from a relationship with musician LC Cooke, the younger brother of singer Sam Cooke.
Tony, who was transgender and sometimes went by Toni, was shot and killed in 2010. The killing remains
Alston appeared in the original 1966 Broadway production of Cabaret as one of the Kit Kat Girls and later
returned to the Crystals for a short-lived reunion. Otherwise, she stopped singing and held secretarial
positions in New York and then in Charlotte, where she had lived since 1984. She had originally planned
to move to Atlanta, her daughter said, but her car broke down in Charlotte. She never left.
Barbara Alston, singer, born 29 December 1943, died 16 February 2018
© Washington Post
Section 2 / The Big Read
Intended to alleviate the economic fallout of the Arab Spring
revolution of 2011, the Egyptian governmentËÌ ÍÎÏÐÑÐÒÌ ÓÔÕÒ ÖÎ×Ò ÏÐØØÏÒ
to help ordinary people. Edmund Bower reports
Al Doweqa, in the slum settlement of Manshiyat Naser. Many of its dwellings are inadequately built, and collapses are commonplace
(Photography by Edmund Bower)
With his hands blackened from work, wearing a baggy T-shirt stained with motor oil, 40-year-old Said Eid
stands among the bits of scrap metal from which he scrapes together a living of 600 Egyptian pounds
father-of-four says with a sigh: Life is a lot more difficult than it used to be.
ÙÚÛÜ Ý Þßàáâã äà âåæ ßçèàéÝåê ëßêìæâßçí âåîâ ßà áâè èÝæáèêà âåïïæ ßð Ý æïñÞ àèåîâòßñêâßßó ßð ôÝåêßí áâè
õæ ìèçá ðßßó ßà áâè ðÝÞåïö óåààèê áÝòïè òö ÷ßïïè÷áåàî Ýàó æèïïåàî ßïó òåáæ ßð
For more than a decade, he
copper, but in the past couple of years, the prices of food, fuel and rent, have soared, while his income has
stayed roughly the same. He
õæ ßàè ßð ÞÝàö øîöçáåÝàæ ëâß àßë ðåàó áâèÞæèïùèæ áèèáèêåàî ßà áâè òêåàì ßð
Massive inflation and a sharp drop in tourism since the 2011 revolution have ushered in a period of
austerity in Egypt. Encouraged by the International Monetary Fund, President Abdel Fateh el Sisi
administration has cut the subsidies for food and fuel that many Egyptians depend on.
The rural governorate of Al Minya relies heavily
on agriculture
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In 2016, Egypt
to less than half its previous value, resulting in surging costs of imports on which the country relies. While
the number of those living in poverty on the continent has declined since 1990 poverty have more than halved living in poverty has nearly doubled.
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Egypt has been on the economic rocks ever since the Arab Spring revolution. The instability that followed
the protests that brought down the President of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, frightened away foreign
business, not to mention tourists, which once brought a steady flow of foreign currency into the country.
Arguably necessary to manage the crisis, the policies of the current President have done little to improve
the lives of everyday Egyptians. Under Sisi, the country has been subjected to four years of austerity, while
simultaneously pouring money into dubious mega-projects, such as the expansion of the Suez Canal, and
the creation of a new capital city way out in the rocky desert east of Cairo.
As a result, poor Egyptians such as Eid are further tightening their belts. Originally from the countryside,
Eid sprawling 5sq-km district of informally built red-brick tower blocks. With well over a quarter of a million
inhabitants, the area has become synonymous with the struggles of Egypt úû
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Ibrahim Syed Ahmed's bare-bones bathroom
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Built on and below a treacherous cliff edge, many of Al Doweqa built, and collapses are commonplace. As Eid hauls copper pipes into an open-back truck to take away to
sell, just up the road, his neighbour, 43-year-old Afar Hussein Ahmed, watches as her two sons clear away
the bricks that used to be her home. I was just at my work in the marketplace, she says, and when I
came back, my house was gone. The brick shack with tarpaulin roof, which less than a day ago she called
home, was just a room with a bed, a small area for preparing food, and a couple of boxes for her clothes.
Her voice cracking, she casts a hand over the rubble burying the bed she rose from just hours before the
collapse. God knows where I ! "#$%&'"() ' *+,
Throughout the tiny village, old women sit on doorsteps gossiping, while children play in the unpaved
streets. There are few young men here. Nearly all have left to find work elsewhere
Such stories are common in this community. The slum gained national notoriety back in 2008 when a
rockslide took out the main street, killing more than 100 people. Since then a government-sponsored
rehousing scheme has begun relocating residents to a purpose built compound a few miles away. Ahmed
and her neighbours wait and pray for their turn. For most of them, it "' %- #$+ .*+ #// "' 0%// 1& ,
They live hand to mouth as it is, she says, and, with the current cost of living so high, there $# .*+
widows like her can possibly save up the money to move.
The increase of prices across the country has meant that Egyptians who were once just about getting by are
now slipping deeper into poverty. A local charity, the Egyptian Food Bank, says they2 $ * 3*%2
upsurge in people now in need of their help to feed their families. The price of almost everything has
increased, surpassing people %$0#3 () *+ 4# 5 6'#'1%( 0'% / 7 08"%2 #/ "' 0'*-%"+, 9:' $83; of people who come to us increases every year. The charity says it currently helps around 450,000
families keep food on the table, all through private donations, but their resources are now having to be
spread between the growing number of those in need.
The government also offers some support. In addition to the rehousing scheme for Al Doweqa residents,
the takaful (solidarity) and karama (dignity) programmes offer direct monetary assistance to Egypt
poorest. Eid, for example, receives an extra 600 pounds a month to help support his family.
But it %$ -8-* 0#338$%"% ( %< %$ =%1 $*"%2 2%*& $ *- "' >*+#83 #*%( .' - !#2 -"+ % '%&' "(
and where government assistance is harder to come by. According to Hala Abu Khatwa of Unicef, four out
of five multidimensionally poor children in Egypt live in the countryside. Despite his meagre pay, Eid
copper enterprise is just enough to keep his family afloat. Outside the country 8-;*$ 0 $"- ( '#. 2 -(
such opportunities are thin on the ground.
Despite a growing shortage, the Egyptian
government doesn't charge for water
In the village of Al Basqalon in Minya, Upper Egypt, the countries economic woes are more keenly felt. A
2013 study puts the number of chronically poor people in Upper Egypt at 30 per cent, and the Minya
governorate has around a third of the country !##- " 2%*& ,
Al Basqalon isn" #$ #/ "' 3, ?" * /*%-+ "+!%0* 2%*& #/ @(AAA ! #! .%"' * '%&' 0'##( * $ .+
opened football pitch, and a small hospital open 10 hours a day. The land is green here, and the air is fresh,
165 miles south of the Cairo smog that sticks in the sinuses of the capital BA 3%%#$ %$'*;%"*$", :' - no air pollution in Al Basqalon; nothing to indicate any sort of industry at all. Like the other villages that
surround it, it depends entirely on farming, aside from which, thereCD EF GFHIJ
There are no opportunities here, says Ragb Abdel Halim, the manager of a local charity that provides
Arabia for work.
Locals say most of the village men have left to
work elsewhere
Throughout the tiny village, old women sit on doorsteps gossiping, while children play in the unpaved
streets. There are few young men here. Nearly all have left to find work elsewhere in Cairo or abroad in the
Gulf states. One man in his twenties has just sent back word that heCD XTOL NM MF MRL [\] TWMLH HNDINES RND
life sneaking into Libya, crossing the Mediterranean in a rickety boat, and finally smuggling himself into a
lorry bound for England.
little as 50 pounds (`ab T OTcJ dEL DY_R GFHILH ND e^HTRNX ZcLO fRXLO] GRF] TM gh] ND MFF FUO MF iYXK DRNK
for Saudi Arabia. He shares a run-down two-room shack with his wife and 14-year-old son. He should be
retired, he says, but what can I do?
These days, he says, even this low-paid field work is hard to come by. In the past few years, landowners
have had to cut back on labour costs, leaving occasional workers like Ahmed competing for positions and
his wife forced to chip in, cleaning and washing clothes for as little as 20 pounds (80p) a day. To subsidise
their living, they receive help from the government, although he gives sardonic smile when he says how
much: 40 pounds (`jJkhb T XFEMRJ
More than 80 per cent of Minya's residents
live in the countryside
Even those who own land might struggle to make ends meet. Mohamed Reyb, a stocky 40-year-old farmer,
used to make a decent living growing cotton. Egyptian cotton has long enjoyed a luxury status around the
world, and once provided farmers like Reyb with a steady income. But with increased competition from
US farmers, and a decision by the Sisi administration to cut subsidies for growers in 2015, many have
abandoned cotton altogether. You canCM XTIL T KHFWNM TEcXFHL]l DTcD mLi^] UFFINES FYM FnLH RND UTEO]
which he now uses to grow onions.
In addition to rising prices for fuel and fertiliser, Rejb also faces a dwindling of his primary resource: water.
Relying almost exclusively on the Nile for its supply, this single resource is being stretched to the
maximum to secure the water needs of an ever-growing population. At the start of the millennium, Egyptop
population numbered 70 million. In just 17 years, itop qrpst uv wqvxty z{{ |r}}rvt~ wty rp spur|wusy uv ru
120 million by 2030. Since 2015, the country has officially been in a state of water poverty. For Rejb, what
was once a bountiful resource has become a tenuous commodity. Some days, he says, his supply is cut off
completely. If I canou €su wusq ust |‚ ƒqv„p r}} yrs~… s pw‚p†
He points to cluster of red-brick buildings off in the distance. See those houses? he says. That all used to
be farmland. Since thereop tv }vt€sq wt‚ |vts‚ rt ‡wq|rt€~ ‡wq|sqp wˆs puwqusy ps}}rt€ v‡‡ usrq }wty†…
Around 30,000 acres of farmland are lost each year to largely illegally built settlements. As more of the
land that was once the breadbasket of the Roman empire disappears under bricks and mortar, the country
is forced to import more of its food from abroad, putting yet more strain on the economy.
Families commonly build their own apartment
blocks to share
Despite a laundry list of economic woes, Sisi will seek re-election as President next month with seemingly
no chance of losing. All credible opposition has been swept aside; some have ended up in jail. His only
opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, is a textbook patsy. After appearing out of total obscurity this month
to announce his candidacy, people on social media began sharing screenshots of his Facebook account,
which was inundated with photos of his supposed rival and incumbent President. Many Egyptians are
refusing to call it an election, opting instead to label it a referendum with only one possible outcome.
Yet the President retains real support, surprisingly, even among those struggling to survive in the current
climate. Eid, the copper worker from Cairo, is one of those who still has faith in the administration.
Things have got more difficult since the revolution, and under the current President, but I still agree with
what the government is doing, he says. Itop }r‰s r‡ ‚vx wˆs w ‡wƒuvq‚ yspuqv‚sy~ ru uw‰sp ur|s uv qsŠxr}y ru†
But when itop w}} ‡rtrpsy~ ust ‚vx ƒwt €su Šwƒ‰ uv vq‰†…
Section 2 / Features
With 500 rooms, one guest, pigeons on the upper floors and untold
cockroaches, the Grand Hotel in Kosovo reflects the struggles of a new
nation. Andrew Higgins checks in
The establishment sits in a prime location in Pristina (Laura Boushnak)
The Grand Hotel in the Kosovan capital of Pristina is regularly reviled in internet reviews. Heres a
sample: disgusting, a ruin and an absolute horror. Probably the worst I have ever been at. But the
managers seem unfazed by the online abuse. They do not take web bookings and barely offer access to the
internet; their hotel has no email account.
A byword for modern opulence when this part of the Balkans was still part of the now defunct Yugoslavia,
the state-owned Grand has gone into such a steep decline that even Kosovos President, Hashim Thaci,
usually an eager boaster of everything his country has to offer, struggles to find anything nice to say about
it. I dont think it is the worst hotel in the world, but that is because the world is very big, the President
says, expressing disbelief when told that I was staying there.
A room on the 12th floor. Only two floors of
the Grand are now open to guests (Laura
When I checked into the 500-room property recently, I was the only guest. With 13 storeys and three
adjoining concrete blocks in a prime location, the hotel accommodates flocks of pigeons on the upper
floors and has rented out its basement, once used as a prison by Serbian paramilitary thugs, to a health
But it is otherwise deserted, a maze of dimly lit corridors that are littered with pigeon feathers, strung with
cobwebs, lined with doors of dark wood and haunted by even darker memories of Kosovos past. Two
floors have been reduced to rubble, the remnants of a remodelling programme that ran out of money. The
establishments colour scheme ‹ ŒŽ  ‘’ “”••– ‹ —–˜ ˜™Œ—š™˜—Ž•˜ ›”••š™–• œŒ˜ ‘—ž• ™Ž —–
excellent set for a remake of the Coen brothers 1991 film Barton Fink, which features a similarly deserted
hotel in Hollywood.
The Grands general manager, Rrahim Fazliu, concedes that the place perhaps no longer deserves the fivestar rating it has claimed since it was built in 1978. But, he insists, with a bit of makeup it can become a
symbol of success for a country still struggling to find its stride nearly 20 years after a Nato bombing
campaign broke Serbias grip on the unruly region.
The hotel, Fazliu adds, was a mirror of Kosovo, and the image reflected there these days is decidedly less
alluring than what had been hoped for when it achieved freedom in 1999.
Manager Rrahim Fazliu concedes that the place
perhaps no longer deserves its five-star rating
(Laura Boushnak)
Service is minimal to nonexistent, the marble lobby stinks of cigarette smoke and the green carpeting that
covers most of the floors is stained and scarred. And then there are the cockroaches. But to be fair, the
Grand deserves better reviews than it gets online.
On the two floors kept ready for guests, rooms are kept relatively clean and offer occasional hot water. The
few staff that remain try to be helpful, and they are clearly embarrassed by the shabby state of their once
respectable establishment.
Shurije Abazi, a 58-year-old maid who started working at the hotel a month after it opened four decades
ago, still makes sure there is soap and shampoo for guests who no longer exist but who, in a triumph of
hope over reality, she thinks will soon return. Along with other ethnic Albanian staff she lost her job in the
1990s, when Serbias former dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, began a programme of ethnic cleansing. She has
no nostalgia for those times but still mourns the hotels decay.
The hotel is a maze of dimly lit corridors
littered with pigeon feathers (Laura Boushnak)
The President, who has only bad memories of the hotel in the past and despairs at its current condition,
harbours big plans for its future. Perhaps we could build a Trump Tower there, Thaci suggests. Before
Yugoslavia collapsed in a spasm of bloodletting in the 1990s, he recalls, the Grand was a favourite haunt for
communist officials and, after they left, for armed goons bent on keeping Kosovo part of Serbia.
Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavias longtime dictator, had a suite on the fourth floor. After Tito died in 1980 and
his multi-ethnic country began to unravel, the Grand soldiered on and even prospered for a time, its
occupancy rate lifted by the arrival of foreign journalists and Serb paramilitary gangs that wanted to purge
Kosovo of ethnic Albanians, who made up a large majority of the population.
Zeljko Raznatovic, a Serbian career criminal and bloodthirsty nationalist fanatic better known as Arkan,
commandeered Titos old suite while his gunmen put up a sign on the front door barring entry to ethnic
Albanians and dogs. On my first day at the hotel on my recent visit, a group of revellers from a grimy
nightclub on the top floor took rooms in the middle of the night and boosted the number of guests to five Ÿ
an occupancy rate of 1 per cent, which is about as good as business gets at the Grand these days.
The suite on the fourth floor whereJosip Broz
Tito, Yugoslavia s longtime dictator, stayed
(Laura Boushnak)
We are ready every day to operate at full capacity but there are no people, says Fazliu, the general
manager. He works out of a huge office on the second floor equipped with a long wooden conference table,
multiple telephones and other relics of better and busier days. Stuck in limbo since the end of the Kosovo
war, which brought Thaci and his comrades in the Kosovo Liberation Army to power, the hotel stands as a
bleak monument not only to Kosovos painful past but also to its blurry future.
Free of Serbian control for nearly 20 years and now celebrating its 10th anniversary as an independent
country, Kosovo is itself stuck in limbo, recognised by the United States and most European countries but
still denied a seat at the United Nations and routinely harassed by Russia and Serbia. It only recently got
its own telephone country code ¡¢¡ £¤¥¦§ ¨©¥¦¦ ª«¨©¦¬ ­¨¥®¯ °«±§¨ ¡²² ³®± ¡¢´ µ«¶¶«£§± ·¶«ª ¸«®³°«
and Slovenia. Meanwhile, iPhones do not offer weather reports for Pristina.
However, many of the problems plaguing Kosovo ¥® ¹³¶©¥°­¦³¶º §®±§ª¥° °«¶¶­¹©¥«® ³®± ¨¤³±¬ ±§³¦¥®¯¨
by former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army ³¶§ «· ©¤§ °«­®©¶¬»¨ «£® ª³¼¥®¯½ ¾ ¤³± ¦³¨©
visited the Grand Hotel on 12 June 1999, the day Nato ground troops first entered Pristina after a 78-day
bombing campaign. A jittery receptionist told me then that all the rooms were booked and would be for a
long time.
The hotel is now in liquidation and its
collection of art will be sold or put in a
museum (Laura Boushnak)
The city was swarming with foreigners looking for a place to stay ¿§¨©§¶® À«­¶®³¦¥¨©¨º ª¥¦¥©³¶¬ «··¥°§¶¨º
aid workers and European officials. We had all rushed to Pristina to witness the end of Serb hegemony and
the birth of what the United States and its European allies hoped would be a prosperous new country
firmly anchored in the West and its ways.
A critical part of this plan was a crash program to privatise former Yugoslav state assets like the Grand
Hotel. Put up for sale in 2006, it was bought by a murky local company that paid just 8m (aroundÁ²ª ³©
current rates) but promised, as part of the deal, to invest a further 20m.
On 12 June 1999, the day Nato ground troops
entered Pristina, the hotel was fully booked
(Laura Boushnak)
The promised investment never happened, and in 2012 the Kosovo Privatisation Agency cancelled the sale
after Behgjet Pacolli, a Swiss millionaire originally from Kosovo who is now the countrys foreign minister,
announced that a company he owned was suing the government over the original sale.
The hotel is now in liquidation and its assets, which include a valuable collection of modern art, will be
sold or put in a museum so that a new owner can be found and the hotel can be refurbished from scratch.
The hotel has more than 500 employees left on the books from the time when Kosovo was controlled by
Serbia. The Serbian staff all fled after Natos arrival. Around 80 staff, all ethnic Albanians, now show up for
Pacolli estimates that it will cost at least $50m (ÚÛÜËÝ ÉÌ ËÃÆÇ ÉÊÇ ÞÏÃÄÅ ÙÏÃÄÅ ÃÙÃÎÄÒ ßÉ ÎÕà ÊÇ ÃÅÅÇÅà
perhaps not the worlds worst hotel but ranks near the bottom. It is really terrible, he says. How can you
stay there? How can anyone stay there?
New York Times
Section 2 / The Big Read
As Donald Trump weakens environmental protections in the United
States, Peru moves to preserve âãäå ãæ çèå éêëç ìíåêç îäçêïç íêîäæãíåëçë
on the globe. Joanna Klein investigates
The Yaguas River, now a new national park in the Amazon, is home to thousands of endangered species and indigenous people
(Andes Amazon Fund)
The rainforests in Perus remote north-west corner are vast ð ñò óôñõ õöôõ õö÷ øùòúûñ õöôõ üòýþ ôÿòó÷ õö÷þ
can influence rainfall in the western United States. The region contains species, especially unusual fish,
that are unlike any found elsewhere on Earth. Scientists studying the areas flora and fauna may gain
insights into evolutionary processes and into the ecological health and geological history of the Amazon.
Now the region has become home to one of the Western Hemispheres newest national parks. Yaguas
National Park will protect millions of acres of roadless wilderness ð ô û õö÷ û÷ òúñ ÷òù÷ öò ý÷ù ò
it ð üýòþ û÷ó÷ùòþ÷ õ ô û û÷üòý÷ñõôõò This is a place where the forest stretches to the horizon, says Corine Vriesendorp, a conservation
ecologist at the Field Museum in Chicago, one of many organisations that worked to win the national park
designation, Perus highest level of protection. This is one of the last great intact forests on the globe.
The designation stands in contrast to moves in the United States that may weaken protections for
wilderness. President Donald Trump has made a priority of scaling back national monuments like Bears
Ears in Utah, and many advisers to the National Park System recently quit, citing concerns about the
administrations commitment to environmental protections.
Perus new park, on the other hand, joins a network of parks and reserves recently created to preserve
territory in South American countries, including Ecuador, Chile and Colombia.
Nowadays were trying to think big, says Avecita Chicchon, who leads the Andes-Amazon Initiative,
part of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. You need these large areas to be connected.
In Peru and elsewhere, political leaders, bolstered by strong civil society initiatives, are recognising the
effects of climate change and their role in mitigating it. They are setting aside large parcels of land in part
to fulfil commitments made as part of the Paris climate agreement. And local and indigenous groups,
finally getting a legal say in the process, have also provided critical support.
Indigenous people, such as the Yagua tribe,
who rely on the land, have been given a legal
say in the process (Alamy)
More than 1,000 people, belonging to at least six indigenous groups, live along a 125-mile stretch of the
Yaguas and Putumayo rivers. To them, this place is sachamama, a Quechua word roughly meaning
mother jungle, the sacred heart of the area that produces the flora and fauna on which the groups
These indigenous people are part of a larger community scattered by tragedy during the rubber boom at
the turn of 20th century. They are the descendants of the few who survived slavery, torture and genocide,
which took tens of thousands of lives.
During the past two decades, indigenous federations living around Yaguas have been working to protect
the land. They educated scientists and conservationists about its geography and biology, and convinced the
government that the land was worth saving.
In the Amazonian lowlands of Yaguas National Park, different types of rivers that contain distinct forms of
aquatic life mix during the rainy season as forests flood. This unusual cocktail of river waters produces
unique diversity; more than 300 species of fish have adapted to forest life.
Imagine you were a fish and you were in a river, and you could pass to another river, not flowing, not
swimming down river, instead crossing the forest, says Max Hidalgo, an ichthyologist at the Museum of
Natural History in Lima.
The fish feed on fruits, disperse seeds and find homes in submerged branches. To find these rare species,
youd have better luck cracking open a log than using a fishing line, says Hidalgo, who has been studying
fish in the area for years.
One species, not yet named, grows no bigger than your thumb and has only been found dwelling in
subterranean tunnels. Hidalgo hopes to return to the park soon to confirm whether it is new to science.
But with some 3,000 plant, 600 bird and more than 150 mammal species, there are far more than fish in
Often elusive in heavily hunted areas, tapirs in Yaguas seem to remain more visible. Ive never seen this
many tapirs in one place, says Vriesendorp. They are sometimes found in the forest, eating salty mud to
extract its minerals.
Endangered giant otters, which can grow to 6 feet long, have also been reported in the park. As their
habitats become fragmented by deforestation and development, these oversized weasels face local
Yaguas is home to giant otters;
scientists hope to study the population
for any potential human conflicts
But their presence in Yaguas suggests that the aquatic ecosystem is still healthy, which is important given
that the park contains the headwaters of a tributary to the Amazon.
A team led by the Frankfurt Zoological Society is hoping to get an estimate of the otter population,
determine if there are any otter-human conflicts, and eventually assess whether mercury from small gold
mining operations has entered the food chain.
If future proposals are successful, three-quarters of the Putumayo River will become a vast, unfragmented
corridor for wildlife across northern Peru. And it could also be important as the world aims to reduce
carbon emissions.
Looking over the rainforest from above, predictable linear patterns of another Yaguas jewel emerge: peat
bogs, only recently discovered. They are part of a network of peat bogs across northern Peru that together
store massive amounts of carbon.
Keeping the carbon in the ground is critical, although it will prove challenging in remote Yaguas and
surrounding areas with fewer restrictions.
For now, Yaguas is safe, but in the 20 years Ive been working in the Amazon, Ive learned the hard way
that todays remoteness is tomorrows access, says Gregory Asner, an ecologist at the Carnegie
Institution for Science.
But for now, many are celebrating.
People dont create national parks everyday, says Vriesendorp. It really is a big deal.
New York Times
Section 2 / Traveller
Dahab used to be one of the most popular Red Sea diving resorts. After
a revolution, a military coup and an airliner bombing, it comeback, says Nick Redmayne
The remote Bedouin fishing village became known for its beaches, corals and the Blue Hole, the world s most dangerous dive
(Photography by Nick Redmayne)
At Cairo ! " # " $ %& ' $%( #
snorting buses jockey for position. Brakes gasp, lights flash, drivers shout abuse, horns blare. All these
buses are shit, announces a distracted Egyptian minding a bemused Japanese woman. This company had
so many crashes its license was revoked. Now at least they have two drivers. Anyway, why should I
worry? he adds incredulously. This girl is going diving in Dahab, and she can ) !&*
Since a Russian passenger aircraft was bombed in 2015, the UK Government has banned flights to Sinai.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against overland travel anywhere in the Sinai
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announces. She hunkers down in her seat, checks social media, wraps a scarf around her head, cuddles a
well-loved Winnie the Pooh, and dozes off. After 10 hours, a surfeit of tea stops, two army baggage
inspections and more passport checks than I can remember, we arrive in Dahab.
The remote Bedouin fishing village became more widely known during the Israeli occupation of Sinai
following the Six Day War of 1967. Israelis fell for the water here, rich in corals and marine fauna, and sites
such as the 110m Blue Hole + N;:4 L573BHD 15D; B,89475=D B264M + B74L B2647D F751 ,O75DD ;:4 935A4? P8
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Long known as a laid-back backpacker town,
Dahab is becoming more developed and
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surface, chasing trails through white-topped waves. Across the Gulf of Aqaba, 15 miles wide, Saudi ArabiaHD
Hijaz mountains are picked out in ochre against a brilliant blue sky.
Further down the sand, the Friday market is setting up. A mix of races, languages and religions come
together in a colourful crowd. New Agers, entrepreneurs and eccentrics patronise the stalls and preside
over them. Connie, a fifty-something German woman wearing a hijab, is doing swift trade in fruit cakes.
DahabHD 94;;289 A>CM D:4 D,>D? NR:474HD , F4L K=75G4,8DC 85; 1,8>? K9>G;2,8D O514 F57 , L:234C A=; ;:427
prices are low, and they leave a lot of rubbish. Her apple and blueberry pie is excellent.
At a stall selling honey cakes I speak to Mina. If flights restart, it will take a while, but it will be booming.
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Well, anyway the decision on flights is political, says Mina.
Beyond the market, the beachfront is lined with cafes, restaurants, guesthouses and a few modest hotels.
Some establishments ready for an unlikely evening rush. Some are closed. Some have been empty for
The village is the perfect base to explore the
rest of Sinai, including its Bedouin deserts
The wind drops as the shore path turns the corner. At the Lighthouse U VWX WXYZV [\ ]YWY^_` abcbde
industry U fZ[` Yda \bZ`VgVbhXZ` fijj [d kXV`ibV` Yda lWXlm VWXbZ VYdm` Yda ZXeijYV[Z`n opWX q`ZYXjb` `VYZVXa
coming back a year ago, says one dive shop owner, who didn_V kYdV V[ ebcX Wb` dYhXn opWb` fjYlX b` dXcXZ
going to be Sharm El Sheikh, though they_ZX VZrbden siV VWX ^XYlW WXZX b` sXa[ibd [kdXZ`Wbf U VWXZX YZX
perhaps 150 different titles. They_jj dXcXZ YeZXXnt
Later, away from the beach, on unpaved streets populated by goats and chickens, I am invited to tea by a
Bedouin family. I learnt English selling bracelets on the beach, says Aidah, a forthright thirty-something.
Her family made money from letting apartments, she says. We sit on carpets around a small charcoal
brazier. Tea is poured into glasses and passed around. Aidah_` \YVWXZ `V[f` XuYhbdbde Y jbVVjX ^idajX [\
Omani frankincense, takes a glass of tea and lights a cigarette. Dahab is like many places, beautiful from
the outside, she continues. But when you live here you see how it really is, you see many difficulties.
She pauses. There are two cultures, Bedouin and Egyptian, and they are completely different.
The resort caters to both novice snorkellers
and deep technical divers, as well as free
Lonely Planet still calls Dahab the Middle East_` fZbhX ^XYlW ZX`[ZV \[Z bdaXfXdaXdV VZYcXjjXZ`tn
Following a revolution, a military coup and an airliner bombing, the superlative seems a poor fit. It_` VZiX
that Dahab remains a Bedouin town first and a resort second. Circumstances have certainly effected a
pause in tourism development. How long this hiatus continues and precisely what the future holds are
subjects of conjecture. However, change is coming. It_` okWXdtv d[V ob\tn
Travel essentials
Getting there
Egypt Air flies from Heathrow to Cairo from wxyzn {Z[h VWXZXv r[i lYd VYmX Yd bdVXZdYj \jbeWV V[ |WYZh }j
Sheikh or take the bus (around ~€
Staying there
The three-star Coral Coast Hotel has doubles from ~‚ƒ„ …†…
More information
The writer flew to Cairo as a guest of the Egyptian State Tourist Board
Section 2 / Traveller
The world‡ˆ ‰Šˆ‹ ŒŠˆŽ‘‹’Ž ŒŠ“‹” ’ˆ •Ž–ŒŠ‰’— ‹Š“’ˆ‹ˆ –’˜Ž ŽŽ
before. Is Saudi Arabia the next holiday hotspot? Our travel
correspondent Simon Calder has the answers
Both Heathrow and Manchester offer direct flights to Jeddah, a cosmopolitan Red Sea port city with a rich history (Saudi Tourism)
Saudi Arabia is opening up to tourism. The Kingdom has a new, professional approach to attracting
visitors, easier visa rules and, for the first time, the prospect for younger, unaccompanied women to see
the country as tourists. But why would you want to visit? Should you go? And what are the challenges?
What is changing in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia has traditionally welcomed pilgrims making the Hajj to the holy city of Mecca, but
mainstream tourism is a recent, controversial development that has been criticised by some clerics.
The Kingdom first tentatively allowed British tourists only 20 years ago. At the time, women under 40
were required to travel with either a husband or a brother.
Since then, neighbouring countries such as Oman and the UAE have built highly successful tourist
industries. Now the biggest country in the Middle East plans to ease the rules for tourist visas from 1 April
2018. Saudi Arabia aims to diversify its economy to reduce reliance on oil, and tourism is seen as an
Restrictions are likely to be eased in a bid to attract visitors, with the lower age limit for women reduced to
25. But the red tape remains tricky, and truly independent tourism looks a fairly distant prospect;
applicants must have an authorisation from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which requires a sponsor
in Saudi Arabia ™ š›šœž œŸ Ÿ¡¢£ Ÿ¤ ¥¢š¦ ›£ §š› Ÿ¨››©
Prospective visitors who were born in Israel or whose passport contains evidence of previous travel to
Israel may be refused admission.
What does Saudi Arabia have to offer tourists?
The country is nine times larger than the UK and has plenty of diversity. Saudi Arabiaª› £¢›¥ ¦¨«œ¦¬ Ÿ¤
big city is Jeddah, a cosmopolitan port with a rich history.
The leading archaeological location is Madaª Ÿ ­œ¨® ™ ¥®¨ ­œš¬ ¯¨¦› ¢Ÿ ¢° ±¨¥¦œ Ÿ ²¢¦¬œŸ© ³ ´¨ ±¨¥¦œµ ¥®¨
city was hewn from solid rock by the Nabateans. Unlike Petra, it has very few visitors. The country also has
mountains rising to 3,000m and some spectacular highland scenery.
The Red Sea coastline is superb, with big plans to create an independent economic zone with its own
laws, taxes and regulations close to the Jordanian border, known as NEOM. Plans call for an international
resort zone to be developed, with a degree of greater tolerance of behaviour.
How oppressive a country is Saudi Arabia?
The latest Amnesty International report said: The authorities used the death penalty extensively, carrying
out scores of executions.
Despite limited reforms, women faced systemic discrimination in law and practice and were inadequately
protected against sexual and other violence.
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has vowed that Saudi Arabia will adopt a form of moderate, open
Islam. There are some signs of change, particularly in the attitude to women. A Royal Decree has
ordained that Saudi driving licences will be issued to women from 24 June 2018. Bans on women going to
cinemas and attending sporting events are being lifted.
Two years ago, Royal Brunei symbolically operated an all-female flight from its home base to Jeddah. And
Maram Kokandi has recently been appointed general manager of the Park Inn by Radisson in Jeddah, the
first woman to hold such a position.
What laws must tourists observe?
Rules on conduct remain extremely strict. The Foreign Office says: Women should wear conservative,
loose-fitting clothes as well as a full length cloak (abaya) and a headscarf.
Homosexual acts and extra-marital sexual relations, including adultery, are illegal and can be subject to
severe penalties.
Imports are carefully controlled. Smuggling drugs into the Kingdom is a crime punishable by death, say
the authorities. Bringing in pork is forbidden. The possession of pornographic material, or of illustrations
of scantily dressed people, especially women, is prohibited. You can bring a Bible into the country as long
as it is for your personal use.
Tourism during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, could prove challenging. This year it is likely to
extend from 15 May to 14 June.
How do I get there and get around?
Air links from the UK are good. British Airways and Saudia fly from Heathrow to the capital, Riyadh, and
Jeddah. Manchester is connected with Jeddah by Saudia.
Within Saudi Arabia, domestic aviation is well established and inexpensive; the 90-minute link between
Medina and the capital, Riyadh, has frequent flights and one-way fares for around ¶·¸¹
There is a new high-speed rail link under construction between Riyadh and the Jordanian border.
Car rental and fuel are cheap, but the roads are dangerous. Standards of driving are poor and there are a
high number of serious accidents, warns the Foreign Office.
How safe is Saudi Arabia?
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks, warns the Foreign Office.
There are posts on jihadist websites and social media encouraging attacks against British, western and
other interests, including teachers, schools, oil workers, residential compounds, military, transport and
aviation interests, as well as crowded places, including restaurants, hotels, shopping centres and mosques.
Further attacks are likely.
The US State Department says: Rebel groups operating in Yemen continue to fire long-range missiles
into Saudi Arabia that are capable of reaching the vicinities of Riyadh and Jeddah.
Section 2 / Travel question
Have a question? Ask our expert Simon Calder
Our outward flight was cancelled because of heavy snow (Getty)
Q We had return flights booked from Edinburgh to Belfast last Friday, returning on Sunday. The flights
were made as one booking. Our outward flight was cancelled by easyJet because of heavy snow at
Edinburgh. We applied for a refund for both legs through their website. So far, we have received
confirmation of refund for the outward flight, but not the return leg. We obviously wonº» ¼½ ¾¿ À»Á ÂÃÄÀ¿Å
not been able to get to Belfast in the first place. Are they obliged to refund the return flight?
Matt A
A Yes. If an airline cancels an outbound flight, it must give the money back for the return leg as well Æ
because, as you say, you were not in a position to use it.
When easyJet cancels an outbound flight, the passengerÇÈ ÉÊËÌÍÊÎ ÏÐÉÑÒÓ ÉÈ ÊÌÓ ÔÍÓÌÕÔÓÉÖÔÐÐ× ÖÔÊÖØÐÐØÎÙ
want to keep the homebound sector.
You applied for a refund on both halves of the trip Æ ØÔÈ×ÞØÓ ÓØÐÐÈ ÕØ ÓÒÔÓ ÈÌ ÓÒØ ÛØÏÍÊÎ ÓÛÔÊÈÔÖÓÉÌÊÈ ÏÌÛ ÓÒØ
outbound and inbound flights are done separately. The airline says that the vast majority of customers
receive both payments at the same time, and that 97 per cent of cases are settled within 24 hours. But it
Some travellers are in a worse position because the airline they booked home is not the one they used
outbound. Had you chosen to fly out on easyJet and back on Flybe, then there is no obligation for the latter
to refund you (assuming its flight goes ahead). While combination flights can provide optimum timings
and/or fares, they come with risks attached.
Every day, our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, tackles a reader s question. Just email yours to
or tweet @simoncalder
Section 2 / IndyBest
Whether for bird watching or stargazing, good eye gear will help bring
things into focus. Aaron Roe takes a look
Get a better view of the world with high quality binoculars (Eschenbach Optik)
Whether youáâã ä åãâæçèå éæêëêæìã éäíîïãâ çâ ðèåí éäñí ä òãííãâ óæãé çì íïã ôäâëãñ òêèã íæíåá äñíæîåõ ëãîãñí
binoculars will bring you an awful lot of pleasure. Just be sure to have a good think about how you will use
them before you buy.
Will you be tramping around misty marshes looking for rare birds where optical excellence is at a
premium, or do you need a tiny pair you can stuff into a pocket?
Eight times magnification and 42mm objective lenses ö íïã òæô êãñå äí íïã òçííç÷ ö äâã äñ æëãäê
combination for most uses (youáêê åãã íïã÷ êæåíãë äå øùúûåüý þäåæîäêêÿõ íïã òæôôãâ íïã çòðãîíæóã êãñåõ íïã
more light they can gather and the brighter the image youáêê åããý
Modern rubberised bodies can take bumps and knocks in their stride, and if youáâã äñ äêê éãäíïãâ ñäíèâã
enthusiast, look out for waterproofing and specialist coatings to keep the rain out.
Weáóã òâçèôïí íçôãíïãâ ä âäñôã çì òæñçå ìâç÷ òæô ñä÷ã ÷äñèìäîíèâãâåõ êèå ä ìãé çíæîäê åãîæäêæåíå ÿçè
might not have heard of. In our list youáêê ìæñë ãùãñåæóã ÷çëãêå èåæñô íïã êäíãåí æ÷äôã åíäòæêæåäíæçñ
technology to give you the steadiest possible view, as well as budget pairs that you wonáí ÷æñë æëå
bashing about as they get into birding. They all have eyepieces that either twist up or fold down to allow
you to use them with or without glasses.
Opticron Imagic BGA VHD 8x42: £449, Wex
Our best buy isnáí ïãäë äñë åïçèêëãâå äòçóã íïã âãåí ö æí ðèåí ëçãå ãóãâÿíïæñô íïäí êæííêã òæí òãííãâý ïã
image is slightly crisper and brighter, the rubberised finish feels nicer in the hands and the focusing wheel
is just a tad smoother to operate. Even the Cordura case and neoprene neck strap ooze quality. Made in
Japan and weighing just 709g, the binos focus down to 2m and are waterproof to 3m. Excellence comes at a
slightly higher price, although with a 30-year guarantee they should give you a lifetime hardcore wildlife watchers who want superb field glasses they can enjoy for decades.
Olympus 8x42 EXPSi: £139, Amazon
This is a modern take on the traditional angled porro-prism design that century. At 785g they are almost 80g heavier than the Opticrons but the sculpted, rubberised body sits
really well in larger hands. The image is bright and clear even in low light, and having the objective lenses
that bit further apart improves depth of field perception making the image seem more three-dimensional.
They only focus down to 4m, so are not ideal for watching insects, but they are excellent value and are
backed up with a 25-year guarantee, although they Viking Kestrel 8x42: £219.95, Amazon
We really grew to like this pair during our time together. The understated, no-frills design sits comfortably
in the hand and the larger, knobbly metal focus ring was lovely and smooth in use. At just 702g they are a
smidge lighter than our best buy, the Opticrons. Image quality is really good, helped by the fact that
despite being a mid-price pair they boast extra-low dispersion glass out. They are nitrogen-filled to prevent fogging up and can focus down to just 2m, making them perfect for
wildlife watching. Viking, based in birdwatching heaven in Suffolk, is so confident of their durability that it
backs them up with a 10-year warranty. They will stay waterproof down to 1.5m for up to three minutes
should you drop them in a pond.
Eschenbach Sektor F 8x25: £99, Amazon
Weighing in at exactly 300g, these tiny binos are perfect for hikers or anyone who wants to carry a pair in
their car glovebox. They use a double hinge design to fold down really small, making them ideal to stuff in
a pocket or rucksack. Alternatively, you can wear them in their case on your belt. Despite their size, the
army green rubberised coating makes them feel quite substantial and they come with a five-year guarantee.
On the downside, the small 25mm objective lenses mean they gather a lot less light than their bigger
42mm rivals and we found the smaller eyepieces meant they were a little harder to use with glasses,
although they were fine without.
Canon 10x32 IS: £1,099, Amazon
With their high-tech looks and amazing image stabilisation, you Star Wars
when using this pair. It !" breathing can make your hands shake. Press one of the two buttons on the body and the usual jitters
disappear, although the glasses make several small, smooth movements as the system adjusts. One button
is for use when panning or making bigger movements, the other is for looking at more static objects. To
save battery power the system shuts down after five minutes or when the glasses hang from their strap. We
enjoyed using them while birding and they really came into their own when observing the moon and stars
on cold, clear nights in the Lake District. Although not fully waterproof, they will survive a rain shower
and weigh in at 780g without the two AA batteries needed to operate the IS system.
Celestron Trailseeker 10x42: £188.99, Amazon
Celestron has been making telescopes since 1960 and its devices have even been sent into orbit on the
International Space Station, so it should know a thing or two about optics. This compact pair is smaller
than many of the 8x42 models in our list and weighs in at just 645g, yet the engineers have packed in a
whopping 10x magnification. Fully waterproof, they come in an attractive dark green, which makes a
change from the usual jet black offered by most manufacturers. Along with the usual strap and case, they
come with a chest harness if you prefer to avoid hanging them round your neck. There#$ % &'(')*+ &',*)'(*
warranty too, so Celestron will repair or replace for the original owner should any defects ever emerge.
RSPB 8.5x42 WPG: £204.75, Tesco
Wardens at wildlife charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds use these binos while out and
about on their reserves, so they must be pretty durable. They have a similarly understated look to the
Vikings but are a tiny bit more powerful with an 8.5x magnification. They are waterproof and weigh in at a
very reasonable 735g. For your money you get a hardshell case for storage plus a soft pouch to stow them
inside. The RSPB-branded neck strap proved really comfortable even after hours outside walking and
wildlife watching. Again, they come with a 10-year guarantee for peace of mind.
Eschenbach Arena D+ 8x42: £116.12, Amazon
This functional-looking pair is a solid choice for any budding birders in your family or occasional users.
They weigh a meagre 628g and are protected by a rugged rubberised armour. The image is sharp and
bright despite the relatively low price, although they only focus down to 3m. German firm Eschenbach has
been in the optics business since 1913 and makes everything from opera glasses to very high end
binoculars, and they back this waterproof and fog-proof pair up with a five-year guarantee.
Bushnell Legend E Series 8x42: £149.97, Manfrotto
This pair was a very pleasant surprise. Noticeably smaller than many of the others in our line up, they are
also very light at just 685g - %&)./01. ).%) 2%$ 341 (/5* ).%6 %+7*5)'$*+ /6 ).* 8/9: ;.* ,/<0$'61 5'61 '$
nice and big, making adjustments super easy, while the eyepieces use a click system to reduce the risk of
them being accidentally moved once you have them set to your liking. Image quality and brightness is
excellent and the lenses are treated with a special Rainguard HD coating so that moisture beads and runs
off rather than hampering your view. If you can grab a pair at our offer price you#&& 8* 1*))'61 % 5*%& 8%51%'6
and saving nearly =>34:
The verdict
The Opticrons really deserve our best-buy rating - ).*? 1%7* ).* 85'1.)*$)@ $.%5A*$) '(%1*$ '6 /05 &'6* 0A but if your budget doesn#) 506 )/ %&(/$) =B34 ).*6 )%C* % &//C %) *').*5 ).* D'C'61$ /5 ).* E0$.6*&&$@ 8/).
of which were easy to use and offered great viewing. If you have cash to splash and shaky hands then the
Canons are an amazing product.
Have we missed any brands? Do you agree with our expert s choices? Drop us a line with any feedback or
questions on
Section 2 / Arts
jazz, talks to Jochan Embley about crate-digging in Casablanca,
historical sensitivity and why he loves London
From Egyptian disco to Caribbean zouk, the music producer scours the Arab world for stereotype-busting sounds (Fabian Brenneke)
The 16 tracks that make up the latest Habibi Funk compilation are a heady fusion of sound and fervour.
There is some psychedelic disco from Egypt. Other songs are electrified by the carnival energy of
Caribbean zouk. Theres even a raucous reworking of Beethovens F[\ ]^_`abc def _g h^^ `_g` h^iej`_fa
smatterings of funk, soul and hip-hop. Some of the recordings are jagged and unrefined; others sound
luscious enough to have been recorded yesterday.
And the stories behind how this compilation and the Berlin-based label that released it came to be are no
less intriguing. For co-founder Jannis St[\gkl gma nio\eap `gh\gaf _e qrsql t_gm h umheua v_`_g gi h mh\fth\a
store-cum-record shop in Casablanca, Morocco, and has since taken him across the Arab nations, picking
up rare LPs and dusty cassettes as he goes.
As much as a lot of regions have been covered by a bunch of reissue labels that do similar work to us, the
Arab world was kind of left out until very recently, Stwxyz{ |}~ €~ x‚ƒ y}„ …†xy ‡„ˆ~x‰ €Š„€{ y„€€
The Independent. The thing in the beginning that triggered me was the fact that it was music I really,
really liked, but I did not know a lot about it ‹ ƒ‰ |}~„Œ„x  Ž€„‰ y y~ ‚‚€€ }‰ y}„ ‘„ x„ˆy~ƒ’
The quality of the music was really strong and I felt like there was a discrepancy between the availability
of the music and the interest it created.
The album cover of Habibi Funk s first Fadoul
release, Al Zman Saib , which translates
loosely as Hard Times
And so, the idea for Habibi Funk, a reissue label focusing on eclectic, stereotype-busting sounds from the
Arab world, was born. In that Casablanca shop six years ago, Stwxyz ˆ‘„ ˆx~  “„Œ„ƒy„ ˆ~Œ„x ~” …‘„
Browns Papas Got a Brand New Bag, sung in Arabic, by an artist called Fadoul. Its the kind of song
that needs to be heard rather than described, but Stwxyz ‰~„  Žx„yy •~~‰ –~Š ~” y— ˜™xŠˆ ”‚ƒ† |y} 
punk attitude.
The Fadoul track was a good starting point, he remembers. Its not very subtle, its full-on energy and
very straight to the point. If its the first record youre listening to, you get the idea straight away.
After learning that Fadoul had passed away some years ago, Stwxyz yxy„‰ yxƒ• y~ yxˆ† ‰~|ƒ } ”‘€
to license the music. The process took multiple trips to Morocco, drew in a team of musicians and helpers,
and, after narrowing the search down to a certain neighbourhood in Casablanca, culminated in running
around with photos of the album cover and showing it to old men in coffee houses. Eventually, Stwxyz
found the relatives.
And thats not even the best of it. A number of labels have, in the past, tried to reissue the music
of Ahmed Malek, an Algerian composer who was most active in the 1970s, but were unable to track down
his family. For a time, Stwxyz | ‘€x€ ˆ€‚„€„’
I did a DJ gig in Beirut and a friend of mine came to the show. We were talking about Ahmed Malek and
how Id like to do a reissue. I said I didnt have a clue how to find the family. She said, š }Œ„  ”x„ƒ‰ ƒ
Algeria, Ill just ask her. I was like, š„}{ y}„x„ x„ ›œ ‘€€~ƒ Ž„~Ž€„ ƒ ™€•„x{ |}y x„ y}„ ~‰‰ž
It s about how we represent these cultural goods. In our artworks, you won t find any pyramids or camels,
or any of the stereotypical visual language
Two weeks later she calls me, and it turns out her friends family live in the same building as Ahmed
Maleks daughter. As cosmic alignments go, its a pretty good one. Habibi Funk has since reissued two
collections of Maleks work Ÿ ¡¢£¤¥¦¡ ¦§ ¨©ª¤©« ¬¢ ­®¡¯¬°£±²¯¥£ ¬° ¤¡³¯¡£©¥´¡µ ¡®²©¥²°¬¯ ¬° ©²¶£±¥°·µ
but never depressing Ÿ ¬° ©±¡¤¡ ¬¤¡ ¸¯¬°¢ ³²¤ ®²¤¡ ¥° ©±¡ ³¶©¶¤¡¹
While asking Stª¤©« ¬¦²¶© ±¥¢ ¬ ´¡°©¶¤¡¢µ º ¶¢¡ ©±¡ »²¤ ­ ¥¢£²´¡¤§¼µ ¬° ±¡ ¥¢ ½¶¥£¾ ©² ¸²¥°© ²¶© Ÿ
politely but assuredly Ÿ ±²» ±¡ £¬®¡ ©² ¬´²¥ ©±¡ ©¡¤®¹
One of the things that quite quickly someone pointed out to me, and that I stopped using, was the word
¿ ¥¢£²´¡¤Àµ ¦¡£¬¶¢¡ ¥©À¢ °²© ®¶¢¥£ ©±¬© ±¬¢°À© ¦¡¡° ©±¡¤¡ ¦¡³²¤¡ º ·²© ©² ¥©µ¼ ±¡ ¡Á¸¯¬¥°¢¹ ­Â¢¸¡£¥¬¯¯§ »±¡°
youre coming from the West, and youre dealing with cultural goods from the region, I guess ¿ ¥¢£²´¡¤À ¥¢
a historically complicated term.
This awareness and sensitivity is something that goes beyond a choice of words. We are not an NGO, we
are not a political group Ÿ »¡ ¬¤¡ ³¥¤¢© ¬° ³²¤¡®²¢© ¬ ¤¡£²¤ ¯¬¦¡¯µ¼ ¨©ª¤©« ¢¬§¢¹ ­Ã¶©µ ·¥´¡° ©±¡ ¢¸¡£¥³¥£
content and the context we are working in, it has political components and we are very well aware of it.
We think that, in the context of post-colonialism, there is a historically complicated form of exchange that
has been repeated and repeated, and we want to break out of repeating these mistakes, and these
exploitative patterns. And thats why all of Habibi Funks music is licensed directly from the artists or
their families, and with any profits split 50/50.
The latest Habibi Funk compilation, An
Eclectic Selection of Music from the Arab
World , was released in December
But its not just about the financial exchange, as Stª¤©« ¢©¤¡¢¢¡¢Ä ­º©À¢ ¬¯¢² ¬¦²¶© ±²» »¡ ¤¡¸¤¡¢¡°© ©±¡¢¡
cultural goods. This is why, in our artworks, you wont find any pyramids or camels, or any of the very
stereotypical visual language. Instead, the album covers are often developed using photos from private
family collections, and are invariably fascinating snapshots.
Each of Habibi Funks official releases (there are seven to date) come with extensive booklets, featuring
liner notes, photos and interviews, giving all the information on the artists that Stª¤©« »¬¢ ¡¢¸¡¤¬©¡ ©²
find, because telling these stories is something that is equally as important to us as the music, he says.
And so comes the news that Habibi Funk is to run its very first exhibition, A Spotlight on Arab Grooves, at
Dubais East Wing gallery this March. Itll feature vintage prints, handwritten composition sheets,
turntables for people to listen to the music on, and more.
London, on 9 March. He promises 50 per cent Arabic stuff and then 50 per cent other stuff that I feel
Its always fun to play in the UK Þ ÍßÍÆàÔÐÍáÖ ØÆ×Ðâ ßÍÆà ÍÒÆËà ÌÍÕÒ×ÖÍ ÇÜÍà âÐÔÉ ÇÜÍ Õ×ÆÓÍÉáÖ ÕÔãÊÐÑÛä
he adds. Swing by to see if thats true, and to experience some of these incredible grooves first-hand.
Section 2/ Arts
First Aid Kit, Albert Hall, Manchester
Stockholm's Soderberg sisters, back with fourth album Ruins , lead the band through a storming performance (Andrew
Thereåæ ç æèéæè êë ìêíèîêíïéð çñêòó óìïæ óôêõéïðìó æóçéö ïé ÷çéîìèæóèø ëêø ùïøæó úïö ûïóü
It should, by rights, be a painful one, too. Klara Soderberg, the younger of the two Stockholm sisters, lived
here for a couple of years while she was engaged to a local musician and it was the collapse of that
relationship that inspired Januaryåæ Ruins, the bandåæ ëêòøóì ýþü
Much tends to be made of the duoÿ being a decade into their career Ruins, on which
the standouts were swooning ballads scored through with nervous uncertainty Fleshed out to a five-piece, they are sounding more like a bona fide
rock n roll outfit than ever before
Anybody who caught any one of the bandÿ theyÿ keyboards for bass duties, stormy opener ! " " rockÿÿ
The real tone, though, is set by recent single #ÿ $" %% ÿ evidence all night. Thereÿ " of it being the reward and if Klara had to put herself through the emotional wringer to produce Ruins,
tonight feels like a celebration of having moved past a particularly turbulent period.
Not that there isnÿ " & ÿ ' ( Problem Here, which has the sisters viciously lashing out against misogyny, has taken on a new relevance
in the months since its release and after rattling through a particularly incendiary take on it here, Klara
urges the men in the audience to heed its message; ) * Itÿ Ruins a little bit of a disappointment in terms of how musically safe
the duo chose to play it; when that single and an irresistibly fun cover of Heartÿ +% ' tonightÿ " studio. Perhaps thereÿ
" " " ) ,& ÿ " enough that First Aid Kit returned in such jubilant mood to the city that was the backdrop to their latest
albumÿ WEDNESDAY 7 MARCH 2018
Section 2/ Arts
Smile Upon Us, Lord, Barbican, London
Where to now? A dreamy, ruminative road trip (Valeriy Miasnikov)
We first saw the prowess of the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia back in 2012 when they
brought their unforgettable version of Uncle Vanya to Britain. The show happened to open just few days
after the premiere of a high-profile British production of the same play. The contrast was striking to the
point of embarrassment. The English take on Chekhov was solidly respectful and subtle, but constipated
and hidebound by realism. The Russians tackled the same piece with a blackly ebullient abandon, creating
a kind of Expressionist slapstick that went straight to the heart of Chekhov-. /0./123 3243 5/.356.. 76.84/9
and manic hilarity are often flip-sides of the same coin.
This category-shattering boldness of approach : 407 326 .60.6 326; 1/<6 3243 326/9 .2=>. 496 >655/01 =?3
from the collective soul of the company : 496 6</7603 414/0 /0 Smile Upon Us, Lord, a deeply inspiring
production directed by their Lithuanian artistic director Rimas Tuminas. The difference is that here they
are not presenting a Russian classic familiar to English audiences (as they did with both Vanya and with
Eugene Onegin in 2015.) Smile Upon Us, Lord is a moving adaptation, full of good jokes, of two novels by
Tuminas-. @=A8439/=3B C9/1=9; D40=</@2B 4E=?3 326 8495=?. F=93?06. =F 8==9 G6>. /0 H4.3690 H?9=86 43 326
start of the twentieth century.
The piece is a dreamy, ruminative road trip, interrupted by increasingly surreal setbacks, its spacious
rhythms (the show is three hours 20 minutes including an interval) handled with a haunting musicality.
Efraim Dudak (a magnetically grumpy Sergey Makovetskiy) is a cussed old stone-cutter who expends what
solicitude he has left on his beloved She-goat (a captivating performance in a white dress from Yulia
Rutberg). But then the news comes through that his son has been arrested for the assassination of the
Governor of Vilnius. With bad grace, Efraim bids goodbye to goat and sets off for Vilnius in a horse-drawn
wagon with a couple old friends on board.
As they travel, this ill-assorted trio get to muse on life, death, children and the whole damn thing : E?3
their thoughts are always rooted in their experience. Children put bullets in you for years, instead of firing
a single fatal shot : 76@5496. HF94/AI J/K3=9 L?K2=9?K=< /. 15=9/=?. 4. M<069 >2= 5=.3 2/. F4A/5; 407 2/.
store in a fire and has become a beggar. His fate seem to have epitomised and exacerbated his bipolarity.
Ecstatic and tearfully dependent, Sukhorukov-. 869F=9A40@6 @483?96. 326 8968=.369=?.06.. 407 326
poignancy of a manic-depressive figure who dreams of being born again as an ash tree and who asks
questions like NO2; 496 32696 0= E61149. 4A=01 326 E/97. 407 326 40/A45.PQ
The men pick up an enigmatic trickster who thrashes the air with a cane but whose blindness is evidently
tactical (very amusing Victor Dobronravov) and a mysterious black-clad man with an empty violin case
who can stand on the hot coals of a makeshift bath house without burning himself. People divide into those
who live life feeling that they are always on their way to a funeral and those like this man who declares NR
am on my way from the cemetery, achieving a kind of freedom by ruthlessly renouncing the ties of family
and nation.
The attack by wolves resembles a pogrom as the marauding creatures rifle through the mound of shtetl
furniture of which the wagon is composed. There-. 45>4;. 4 .296>7 8=/03 3= 326 89=7?@3/=0-. E?9.3. =F >/57
energy. The greatness of the show, which ends with a chilling brilliance, steals up on you gradually. I
wouldn-3 24<6 >/.267 /3 4 A=A603 .2=9369I S2/. /. F==7 F=9 326 .=?5I
Section 2 / Last night s TV
This Country (BBC1, BBC3)
Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby (BBC2)
Big Mandy (Ashley McGuire), Lee Kurtan Mucklowe (Charlie Cooper) and Kerry Mucklowe (Daisy Cooper) face the future in this
painfully brilliant comedy (BBC)
Poor Kerry. Kerry Mucklowe, that is, one of the young people featured in This Country. Resolving to learn
how to be kind to others after watching a YouTube video (what else?) of a random act of kindness
involving a pensioner who gets their shopping paid for by a stranger, she goes about improving the state of
the world, as they say at the Davos economic summits, but in her own village in the Cotswolds rather than
the White House or Toyota City, say.
Naturally she fails, and naturally watching her do so is funny, with those dollops of bathos, poignancy and
profanity that made This Country such a surprise hit, indeed the comedy hit of last year. ItTU VWXY Z[\] ^[_
a deserved second series, and I am very, very pleased to see it.
Starring and written by real-life brother and sister team Daisy (Kerry Mucklowe) and Charlie Cooper (as
Kerry`a bcdefeaa gfhijkleimn ocgapl qee rsgihjlt ugovfcwexy hbe ugovfcwea jie eheiljffn zigahijhem {n
life in their little Cotswolds village, and their inability to progress either in it or beyond it. It is a classic
comedy trope | }jicfm ~hedhcey lhbcln fcnapga }jlocovy €ef cny japf ‚jwfhn | hbe zigahijhem zpƒgiea
held back only by the hand life dealt them and their utter inability to make the best of it, which of course
they can never quite bring themselves to acknowledge. Instead they sublimate their ambitions in fantasies.
And so we find that even when Kerry carefully folds the ironing for her mum, this simple, random, human
gesture of kindness is thrown backs at her. I can`h johgjffn {iplƒ „naefz hc iedicmgoe hbe fple pl hbpa
medium, both because of its vivid scatological quality and because I fear it would fall flat in the reading, but
I confess I collapsed into tears of laughter at this vision of the Mucklowe utility room. Kerry`a „g„y …
should add, is voiced by Daisy Cooper, and sounds possessed, and not by the Holy Ghost.
This Country , in its delusions, suffocating insularity and cast of characters in a state of arrested
development, feels an awful lot like some sort of allegory for Brexit Britain
Kerry also tries, rather ineptly, to mend Kurtan`a zijohgiem iefjhpclabpd wphb lew †pffjƒe ƒpifzipelm ~cdbe
(when the attempt fails she asks Sophe to leave her house, and claims that it`a bei cwl zjgfhtx‡ jlm jfac
offers her services as a hard woman doing security at the village secret cinema night, patting down old
biddies for knives and putting UV bulbs in the loos to thwart and smack heads. Yes, she is a fantasist, on
top of everything.
In this run, there`a „cie jhhelhpcl cl hbe ocfcgizgf agddcihplƒ zpƒgieaˆ ‰be †pojiy hbe zjlhjahpojffn bien
pensant Rev Francis Seaton, played by Paul Chahidi, acquires a son, for example. The intimidating Mad
Mandy, who specialises in random acts of unkindness, acquires martial arts skills, a back story of stalking
and a collection of the meerkats. And Michael Slugs Slugett (Michael Sleggs) forms a
relationship of sorts with the painfully introverted Kayleigh Hudson (Celeste Dring). And, as I say, Kerry`a
ma acquires an even more misanthropic edge to her presumably bed-ridden heard-but-not-seen existence.
Parts are unexpectedly bleak, as when the vicar attempts to explain to Kerry the concept of selflessness,
which she first gets mixed up with selfishness and then can only comprehend the concept through likening
it to saying thank you to the automated checkout till at Tesco`a Šrhbe ic{chtx wbel ph adewa ncgi objlƒe
out. In a strange way This Country, in its delusions, suffocating insularity and cast of characters in a state of
arrested development, feels an awful lot like some sort of allegory for Brexit Britain.
While I`†e jfwjna weff glmeiahccm hbe jhhijohpcla cz mejm dcab bchefay jlm ocglh „naefz fgovn hc bj†e
stayed in a few, at other peoples` e‹delae Š…`„ j Œcgiljfpahy jzhei jffxy … bj†e le†ei iejffn rƒcht hbe
attractions of what you might call hotel porn, of which one of the most extreme examples is currently
airing is Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby. Like car porn, property porn and porn porn, its entire
function seems to be to provoke feelings of envy and resentment in those who find themselves drawn to it,
and especially those who happen across the warm beauties of the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Oman.
It`a Žy j lpƒbh zci hbe {eah †pffjy jlmy … abcgfm jmmy wcihb e†ein dellnˆ
I don`h e‹johfn ieaelh bj†plƒ „n lcae ig{{em plhc hbe {iejhbhjvplƒ †peway jaagiem dip†jon jlm agdei{
cuisine, but maybe there was a bit of a problem with the timing, having it beamed into our homes during
the bitterest February in years. That, of course, and the fact that I can`h jzzcim ph ci | glfpve dieaelheia
Giles Coren and Monica Galetti | ƒc hbeie cl hbe fpoeloe djneiˆ …`„ lch fej†plƒ j hpdˆ
Section 2 / Daily recipe
Looking to nudge winter warmers aside for a crisp sense of spring? Try
these Greek potato and chicken parcels for size
Mini-baskets of filo pastry with pomegranate, spinach and sumac
Greek potato and chicken parcels with pomegranate, spinach and sumac
Get involved in this incredibly enjoyable Greek potato recipe which finds the potato mingling with the
flavours of chicken, pomegranate and spinach in a unique parcel presentation made of filo pastry.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook:15 mins
Serves 4
150g baby new potatoes
150g cooked, diced chicken
200g spinach
2 tbsp sumac
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
8 sheets of filo pastry
Melted butter or one-cal cooking spray
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to season
To serve
80g low fat natural yoghurt mixed with
1 tbsp zatar
Heat the oven to 220C. Cook the potatoes in salted, boiling water until soft and drain, leaving to steam dry
while. Cook the spinach for one minute in a hot pan until wilted then squeeze out the excess water.
Mix together the remaining ingredients apart from the filo, pomegranate and butter. Taste the filling and
adjust the seasoning. Wrap a sheet of filo over the bottom of a dariole mould / ovenproof teacup or muffin
tray, spray with a little cooking spray and then wrap another one over it. Spray again. Repeat another three
times then put in the oven until golden brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes.
When cooked and cool enough to handle, gently turn them upside down and remove the moulds. Fill with
the cooked chicken mixture, top with pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds. Serve with the yoghurt and
zatar mixture.
Recipe from
Section 2
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is 74 today (PA)
William Boyd, novelist and screenwrtier, 66; Michael Chance, countertenor and founder, The Grange
Festival, 63; Nari Contractor, former cricketer, 84; Bryan Cranston, actor, 62; Molly Dineen, filmmaker, 59; Michael Eisner, film and television executive, and owner, Portsmouth FC, 76; Bret Easton
Ellis, author, 54; Sir Ranulph Fiennes, explorer and writer, 74; Matthew Fisher, keyboardist and record
producer, 72; Sir Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall, New York, 72; Janet
Guthrie, former racing driver, 80; Robert Harris, novelist, 60; Ruthie Henshall, actress, singer and
dancer, 51;
Ernie Isley, drummer and songwriter, 66; Erika 'EL' James, novelist, 55; Sir Rupert Jackson, a Lord
Justice of Appeal, 70; Nicholas Kraemer, harpsichordist and Principal Guest Conductor of Music of the
Baroque, Chicago, 73; Ivan Lendl, coach and former tennis player, 58; Andrea Levy, novelist, 62;
Professor Ottoline Leyser, Director, Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 53; Sir Paul
Nicholson, businessman and former Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham, 80; Ronan O Gara, former
rugby union player, 41; Ray Parlour, pundit and former footballer, 45;
Piers Paul Read, novelist and biographer, 77; Mark Richards , former surfing world champion, 61; Sir Viv
Richards, former West Indies cricket captain, 66; David Rutley MP, Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury),
Whip, 57; Christopher Seaman, conductor, 76; David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil
Service, 60; Daniel J Travanti, actor, 78; Matthew Vaughn, film producer and director, 47; Rachel Weisz,
actress, 48; Dame Margaret Weston, former Director, Science Museum, 92; Chris White, singersongwriter and record producer, 75.
Section 2 / From the archive
7 March 1994: First women to take journey into priesthood
Women deacons wait to be ordained into the Church of England at Bristol Cathedral. More than 30 were made priests during the
historic ceremony (Getty)
Thirty-two women will be ordained priests in Bristol Cathedral next Saturday, the first in Britain. They
range in age from 30 to 69 and all but the eldest are already working in the church.
The two youngest, Karen McKinnon and Jean Kings, are deacons in Lockleaze, a post-war council estate in
the north of the city. The Rev Karen McKinnon has been the full-time parish deacon at the church of St
Francis and St Mary Magdalene for the last two years. She will become the youngest woman priest in
England when ordained. Her journey has been straightforward compared to that of some of her fellow
priests. Sister Rosemary Dawn Watling has been a deacon since 1970; Christine Clarke since 1971. But Ms
McKinnon has had to wait only an extra year as a deacon, compared to the men who studied alongside her.
She has wanted to be a Christian minister for 17 years, since she was a 13-year-old Pentecostalist. But the
Pentecostalists don‘ ’“‘ ”•–“— ˜• ™—š‘›œ—žŸ ›“ ™œ˜¡ ¢›œ’“ £“™˜œ— ‘›“•’•š ™‘ ¤¥“‘“£ ¦—œ§“£ œ‘š ›“
met a retired Anglican deaconess whose stories of her life persuaded her to become an Anglican. She was
accepted for training to the ministry at her second attempt: the first time round she was turned down as
too new a convert.
In Bristol she has encountered no prejudice against women priests, though once in Hull when she was
distributing communion wine, which is not a priestly function, one woman pushed the cup away at the
altar rails and left with her family. She says that becoming a curate rather than a deacon will make little
practical difference to her life. It is not the ability to pronounce the words of consecration at the Eucharist
but the power she will acquire on Saturday to give absolutions after confessions that will make the
One elderly member of the Lockleaze congregation, Louise Jones, who was brought up as a German
Roman Catholic, said she had not been to confession for 45 years because if she did her confession would
have to be made to a man. It is also a help to the priest himself that he will not need to hear all women¨©
confessions in the future, she said.
Most of the congregation could not see what the fuss was about: the ordination of women could not
possibly threaten the identity of the Church of England as it has done for those priests who will leave as a
result. It was an issue of justice or of competence rewarded. Almost all the deacons to be ordained on
Saturday are in their thirties and forties, and they are barred by the legislation from becoming bishops.
Father Paul Denyer, in charge at Lockleaze, will soon have a staff of four including himself for his
congregation: Ms McKinnon; Judith Carpenter, who is studying for the priesthood at the local theological
college; and Ms Kings, a part-time parish deacon who is also chaplain at the University of the West of
It will not make much difference to my job as a chaplain, Ms Kings said. People who have experienced a
woman¨© ª«¬«©­®¯ ©°°ª ­± ²±©° ­³°«® ±´µ°¶­«±¬©· ¸³° ¹«®©­ ­«ª° º »®°¼¶³°½ ¼­ ³±ª° ¯±¾ ¶±¾²½ ³¼¿° ©²«¶°½
the atmosphere with a knife beforehand. But afterwards people were delighted. She added: Most of the
Catholic laity I know are in favour. I did a debate at the local Catholic church on the motion À¸³«© ³±¾©°
believes women can be priests¨Á ¼¬½ ° ±¬ ´¯ ¼ ²¼®Ã° ª¼®Ã«¬·Ä
But Ms Kings saw difficulties ahead for the women once they had been ordained. There is no doubt that
there are people who would withdraw all decision-making from women Å ´¾­ ° «²² ´° ²°©©
disenfranchised after this. Of course some people are afraid of us because they think we are all big and
butch. Some of us may be big but most of us aren¨­ ´¾­¶³· Ʊ©­ »°±»²°Á «¹ ¯±¾ ©¼¯ DZ½¨© ¶¼²²«¬Ã ¯±¾Á ­³°¯
give you the dignity of believing it.
Andrew Brown
Section 2 / The Book List
Every Wednesday, Alex Johnson delves into a unique collection of
titles. This week: Darwins To Read list
The naturalist s notes were quite detailed sometimes they included libraries or people who might be able to lend him works
Humboldts New Spain
Richardsons Fauna Borealis
Entomological Magazine
Decandolle Philosophic on Geographical distrib in Dict.
Sciences Geolog Soc.
F Cuvier on instinct
L Jenyns paper in Annals of Nat. History
Roy St. Vincent vol. iii p. 164 on unfixed form
Dr Royle on Himalaya type
Smellie Philosophy of Zoology
Falconer remark on the influence of climate
White regular gradation in Man
Lindley introduction to the Natural System
Bevan on honey bee
Dutrochet memoires sur les vegetaux et animaux on sleep
& movements of Plants ÈÉÊ ËÌ
Prichard; a 3d vol.
Voyage aux terres Australes chapt. xxxix, tom iv. p. 273
Latreille Geographie des insectes 8Í ÎÊ ÉÏÉ
Starting in 1838 and continuing on and off until 1860, Charles Darwin jotted down in his notebooks the
books he planned to read (he then sometimes went back and crossed out those he had finished). The notes
were quite detailed, so that as well as the title and author, he sometimes also included libraries or people
who might be able to lend him a copy.
Darwins son Francis says his father had a very methodical way of approaching his reading. He had one
shelf on which were piled up the books he had not yet read, and another to which they were transferred
after having been read, and before being catalogued. He would often groan over his unread books, because
there were so many which he knew he should never read.
The biologist housed 400 volumes in his cabin
on the HMS Beagle (Getty)
The list above is a verbatim selection of some of the early entries, among them James Cowles Prichards
1813 five-volume Researches into the physical history of Man, a key anthropological text about evolution and
natural selection. Other major titles include Thomas Malthus on Population and Adam Smiths Theory of
Moral Sentiments, but it was an eclectic mix which also featured Alexandre Jean Baptiste Parent-DuchÐÑÒÓÔÌ
1836 De la prostitution dans la ville de Paris considéré sous le rapport de l hygiène publique, de la morale et de
l administration as well as Daniel Defoes Robinson Crusoe.
Other books include various works by William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Othello, A Midsummer Night s
Dream), Jane Austens Mansfield Park, biographies of Wesley and Cicero, and Virgils Georgics. As it was a
personal list, not intended for publication, the notebooks also contain various comments:
Read Aristotle to see whether any of my views are ancient
Haller s Physiology My Father thinks would contain facts for me
Pliny s Nat. Hist of world {Well skimmed}
Failed in reading Niebuhr s Rome
Swift. Stella s Journal amusing
Not all of these comments were entirely positive. On 15 March 1839, Darwin notes: Skimmed Pope &
Drydens Poems need not try them again and on 7 May the following year, having looked into Abraham
Tuckers seven-volume The light of nature pursued, felt moved to add: Skimmed a little of Tuckers light of
nature. Intolerably prolix.
When I see the list of books of all kinds which I read and abstracted, including whole series of Journals
and Transactions, I am surprised at my industry, Darwin wrote in his autobiography. Personal and work
libraries certainly played a central part in his life. On board the HMS Beagle was a library of around 400
volumes, housed in Darwins own cabin. Painstaking research has reconstructed much of it and turned it
into a searchable online resource at where you can search alphabetically or by
Darwin wanted to read Aristotle to
find out if any of his views were
ancient (Getty)
Among the titles are Miltons Paradise Lost, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (6th edition, 20 volumes, plus a
one-volume supplement), James Cooks account of exploring the Pacific Ocean and Sharon Turners 1832
The sacred history of the world, as displayed in the Creation and subsequent events to the Deluge,
attempted to be philosophically considered in a series of letters to a son (2nd edition).
By category, it can be broken down as:
Travel/Voyages 36 per cent
Natural history 33 per cent
Geology 15 per cent
Atlases/Nautical 7 per cent
Literature 4 per cent
Reference 3 per cent
History 2 per cent
As well as 125 English titles, there were 38 in French, nine in Spanish, seven in German, one in Latin and
one in Greek.
A Book of Book Lists by Alex Johnson, £7.99, British Library Publishing
Tap here to buy
Tesco and Morrisons grow
fastest while Aldi and Lidl
continue to pile pressure
Tesco experienced particularly strong growth from its Extra superstores (Reuters)
Tesco and Morrisons were the fastest growing of the big four supermarkets in the three months to the end
of February, but the fierce expansion of cut-price challenger brands continues to threaten their market
According to the analytics group Kantar Worldpanel both Tesco and Morrisons clocked sales growth of 2.7
per cent in the 12 weeks to 25 February, outpacing peers SainsburyÕÖ ×ØÙ ÚÖÙ× ÛÜÝÞÜ ßàÞáßÙàÙ ×Ø ÝØÞßà×Öà
of 1.1 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively. The four retailers continue to dominate in the UK market,
collectively accounting for around 70 per cent of market share, but the rapid expansion of low-cost rivals
like Germanyâã äåæç èéæ êçæå ëìéíçéîïã íì ðçíïñ
Aldi managed to increase its market share by 13.9 per cent over the three-month period, taking it to 7 per
cent. Lidl grew its share by 13.3 per cent to 5.1 per cent. Elsewhere Ocado was the only other supermarket
to record double-digit expansion. It grew its share by 10.7 per cent to 1.2 per cent, helped by consumersâ
increasing appetite for online shopping.
Commenting on the performance of the four largest players in the market, Fraser McKevitt, head of retail
and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, singled out Tescoâã òïóôìóõèéëïñ öïãòçíï è ãåç÷øí ôèåå çé
market share of 0.1 percentage points to 27.9 per cent, he said that had Tesco experienced strong growth
from its Extra superstores.
The varied selection of groceries on offer at these larger stores has encouraged customers to return to
fuller trolley shops, with average baskets worth ùúûñüý þ ëîóóïéíåÿ íøï øç÷øïãí èåîï çé íøï ðóçëã èéæ
mortar market, he said.
He said that Morrisonsâ òóïõçîõ ìéåèðïå åçéï òóìïæ òèóíçëîåèóåÿ ãîëëïããôîå çíø ãèåïã óçãçé÷ ðÿ ü òïó
cent over the same period last year as cooked meats, vegetables and cakes and pastries tickled shoppersâ
For Sainsbury's, he indicated that its shift away from discounts could be chipping away at its
Only 34.5 per cent of sales at Sainsburyâã ïóï ìé òóìõìíçìé æîóçé÷ íøï òèãí û ïïã çé ãíèó
comparison to 41.9 per cent for the rest of the big four, Mr McKevitt said.
Asda, meanwhile, attracted an additional 309,000 shoppers through its doors during the period, helping it
to achieve its highest sales growth since June 2014.
At odds with its traditionally brand-focused approach, Asda has also encouraged shoppers to choose ownlabel alternatives, which are up by 6.4 per cent year on year, Mr McKevitt said.
Less than a year since its launch, the retailerâã èóõ íìóïã óèé÷ï çã ðìî÷øí ðÿ úü òïó ëïéí ìô èåå óçíçãø
households þ çíø ãèåïã ãîóòèããçé÷ ùüõþ øçåï çíã òóïõçîõ íóè òïëçèå åçéï çéëóïèãïæ ãèåïã ðÿ ûý òïó
Overall, UK grocery sales increased in value by 3.2 per cent compared to the same time last year, Kantar
Worldpanel found.
Just Eat reports surge in
revenue thanks to UK and
international expansion
The company s shares slumped yesterday after the latest results were announced
Just Eat has reported a 45 per cent surge in revenue for 2017, spurred by both international and domestic
expansion, as well as its recent ! " "#$ $ " revenue in the 12 months to the end of December last year hit %&' (# "# &
per cent to )'&
UK customers who have placed at least one order over the last year numbered 10.5 million, collectively
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takeaways over the period.
2017 was a record year for Just Eat, said chief executive Peter Plumb. More restaurant partners joined
our platform, increasing the breadth of choice for our customers and strengthening the group>;
geographical coverage to over 82,000 restaurants, he said.
He said that he would continue to increase investment in the brand and developing markets so as to bring
even more choice to customers.
Overall, however, Just Eat recorded a statutory loss before tax of *PQ7 .8H=:;8 15 = *+@C7 D21GN;N1/
relating to the acquisition of its Australia and New Zealand businesses, and Neil Wilson, a senior market
analyst at ETX Capital said that this indicated that global expansion is coming at a cost.
The company plans further investments into delivery in the UK, Canada and Australia and New Zealand
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low-margin street fight with the likes of Amazon, Uber Eats and Deliveroo, he said.
There is a risk of management taking the eye off the ball by focusing on delivery instead of making the
most of its status as the go-to platform and primary distribution channel for restaurants, he added.
Just Eat shares slumped yesterday after the latest results were announced, but have still gained over 40 per
cent since this time last year.
Takeover deal
engineering firm pensions
The Pensions Regulator is concerned about debt levels resulting from the deal (Reuters)
Melroses UVWXYZ [\]^_`a ]b\\c d\e ^[a aZf_Zaae_Zf f_gZ^ hij k\l`m [gna g ma^e_oaZ^g` _ocgk^ \Z _^]
pensions scheme, according to the pensions watchdog.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said the levels of debt involved in the deal raised concerns about whether
Melrose p g d_eo ^[g^ Ylq] lc gZm ea]^elk^lea] lZmaeng`lam _Zml]^e_g` k\ocgZ_a] Yad\ea ]a``_Zf ^[ao \Z p
would be able to service GKNs UVrro caZ]_\Z mad_k_^W
In a letter to the Work and Pensions Select Committee, TPR called for Melrose to put the deal through the
authoritys voluntary clearance system, a process which allows companies to seek the watchdogs backing
before a deal is complete. Writing to committee chairman Frank Field, TPR chief executive Lesley
Titcomb said: From the outset we have been concerned that the increased leverage involved in the
proposed takeover by Melrose is likely to have a detrimental impact on covenant.
In any major corporate transaction, such as a takeover, we expect the companies involved to identify if
there is potential material detriment to a pension scheme and explain how they will mitigate against that
detriment. We would expect sufficient mitigation to be agreed with scheme trustees to ensure that a
pension scheme is not placed in a worse position by any takeover.
The committee has been calling for the voluntary clearance system to be made mandatory to ensure a
pension scheme is not neglected when a deal is on the table. Such a move would enable the TPR to oppose
a deal at an earlier stage if it risks putting the retirement fund in jeopardy.
Mr Field urged Melrose to put the bid through voluntary clearance. He said: I think pensioners would be
surprised to know that a pension scheme could be offloaded to someone clearly less equipped or inclined
to support it without the regulator having a say.
A proportionate, mandatory clearance check as we recommended would be valuable in cases like this.
Melrose claims an impeccable record in protecting pension rights. The surest way to demonstrate its
commitment in this case would be to apply voluntarily for clearance.
The letter comes after GKN announced on Friday that it was in talks with US firm Dana over a potential
merger of its automotive business.
The group has also firmed up the timings on Project Boost s tuv wxyz u{ w|}v~y| tz€|vu{}v z{u u{ y‚ƒ
Melroses bid s „tu… y w}{w{vyx u{ v|wy}yu| †‡ˆ ‰|}{vwy‚| yz †‡ˆ Š}t€|xtz| tzu{ u„{ xtvu| ‚{‹wyzt|v
set for mid-2019.
GKN, which employs around 58,200 staff, has become a target after profit warnings in October and
November following problems at its US aerospace division sent shares tumbling.
A Melrose spokeswoman said: Melrose has consistently strengthened the pension scheme covenants of
the businesses that it has acquired. Every time we have disposed of a business we have left the business
free from deficit. We have also stated that we will improve the position of GKN pensioners, making a
ŒŽ‹ ‚yv… ‚{zu}t~ut{z u{ u…| †‡ˆ w|zvt{z v‚…|‹|v
[The] Melrose model is about delivering operational improvements through investment and incentivising
management teams. We use only modest levels of leverage but invest on average an additional amount
equivalent to a third of the original equity purchase price into our businesses in order to strengthen and
grow them for the benefit of all our stakeholders, including pensioners, employees, customers and
MPs call for transparency over
women s salaries at law and
accountancy firms
Partnership structures in some companies conceal gender pay gap differences (Getty)
MPs are demanding that accounting and law firms revise figures on how male and female staff are
remunerated amid criticism that partnership structures understate gender pay differences. British
companies with more than 250 employees have until 4 April to provide authorities with data on how they
pay staff.
Among those to report so far, professional-services companies including Linklaters and EY have shown
much narrower gender gaps than banks such as Barclays. But that s partly because those firms class their
top-earning partners as owners rather than employees, enabling them to be excluded from the figures.
These firms appear to be abiding by the letter of the law, but not the spirit, said Treasury Select
Committee Chair Nicky Morgan in an emailed statement. They re taking advantage of an apparent
loophole. Partners are leaders and role models in their firms. They should know better than to exclude
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which operates at arm s length from the
Government, has the discretion to punish employers that don t comply with the data requirements. Dawn
Butler, the Labour Party s shadow minister for women and equalities, said professional firms should face
sanctions if they don t resubmit figures more in line with the spirit of the law.
The distinction between partners and other lawyers is an irrelevant distinction for these purposes, Shami
Chakrabarti, Labour s Shadow Attorney General, said in an email. The bottom line is that people are
being remunerated for the same work at different levels on account of their gender.
Spokesmen for EY and Linklaters declined to comment. A spokesman for Pinsent Masons wasn t
immediately available. Asked if it was concerned about the professional firms figures, the EHRC issued a
statement saying it had mechanisms in place to identify questionable data, without commenting
specifically on the figures it had received.
Law firms Linklaters and Pinsent Masons have reported that female employees earn 23 per cent and 22 per
cent less on average, respectively, than their male colleagues. The gap at EY is 20 per cent. That s less than
half as wide as the figure reported by Barclays for its corporate and investment bank, which indicates
female staff were paid an average of 48 per cent less than male employees.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, who has led a Government review of women in
finance, told Bloomberg News that excluding high-earning professional partners from the data is
outrageous . Her company posted a 33 per cent gender pay gap, which Gadhia said needs to improve.
This is the first year that UK companies have been required to submit the data. Charles Cotton, an adviser
on compensation policy at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, said companies will
likely be called on to report data on the age and ethnicity of their staff in future.
Most businesses will have wanted to make sure they are compliant with the law, but we can already see
the Government Equalities Office refining their guidance for best practice, Christina Blacklaws, vicepresident of Britain s Law Society, said.
Carmakers exhaust options as
consumers shun diesel
Sales in Europe fell 8 per cent last year, taking market share down to 44 per cent (Getty)
The accelerating demise of diesel, long used by carmakers to boost fuel-efficiency, is undermining their
plans to meet looming European Union CO2 goals and avoid big annual fines. Executives gathered on
Tuesday at the Geneva auto show are grappling with unpalatable choices: re-engineer existing vehicles at
huge expense, restrict sales of some profitable models; or risk hundreds of millions of euros in penalties.
Others are clinging to the hope that the image of the latest Euro 6 diesels may yet be rehabilitated, and
their fortunes restored.
I am worried, Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller told Reuters. But it‘’ “”• –“— ˜“ ’“™š› ˜œ›’›
problems  ž‘Ÿ ¡•Ÿ™¢ £“¤š¡¤£›¥ ˜œ¦˜ ¥¡›’›™ §¡™™ ›¨©›•¡›¤£› ¦ •›š¡š¦™ª«
A fresh flurry of bad headlines and the growing prospect of outright diesel vehicle bans, however, are
already sending car sales into a steeper tailspin.
While diesels produce more toxic nitrogen oxides and particulates than gasoline engines, their efficiency
has been instrumental in cutting greenhouse gases. As consumers shun diesels, more carmakers are on
track to miss tougher EU carbon dioxide goals taking effect in 2020-21.
Sales restrictions
Some industry insiders predict carmakers will be forced to rein in sales of larger models by raising prices to
avoid overshooting the EU¬­ ®¯° ±²³ ´µ ¶·¸ ¹º³°²¹»
Ford is reviewing its European line-up in light of diesel¬­ ­¼½¾² º¿¾ ½­ ¼½´²¼À ¹Á ³²­¹³½Ã¹ ¹Ä² ­º¼² ÁÅ ­Áµ²
vehicles that push us over the limit, a company source said.
Steven Armstrong, the carmaker¬­ IJº¾ ÁÅ ÆdzÁ±²º¿ Á±²³º¹½Á¿­È ±¼ºÀ²¾ ¾ÁÉ¿ ¹Äº¹ ±³Á­±²Ã¹»
We¬³² ¿Á¹ ĺʽ¿° ¹Á ³²¹Ä½¿´ ¹Ä² µÁ¾²¼ ¼½¿²ËDZÈÌ Ä² ­º½¾» ·ŠÃÁdz­² ɲ¬¼¼ ĺʲ ¹Á Ž¿²Ë¹Ç¿² ¹Ä² ÊÁ¼Çµ² ÍÀ
powertrain by vehicle, but it¬­ ¿Á¹ °Á½¿° ¹Á Ͳ º ÅÇ¿¾ºµ²¿¹º¼ ­Ä½Å¹ ÅÁ³ Ç­»Ì
VW brand sales chief Juergen Stackmann told Reuters his business would have to consider price increases
for larger models and/or restricting sales.
We are required to be compliant [with EU targets] Î ÉĽÃÄ ­¹²±­ º³² ¿²Ã²­­º³À ɽ¼¼ ͲÃÁµ² ü²º³ ½¿ ÏËÏ»¯
years. A significantly lower mix of diesels is not helpful, he said.
Initially sparked by VW¬­ ¸Ðϯ ²µ½­­½Á¿­ ¹²­¹ËÃIJº¹½¿° ­Ãº¿¾º¼ º¿¾ ­ÇÍ­²ÑDz¿¹ ­¹Ç¾½²­ ²Ò±Á­½¿° ¹Ä² ¹³Ç²
levels of NOx emissions, the diesel slump has since deepened rather than stabilising, as Mueller and others
had hoped it would.
Sales of diesel cars fell 8 per cent in Europe last year, reducing their market share to 44 per cent from a 55
per cent peak in 2011. Partly as a result, average CO2 emissions increased in Europe in 2017 for the first
time in a decade, according to data analyst Jato Dynamics.
That was before the latest PR setbacks, in which VW admitted using monkeys and humans to test exhaust
gas, and a court ruled that German cities were free to ban older diesel cars Î ÓÁ½¿½¿° Ôº³½­È ÕÁ¿¾Á¿ º¿¾ º
host of other urban centres that have vowed to run them off the road.
Diesel sales were down another 19 per cent in Germany last month, and a whopping 24 per cent in Britain,
amid concern that the decline in second-hand values would give way to collapse.
French carmakers, which have relied heavily on diesels to meet CO2 goals, are now scrambling for
alternatives. Renault has stepped up development of a low-cost hybrid known as Locobox, but the
powertrain won¬¹ ²Ê²¿ Ͳ°½¿ ³Á¼¼½¿° Áǹ Ç¿¹½¼ ¸Ð¸Ï»
PSA Group chief executive Carlos Tavares insisted last week the Peugeot maker remained on track. In a
newspaper interview the same day, however, he urged governments to suspend penalties for noncompliance until electric car charging networks are better developed.
Tavares said on Tuesday he would seek backing for his demands from car industry lobby group ACEA
(European Automobile Manufacturers¬ Ö­­Áýº¹½Á¿×È ÉĽÃÄ Ä² Ãdz³²¿¹¼À Ãĺ½³­»
Fuel-saving 48-volt hybrids being rushed out across the Peugeot, Citroen and newly acquired Opel lineups are not expected to arrive before 2022 under current plans.
It¬­ ¿Á¹ ÓÇ­¹ º¹ ÔØÖ ¹Äº¹ ½¹¬­ ĺ±±²¿½¿° ¹ÁÁ ¼º¹² Î ½¹¬­ ĺ±±²¿½¿° ¹ÁÁ ¼º¹² ²Ê²³ÀÉIJ³²ÈÌ ­º½¾ ÔĽ¼½±±²
Houchois, a London-based automotive analyst with investment bank Jefferies.
The cost of CO2 compliance is one of the potential triggers of the next auto recession, Houchois said.
Manufacturers are going to have to raise prices on larger petrol cars to meet their emissions targets, and
thatÙÚ ÛÜÝÞÛ ßÜ àÝß ÚáâãÚ Üäãåáââæç
Already last October, investment research house MSCI was warning that all carmakers apart from Toyota
are at risk of missing regulatory targets for fleet emissions in 2021.
The Japanese carmaker is dropping diesels from its European fleet as it benefits from two decades of
dominance in petrol-electric hybrids. Fiat Chrysler is expected to announce a diesel phase-out in its midterm plan, due in June.
German premium automakers are also better resourced to absorb the shock, by ramping up sales of plug-in
hybrids already in their portfolios or pipelines while rushing out 48-volt technology to curb emissions
across existing model lineups è ÝÞéâêëÝÞÛ ßàã ßìÜíîãáåíÜâë ïãåéãëãÚ ðíñâáÚÚæ
But the strategy of leaning on costly plug-ins for CO2 compliance has limits, as well as profitability perils.
BMW admits it is already taking a hit on the hybrid version of its X5 SUV, priced 600 below the diesel
version at 72,500òóôõööö÷õ
ëãÚøÝßã ÝßÚ àÝÛàãå éÜÚßæ
The profitability of plug-in hybrids is below that of cars with pure combustion engines, a company
spokesman said.
That spells bigger trouble for volume brands, which lack the lucrative luxury models to offset compliance
cars sold at lower profit or even a loss to meet CO2 goals.
If everybody wants to sell a lot of electrified vehicles, the prices are going to collapse, said one PSA
Group engineer.
And since itÙÚ á ùáåúãß ßàáßÙÚ áâåãáëî ûêÝßã êÞøåÜüÝßáýâãõ øãÜøâã áåã þêÚß ÛÜÝÞÛ ßÜ âÜÚã ßàãÝå ÚàÝåßÚæç
Business news in brief
John Lewis saw a slump in sales as Britain was battered by snow storms (Getty)
British bookmaker offloads Australian business
William Hill is to sell its Australian business for A$300m (ÿ crackdown in the country. A ban on credit betting and the expected introduction of a point of
consumption tax in a number of states have put profits under pressure at the bookmaker, leading it to
announce a strategic review of its Antipodean operations in January. Money from the sale will be used to
pay down debt and invest in other parts of the business. William Hill Australia booked revenues of
A$201m last year and earnings of A$47m. PA
Sales at John Lewis mauled by Beast from the East
The snow storms that blasted Britain last week also battered John Lewis, with weekly sales slumping more
than 14 per cent, it said. The cold snap, which arrived from Siberia and was dubbed the Beast from the
East, hit transport networks, closed thousands of schools and deterred shoppers from venturing out.
John Lewis is the only major British retailer to update on weekly sales, providing the most up-to-date
snapshot of consumer behaviour. It said that department store sales in the week to 3 March were down
14.4 per cent year-on-year. Fashion sales tumbled by 18.8 per cent and homewares slid by 17.2 per cent.
While sales in the electricals and home technology category were down 6.3 per cent, heating products
provided the one bright spot with a 265 per cent sales jump. Reuters
IWG sees fall in profit
Serviced office provider IWG has reported a 12 per cent fall in full-year profit, hurt by weaker demand in
its !"#"$ IWG, which rents out meeting rooms, business lounges and office space
under the Regus brand, said operating profit fell to %&'($) * + ## (& ,- ).&/0 1"
%&23$) + 4 $ 56 1" * "7+8 "944# 0 :* * ":# 1" least a year and account for more than 90 per cent of the total revenue, fell 1.2 per cent to %)$&'-$
Although mature buildings revenue returned to growth in the fourth quarter, a 1.8 per cent revenue drop
in the business in the third quarter hurt the full-year results. Full-year revenue from the mature business in
the UK declined 2.9 per cent to %(;2$)$ Reuters
German job vacancies reach record high
Job vacancies in Germany hit an all-time high in the last three months of 2017, data shows, underlining the
strength of a labour market that is pushing up wages and fuelling a consumer-led upswing in Europe8
biggest economy. Vacancies surged by 85,000 on the quarter and by 128,000 on the year to reach 1.18
million in the fourth quarter, a survey by the IAB labour office research institute found.
,# 1" : 11 " * "< 1 < # " "0 =>? * >4@#
Kubis said. Manufacturing firms posted 161,000 vacancies, up 35 per cent on the year, while construction
companies reported 98,000 vacancies, a 24 per cent rise, the survey showed. An index measuring the ratio
between unemployment and job vacancies fell to 2.0 which was also the lowest on record. Reuters
Jonathan Liew After a season of troubles, Dybala has his life back on track
PSG fall short again
Guardiola: Glenn does not
understand ribbon
Pep Guardiola has accused Martin Glenn of
failing to understand the meaning of the
yellow ribbon that he wears in solidarity with
members of the Catalonian independence
The Manchester City manager accepted a
Football Association charge of ABCDEFGH D
political messageI JG KJGLDM NDOFGH
breached the governing bodyIP QFR DGL
advertising regulations.
FA chief executive, compared the yellow
ribbon to the swastika or a symbol of support
Glenn apologised but Guardiola believes his
remarks betrayed an ignorance about the
yellow ribbon and its significance.
when I heard that was because he didnIR
understand the meaning of the yellow
ribbon, Guardiola said. \^R FP PFUSXC XFQC RNDR_
He made a comment that is AVDE DBDMI_
independence. It is about four people who are
in jail when they didnIR LJ DGMRNFGH RJ [C FG
jail. It is simple. I think now he will
understand because he didnIR ]GLCEPRDGL RNC
A 2-1 win put Real Madrid in the Champions League last eight (Getty)
Poch: Europe now respects
Spurs host Juventus on Wednesday
night in the second leg of their roundof-16 tie at Wembley with every
Mauricio Pochettino believes his
chance of knocking out the Italian
champions after coming back from two
take another major step in Europe, and goals down to draw 2-2 in the first
says their Champions League rivals
leg. Having beaten Real Madrid in the
group stage,
continent continues to grow and
Pochettino has told his players to grasp
their latest chance. \aNFP MCDE JV
course the people in Europe start to
respect Tottenham. They respect the
philosophy we build and the football
we play.
Sport/ Football
PSG fail to deliver on promise of
fire and fury
Paris Saint-Germain
1 (2)
Real Madrid
2 (5)
Cavani (71)
Ronaldo (51), Casemiro (80)
Real Madrid s big-game experience proved to too much (Getty)
Paris promised fire and fury, and on a fiery night in the French capital, their Champions League dreams
went up in flames. The grand project will have to be deferred for another year; their plans for the last week
in May can safely be shelved. And in the months before PSG launch their next extravagantly-funded tilt at
Europebc def fghijk fjglmfc dljn ohpp gjqpjrd es dlj pjccesc dljn ojgj lmstjt tughsv dljcj doe wmdrljc xn
a Real Madrid side who may not be the equal of their illustrious predecessors, but still know how to handle
the thrust and parry of these big games like nobody else.
You can buy a lot of things in football, but you canbd xun rewfecugjy zst fjglmfc dlj tjqhshsv wedhq eq
PSGbc hpp{cdmggjt shvld omc dlj chvld eq dljhg fpmnwm|jg }mgre ~jggmddh rlmgvhsv qugheucpn md dlj gjqjgjjk
earning himself a moronic red card and firmly treading this tie into the dust. The cause was already lost by
then, of course. PSGbc pmdj xgmhs qmtj hs dlj jgsmxju dlgjj ojj|c mve cmo de dlmdy ud cewjleo ~jggmddhbc
mindless rage encapsulated the mindset of a PSG side that can control games, control markets, control title
races, but still struggle to control themselves.
Their record in this competition over the last six seasons now reads four quarter-finals, two last-16 exits.
And until they manage to master the big occasions, the big prizes will continue to elude them. The lack of
balance in their squad, both mentally and tactically, is most brutally exposed on nights like these. And their
record group-stage goals tally will offer little comfort as they watch the rest of the tournament on
Casemiro celebrates Real Madrid s second goal
For Real, chasing a 13th European Cup, it was a case of job done. Zinedine Zidane gambled with his
starting line-up, leaving out Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in a young and inexperienced
midfield. But it was their big-ticket players € dlj hwfjgheuc jgvhe ‚mweck dlj hggjfgjcchxpj ƒghcdhmse
Ronaldo, the pyrotechnic Marco Asensio € ole updhwmdjpn rmwj dlgeuvl qeg dljwy ‚esmptebc hsj„hdmxpj
goal was his 117th in the competition. Casemirobc pmdj ohssjg omc m tjphrheuc qhsmp hscupdy zst wecd
importantly of all, amid the crackling Parc des Princes atmosphere, they kept their heads.
The smoke from the pre-match pyrotechnics was still thick in the air as the match kicked off, and the PSG
ultras remained in fine voice all night. And yet, in this billionairebc fpmnvgeustk ohdl …m„ht jr|lmw
among the celebrities in the posh seats, you would still struggle to describe the mood as genuinely hostile;
not so much a wall of noise as a fresco of noise, a bay window of noise, a sliding conservatory door of noise.
Ronaldo has scored in every Champions League
game this season (Getty)
And as PSG played out the game without breakthrough, a certain edginess even began to take hold. They
grumbled when Adrien Rabiot or Kylian Mbappe gave the ball away. They held their breath as Ramos crept
in at the near post and forced a fine save from Alphonse Areola. They howled when Ronaldo took a wild
swipe at Dani Alves after an offside call went against him, and somehow escaped without a card.
The game was getting scrappy, and that suited Real just fine. Ramos and Raphael Varane were dealing with
PSG†‡ ˆ‰Š‹Œ Œ‰ŽŽ Ž‡‘’ Ž‹Š“”• ‹– —Œ ŒŽ ŽˆŒ Šˆ ˜Ž‹™Žš “› ˆ‰Š‹Œ ‹– ŒŽ ‹šŒ‰Š‹œ ‡œ‰Žœ‰Š—
dressed as Ronaldo alongside him, they were creating plenty of satisfying counter-play. Both squandered
good opportunities either side of the break.
If Real had been kept up late by the PSG fans besieging their team hotel into the early hours, they weren†Œ
showing it. Indeed, six minutes into the second half it was the home side who were caught snoozing on the
job, as Real carved their right flank to confetti  ŒŽ ‡šŽ ˆ‘‹ž ŒŒ “‹–– ŒŽš ‹ ‘ŒŽ Š‹ ‹ Ÿ–‰– ¡“œ‡
Vazquez got a free cross, Ronaldo got a free header, and you know how that usually turns out.
Kylian Mbappe with a shot on goal for the
hosts (Getty)
What did PSG have in their locker? Not Neymar, of course, now out for the season. And for the last
quarter of the game not Verratti either, receiving his second yellow card for dissent after running at referee
Felix Brych and screaming right in his face. With Thiago Motta also sacrificed, PSG¢£ ¤¥¦§¨¥© ¥ª «¬­ª¬®©­
simply vanished into thin air, as their 10 remaining men threw everything into their mountainous task.
But fate had a gift for them. With 20 minutes left, substitute Javier Pastore stooped to head at goal. It was a
low-percentage effort, but two deflections off Casemiro and Edinson Cavani later, the ball was nestling in
the Madrid net, and PSG had a thread of hope to grasp at.
It lasted exactly 10 minutes. And there was a certain irony in the manner in which Madrid ultimately put
the tie to bed, Casemiro¢£ £¯¥§ ª¨¥« °± ²³¨­£ ¯¬§§¬¦´ µ³¨¶·¬¦¯¥£ ³¦­ ©¥¥¸¬¦´ ¥¹®¨ ³ ¯®©¸©®££ º¨®¥©³» ¼§ ½³£
Real¢£ ª¬ª§¯ ´¥³© ¥ª §¯® §¬®¾ §¯®¬¨ £®¤¥¦­ ¥¦ §¯® ¦¬´¯§» ¿¯³§ ª³§® ´¬¹®§¯¾ ³¦­ ³©© §¯³§» À¯¬¦´ ¬£¾ ½¯®¦ ²¥· ¯³¹®
spent a billion pounds assembling your dream factory, the idea is not to leave these things to chance.
Sport / Football
Real back on track after
European win, says Zidane
The Frenchman is happy with his side s progress in recent weeks (Getty)
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane believes their season is recovering as the defending champions cruised
into the Champions League quarter-finals.
Second-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro secured a 2-1 win on the night and a 5-2 aggregate
victory at PSG on Tuesday.
Edinson Cavani's fortunate equaliser did briefly bring PSG level on the night after Marco Verratti was sent
off following a second yellow card for dissent.
Real are chasing a third straight Champions League crown and Zidane, under fire with his side 15 points
behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona, called on his side to stick together.
He told the post-match press conference: "We've had difficult moments in the Liga and Copa del Rey, but
it's always difficult to maintain the same level while playing every three days.
"You can't always win everything, but we're winning now in the Liga and we have to look ahead to our
game with Eibar on Saturday."
"Paris were perhaps not as good, but that's maybe because we played well. After the sending-off and the
second goal, it got more difficult for them."
Gareth Bale came on as a second-half substitute with speculation surrounding his Real future and Zidane
insisted he remains part of his plans.
He added: "I respect all the players, including Gareth Bale. He wasn't a starter in either leg, but he's a very
important player who causes lots of trouble to the opposition. We have to stay united, as we were tonight."
Ronaldo headed the opener six minutes after the break before Verratti walked for collecting a second
yellow card.
Ronaldo celebrates his opener for Madrid
Cavani levelled when the ball bounced in off him but Casemiro's deflected strike won it.
PSG are also likely to face punishment from UEFA after the game was briefly stopped because of smoke
from the flares of the home fans.
The French giants are yet to win the Champions League and former boss Laurent Blanc was dismissed
after guiding them to the quarter-finals in three consecutive seasons.
They have now exited the competition in the last 16 for the last two years under Unai Emery.
He said: "We all want to win this competition quickly. We'll continue with patience, and build a team that
can win.
"I'm sure this team can win the Champions League. The supporters will see that Paris will win this
competition one day.
"Losing to Madrid is not a disappointment, but going out in the last 16 is. But, the first leg was the key
because we were better over the first 80 minutes than them.
"They controlled 60 per cent of this match and we couldn't do enough in the 40 per cent we controlled."
Sport/ Football
Reds cruise through but tougher
challenges await
0 (5)
0 (0)
Sadio Mane came closest, hitting the post in the first half (Getty)
was done from the first whistle.
No team had ever overturned a five-goal first-leg deficit in the Champions League at the start of the night
and Porto did not come at all close to setting a precedent as Liverpoolßà áâãä åä äæç èàäåéêâ éâ ëáåìåâ äæáçç
weeks ago comfortably carried them through to the quarter-finals.
This goalless draw was a strange game, not so much a football match but an argument for automatic byes
when one team finds themselves in such a commanding position after playing the first leg away from
On a night of little intensity and even fewer chances, both sides simply went through the motions until,
inevitably, Liverpool secured their passage to the last eight. It had never been in doubt.
Klopp suggested he would make only íâîçï äðâï äæáçç ñæåîìçàò óãä êî äæç çîé êä ðåà ôêõçï ðêäæ öâæå÷çé
Salah among those to drop out ahead of this weekendßà äáêø äâ ùúé ûáåôôâáéü ýâá þâáäâï ñçîäáçÿæåúô ëêçìâ
Reyes was the sole survivor from the first-leg mauling as visiting manager Sergio Conceicao acknowledged
the insurmountable scale of the task at hand.
This much-changed line-up at least did a better job of keeping the Champions Leagueßà ÷âàä øâäçîä åääåñ
at bay in a languid first half played out with little incident.
It said much about the lack of urgency on both sides that the pre-match minuteßà àêúçîñç øáâõêéçé âîç âô
the more interesting flashpoints. Sections of Portoßà àãøøâáä ðçáç êîñåøåóúç âô àäåêîì ãêçä ôâá ëåõêéç
Astori, the late Fiorentina and Italy defender who died aged 31 on Sunday. The rest of Anfield paid their
respects, then jeered their guests.
The teams observed a minute s silence
(AFP/Getty Images)
Events on the pitch in the first half were not nearly as bad-tempered though and only Sadio Man ñå÷ç
close to stirring this somnambulant second leg. After latching onto an incisive James Milner ball,
Liverpoolßà æåäÿäáêñ æçáâ ôáâ÷ äæç èàäåéêâ éâ ëáåìåâ ôêáçé ôêá÷ú øåàä çá åàêúúåà óãä åìåêîàä äæç óåàç âô
the post.
Liverpool thus went into the break goalless but still wholly comfortable, their visitors having registered
just one wayward shot on goal. Loris Karius was eventually called into action shortly after the restart but
had little problem in pushing Majeed Warisß úâîìÿéêàäåîñç çôôâáä ðêéçü
Roberto Firmino was fancied to break the deadlock when Jordan Henderson showed vision to slip the inform forward in through on goal, but Portoßà óåñ ÿäáåñ êîì ñçîäáçÿæåúô ýçúêøç îêøøçé êî äâ óúâñ æêà çôôâáä
as he bore down on Casillas.
Mohamed Salah came off the bench for
Liverpool (Getty Images)
The biggest cheer of the night was saved for Salah, who Klopp introduced with just over a quarter-of-anhour remaining, and the Egyptian soon raised the decibels around Anfield again. The substitute from the right evaded all in the Porto penalty area save Milner, but he could only direct his header straight
at Casillas.
The visitors threatened most towards the close, with Sergio Oliveira seeing one deflected effort dip
wickedly over Karius though the quarter-finals will bring a much tougher test.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Karius; Gomez, Lovren, Matip, Moreno; Milner, Henderson, Can; Lallana, Firmino,
Man !
" #$% & '()'
*()+ ,
Porto (4-4-1-1): Casillas; Maxi Pereira, Felipe, Reyes, Diogo Dalot; Corona, Oliver, Andr ' -.
Costa; Aboubakar. Substitutes: Jose Sa, Brahimi, Paciencia, Ricardo, Otavio, Oliveira, Mata.
Referee: F Zwayer (Germany)
Sport / Football
Klopp says Liverpool back
where they belong
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool should be regularly competing at this level (Getty)
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finals of the Champions League for the first time in nine years.
A goalless draw against Porto at Anfield was enough to guide KloppJ; ;9D2 <A06?1A <6 <A2 5>;< 291A< >F<20
their emphatic 5-0 victory in the first leg at the Estadio do Dragao three weeks ago.
Liverpool have not graced the latter stages of this competition since the 2008-09 season under Rafael
BenitezJ; @>3>12@23< 8?< 45677 82592:2; <A>< 9< 9; <A2 52:25 <A2 K5?8 ;A6?5D 82 021?5>05H K6@72<931 ><L
eight is cool, he said after the final whistle.
Champions League then nobody will realise it.
Klopp has led Liverpool back to where he believes the club M`QRUZTSk _Z \_S P_gSO l\Ye]_UZS dQYTaQ
campaign at Anfield.
smaller than it is, doniO [YZO OU eYcQ _O `_TTQgbk \Q SY_VW MmQ `QRUZT O\QgQb _O S\UaRV ZUO `Q Y `_T Sag]g_SQ
and next round will be very difficult.
Klopp added: MnQhQZ UO\Qg hQg^ TUUV OQYeS [_RR `Q O\QgQ YS [QRRb eY^`Q PUag YgQ O\QgQ PgUe oZTRYZVb
MpaO OYcQ _O SOQ] `^ SOQ]b _OS XUURW mQ \YV O\_S ^QYg P_gSO O_eQ O\Q U]]UgOaZ_O^b ZU[ [Q YgQ _Zb SU N O\_Zc [Q
are in time.
Sport / Football
Pjanic is fast becoming Juves
next Maestro following in
Pirlos path
Miralem Pjanic has risen to prominence in the past 18 months (Getty Images)
Andrea Pirlo needs no introduction to fans of Champions League football. For over a decade, the Italian
midfielder bestrode the competition and consistently made his presence felt, weighing in with key goals
and assists as he helped AC Milan lift the trophy on two occasions. He was also part of the 2005 Rossoneri
side that collapsed against Liverpool in Istanbul,then swapped one of the peninsulas giant clubs for
another as he joined Juventus in the summer of 2011.
Four years and four Serie A titles later, he helped the Bianconeri to their first European final of the
post-Calciopoli era, tasting defeat at the hands of Lionel Messi and Barcelona. Opting to join New York
City FC, that would be his last appearance for the Old Lady and the 2015/16 campaign proved to be a
difficult one for Max Allegris men. They finished behind Manchester City in the group stage after a loss to
Sevilla and two disappointing draws against Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mqrsturvwxyzxst{
Unable to unlock either defence, their progress would come to an abrupt halt in the last 16 as their
runners up spot resulted in a tough draw against Bayern Munich. Eliminated 6-4 on aggregate, the clubs
management team recognised the need to act and, for the first time under President Andrea Agnellis
stewardship, they would invest heavily to add headline-grabbing stars to their squad.
Andrea Pirlo needs no introduction to fans of
Champions League football (GETTY IMAGES)
Juventus smashed their club record fee by paying 90m to activate Gonzalo Higuains release clause with
title rivals Napoli, then doing the same again in order to bring in AS Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic. The
duo would make a major impact, the Bosnian creating chances with increasing regularity while his new
Argentinian team-mate tucked them away and simultaneously rubbished his reputation as a big-game
While Higuains goals fired Juve to another Champions League final alongside their Serie A and Coppa
Italia double, the current campaign has seen them face yet more changes and Pjani| tx} ~€w‚ ~ƒ„ry
himself centre stage. As the season began, Allegri looked to continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation that was
the foundation of last years success, but as 2018 approached he deployed a hybrid 4-3-2-1/4-3-1-2 system.
In attack that has meant Mario Mand…„†| ƒ‡rv r }wvtˆw‚ ~€ƒ t} €ƒwu ƒr ˆtu wu~ˆ‰ Štwu ‹x„wƒ Œ‚zxwx
or Douglas Costa feature behind the Croatian and Higuain. In midfield, the addition of a third player has
seen Pjani| ƒ‡u rˆƒ ˆtu yywu ƒ~ ˆtu ˆ€ƒ‰ rƒŠ ƒss„‚rv ˆtu }xu }xsu ƒrsu v€xsuy z‚ ‹€wƒ{
Pjani has found himself take centre stage at
Juventus (AFP/Getty Images)
I feel responsibility on my shoulders at Juventus, because Allegri asks me to make the team tick, the 27year-old told Undici magazine back in December. If he gets angry with me, its because he wants me to
get nothing wrong, to be one of the best. He believes in me and that is motivating. When I arrived at Juve,
Allegri said that in future he saw me playing in front of the defence. I put myself at his disposal and now I
am happy in a role where I can really help the team.
Indeed it seems this has been the plan all along, with the Tuscan Coach telling Sky Italia that he believed
PjaniŽ ‘’“ ”•–—˜– ™– š ›œ– •–› ž™ ›œ– Ÿ’“ ž™ ›œ › ¡ž›ž™¢ œŸ›’£ š›–Ÿ œ– ˜ “– ›œ– ¤¥¦˜ ž›—œ
from Roma. With six goals and eight assists to his name already this term, he is well on his way to repaying
Allegris faith and has done so in a variety of different ways to help the team.
PjaniŽ œ  ¡–™–“ ‘¡ ¡¡ž™§ “–š–™—– ž™ ¡–™ ¡’ £ ¨‘›  ©žŸ’ ‘–“ ›ª ›Ÿ«ž™§ ›œ– • ’’ Ÿ‘™“ ›œ–
pitch quickly, efficiently and accurately to connect with 90 per cent of his 74.4 pass attempts per 90
minutes. He has also upped his work rate defensively, weighing in with 2.4 tackles and 2.1 interceptions
per outing in Serie A, but it is unquestionably at set pieces where the parallels with his predecessor are
most obvious.
Miralem Pjani joined Juventus in the summer
of 2016 (Getty)
While an ability to set up goals for others from corners and free kicks adds to Juves firepower, it is with his
own direct shots from those situations where PjaniŽ –¬—–’­ ®–   › ‘§œ› •£ ¯Ÿ °ž’ž ™ ¡–—ž ’ž› ±‘™ž™œ
Pernambucano when the pair were team-mates at Lyon, but the students has now arguably surpassed the
Mires ability is to hit them in different ways, with curve, with power and effect, Juninho told La
Gazzetta dello Sport last year. The trajectories are unpredictable, when the ball comes off his foot it often
changes direction and that makes it difficult for the goalkeeper. Given how young he is, hes already
among the best in that speciality. High praise indeed, but according to Opta, no player including Pirlo
has scored more free kicks (14) in Serie A than PjaniŽ ž™ ›œ– ’ › ›–™ £– Ÿª Ÿ–˜ Ÿ« •’– š– › §ž²–™ œ– “ž“™³›
arrive in Italy until August 2011.
Fans of the Old Lady have certainly noted his impact, seemingly dubbing him with a nickname that follows
in the footsteps of the Mozart or Maestro monikers once bestowed upon Pirlo. Labelled The Pianist
by Juventus supporters on the Curva Sud, they will hope Tottenham are dancing to Miralem PjaniŽ³ ›‘™–
over the course of Wednesday evenings second leg.
Sport / Football
Guardiola says Glenn fails to
understand ribbon
Pep Guardiola will wear the yellow ribbon against Basel on Wednesday night (Getty)
Pep Guardiola has accused Martin Glenn of failing to understand the meaning of the yellow ribbon that he
wears in solidarity with members of the Catalonian independence movement.
The Manchester City manager accepted a Football Association charge of ´µ¶·¸¹º» · ¼½¾¹¿¹À·¾ Á¶Â·»¶Ã ½º
Monday having breached the governing bodyÃ Ĺ¿ ·ºÅ ·Åƶ¸¿¹Â¹º» ¸¶»Ç¾·¿¹½ºÂÈ
Guardiolaึ¼½ºÂ¶ À·Á¶ · Å·É ·Ê¿¶¸ ˾¶ººÌ ¿Í¶ ÎÏ À͹¶Ê ¶Ð¶ÀÇ¿¹Æ¶Ì À½Á¼·¸¶Å ¿Í¶ ɶ¾¾½µ ¸¹Ñѽº ¿½ ¿Í¶
swastika or a symbol of support for Zimbabweàʽ¸Á¶¸ ¼¸¶Â¹Å¶º¿ ҽѶ¸¿ ÓÇ»·Ñ¶È
Things that are going to be highly divisive, and that could be strong religious symbols Ô ¹¿ À½Ç¾Å Ѷ ¿Í¶
Star of David, it could the hammer and sickle, it could be a swastika, anything like Robert Mugabe on your
shirt Õ Ö×ØÙØ ÚÛØ Ö×Ø Ö×ÜÝÞÙ ßØ àáÝâÖ ßÚÝÖãä åæØÝÝ ÙÚÜàç
To be very clear, Pep GuardiolaâÙ èØææáß ÛÜééáÝ ÜÙ Ú êáæÜÖÜëÚæ Ùèìéáæã ÜÖâÙ Ú Ùèìéáæ áí îÚÖÚæÚÝ
independence, he added. And, I can tell, you there are many more Spaniards, non-Catalans, who are
p***ed off by it.
Glenn apologised for his comments on Monday, particularly for his equivalence of the Star of David with
the swastika, but Guardiola believes his remarks betrayed an ignorance about the yellow ribbon and its
Mr Glenn apologised but the first impression when I heard that was because he didnâÖ ïÝàØÛÙÖÚÝà Ö×Ø
meaning of the yellow ribbon, Guardiola said. It is simple like that. He made a comment that is ðíÚÛ
It is not about independence or not independence. It is about four people who are in jail when they didnâÖ
do anything to be in jail. It is simple. I think now he will understand because he didnâÖ ïÝàØÛÙÖÚÝà Ö×Ø
reality of the situation.
When asked whether he was disappointed with GlennâÙ ÛØìÚÛñÙã åïÚÛàÜáæÚ ÙÚÜàò óôÚÝè ÖÜìØÙ õ ÙêØÚñ íáÛ
myself and after I regret what I said. I am sure now that is not going to happen [again].
A date is yet to be set for the hearing which will decide how Guardiola is punished for wearing the ribbon.
The City manager could face a range of sanctions, from a fine to a touchline ban.
Guardiola has concealed the ribbon during domestic games since receiving the FA charge but is set to
display it on his person on Wednesday night during CityâÙ î×ÚìêÜáÝÙ öØÚÞïØ æÚÙÖ÷øù ÙØëáÝà æØÞ ÚÞÚÜÝÙÖ
Basel. Uefa, European footballâÙ ÞáúØÛÝÜÝÞ éáàèã ×ÚÙ Ýá êæÚÝÙ Öá êïÝÜÙ× åïÚÛàÜáæÚ íáÛ ßØÚÛÜÝÞ Ö×Ø Ùèìéáæç
Sport / Football
Pochettino: Europe starting to
respect Spurs
They respect the philosophy we build and the football we play (Getty)
Mauricio Pochettino believes his "brave" Tottenham side are ready to take another major step in Europe.
Spurs host Juventus on Wednesday night in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie at Wembley.
The north Londoners have every chance of knocking out the Italian champions - finalists in two of the last
three seasons - after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first leg in Turin.
Having already beaten Real Madrid in the group stage, Tottenham's reputation across the continent
continues to grow and Pochettino has told his players to grasp their latest opportunity to make another big
"It's been step by step, a little step every season," said the Spurs boss.
"You can see the team is more mature. We are going to enjoy tomorrow.
"We know very well we are playing one of the best teams in Europe but we are a brave team and we are
very positive people.
"We need to think that we can win, we always think in this way. If we are able to play in the way we
normally do then we will be close to winning.
"After the group stage we improved our reputation in Europe. Last season was a massive disappointment
to be out in the first stage, but this year of course the people in Europe start to respect Tottenham.
Pochettino said his team will enjoy the clash at
Wembley (Getty)
"They respect the philosophy we build and the football we play. We feel we have respect for the brand of
football we show, they respect us in Europe we feel."
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris knows a clean sheet will be enough to send Tottenham through to the quarterfinals.
He said: "We expect a tough game. It will demand a lot of thought and energy. It's the best way to enjoy
this competition.
"If you don't think too much, and look for a draw, especially against an experienced team like Juve, you
could be in trouble.
"I feel the club and team is growing stronger every season. Most of the players have been here for two,
three or four years together.
"Now we must enjoy it. We have arrived at the most important part of the season and we win or lose
"Our ambition is to improve, to develop, and the first step is to reduce the gap to the best teams in Europe.
"That's not just in one season, but season by season and for the future."
Toby Alderweireld will miss the Wembley showdown due to his hamstring problem while fellow defender
Serge Aurier is suspended.
Sport / Football
Why Dybala
reconciliations spell trouble for
The player has been charged with restoring Juve to their rightful place in Europe (Getty)
Heûü ýþÿÿ ü ÿü þ þ ü ýý ý ÿ ýý þ þÿ þ þ ý ü þÿÿ
and seven kilograms heavier than him, has cost him his balance. His shoulders are braced right, where
Parolo is; his feet are splaying to the left, where the ball is. Gravity is winning.
Paulo Dybalaûü ÿþü ýþ
ü ý þ ü ý üþÿü ý þ þ ü ÿü ü
that he can swing his left boot through the ball with enough precision to divert it towards goal from a
narrowing angle, and enough power to beat the goalkeeper from 12 yards out. The clock shows 92:28. The
score is 0-0.
And as Dybala !" # $% & $'( ! " #'' ) ! )"! * +," ! !'-*
not be possible to generate from that stance. From that angle. From a player making his first start for two
months after injury, in the 93rd minute of the game, in what is essentially a seated position.
The ball carries on rising until it hits the top corner of the net. By the time it has rippled back down to the
ground, Dybala is on his feet again. The clock shows 92:30, Juventus have just taken the lead against Lazio,
and a 40-year-old Gianluigi Buffon has run over 100 yards to celebrate with the Juventus fans at the other
end of the stadium. It is a goal that may ultimately hand Juventus their seventh scudetto in succession. The
player they call ./ 0'1 2 3!" 0")" 2 #,4%
Dybala 5-$12 (" )"$ ' 6 -$*1 "7" ) !" '$ ' ' ! ",+- " !') 0-7" - 4"
to see themselves as a club: gritty and yet beautiful, functional and yet artful, inexorable and yet
unapologetically theatrical. Dybala himself seems to embody many of these same qualities: you know he
coming, it 5- 8-" ' ' )!" * !') * !') #%
The Argentinian forward missed the first leg of the Champions League tie against Tottenham Hotspur, a
2-2 draw in Turin. His scheduled return for the second, at Wembley on Wednesday night, is perhaps the
main reason why Tottenham "*"$ *7 " (1 #" ' *7 " % 9'$ ,'(("*#1 6+-$
played in Turin, a game with Dybala in it is an entirely different sort of game.
:; !
!" # !"< "-= $",4'
"(2( " >" ? -* ' !"$ 0-7" +1"$ )!' ) $" -$ '$
the second leg. :@ ! #" !" -+1#"= 1 ! ("$ ?(' @"$% :A," B$ '
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have retired, I have no doubt it will be Neymar and Dybala who are the best in
the world.
Dybala has been tipped to take over from
Lionel Messi as the world's best once the Barca
star retires (Getty)
The Messi comparisons are perhaps inevitable, given his provenance, given his stature, given that spurt of
pace and that beacon of a left foot. They will most likely continue to hound him, perhaps even haunt him,
despite the fact that in style and temperament a much more appropriate comparison would be Sergio
Aguero or even Carlos Tevez, who Dybala was signed to replace in 2015. But at their heart, perhaps, lies
something more profound.
At the turn of the century, Juventus were the second richest club in the world, behind Manchester United.
Then came the 2006 Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, which saw them relegated to Serie B and lose many
of their star players. And though they subsequently fought their way back on the pitch, winning six straight
league titles and reaching the Champions League final in 2015 and 2017, in terms of finance and stature
they are still fighting to recover their place in European footballCD EFGH IJK ILFGM
Like any club outside the VVIP circle in European footballCD NOF JP DINIF KJQFGR STEFUITD GFVNLU
vulnerable to predators. The world-record sale of Paul Pogba to Manchester United in 2016 could be
rationalised on the basis that the numbers made sense, and the club seemed happy enough to let him go.
But generally speaking, superclubs do not sell their big names. Superclubs keep hold of their superstars.
And superclubs do not go 22 years without a European Cup.
It is against this context of decay and renaissance, then, that the rise of Dybala must be seen. Even the
decision to hand him the No10 shirt - the shirt worn by Omar Sivori, Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and
Alessandro del Piero - was one freighted with symbolism. This is a club that demands domination, a club
that dreams in dynasties, a club desperate to anoint a Messianic saviour of its very own.
being invested with the task of restoring Juventus to its rightful place in the game: not simply a talisman,
but the one true heir to a sacred bloodline.
The first sign that things were not progressing quite as planned came shortly after Dybala and his Juventus
team-mates were mauled 4-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Cardiff. Over the summer,
Dybala broke up with his long-term girlfriend Antonella, a business student who he had been dating for
three years, since his time at Palermo.
Then, in September, Dybala ditched his long-term agent Pierpaolo Triulzi and replaced him with his
brother Gustavo. At first, the fear in Turin was that the Barcelona-based Gustavo would try and engineer a
European clubs ahead of the January window, generally making a nuisance of himself.
In December, in the midst of a run of just two goals in 18 games, the club made its strongest statement yet.
Club legend Pavel Nedved, now a vice-president and hugely influential figure at Juve, publicly warned
Dybala to knuckle down, telling him to bOLEF \LD NZZ LU IGNLULUOc NUY bVNaF DNWGLPLWFD LU \LD KGLENIF ZLPFc LP
then suffered a hamstring injury against Cagliari on the cusp of the winter break.
Dybala has endured a turbulent season so far
with Juventus after a summer of off-field
changes in his personal life (Getty)
On the face of things, it looked like the first major crisis of DybalaCD WNGFFGM gJG I\F PLGDI ILVF LU HFNGDR I\FH
were in a proper title race, with Napoli surging into the lead. And yet JuveCD LGGLINILJU QLI\ I\FLG DING KZNHFG
was partly a reflection of their own simmering angst, a recognition of just how heavily they relied on a
fully-fit, fully-firing Dybala.
In a sense, the Argentinian has been a victim of his own versatility, expected not simply to score goals in
industrial quantities, but to provide much of the creative burden in a team without a natural playmaker in
the final third. At the same time Allegrihi jkljmlkn jmopqrmost iumjlvmos wqjuqqo xyzy{t |y{yxy} ko~ |yxyx
depending on opponent, has occasionally forced him out of his favoured No10 position.
But perhaps the biggest demand on Dybala is temperamental. Juventus rely on him to seize moments, to
dictate big games, to offer up the moments of opportunistic genius that you need when you are a team
based as much on sturdy defence as irresistible attack. And for the first time, people began to argue that
Dybala was still missing the immaculate sense of occasion that distinguishes the truly elite.
Which is why Dybalahi skn kskmoij €km ‚qkoj i ‚ƒlv„ oj k ~q…momjm†q koiuqr j vmi lrmjmlit ‡qrvk‡it
but one hell of a riposte nonetheless. He is still feeling his way back to full fitness, and was left out of Jorge
Sampaolihi ‚ij rqlqoj ˆrsqojmok i‰ƒk~ Š‚ij rq‚krpkwn‹ … knnt Œ‹wknk mi ‹qj j ilrq kj mojqrokjmokn
level). But with a Serie A title race to reignite, a Champions League tie to rescue and a World Cup to play
for this summer, Dybalahi rqjƒro lƒn~ ilkrlqn‹ vk†q wqqo wqjjqr jm‚q~
Though Dybala has had many doubters over recent months, you would struggle to find many in the
Juventus dressing room, where he has become an increasingly pivotal figure. ŽŒ‹wknk uki jvq …mrij ‡nk‹qr
who welcomed me when I got here, said Douglas Costa last week. Žq ‡qoq~ jvq ~r j ƒ†qojƒit vq
helped me so much. Now I consider him a great friend. And as if to complete the circle of life, Dybala has
recently been seen in public again with Antonella, fuelling rumours of a reconciliation.
Dybala is just one of the reasons for Tottenham to be worried this Wednesday. Matuidi, an effortlessly
kinetic central midfielder with the movement of a centre forward, the danger sensors of a centre-half and
the fast-twitch sprint of a winger, will be back too. And though Tottenham will still be favourites to make
the last eight, to get there they will have to negotiate a very different-looking Juventus side to the one they
faced in Turin.
And for all Tottenhamhi ~‚mokolq mo jvq …mrij nqst mjhi m‚‡rjkoj j rq‚q‚wqr jvkj ƒ†qojƒi uqrq ‘ƒij k
missed penalty by Gonzalo Higuain away from going 3-1 up and very possibly making the tie safe. Dybala,
had he been fit, would most likely have taken the kick. At Wembley, with the weight of expectation braced
against his shoulders, and Juventush ’vk‚‡moi €qksƒq ~rqk‚i o jvq wrmop … …knnmost vq umnn …moknn‹ sqj
his chance.
Sport / Football
Fulham edge out Blades to
keep up promotion push
The in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic grabbed two goals for the hosts (Getty)
Fulham made it nine home victories in a row as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Sheffield United at Craven
Cottage on Tuesday night.
Two first-half goals from the in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic and another from captain Tom Cairney helped
them see off the visitors, who were themselves looking for a chance to break into the play-off places.
Fulham are in the best form they“”• –—˜ ™š› œš• žŸ• —¡˜ ž–• ¢£—¤Ÿž¥ š™ ž–•Ÿ› ™ššž¦—¤¤ œ–š§œ Ÿž clinching their 11th win in 14 games, while remaining unbeaten since mid-December.
With just ten games to go in the Championship season, they¨©ª «¬­®® ­¯ «ª°©±² ³´ °¯ °µ¬³¶°¬­± ·©³¶³¬­³¯
spot ¸ ³¯®¹ º°©»­´´ °¯» ¼«¬³¯ ½­®®° «¬°¯» ­¯ ¬²ª ¾°¹¿ ¾­¬² À ·³­¯¬« «ª·°©°¬­¯Á ¬²ª¶Â
Ryan Sessegnon spins away from Enda Stevens
Sheffield United started the game fighting, but were lacking both an edge and top scorer Leon Clarke. It
wasn¨¬ ®³¯Á ê´³©ª Ä®°Å­«° Ƴǰ¯³Å­±¨« ¶ª¯ ¬²ª¯ «¬°©¬ª» ¬³ ¬°Çª ±³¯¬©³®Â
Newcastle loanee Mitrovic has settled nicely into life in south-west London, and his confidence on the ball
showed as he held up the play, allowing his teammates space to run in behind him on a couple of occasions.
But it was the Serbian himself who opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark; a low ball in from
raiding wing-back Ryan Fredricks found him in the middle to clatter home his fourth goal in as many
games. He glided proudly back for the restart, celebrating with a bodybuilder pose.
Sheffield United had their chance to respond from a corner 10 minutes later. An unmarked Clayton
Donaldson was picked out from a corner at the far post, but fluffed his chance to the dismay of the
travelling Blades.
Shortly after Mitrovic then doubled the lead for Fulham. On the break, a clever ball over from Johansen
into the box found the outside of the loanee¨« ©­Á²¬ ó³¬ ȵ«¬ ê´³©ª ²°®´ ¬­¶ªÂ ¼ «®­±Ç ¶³Åª ´©³¶ ɵ®²°¶¿
and a chance to flex their muscles. And, much to the crowd¨« ª¯È³¹¶ª¯¬¿ «³ »­» Ê­¬©³Å­± °« ²ª ¾°« ˵­±Ç
to copy his strongman celebration once more.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scores his side s first goal
of the game (Getty)
He should have also had a hat-trick before the half-time whistle too, had he not put a shot from
Sessegnon¨« ·°«« ­¯±²ª« ¾­»ªÂ
Although the visitors tried to keep a tight line at the back, and kept a close eye on top-scorer Sessegnon, he
Captain Cairney got in on the action himself just after the hour mark when substitute Lucas Piazon had
enough time and space to lay a pass off to the midfielder inside the box. A curling shot from his left foot
gave keeper Jamal Blackman no chance.
The hosts closed out the half easily without much of a response. Cheers from the home crowd only put
more pressure on the Sheffield United defence as they slipped and almost allowed a fourth late on. By this
point, the game was all but done.
Sport / Football
EFL could face legal action
over artificial pitches rules
A group of non-league clubs has threatened legal action against the EFL (Getty)
The English Football League could face the threat of legal action from a group of non-league clubs over its
rules against artificial surfaces if it fails to loosen current regulations.
The group 3G4US, which champions the benefits of 3G pitches in the English game, is determined to
force a change to the EFLáâ ãäåæâ çèéêè âëìëæ íî ïìëêè éí ëèæ ðèìïñéîíâèéñò óæìôäæ õíæ îã óæìôäæ öçî
can be played on an artificial surface.
3G4US passionately believes struggling lower-league clubs can be giving a new lease of life from the asset
of an artificial pitch which can be used every day by the club, and can be rented out to boost revenue
streams and improve local engagement.
The threat of a legal case helped persuade the National League to allow 3G in 2014, when it was then the
Conference. Maidstone United÷ø ùúûúüýþÿ
ü ú
ý ÿú þ ý
told The Independent that the group is now trying to figure out how to unlock the door to allow clubs like
Maidstone to use their artificial pitches in the EFL. ø þ
ú ÿþø ÿ ý ø
ø ø
look at this because what else is left?
Artificial pitches are back on the EFL÷ø þý
ý üþÿþ
øù øøþ
þþ ý
ø üþþ
AGM in June, when 3G could be given the green light for the start of the 2019-20 season. One aspect
discussed was whether a specific rule could be applied to League Two, without affecting League One and
the Championship.
However, any new proposal would require the support of the majority of the EFL÷ø
þÿ ù
there is still significant opposition towards the idea of artificial surfaces beyond the belief that football is a
game played on grass. Most Championship and League One clubs already have high-quality grass pitches,
while there are concerns over player safety as well as the quality of football which 3G promotes.
Artificial pitches are back on the EFL s agenda
3G4US rejects those arguments, and believes there is little evidence to support the idea of increased
injuries on artificial surfaces, particularly when comparing them to low-quality grass surfaces. þÿ
a case of turkeys not wanting to vote for Christmas, Ash said.
ÿþ ø ú
ý ù
ø ÿú
progressing and taking their place in the Football League.
! "#$% ø
The EFL is confident the issue will not become a legal case. All of the National League clubs are
understood to have signed an agreement that in the event of promotion to League Two, they would switch
to grass, including the three clubs currently playing on 3G
ý þ
ø úýþ
ý þ
Bromley FC.
& '
The trio released a joint statement at the start of the season demanding action by the EFL to allow 3G in
the lower leagues, which they said is of ÿ
ý ý
û ÿ øø
ù þø
conducive to úú þù ý ù úú
( The EFL is confident the issue will not become
a legal case (Getty)
Sutton, who are currently second in the National League, could achieve promotion this season and said
they would rip up their pitch with a heavy heart. Sutton have been involved in 3G4US but chairman Bruce
Elliott told The Independent that they would respect the EFL
any options.
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A further obstacle to 3G4US is the Professional Footballers
which revealed that 94 per cent of its members are against artificial surfaces
result of a similar survey in 2014.
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While it is up to the EFL
at the table of any discussions that take place in the coming months, given it is their members who will
play on the pitches.
The EFL do not permit artificial pitches
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fatigue, increased likelihood of injury and the subsequent shortening of careers, and the more direct style
of football that artificial surfaces are perceived to promote.
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excellent. The price is coming down on real grass pitches. The more and more you use [3G pitches], the
lifetime goes down and then you need to replace them for another half a million pounds.
The EFL has also acknowledged the commercial opportunities cited by clubs like Maidstone, but
reiterated last week:
8@4.-. 3-. 3/7 /,=G.- 5E 504.- F3-0<.* 0430 43C. 3 *<6/<E<+3/0 </0.-.*02 </+1,;</6 R
the PFA whose members have historically been against the use of artificial pitches in the EFL. Their views
will also need taking into account before any decision is made.
Sport / Football
Dulwich Hamlet told to stop
using own club name
Dulwich are also in the process of seeking a new ground (Duncan Palmer)
Dulwich Hamlet have been told to stop using their own name and initials by the owners of their ground,
who last night kicked the 125-year-old non-league out of their historic home.
Meadow, the property investment fund who own Champion Hill, told Dulwich Hamlet on Monday
evening that their licence to play at the ground had been revoked. Then on Tuesday afternoon the club
received an unprecedented legal threat from lawyers representing
of Meadow.
STUVVWXYZV[ \] ^^_`a Y WVb [cd[eXeYUf
ghijklmn opqjrs tuusvpjj wjivxy gznr opqjrsx
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That letter, from solicitors Blake Morgan, told the club that
no longer be used on any printed literature and any online activity including websites and Twitter.
Dulwich, who play Billericay Town in a crucial Bostik Premier Division away game tonight, will continue
to use their own name regardless.
A Meadow spokesman told The Independent that sending this letter followed public criticism of Meadow
from Dulwich's board and social media accounts. "Meadow's issue is with the club's owner and board
attacking Meadow in public, not with the fans or the wider community," a Meadow spokesman said.
This marks a new low for relations between Dulwich and Meadow, who bought Champion Hill for
four years ago but have been unable to develop it after losing a legal battle with Southwark Council last
October, which was when they registered the trademark on the club
threatening to evict Dulwich for the last few months and on Monday evening, after issuing the club with a
x |pqrˆ ‰rp{uk npŠr l|mr vrr|
†„y……… vljj ‹u} vpm€ }r|sy snrŒ ‹l|pjjŒ €lm€r{ snr ‹uusvpjj srpq uis u‹ snrl} nuqrˆ
This follows repeated breaches of the licence by the Club, explained a Meadow spokesman, together
with unwarranted personal attacks on the company, which has funded the Club for a number of years and
without which the Club would not have survived as long as it has. Dulwich are now seeking a new home
to play their remaining six home games this season as they pursue promotion up to the National League
South for next year. They are exploring ground-share options with other non-league clubs in south
Former England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand is watching the situation with interest,
after his affordable housing group Legacy Foundation bid
Ferdinand, a close friend of Dulwich manager Gavin Rose since childhood, wants Legacy to build
affordable housing in compliance with Southwark
funding for the football club. Ferdinand and Legacy are still interested in buying Champion Hill from
Meadow, but their attempts to speak with Meadow recently have been met with silence.
†…q su pŠr snr mjiv is vr‹u}r wn}lsqpˆ
x }rŽil}rqr|sy p krjj p }uŠl{l|~ p |rk ~}ui|{ p|{
Legacy remain extremely keen to acquire both Champion Hill and Dulwich Hamlet FC, a Legacy
spokesperson told The Independent. We are a dedicated sports and affordable housing specialist, and see
ourselves as the perfect fit. If Meadow will respond to our offers and relinquish their ownership to us, we
can get on with dealing with what is rapidly becoming a grave situation for the club, the fans and the
council. We have contacted Andrew McDaniel of Meadow several times across 2017 and the first part of
2018, but have heard nothing back in response. There is little more we can do until Meadow come to the
Sport / Rugby Union
Hartley a doubt for key clash
against France
Elliot Daly, meanwhile, could make his international return this weekend (Getty)
Concerns have been raised about the availability of England captain Dylan Hartley after he suffered a leg
injury ahead of Saturday s Six Nations clash with France in Paris.
Jack Nowell and Sam Underhill were ruled out of the game by forwards coach Steve Borthwick, who
revealed Hartley is struggling with muscle tightness, as Eddie Jones named his 27-man squad for the trip to
The Northampton hooker will be monitored daily ahead of Thursday s team announcement.
Dylan trained yesterday (Monday) and felt a bit of tightness afterwards, Borthwick said. He reported
that and the decision of the medical team is to monitor it daily.
It's meant that Luke Cowan-Dickie was called up to the squad yesterday and trained fully this morning as
We have the two hookers in Dylan and Jamie and we need the third hooker as cover. And Kyle Sinckler is
here as a tighthead prop as well as those are specialist positions so you need specialist cover.
Nowell s ankle injury keeps him out of the squad after he missed training on Tuesday, while Underhill has
a toe complaint he picked up in practice.
Nowell is a regular impact substitute brought on by Eddie Jones to change the game in the late moments
where opponents start to tire, a role he has fulfilled in all three of England s games so far in the
Nowell will miss the rest of the tournament
The Exeter flyer will miss the rest of the Six Nations and as a result Elliot Daly is expected to feature at
some part in Saturday's game having been named in Jones' 27-man squad.
Jack Nowell rolled his ankle in training, the same ankle that he injured earlier on this season. He has
returned to Exeter, Borthwick added. It happened at the weekend and we did a further investigation late
yesterday and a decision was made then.
"Sam took a knock to his big toe after someone trod on it. It's flared up so he's not in contention against
France. He went back to his club this morning and that decision was made late last night as well after an
We want them to recover from their injuries as quickly as possible. It's unlikely that Jack will be fit for
Ireland, but we hope Sam's injury will calm down quickly. But, as we've seen in the past, whenever there
are injuries there are opportunities and you can see players return quickly from injury like Sam
Denny Solomona, Kyle Sinckler and Luke Cowan-Dickie have also been named in Jones' squad.
27-man squad:
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)
Ben Te o (Worcester Warriors)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Wasps)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Sport / Tennis
Williams: I wondered how I d
keep playing after birth
The 36-year-old makes her comeback to the WTA Tour this week (Getty)
Serena Williams has admitted she almost walked away from tennis following the birth of her first child,
adding that there are still days when she doubts how she can keep going .
The 36-year-old makes her comeback to the WTA Tour this week, when he takes on Kazakhstan's Zarina
Diyas in the first round at Indian Wells in California.
Williams last played a competitive match 14 months ago at the 2017 Australian Open, when she beat her
sister Venus in straight sets to win an Open-era record 23 Grand Slam singles title.
She gave birth to her daughter on September 1 and has been working on her match fitness ever since.
It's been hard, Williams said in an interview with BBC Sport. There have been so many days, even still,
that I'm like 'how am I going to keep going?'
But I keep going and I know that I might not be at my best yet but I'm getting there.
As long as I'm moving forward, even if it's at a turtle's pace, I'm OK with that.
Serena Williams is set to make her return
Williams was speaking ahead of the Tiebreak Tens event in New York s Madison Square Garden, won by
the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. She decided against defending her Australian Open crown earlier this year,
although did play an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko in December and was part of the US Fed
Cup team last month.
And she insists she has a good chance of making a winning return at the BNP Paribas Open.
If I want to play in those grand slams and play well then now is the perfect time to start, she said.
Elina Svitolina won the Tiebreak Tens event in
New York (Getty)
My expectations, I don't know what they are. I can't go and say 'I expect to lose', because that's just
something I'll never say. It's just a little different, I'm just expecting to see where I am more than anything.
I don't need any more motivation, I have the best thing I could ever want right now. I've always been an
extremely motivated person.
My main thing is I would love for my daughter to be around with me doing great and playing amazing so
it definitely gives me some motivation.
Sport / Cycling
Landis calls for Wiggins to be
stripped of title
Wiggins, Team Sky and Sir Dave Brailsford were accused of crossing an ethical line (Getty)
Floyd Landis has called for Sir Bradley Wiggins to be stripped of his 2012 Tour de France title in the wake
of allegations made in a parliamentary report.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee s report accused Wiggins, Team Sky and Sir
Dave Brailsford of crossing an ethical line in applying for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for banned
Wiggins has categorically denied cheating and has always maintained that he required the antiinflammatory steroid triamcinolone to treat asthma and pollen allergies.
The DCMS report acknowledged that the use of TUEs in competition did not violate the World AntiDoping Agency (WADA) code, however it argued that it was their belief that drugs were used by Team
Sky to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need .
Landis, who lost the Tour de France title he won in 2006 following a positive drugs test, believes Wiggins
should now be suspended and have his 2012 victory stricken from records.
The American was a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong s and initially denied doping before becoming
the chief whistleblower in a federal case against cycling s most recognised name.
Wiggins should lose his Tour title, Landis told cyclingnews. I can t see how the sport authorities can let
it slide. You can t take them seriously if they don t act.
There s a report right there for them and for me WADA have no choice but to suspend him and take his
title away. If they were legitimate, that s what they d do.
WADA have not yet responded to the report.
Floyd Landis was later stripped of his 2006
Tour de France title (Getty)
It is understood Team Sky are backing their under-fire boss Brailsford, yet Landis has also argued the
DCMS report could spell the end for a team whose riders have won five of the past six Tours.
This has to be the end of the team. I m 100 per cent sure that there will not be a Sky team at the Tour de
France this year, Landis added. The little pieces add up and no one with more than two brain cells would
add it all up and conclude that it was all just coincidental.
Meanwhile, UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead wants to see glucocorticosteroids such as
triamcinolone banned at all times .
Use of triamcinolone in competition does not breach anti-doping regulations, provided it is granted
through the TUE system, but a TUE is not required to take the powerful drug out of competition, and
Sapstead wants tighter rules.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, she said: For the past three years UK Anti-Doping have made submissions
to the World Anti-Doping Agency to see glucocorticosteroids included on the banned list of substances in
sport at all times.
It s a very grey area with these substances because they re not permitted in competition but you re
allowed to take them out of competition.
Those lines between in and out of competition can be, for example, midnight and then one minute past
midnight, so clearly there are beneficial effects that come from a number of substances that athletes can
take and it s our job, along with the rest of the anti-doping community, to try to identify which substances
we think continue to have a performance enhancing effect, long past the time that they are taken.
Sport / US Sport
New ESPN President joins
Disney as harassment lawsuit
rocks network
ESPN presenter Jemele Hill has denied some of the allegations (AP)
Having rocked the entertainment industry, it seems that Me Too is coming to sports, and not before time.
Adrienne Lawrence, a former ESPN employee, has filed an explosive lawsuit tabling lurid allegations of
sexual misconduct against the network.
Reports of its contents landed just as Disney had appointed a new President of the wordwide leader in
sports in the form James Pitaro, a digital guru who had been the chairman of its consumer products and
interactive division.
As a passionate and lifelong sports fan, I am honored to be joining the ESPN team during such a pivotal
time in its storied history, Mr. Pitaro said in a press release while hailing the great opportunity for
Depending on how this goes, it isn t just the opportunities for the future that the network s new boss will
be grappling with. It is its past.
Questions about that past were first raised by an investigative report that the Boston Globe published in
December. It alleged an entrenched locker room culture leading to the creation of a hostile work
environment in which women hid pregnancies and felt pressured to limit their maternity leave among
other things.
That report referenced a complaint made by Ms Lawrence to the Connecticut Commission on Human
Rights and Opportunities, made public to allow her to sue in a US federal court. The lawsuit is the next
stage in the process.
Her claims, it should be stressed, are just allegations, which ESPN has denied and said it will fight
vigorously. It should also be noted that presenter Jemele Hill has refuted claims made by the lawsuit that
former ESPN host, and one time face of the network, Chris Berman had left a racially abusive voicemail for
Hill has also had a run-in with President Trump
Ms Hill, a forthright and outspoken personality who has squared up to no less than Donald Trump,
admitted to a personal conflict with Mr Berman but described the way it had been characterised as
dangerously inaccurate .
All this comes at a difficult time for Disney, which is trying to wrap up a takeover of much of Rupert
Murdoch s 21st Century Fox, including Britain s Sky.
Mr Murdoch has been battling to take full control of the latter prior to the Disney deal, of which it is is a
key part. That process has been complicated by a counter proposal from Disney s US rival Comcast.
There is, needless to say, a great deal of interest in the future of ownership of what is a hugely important
company on this side of the Atlantic.
A wider issue for the sports industry more generally is the backdrop of scandal over the treatment of
women working in it that the lawsuit has been filed against.
The NFL Network in December suspended three analysts pending an investigation into alleged sexual
harassment. More recently the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, owned by the high profile and outspoken
billionaire Mark Cuban, has been rocked by scandal in the wake of a Sports Illustrated expose alleging a
corrosive workplace culture .
Mr Cuban has denied knowledge, fired staff members connected to the affair, and hired a third party to
handle complaints.
Faced with all this Disney could have got on the front foot by, you know, hiring a woman to run its
One would imagine it would have cultivated the requisite talent. It certainly ought to have, and such a
move would have sent a genuinely progressive message.
But it didn t. It hired Mr Pitaro, whose in tray will be positively bulging with issues that go beyond
earnings and revenues and business strategy.
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