Hot News on 25/09/2022

Seizures of cocaine and contraband cigarettes behind last month’s vote of no confidence, says Dritan Abazović

Montenegro’s outgoing prime minister, Dritan Abazović, has said he is being ousted by the political influence of organised crime after he took on cocaine and cigarette smugglers.

Abazović was overwhelmingly defeated in a vote of no confidence on 20 August. However, he said the real reason for his defeat was that he broke with decades of Montenegrin government indulgence of criminal gangs by overseeing huge seizures of cocaine and contraband cigarettes.

Exclusive: Andy George ‘baffled’ by Mark Rowley’s refusal to meet when confidence among BAME officers at rock -bottom

The new Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, is at loggerheads with the National Black Police Association after refusing to meet its president and suggesting he will ban officers from “taking the knee”.

A request by the group’s head, Andy George, for an urgent meeting with Rowley, who returned to lead Scotland Yard a fortnight ago, was said to have been rejected in an email on Wednesday morning.

The Met was “gaslighting”black and ethnic minority communities and the police officers who served them on the issue of stop and search. “Report after report we have: ‘We are going to get things right and move on but our officers do a great job.’ But that does not lead to improvement,” said George. “It kind of almost gaslights the communities that are coming out with the problems. It gaslights the frontline officers as well if I am to be honest. They are saying: ‘You are telling me I need to do more stop and search and I am going to do that to prevent serious violence and knife crime issues and then I am the one facing an Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation for doing exactly what you have told me.’”

In recent years, there had been four-fold surge – from 15 to more than 60 – in the number of officers being supported by the Met Black Police Association over grievances or during disciplinary processes. George said: “We are supporting officers with grievances that just aren’t being dealt with. Even when there are two or three people complaining about the same person, that discrimination is still being justified. They are still protecting the reputation of the Met over learning and improving.”

The career structures within the Met appeared to “operate like an organised crime gang”. George said: “You will not get promoted unless you take the party line. We have bosses and leaders that end up developing and sponsoring people that they like and [are] loyal to them, and they will pull them through.”

For older people, loneliness and the stress of weighing risk of ordinary activities have taken an additional toll

It was Mother’s Day in May 2020, and an elderly woman lay dying in a Rhode Island nursing home. Her children couldn’t visit because of Covid, and as much as Adelina Ramos, her certified nursing assistant, longed to provide comfort from her bedside, she had to leave, even though she could see the woman was slipping away.

She had 25 other patients to care for that day.

Proposal to fast-track submarines by having them produced by US ‘would not be acceptable’, Peter Malinauskas says

The South Australian premier, Peter Malinauskas, has criticised a proposal for Australia to buy nuclear submarines directly from the US, saying it would “not be acceptable” for his state to miss out on promised submarine manufacturing jobs.

A report in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday suggested the Biden administration was considering a plan with the UK and Australia to fast-track nuclear-powered submarines for Australia by the mid-2030s by producing the first few submarines in the US.

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Sadiq Khan taking ‘unprecedented’ action to ease financial pressure for lowest-paid transport workers

Workers who clean the underground and other public transport in London are to be given free travel, Sadiq Khan has announced.

The mayor of London has asked Transport for London to extend free travel on the capital’s public transport for the lowest-paid contract workers, as well as for catering and security staff. The move will benefit about 5,000 workers who were not previously eligible for free travel.

“We had a good team on paper,” Brian Clough once noted in a post-match interview. “Unfortunately, the game was played on grass”. A line that sprung to mind after last weekend’s football, when Chelsea lost to promoted Liverpool from a goal up with 25 to go and City were beaten by Villa, having led 3-2 with 15 to go.

As it happens, City’s defeat was not entirely surprising – Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh have left for Barca while Ellen White, Karen Bardsley and Jill Scott have retired – but no one saw Chelsea succumbing as they did. And given Arsenal lost only once in the league last season and still came second, the significance of the reverse should not be underestimated.

Revelation about Mark Fullbrook follows last week’s repeal of rules to stop people paying themselves through companies to minimise tax

Mark Fullbrook, Liz Truss’s new chief of staff, is being paid for through his lobbying company in a move that may help him minimise tax.

In a highly unusual move, the prime minister’s most senior adviser is receiving his salary through Fullbrook Strategies.

Labour leader’s promise to keep basic rate cut at odds with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham

Keir Starmer has vowed to reinstate the top tax band for those earning over £150,000 while keeping the planned cut in the basic rate of income tax, minutes after a senior Labour figure said both should be restored.

On the first day of the Labour party conference in Liverpool, Starmer said it was “hugely divisive” of ministers to hand out a tax cut to the extremely well-paid – and said he would reverse the scrapping of the additional rate – 45% – on the highest earners.

US national security adviser says: ‘Any use of nuclear weapons will be met with catastrophic consequences for Russia’

America and its allies will act “decisively” if Russia uses a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday, reaffirming the Joe Biden White House’s previous response to mounting concerns that Vladimir Putin’s threats are in increased danger of being realized.

“We have communicated directly, privately and at very high levels to the Kremlin that any use of nuclear weapons will be met with catastrophic consequences for Russia, that the US and our allies will respond decisively, and we have been clear and specific about what that will entail,” Sullivan told CBS’s Face The Nation.

Third delay in the past month for test flight as technical issues and weather hamper US effort to return to the moon after five decades

Nasa is skipping Tuesday’s launch attempt of its new moon rocket over concerns about a tropical storm headed to Florida that could become a major hurricane.

It’s the third delay in the past month for the lunar-orbiting test flight featuring mannequins but no astronauts, a follow-up to Nasa’s Apollo moon-landing program of a half-century ago.

Troops to remove trees and restore transport links after Fiona caused severe damage including torn-off roofs and flooding

Canadian troops are being sent to assist the recovery from the devastation of storm Fiona, which swept away houses, stripped off roofs and knocked out power across the country’s Atlantic provinces.

After surging north from the Caribbean as a hurricane, Fiona came ashore before dawn on Saturday as a post-tropical cyclone, battering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec with hurricane-strength winds, heavy rains and huge waves.

Kipchoge ran the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:01:10. He has no equal in the distance.

Wednesday’s session is committee’s last chance to show potential culpability of Donald Trump before midterm elections

The House January 6 select committee is expected to hold its final public hearing next Wednesday, with the congressional investigation into the US Capitol attack nearing its conclusion as staff counsel prepare to produce an interim report of its findings before the 2022 midterm elections.

The specific topic of the final hearing that the panel’s chairman, congressman Bennie Thompson, will convene starting at 1pm is unclear.

Club’s chairman says AFL investigation into allegations of misconduct at Hawthorn Football Club will provide ‘procedural fairness’

Chris Fagan, senior coach of the Brisbane Lions, has been defended by the club as he takes a leave of absence to cooperate with an AFL investigation into allegations of serious mistreatment of First Nations former players at Hawthorn Football Club.

The AFL chief executive, Gillon McLachlan, announced on Wednesday that an external independent panel would investigate “challenging, harrowing and disturbing” allegations detailed in a Hawks-commissioned review.

A reckless dash for growth is nothing new. Ted Heath’s chancellor Anthony Barber tried one in 1971, but it didn’t turn out well

The recklessness of chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s “budget for growth” evokes memories of the disastrous outcome of the last great Conservative “dash for growth”: the so-called “Barber boom” of 1971-73.

I say so-called because the wildly expansionist policy of those years was essentially the work of PM Edward Heath. His preferred chancellor, Iain Macleod, had died within a month of taking office in 1970, and Heath was thenceforth the driving force in economic policy.

Exclusive: A provision of the new Charities Act could have a significant impact on restitution cases for years to come

Museums and galleries in England and Wales will be given unprecedented powers to dispose of objects in their collections if there is a compelling moral obligation to do so, under a new law.

Alexander Herman, a leading expert in art law, said the museum sector did not appear to have realised that a provision of the Charities Act 2022, expected to come into force this autumn, could have “a significant impact for years to come” on restitution cases.

Republican governors’ immigration stunts are actually helping some migrants.

David Malpass apologises after saying he ‘doesn’t know’ if he accepts climate science

David Malpass, president of the World Bank, faces an uncertain future this week, after the White House joined a chorus of influential figures in condemning his apparent climate denialism.

Malpass remains in post for now but under severe pressure, despite issuing an apology and trying to explain his refusal last week to publicly acknowledge the human role in the climate crisis.

Aim is to see whether space rocks can be deflected should one threaten humans with same fate as dinosaurs

Most mission scientists would wince at the thought of their spacecraft being smashed to smithereens. But for those behind Nasa’s Dart probe, anything short of total destruction will be chalked up as a failure.

The $330m (£300m) spacecraft is due to slam head-on into an asteroid about 11m kilometres above the Indian Ocean soon after midnight on Monday. The impact, at nearly seven kilometres a second, will obliterate the half-tonne probe, all in the name of planetary defence.

Intan says he paid more than a month’s wages from his old job to guarantee his place, but remains unemployed

The Instagram advert boasted “Job vacancies United Kingdom” above an image of plump lettuces and the promise of wages more than double most desk jobs in Indonesia.

When Intan (not his real name) saw it on his phone in Jakarta this summer, he couldn’t resist. He was no farmer but, with a wife and children to support, the economics were unarguable.

Corporations are using rising costs as an excuse to increase their prices even higher, resulting in record profits. We need limited price controls to break this cycle

On Wednesday, policymakers at the Federal Reserve – America’s central bank – continued their battle against inflation with a third straight supersize interest-rate increase. And they warned that they’re not done. They’ll continue to raise borrowing costs until inflation is tamed.

They assume that the underlying economic problem is a tight labor market, causing wages to rise – and prices to rise in response. And they believe interest rate increases are necessary to slow this wage-price inflation.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, is out now. He is a Guardian US columnist. His newsletter is at robertreich.substack.com

A new version of the website, quietly launched a year ago under new owners, is attracting interest and readers again

Gawker was once one of the most infamous websites in US media.

It began life as a scrappy outsider that turned blogging into a business as a purveyor of irreverent, anti-establishment snark against the rarefied world of elite US media in New York. As it grew it actually turned into a genuinely influential news organization before a spectacular 2016 collapse when it lost a privacy lawsuit for publishing a sex tape featuring the wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Emergency services called to blaze on top floor of tower block in Easton in early hours of Sunday

A man has died following a fire at a tower block in Bristol, police said.

Emergency services were called to the blaze on the top floor of Twinnell House on Wills Drive in Easton, Bristol, shortly after 2.15am on Sunday.

The markets have no faith in the mini-budget and the British people will soon feel its effects

Britain is on the cusp of a financial crisis. On Friday, the prime minister, Liz Truss, and the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, comically parading false claims of their toughness, elected for the softest of economic options.

In a “mini-budget” – an obvious misnaming to avoid presenting elementary fiscal arithmetic required by law for a proper budget – they pretended to shrink the state’s financial claims while launching an unprecedented extra £411bn of public borrowing over the next five years as a “plan for growth”. Never in British public life has the gap between rhetoric and reality been so gaping.

Lawmakers set up TikTok accounts to try to reach undecided voters before Sunday’s elections. Hilarity ensued.

Scheme includes tax breaks and gives Britons and other non-EU citizens chance to stay up to five years

Spain plans to issue “digital nomad” visas giving Britons and other non-EU citizens the chance to work in the sun and enjoy a lower cost of living with tax breaks thrown in for good measure.

The visas will be offered to people who work remotely for enterprises outside Spain and who derive a maximum of 20% of their income from Spanish firms.

Warumungu people in Northern Territory negotiate return of four objects collected by anthropologist Baldwin Spencer in the early 1900s

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Four objects from the Warumungu people will be returned from a New Zealand museum to country in the Northern Territory.

Two hooked boomerangs (wartilykirri), an adze (palya/kupija) and an axe (ngurrulumuru) were collected by well-known anthropologist Baldwin Spencer and telegraph operator James Field.

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The exercise was Pyongyang’s first ballistic missile test in nearly four months and came days after the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan arrived in a South Korean port.
The DART mission has been flying to its target since launching last year. On Monday night, it will connect.

Storm set to be the strongest to hit the Philippines this year after a period of ‘explosive intensification’, weather agency says

Philippine authorities started evacuating people from coastal areas on Sunday and hundreds were unable to travel by sea as a super typhoon barrelled towards the country.

Super typhoon Noru was packing maximum sustained wind speeds of 185km/h (115mph) after an unprecedented “explosive intensification”, the state weather forecaster said.

Only state intervention can save the day, but the pain is likely to fall on ordinary citizens, say observers

A little more than a year ago, a Chinese property developer largely unknown to the outside world said its cashflow was under “tremendous pressure” and might not be able to pay back some of its eye-watering debts of $300bn (£275bn).

Today, that company, China Evergrande Group, is all-too well-known as the poster child of the country’s economic woes. House prices in China have fallen in each of the 12 months since Evergrande’s now prophetic warning, with Xi Jinping’s government now preparing to throw billions of dollars at a property market experts say increasingly resembles a giant Ponzi scheme.

The company’s collaboration with Rainbow fashion outlets has divided many on the future prospects of the ‘Bushwick Birkin’

It was a “beautiful chaos” according to Vogue. Customers waited in line for hours at the Rainbow fast fashion outlet on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn to get their hands on a “Telfeezy,” or a Telfar shopping bag earlier this month. The scene with Haus of Telfar dancers voguing and doing death drops played out across social media platforms making Telfar a trending topic for days.

The collaboration with Rainbow, a clothing store found in predominantly Black and Brown neighborhoods, garnered harsh criticism of the Black-owned fashion company in some quarters.

Aiden Aslin recounts how he was beaten, stabbed and asked whether he wanted ‘quick’ or ‘beautiful’ death

A British man captured by Russian-backed forces in Ukraine has revealed how he was beaten up, stabbed and asked whether he wanted a “quick” or “beautiful” death.

Aiden Aslin, who has now returned to the UK, told the Sun on Sunday that he was kept in solitary confinement for five months and “treated worse than a dog”.

Research suggests employers are overlooking people – particularly women - who work from home

The shift towards hybrid working could be holding back women’s career progression, as research suggests employers are overlooking people who spend more time working from home.

Experts have raised concerns that the post-Covid return to work is entrenching the gender pay and promotion gap, with employers failing to monitor its impact or properly design jobs for hybrid and remote working.

This especially affects women, who are more likely to choose flexible hours or work from home for childcare reasons. Male managers are significantly more likely to mostly or completely work from the office (48% v 38%), according to a survey of 1,300 managers from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Two in five (40%) managers surveyed said they had already observed opinion or behaviours suggesting an inequality between those who work flexibly and those whodo not. Female managers were more likely than their male counterparts to believe hybrid working could negatively impact career progression.

Anthony Painter, the director of policy at the CMI, said: “Women could end up in a lose-lose situation if employers aren’t careful, needing to balance work and home life through flexible working but missing out on many opportunities that arise through in-person office interaction. That is intolerable and damaging for women and employers alike.”

Odds of sterling hitting parity with dollar jump, as analysts say UK bond market ‘getting smoked’ by giveaway

City investors are bracing for more volatility after the bonanza of tax cuts and spending measures in Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget threatened to undermine their confidence in the UK.

The odds of the pound hitting parity with the US dollar, for the first time ever, have jumped after sterling slumped below $1.09 on Friday as traders grew increasingly anxious about the UK’s budget and current account deficits.

Experts say ditching concrete and creating mini wetlands could help water systems cope better with effects of extreme weather

This year has seen one of the driest summers on record, with most of the country still officially in drought. Millions of people in England are under hosepipe bans because of water shortages, and reservoir and river levels remain low.

The solution to this? People should flood their gardens and create bogs in order to stop the effects of drought and reverse biodiversity loss, according to the head of Natural England.

Opinion polls suggest that Italy’s next leader could be Giorgia Meloni, a far-right leader with post-Fascist roots. She would be the nation’s first female prime minister.
Military assistance to Kyiv has become something of a litmus test of Olaf Scholz’s ability to lead Europe through its most significant security crisis since World War II.
  • Lawrenson retired in May after 30 years as a football pundit
  • Former Liverpool defender now claims it was not his decision

Mark Lawrenson has claimed that he was dropped from the BBC’s football coverage because “I’m 65 [years old] and a white male”.

Lawrenson retired at the end of last season after 30 years as a pundit and co-commentator with the corporation, most recently featuring on BBC One’s Football Focus. But he has now said it was not his decision to step down in an interview with the Sunday Times.

Team Melli’s 1-0 win over Uruguay has raised hopes of dealing a black eye to Group B despite controversy surrounding Queiroz

Iran’s government is more involved than most in football – clubs are owned directly or indirectly by the state – but it keeps a closer eye than usual on the beloved national team at times of public unrest.

After the famous World Cup playoff win over Australia in 1997 the players were told to take their time coming home lest their presence push nationwide celebrations into something else.

More than 700 arrested in latest Russian protests against Putin’s military call-up as people who refuse to fight face jail sentences

Experts say scheme’s rules urgently need significant changes to prioritise worker protection

As farms began to panic about a likely shortage of labour caused by Brexit, the seasonal worker visa was presented as a panacea.

Just 2,500 people came to Britain in a pilot of the scheme in 2019. But when the predicted shortage came to pass the following year, it was expanded rapidly, before an assessment of the pilot could be concluded.

After making his Premier League debut for Fulham at 16, the left-back admits the unfulfilled expectation of him weighed too heavy

Before Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri it was Fulham’s Harvey Elliott, and before Elliott it was Fulham’s Matthew Briggs. For 12 years Briggs held the mantle of youngest Premier League debutant, feeling both the joy of the accomplishment but also its considerable weight.

“I’m proud to have had that title and I wouldn’t take it back for the world,” says the 31-year-old. “But there is a part of me that wishes I’d just progressed slowly up the ranks.”

Keir Starmer opens party conference with tribute to the Queen and singing of God Save the King

Keir Starmer has led Labour party members in tributes to the Queen and a rendition of the national anthem – the first time the anthem has been sung at party conference.

Despite warnings that the singing would be likely to attract protests and heckles, the speech and anthem passed without any protests from party members, a moment that one Labour source said was a great signifier of “how the party has changed”.

The public show of devotion after the Queen’s death suggests our love of the royal family is still strong. But could the reign of Charles III be the moment the republican cause has been waiting for?

For many years, perhaps decades, the republican cause in this country has held its breath while effectively waiting for Queen Elizabeth II to draw the last of her own. If that sounds insensitive, it is in fact a testament to the strength, as well as the longevity, of her reign. Earlier this year, leading up to the Queen’s platinum jubilee, I spent a fruitless couple of days attempting to elicit the views of serving politicians who were known or thought to have republican sympathies. Hardly any responded and only one would go on the record. That exception was Clive Lewis, the Labour MP and 2020 party leadership candidate, who articulated the problem of being an open republican. “The Queen is seen as someone who is hard working, humble, etc,” he said. “I think that makes it very difficult for the republican argument to be put forward. But I think when she does pass away, that will open up the possibility of conversations about the future of our democracy.”

This month, after 70 years, the longest reign in British history, that moment finally arrived. However, it brought forth the most prolonged glorification of, and visible public support for, the crown since the Queen’s coronation in 1953. While this funereal fanfare may have been concentrated on the late Queen, rather than her successor, King Charles III, the sheer scale of both the state-orchestrated and public acts of bereavement seemed to reaffirm the centrality of the monarchy to British life.

There was the near total saturation of media coverage, posters commemorating the Queen on every high street, streams of commercial enterprises all eager to demonstrate their respect, the postponed sporting events, the huge crowds at Buckingham Palace, the slow progress of the coffin in Scotland and then the flight – said to be the most tracked in history – south, the heavy air of solemnity beneath which Prince Andrew managed to creep back into public life, the lying in state, “the queue” with its five-mile tailback and close to 24-hour waiting times and of course the resplendent funeral itself on Monday, which was hastily made a public holiday.

Garvey and Glover will launch a new podcast plus a live weekday afternoon show

The broadcaster Jane Garvey is leaving the BBC to host a new programme and podcast for Times Radio, it has been announced.

Garvey has hosted shows for the BBC for almost 30 years and, together with Fi Glover, has presented the popular Fortunately podcast for the BBC since 2017.

The Guardian’s picture editors select photo highlights from around the world

“300 el x 50 el x 30 el,” the Belgian troupe FC Bergman’s ambitious theatrical installation, will open BAM’s Next Wave festival with an elaborate set that recreates a rural settlement onstage.

Dutch cyclist retires early from Wollongong race following alleged night-time altercation with teenagers at hotel

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel, who was the favourite going in to the UCI Road World Championships elite men’s road race in Wollongong, was arrested and charged with common assault on Saturday night following an incident at his hotel.

He started the race on Sunday morning but retired after less than an hour of racing.

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Reports chancellor is considering further changes to taxation after mini-budget ‘for the rich’

The government is considering a series of further tax cuts that could hand thousands of pounds to high earners, shortly after it announced the biggest giveaway in 50 years.

Plans under consideration could include bringing back a tax-free allowance for workers paid more than £100,000 a year, and lifting the amount pensioners can save before taxes kick in, the Sunday Telegraph reported.