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Jo Swinson pairing row: Conservatives admit chief whip asked MPs to break arrangements

Julian Smith made error in asking Tory MP to vote despite pact with Lib Dem, say party sources

The Conservatives have been forced to admit that their chief whip asked MPs to breach Commons voting conventions in knife-edge Brexit votes on Tuesday, as opposition parties demanded he quit and queried the accuracy of the prime minister’s account of events.

Related: The cheating of Jo Swinson has exposed the UK parliament’s rotten core

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 19:58:05 GMT
Trump plans to formally invite Putin to US later this year, White House says

Sarah Sanders says Trump asked John Bolton to invite Putin ‘to Washington in the fall and those discussions are under way’

Donald Trump has asked his administration to formally invite Russian president Vladimir Putin to visit Washington later this year, the White House announced on Thursday.

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Trump asked his national security adviser John Bolton to extend the invitation to Putin for a “working level” dialogue between the two leaders.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 21:22:46 GMT
Theresa May: I will never accept EU's ideas on Irish Brexit border

EU27 must ditch ‘unworkable’ plans and break impasse, PM tells Belfast summit

Theresa May is to tell the European Union it is time to drop what she feels is their inflexible view on an Irish border solution and “evolve” their position to break the impasse in Brexit talks.

In a speech in Belfast on Friday she is expected to brand the bloc’s calls for regulatory alignment north and south of the border as a “backstop” solution in the event of no deal as “unworkable”, and repeat her assertion that a border down the Irish Sea is unacceptable to any British prime minister.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 21:52:59 GMT
Footage of sole survivor of Amazon tribe emerges

Man believed to be in his 50s seen swinging an axe to fell a tree in Brazilian forest

Remarkable footage has been released of an uncontacted indigenous man who has lived alone in an Amazon forest for at least 22 years.

Semi-naked and swinging an axe vigorously as he fells a tree, the man, believed to be in his 50s, has never been filmed so clearly before and appears to be in excellent health.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 17:08:16 GMT
MPs told: anonymity over scandals looks like attempted cover-ups

Scheme to tackle bullying and harassment in Westminster raises transparency concerns

Proposals to grant anonymity to MPs accused of harassment or expenses fraud outlined in a new behaviour code will be seen as politicians trying to cover up their misdoings, the chairman of the standards committee has warned.

Labour’s Sir Kevin Barron said he agreed that confidentiality was important to ensure people came forward, but said publishing the name of an MP under investigation would not cause “irreparable damage” to the probe.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 23:37:12 GMT
UK intelligence and police using child spies in covert operations

Home Office wants more freedom to find information on terrorists and gangs via children

British police and intelligence agencies are using children as spies in covert operations against terrorists, gangs and drug dealers.

A committee of the House of Lords revealed the practice while raising the alarm over government plans to give law enforcement bodies more freedom over their use of children.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 15:16:22 GMT
Accused spy Maria Butina met with Russia's former US ambassador

Photos emerge of Butina with Sergey Kislyak, whose contacts with Trump advisers have raised conserns

The woman charged with spying for Moscow in the US met previously with the former Russian ambassador to Washington whose contacts with Trump advisers have raised concerns among investigators.

Photographs of Maria Butina with Sergey Kislyak were among the files taken from Butina’s electronic devices by FBI agents, according to prosecutors. The date of the photographs was not specified.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 23:28:11 GMT
Pop-up Globe apologises for all-male cast in #metoo season

Theatre company, currently in Auckland, criticised for staging men-only shows with a ‘feminist reading’

A theatre company has cast two Shakespeare plays with all male actors, claiming the “controversial” move was an attempt to explore gender equality in the age of #metoo and #timesup.

The Pop-up Globe theatre in Auckland will stage Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew in November, but a decision to cast only male actors has drawn criticism for being discriminatory, “bizarre” and tone-deaf.

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Fri, 20 Jul 2018 00:27:26 GMT
Student loan repayment income 'undervalued by £600m'

Watchdog highly critical of Treasury calculations that differ from DfE forecasts

A clash between the Department for Education and the Treasury over how to value the government’s student loans portfolio may have led to more than £600m in income from future loan repayments being overlooked, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

The watchdog also advised that the government should take “a comprehensive view” and carefully consider the potential impact on the government’s finances of future loan sales.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 23:00:01 GMT
Virgin Media customers to lose UKTV's 10 channels in rights row

Dave, Gold and Drama to leave Virgin after dispute with BBC over video on demand rights

Virgin Media’s four million pay-TV customers face being unable to watch UKTV’s 10 channels, which include Dave, Gold and Drama, from Sunday as a dispute over video on demand rights to shows comes to a head.

Virgin Media has been locked in negotiations with UKTV, which is jointly owned by the BBC and US giant Discovery, over renewing a deal to carry its TV channel portfolio which includes shows such as Taskmaster, Top Gear, Only Fools and Horses, Red Dwarf, Call The Midwife and One Born Every Minute.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018 17:42:32 GMT

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